The conversation around augmented reality has largely been focused on apps and gaming, and how AR can be used as a marketing tool. However, a new exhibit at France's Scène Nationale Albi is using AR for more artistic expression.
The exhibit, entitled Mirages & Miracles, combines real life installations, such as sculptures and drawings, with AR technology. The two interacting is beautiful and fascinating. Take for example, the piece below which features real rocks combined with sketches. Slide on a headset (most likely the Microsoft HoloLens), and see a small silhouette skipping over the rocks.
The exhibit was conceived by multimedia artists Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot. While these two fostered the idea for the project, it required a fairly large team to help create the AR aspects. The digital and analog creators are credited on the artists' website. The official description of the show is as follows:
Ranging from small to large-scale work, this corpus of installations offers a delicate coincidence between the virtual and the material using augmented drawings, holographic illusions, virtual-reality headsets, large-scale projections. It offers a unique ensemble of improbable scenarios that takes root in both the mirage and the miracle, and plays with the boundaries between true and false, the animate and the inanimate, the authentic and the deceptive, the magical, the wondrous, and the indescriptible.
That might just be the most beautiful description of AR I've ever read. As Mark Wilson of Co. Design points out, this exhibit feels special because it's "handmade art that comes to life" rather than something mass produced, like a video game.
This use of AR in art points to exciting things for the future, as the technology branches out from its current state, and people begin to use it for more unconventional applications. Mirages & Miracles runs in France until April 8, but you can glimpse a walkthrough of the exhibit in the video below.