Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Virtual Public Art Project is a whole new kind of art. One where all the art is virtual in a 2 D perspective, yet presented in a 3D reality. This project spans over five continents with twenty eight locations in places like Philadelphia, Tokyo, Beijing and London. VPAP leads the public to a location such as an open field and even a city scape and with the use of smart phone technology presents a virtual sculpture on the landscape which the viewer can span practically 360*. Anyone with an iPhone 3GS or Andriod can download the app: Layer, and start the Augmented Reality art process needed to experience VPAP.

After the Layar app is installed on your phone you can search for sites and then once you are close to a VPAP site you can switch to Map view. This will direct you to the specific location of the virtual sculpture. Then you have to switch to reality view and the virtual sculpture will pop up on your phones screen and you can walk around the area and see it from multiple views. So in the end you are seeing the natural landscape along with the virtual sculpture. It is a huge contrast and a new art revolution. Many if not all of these virtual sculptures are never actually constructed into 3D models. This art style reminds me a lot of the hologram figures seen in movies such as Star wars. Where the actors would appear 3D, and walk around and gesture while talking yet you could still see through them and see the landscape of the room around them.

Three of the artists mentioned on rhizome that have created sculptures for VPAP are Alvaro Barata, Christian Meinhardt, and Christopher Manzione. Barata creates drawings use a technique called anamorphosis. This is when the drawing viewed from a different perspective reveals a different image creating a 3D effect. Meinhardt created the Mirrored City in France. This was ten blocked sections of Laval simplified to the core elements of the city, hovering over the real city. Manzione also has work in the U.S. called Symmetry and Growth.

This is more than just art, VPAP is an art revolution. It is transforming the world of sculpture as we know it. A Sculpture no longer solely describes a 3D crafted, touchable, piece of work but it now can describe something in 2D viewed on a screen in a virtual plane. Also, since the artists have chosen to place their virtual masterpieces in places you must visit to see it gives it more of a realistic aspect. You can’t just watch a video online to see around the sculpture. You must physically go to the location and walk around in a circle to view the whole sculpture. It is fascinating just to think what might come next.

Our world is beginning to revolve completely around technology. Everything we touch and do has had some computer and technological effect on it. Art used to be only what you could touch and see not it is also what can be viewed on a computer screen and phone. I think the only was the artists around the world could improve this concept is to expand. Expand, expand expand. Publicize it more, put the idea out more so the general public will know about this whole art revolution also. I had never even heard about it until this research. But now through learning about it I want to go to one of the sites and look at the sculptures.

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