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Scarlett Raven, an oil painter who has become the world’s first augmented reality fine artist, has today unveiled a remarkable AR arts experience to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
Taking the form of oil paintings depicting the iconic poppy fields of the region in World War I, the work can be unlocked using the AR app Blippar. When viewers use the app with the artwork they are able to see layers as a paint strip away to reveal new versions of the painting embedded with visuals and photographs related to the tragic battle.
Artist Scarlett Raven with one of the paintings
Entitled The Danger Tree, the experience pays tribute to the WWI Newfoundland Regiment, who chose a tree halfway into No Man’s Land to meet.
Unfortunately the tree turned out to be more visible to German artillery than had been anticipated, and many of the regiment died, leading to soldiers giving the tree is cautionary name.
One of the images revealed using AR
The paintings are initially being displayed in a 2,000ft space in Greenwich, London, which has been styled by set designer Kave Quinn to depict a blown-out building on the French-Belgian border, complete with battle sounds.
Displayed in order around the space, the paintings can be scanned to provide multiple alternative versions of each image, which combine to tell the tragic story of the regiment.
There is also an audio narrative, in the form of the works of war poets such as Siegfried Sassoon, read by notable British actors including Sean Bean, Christopher Eccleston, and Sophie Okonedo.
Opening today, the experience will be displayed in London until the 31st of July. It will then go on tour around the UK from October, visiting Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
Images copyright Scarlett Raven, 2016.
The collection is not the first augmented reality fine art that Scarlett Raven has produced.
Earlier this year she completed an augmented reality painting for MIND, a mental health charity based in the UK.
The painting incorporated hundreds of selfies taken by people who been helped by the charity, and was also experienced using Blippar. It was sold at auction to raise money for the charity, fetching £13,000.
“The first AR painting I worked on was quite simplistic. I recorded every touch of brush or hand on the canvas and the final result was a simple rewinding from final painting to white canvas,” wrote Raven on her website.
“The process is far more complex now and incorporates blue screen, time-lapse, and stop-motion and sound tracks. The process is still evolving. I storyboard the process and Marc Marot, who has become my digital mentor, handles the technology side.
“Embracing AR has changed the way I work immeasurably. The process has changed my relationship with art forever.”
Scarlett Raven: The Danger Tree runs from 1st July until 31st July
2016 at Riverside Unit, New Capital Quay, London SE10.
3D printed clothing that is both form-fitting and comfortable to wear is heading for the mainstream thanks to technology showcased today by the artist Björk.
The 3D-printable material, Nano Enhanced Elastomeric Technology (NEET), has been developed by 3D printing giant Stratasys and will be available commercially later this year.
Today it is been used in a mask developed with the company’s multi-material 3D printing technology, which is designed to perfectly mimic Björk’s musculoskeletal structure using 3D scans of her face. The mask is called Rottlace, a variant on the Icelandic word for skinless.
“Inspired by their biological counterpart and conceived as ‘muscle textiles’, the mask is a bundled, multi-material structure, providing formal and structural integrity, as well as movement to the face and neck,” said mask designer Professor Neri Oxman, from MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter group.
The Pangolin 3D printed dress, designed by threeASFOUR. Image courtesy of Matt Carasella. Featured image courtesy of Santiago Felipe
Despite being made of several materials, including NEET, which allows it to stretch, the mask was printed in one sitting, meaning the technology could be used for custom manufacturing on a significant scale.
For Oxman, however, it could also allow high-end clothing and textiles designers to stretch the limits of their creativity.
“Multi-material 3D printing enables the production of elaborate combinations of graded properties, distributed over geometrically complex structures within a single object,” she said. “With Rottlace, we designed the mask as a synthetic ‘whole without parts’.”
Björk performed in the mask at an event streamed in VR at the Tokyo Miraikan Museum, as part of a virtual reality project dubbed BJÖRK DIGITAL, which finishes on 18th July.
She also wore a 3D printed dress that uses the material on 4th June, during a performance in Sydney as part of the project. Named Pangolin, the dress was designed by avant-garde fashion collective threeASFOUR, which has produced several 3D printed garments with Stratasys using the NEET material, and was originally launched earlier this year at New York Fashion week.
Featuring intricate interlocking panels, the garments looks carefully and expensively tailored, but with a fit and feel that makes it comfortable to wear.
If the technology becomes widely available, it could be revolutionary for fashion.
However Stratasys’ technology could change that, and the company is planning plenty more showcases to further adoption.
“The Rottlace mask was designed for Björk while we are also working with Neri on a larger mask collection for Stratasys, which will debut later this year under the title ‘The New Ancient’,” says Naomi Kaempfer, Stratasys creative director of art, fashion and design.
“It’s an honor to see visionaries such as Björk embrace 3D printing for the expression of her art. This technology not only provides the freedom to produce perfect fitting costumes for the film and music industries, but also the inimitable capacity to materialize a unique fantasy to such a precise level of detail and 3D expression.”