My art was eyejacked!

Posted 13 Jul

Dylan DeLosAngeles

Last fortnight I had the pleasure of participating in Stuart Campbell’s (aka Sutu) workshop on augmented reality (AR). AR is an interactive experience of the real-world whereby computer-generated sensory information, e.g., visual, auditory, etc is overlaid with the physical world in a way that is perceived as immersive. If you have not experienced AR yet, come in and see us at MOD. where we are showcasing a collection of artworks from 45 artists from around the world!

Sutu ran a hands-on workshop where 16 of us got to augment one of our artworks using Sutu’s upcoming app (sign up here for a beta release: It was loads of fun to meet other artists and see the way they chose to augment their artworks. By the end, most of us got something animated that we could play through the app on Sutu’s phone. You can read more about Sutu and his curation of our current collection here.

During the five hour workshop, I worked on (and am currently still working on) augmenting an ink sketch I did several years ago. I’m finding that animating my artwork is a slow process, which is not really surprising given how new all of this is to me. I can’t wait for the release of the open-community eyejack app so when I have finished, I can upload my artwork and share it far and wide. Here is a progress teaser (pre- and post-jacked):


Despite being time-consuming, the work is surprisingly rewarding. Even the animation of one small cog can yield a degree of satisfaction that spurs on further work, and before you know it, it’s 1 am and you haven’t eaten dinner.

During Sutu’s public talk at MOD. he told a story of augmenting the cover of the New York Times to provide a political commentary on Donald Trump (he was subsequently prevented from entering the US, go figure). I love the idea of being able to present alternative, potentially dissenting perspectives about people, organisations or ideas. Makes you wonder what an organisation might pay to stop their logo getting eyejacked…

The list of possible AR applications is as long as your arm, from archaeology and architecture to visual arts and video games. I personally want an image of a dish popping up whenever I pass my phone over a menu. So that’s what escamoles are!

Escamoles (edible larvae and pupae of ants) in Mexico (Source: Wikipedia)

AR is already being applied in numerous places, such as navigation, movie set design, and language translation.

Some of the people I talk to find all of this exciting, while others worry about how it might affect their lives and where it is all heading. Personally, I’m terrified of walking down the street and seeing Ronald McDonald leap out of a poster at me.

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