On art, architecture, and augmented reality

Apple augmented reality Art Walk John Giorno

I love how art, architecture, retail and technology are commingling these days. Last Friday I went on a mad (and at times quite trippy) [AR]T walk with Apple to promote its new art-based ‘Today at Apple’ augmented reality experiences in some of its bigger city stores.

Apple AR Art Walk

[AR]T Walk is an AR-generated audio-visual walk around an area of architectural interest, with the [AR]T app layering conceptual animations over the surroundings through the iPhone screen. After ‘anchoring’ yourself at each location to tell the phone to start the experience, you then see anything from an interactive 3-D rollercoaster-factory by Chinese artist Cao Fei overlaid on the flag stones of WC2, to New York poet John Giorno’s rainbow phraseology awash over Trafalgar Square. My favourite was Pipilotti Rist’s colourful bubble rockets shooting across Nelson’s column. You can capture the fleeting AR art with still photos or video from your iPhone.

Apple AR Art Walk Cao Fei

Apple AR Art Walk John Giorno

Apple AR Art Walk Pipilotti Rist

[AR]T is taking place at Apple stores in partnership with the New Museum as part of Today at Apple (the free creative programmes available in all Apple stores). To accompany the AR walks (which take place in six cities), there’s also [AR]T Lab, available in all stores. I attended the [AR]T Walk at the Covent Garden store, and according to this sign-up link* there are plenty of slots left. (*Ignore the message on that page saying ‘this session is now full’, scroll down to where is says ’69 more sessions’.)

In other experiential art-architecture news, RIBA is launching The Architects Underground, turning the flagship Royal Institute of British Architects HQ into a hub of weekly live ‘magazine’ talks and activities. The programme will merge arts, culture, film, music and performance (note – no panels!). Included in the debut line-up are contemporary artist Alison Jackson, A-Cold-Wall designer, Samuel Ross, and architect and designer of the Barbican’s recent AI show, Anna Liu. It all kicks off on September 11th at at 66 Portland Place, W1.

The Architects Underground at RIBA

Finally, if you’re looking for a great arts radio show to listen to, head over to Maeve Doyle’s brilliant show, ‘A Private View’ on Soho Radio. She covers all manner of art and culture, with her unique insights delivered in hypnotic ASMR tones. I was lucky to be a guest last week, talking about the evolution of fashion and digital media. You can listen on Mixcloud here.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Apple [AR]T Walk x 5; The Architects Underground
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