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Artists “Occupy” Chicago Virtually

September 4, 2012

rootoftwo (A&D Assistant Professor John Marshall and Cezanne Charles) are undertaking a long-term project to create a 21st Century weathervane — a (headless) chicken that will be robotically driven by the climate of fear (apocanoia) on the Internet. WithervaneAR introduces this project as a series of insertions in the layer between the virtual and physical. ‘WithervaneAR’ builds on our previous work and explores how works can inhabit physical, virtual and purely conceptual spaces. This work is a flirtation with a format. We have created a set of postcards from the ‘future-past’ that mash-up dust-bowl imagery with 1930s advertising slogans from insurance companies and used these to ‘augment’ significant sites for the insurance industry in Chicago’s loop. The project was launched in August of 2012 and will remain in place for at least a year. The project was presented at the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) Conference August 6-11 at Columbia College, Chicago and will be presented again at the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) 2012,  September 19-24 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The project was awarded a 2011 Propeller Fund Grant and a Florida State University Small Projects Grant. Propeller Fund is administered by Gallery 400 and threewalls. Funding for the initial years of Propeller Fund is provided by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Artists are currently ‘tagging’ the Chicago loop virtually with content that provokes, instructs, delights, and challenges the viewer. Augmented Reality (AR) is a mobile form of virtual reality that combines images, videos, and objects with the physical world using your smartphone camera. Several artists and collaboratives have come together around the theme “Expose, Intervene, Occupy: Re-interpreting Public Space”. These artists are thinking about the big issues that influence us all.

Artists “Occupy” Chicago Virtually