Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are both complex combinations of computer technology, virtual reality hardware and artistic vision. Virtual reality is an artificial and digital recreation of a real life environment or situation. It immerses the user by making them feel like they are experiencing the simulated reality firsthand, primarily by stimulating their vision and hearing, replacing the real environment. On the other hand, Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that overlays computer-generated enhancements into the real world, enhancing the real environment with virtual elements. As technology is rapidly advancing in the world, people become more confused and lost between the different realities, having trouble differentiating between them. Media artists have implemented these ideas within their work, showing the mixture between the realities and how they are coming together.
Lossy – Rachel Rossin
Lossy, a series of paintings and virtual reality installations explore the relationship between the physical and the digital, examining the principles of loss and entropy. “Lossy”, according to the language of computers, refer to compression techniques that reduce a file’s size by shedding unnecessary information, permanently altering the file’s content. Within this series, Rossin has created a complex world of landscapes, abstracted figures and still lives, which blend together as if they were imploding in space. In order to highlight the relationship between virtual reality and painting, she creates context for both, playing with physical space. Rossin explores this idea by questioning what happens when the barrier between what we consider virtual and physical reality begin to come together. With the two realities blurred, the audience sees a new dimension as she furthers the complex ideas of relationships with technology, taking on the issue of mixed realities that the current world is lost in. She states that as ‘an artist’, it is her job ‘to explore the blurry gradient of virtual reality’ that we are already living in.
Pokémon Go (produced by John Hanke (the CEO) and Artist, Dennis Hwang) is a game that consists of an augmented reality using a mobile phones’ GPS to locate Pokémon’s on the screen within the real world. Delivering a real life Pokémon experience, players are able to capture Pokémon in the real world. Although the game allowed people to go outside, exercise and socialize, it became a big problem as it took over daily schedules and caused incidents within the real world. As people hunted for Pokémon, they were temporarily lost within an augmented reality.
Shezad Dawood’s exhibition at Timothy Taylor gallery consists of screen-printed statues and a central virtual reality experience that inserts visitors to various worlds of experience. His work functions as a hyperspace in which the visitor’s subjectivity succumbs to its surroundings. The visitors are to organize their immediate surroundings perceptually and cognitively, to map their position in a mappable external world. The inability to fully position themselves within the confines of the building’s maze mirrors the inability to comprehend the global economic and social networks that define contemporary society. Thus, putting the audience in a virtual reality based on real life issues, the artist brings the two realities together.
- (2015). Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality. Augment. Retrieved from http://www.augment.com/blog/virtual-reality-vs-augmented-reality/
- Lombardi, J. (2008). Virtual & Augmented Reality.Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, 182.
- Richardson, M. (2015). Rachel Rossin’s Lossy Exhibition Blends Virtual Reality with Oil Painting. New, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.newinc.org/blog-post/rachel-rossin-blends-virtual-reality-with-oil-painting
- Stinson, L. (2015). Rachel Rossin’s Trippy Paintings of Reality as Seen Through VR. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2015/11/rachel-rossins-trippy-paintings-of-reality-as-seen-through-vr/
- Herrera, K. (2016). What Is Pokemon Go And Why Is It Such A Big Deal?. Cinema blend. Retrieved from http://www.cinemablend.com/games/1533430/what-is-pokemon-go-and-why-is-it-such-a-big-deal
- Gottschalk, M. (2016). Virtual Reality Is the Most Powerful Medium of Our Time. Retrieved from https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-virtual-reality-is-the-most-powerful-artistic-medium-of-our-time
- Noor, T. (2016). A Virtual Reality Journey to a Remote Corner of the Himalayas. Retrieved from http://hyperallergic.com/330208/virtual-reality-journey-remote-corner-himalayas/