Mobile Augmented Reality Art and the Politics of Re-assembly


Session Title:

  • Interacting with the Virtual

Presentation Title:

  • Mobile Augmented Reality Art and the Politics of Re-assembly



  • (Short paper)

    Keywords: Mobile Augmented Reality, Twenty-First Century Art, Assemblage, Deleuze & Guattari, Tamiko Thiel & Will Pappenheimer, Manifest.AR, Code, Embodiment, Public Art.

    Experimental art deployed in the Augmented Reality (AR) medium is contributing to a reconfiguration of traditional perceptions of interface, audience participation, and perceptual experience. Artists, critical engineers, and programmers, have developed AR in an experimental topology that diverges from both industrial and commercial uses of the medium. In a general technical sense, AR is considered as primarily an information overlay, a datafied window that situates virtual information in the physical world. In contradistinction, AR as experimental art practice activates critical inquiry, collective participation, and multimodal perception. As an emergent hybrid form that challenges and extends already established ‘fine art’ categories, augmented reality art deployed on Portable Media Devices (PMD’s) such as tablets & smartphones fundamentally eschews models found in the conventional ‘art world.’ It should not, however, be considered as inscribing a new ‘model:’ rather, this paper posits that the unique hybrids advanced by mobile augmented reality art–– also known as AR(t)–– are closely related to the notion of the ‘machinic assemblage’ ( Deleuze & Guattari 1987), where a deep capacity to re-assemble marks each new artevent. This paper develops a new formulation, the ‘software assemblage,’ to explore some of the unique mixed reality situations that AR(t) has set in motion.

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