AR technologies and contemporary art: symbiosis or competition?

Digital technologies open a new stage for the art, and for many, the issue of integrating physical and digital art is controversial. Find out how the immersive approach is changing communication with the viewer and how the world of the future will be based on today’s trends.


VR, AR and other technologies. What is the difference?

In total, there are 5 types of realities (according to Olek Y. Consulting — up to 12 types). All of them are called XR. The main ones among them are VR (virtual), AR (augmented), MR (mixed). Using VR technologies, we are completely immersed in a digital space that replaces reality. In AR, we continue to see the world around us, but additional objects appear with the help of a smartphone, glasses or a camera with a sensor.

How to use XR-technologies in art

There are a lot of ways. For example, if earlier the meanings of painting or sculpture were limited to the artwork itself, today because of immersive technologies the artist and the viewer can become co-authors. We do not just observe, but we are fully participate in the process of creating. VR-cinema is built on this principle, in which the viewer is often the main character of the film and all the actions of the plot unfold around him.

Thanks to geo-referenced augmented reality technologies or any object, the whole world becomes a canvas for the artist. For example, the artist Nancy Baker Cahill creates 3D installations regarding different points of the globe. She also made a portal to her studio and a hologram of herself with a recorded message. Such interaction between the artist and his audience moves to a new level and becomes more multifaceted and deep.

Digital Technology and the Value of the Classic Analog Art

The value of the masterpieces only increases over time. Digital art can be hybrid, including elements of the classic art, complementing it and giving it new meanings. So this is more about symbiosis than the competition. Moreover, each of them can exist independently.

Simple XR Effects Tools and Applications

In the past two years, the entering to the world of XR art became more easy and simple objects can be created in just an hour. Some platforms allow you to create your projects without programming and 3D design skills. This is SparkAR, which develops masks for Instagram and Facebook. There is also an application for bringing 2D art to life, Artivive, based on which a large community of XR artists is being formed and developed.

The TorchAR application allows you to load any 3D objects from existing databases and to create animated sculptures and installations in collaboration with other users or on your own. On the Vectary platform, the created objects can be viewed directly on the page in the browser, as well as sent to a friend in the messenger, enlarge the 3D model to the size of a skyscraper and take a picture or shoot a video against its background.


The reaction of the contemporary art industry to the development of augmented reality technologies

The modern art industry realizes that thanks to technology, art can develop in any conditions, and tries to integrate them into its environment. More and more curators see how augmented reality enriches the expositions of galleries and museums, and strive to use them.

Why haven’t virtual galleries replaced classical museums until now?

Virtual galleries are not yet a mass phenomenon, because not everyone has VR devices, and the amount of quality content is very limited. In any case, virtual museums are rather an alternative addition and a great way for people who cannot attend the exhibition due to disabilities or other reasons.

Trends in the world of modern technologies. What does the future hold for us?

When creating augmented reality objects, more and more attention is paid to the study of the feelings and emotions of people. For example, thanks to heart rate monitors and neuro sensors, a story that we see in VR glasses is based on our reactions and feelings.

Also, an interesting trend is digital clothing. We often buy things, sometimes extremely expensive, just to take a photo and post it on Instagram. Digital clothing allows you to do this without such huge harm to the environment because it does not need to be created at a textile factory, washed using chemicals, and disposed of.

In terms of art, there are more and more AR-sculptures and paintings, as well as integral forms that combine music, digital technologies and visual objects. And this is just the beginning because the possibilities that the development of XR technologies opens before us are endless.

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