New Ways to Experience Art - AR technology for the modern artist.

Creating an engaging experience has always been the in forefront of many artists’ ambitions and many strive to find new and original ways to achieve this as new generations of art fans emerge.

During the Romantic period of art, interaction was achieved with beautiful 2D paintings. Paintings told us stories of fevered love and beauty, stirring emotion and stimulating the onlooker’s mind. Now in the 21st Century artists tackle the problem of how to catch the attention of an audience who are continuously bombarded with a wide array of visual stimuli and distractions of the modern world.

How about using those ‘distractions’ of technology and the mobile age to engage art fans?

Scarlett Raven collaborated with Blippar to create the AR painting, “The Eleventh Hour I”. The painting when viewed through a mobile device (blipp the image below), gives viewers an insight into her process and brings the work to life, adding an extra dimension altogether which educates and sets a scene, something which students of art can find useful certainly, but also the more general onlooker, learning about technique and the thought-process.

scarlett raven blippar painting

Raven combines the seemingly traditional painting with video and sound elements, creating a multi-sensory experience, triggered with your mobile phone. The video allows for the audience to experience Raven’s process of layering slow and fast drying paint to create textures and cracks. During this video the painting appears to be alive and autonomous, which is enhanced by beautiful music written by Raphael Ravenscroft constructing a metaphorical journey for the audience to embark upon.

Raven’s series aims to explore the symbolism of the poppy within the context of WW1, she covers poppies in paint, which encases the living flower, preserving the shape, whist Gollaccio’s installation (below) some years before, aimed to decontextualize the flower from its domestic connotations, Raven’s poppies are ultimately symbols of hope and respect. Raven has donated the AR painting to the Royal British Legion Charity Auction to raise funds for the armed forces.

Other artists embrace this ability to engage through different means. The artist Anya Gallaccio similarly creates movement and life within her work but rather than through technology, her method is to harness nature’s ephemeral trajectory. Gallaccio’s installation “Preserve ‘beauty’” combines sight with smell, as her materials include fresh gerbera daisies, which in time will dry out thus altering the smell in the room. The intention of Gallaccio’s installation is to create a, “temporary collaboration between her and the viewer,” ensuring a submersive experience.

art poppies blippar

It is always interesting to see how artists engage art lovers in the modern world and how they are harnessing the power of technology to add extra elements, fun and interactivity to works of art. Some traditional artists may feel that this extra insight into a piece, takes away from the mystery and speculative nature of art, but we see it as enhancing the experience. We say - embrace the modern age, work with it.