Monday, April 4, 2011

Virtual Reality Art Projects for Philadelphia Arts Festival

As you can see from the above photo, lots of cool stuff is going on in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania over the next month.

The virtual artwork seen above ("Miro Alien Chest-Burster" by Jon Rafman) will be placed "virtually" at the top of the "Rocky Steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the VPAP Augmented Reality exhibit.

The squiggly alien will be joined by a giant squid floating above the Schuylkill River waterfall, a faceted rainbow above the Delaware River and 22 other pieces of virtual art throughout the city when the VPAP@PIFA Augmented Reality exhibit opens on April 7 as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA).

Local and international artists have created 25 unique AR (augmented reality) art works that will be geo-tagged to specific locations around Philadelphia and visible via a free Layar App that can be downloaded to iPhone (3GS and above) and Android operating systems. Families will then be able to experience this emerging art form by viewing in-the-round "artworks" using iPhone and Android phones when standing at the sculpture's real-world location. AR is a fascinating new media technology that has a growing influence on our social and commercial interactions.

To complement the VPAP@PIFA Exhibit, a free panel discussion titled Augmented Reality Check: Seeing the Future Now will be held on April 26 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Van Pelt Auditorium. The panel of experts including cutting-edge artists, software developers, gaming specialists, sociologists and social historians will discuss the future of augmented reality and how it may play into our everyday lives. The discussion will be followed by an interactive demonstration and virtual art tour that blurs the line between the real and the virtual.

The walking tour and demonstration will include site-specific AR content developed by artists and designed to interact with locations and landmarks along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. They promise to define all acronyms so you don't go crazy!

Some more geek info for the nerds in your family:

The VPAP@PIFA Exhibit was organized by Breadboard and the Virtual Public Art Project. Breadboard is a hybrid program at the University City Science Center dedicated to exploring the intersection of art, science and technology. The Virtual Public Art Project (VPAP). Augmented Reality or AR interlaces the physical real-world environment with virtual computer-generated imagery in real-time.

VPAP is an augmented reality platform for the public display of digital works of art and the first mobile augmented reality outdoor art experience of its kind.

All the fun is part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), and there are many more fun family activities in Philadelphia once you recover from this amazing exhibit.

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