Blog post 1: Virtual/Mixed realities

Virtual/ mixed reality art is developed with technical media, which was made at the end of the 1980’s. These human interfaces aim to enhance the audiences experience through its multi-sensory nature. This can also include the combination of the real world and virtual world combining augmented reality and augmented virtuality. Artist’s Kenneth Rinaldo and Tamiko Thiel explore this theme in their artworks.

Kenneth Rinaldo’s “augmented fish reality” (2004) uses the mediums robotics and virtual/mix realities to explore the interspecies and Tran species communication. The Siamese fish are paired with an augmented environment in 5 robotic fish bowls. The fish use their intelligent hardware and software to manoeuvre their fish bowls anywhere they wish. Through the movement they interact with their environment and other fish. The design has infrared sensors, which is activated by the fish swimming in front of it. The audience is also able to interact with the piece by entering the environment and the Siamese fish moving around them. A small video camera is also mounted under two of the bowls, which image the inside of the fish bowl as well as the environment the humans are in. The images are then captured with transceivers and projected onto the walls to immerse the audience as if they were in the tank.

Tomiko Thiel uses augmented reality in her installation “Gardens of the Anthropocene” (2016) to reveal how Seattle’s ecosystem changes under climate change. This installation depicts a utopian future of native aquatic and terrestrial plants that have mutated to manage with the increasing damages of climate change. In this augmented reality the fauna feeds off electromagnetic radiation. This is through extracting nutrients from the ground to feed off man-made structures. The plants adapt to their environment, which then breaches the natural boundaries of photosynthesizes of visible light to feeding of man made devices.

These artists use the virtual/mixed realties to immerse their audience in the environment they have designed.


Augmented Fish Reality | Ken Rinaldo. (2016). Retrieved 27 October 2016, from


AUGMENTED FISH REALITY BY KENNETH E. RINALDO – ADA | Archive of Digital Art. (2016). Retrieved 27 October 2016, from


Thiel, T. (2016). “Gardens of the Anthropocene” augmented reality public art installation, Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park Retrieved 27 October 2016, from



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