Artists have never been afraid to push public boundaries and incorporate new technology and mediums into their work. With the imminent rise of augmented reality, it comes as no surprise that artists are testing the waters and exploring ways to incorporate augmented experiences into their exhibitions.
Augmented reality is already altering the retail and automotive industries, and its natural that pioneers from other verticals are stepping forward and throwing their hats into the augmented and mixed reality rings.
Adding more fuel to the augmented reality race is the competition among digital platforms to make space for augmented reality experiences. Facebook's purchase of Oculus Virtual Reality has already indicated the social giant's long-term interest in harvesting comprehensive augmented and virtual reality program, and now competitive platforms, including Snapchat, are stepping up.
Snapchat recently introduced an augmented reality platform focused on art. The platform launched with the support of popular contemporary artists, including Jeff Koons.
Through the platform, Snapchat users are able to visit predetermined pinned locations to view augmented public art. For example, if one of Koons's pieces is set to "appear" in Golden Gate Park, users will have to visit the park, set up their phone at the pinned location, and look through the app to experience a Koons piece in almost real life. Furthermore the app will supposedly signal users when they are in close proximity to a piece of art.
If the early cooperation of Koons is any indication, it's likely that artist and augmented reality collaborations will become increasingly normal. Although artists are known for eschewing popular commodification of their work, they also know that the world, the commerce world especially is changing.
How augmented reality can help artists (of all mediums) connect with audiences
To connect with audiences, artists have to be willing to experiment with new deployment methods. Nova Lorraine, artist, consultant, and founder of Raine Magazine, has forged a career working with artists and connecting them to new resources and opportunities.
"Artists across all mediums--fashion design, graphics, and interiors--are hungry for opportunities to create immersive audience experiences, and subsequently, forge deeper connections. Augmented reality platforms are offering the chance to present their work in new ways," says Lorraine.
How other artistic fields are incorporating augmented reality
Although the Snapchat augmented art platform is one of contemporary art's first major moves into the augmented and mixed reality spaces, other mediums have already begun incorporating the technology into their practices.
Most notably, the film industry is already using augmented technology to capture stories and enhance the audience viewing experience.
Furthermore, even if studios aren't using augmented reality in the production process, marketing heads see its value when it comes to driving excitement for new projects. Films like Angry Birds have already leveraged augmented reality in promotional setups to pull fans into the Angry Birds world before they even step foot in the theaters.
Directors, cinematographers, and studio heads alike know that in order to fill seats and, ultimately, survive in this day and age, you have to make audiences feel as though they are part of the artistic endeavor, not just passively watching it.
As audiences grow accustomed to experiencing art through augmented and virtual platforms, brands must take the initiative to explore the ways in which they can push their own creative boundaries using technology and creativity.
From sponsoring public augmented art exhibitions to producing storytelling initiatives through an augmented video series, there are no limitations as to how marketers can incorporate this immersive technology in their audience engagement strategies.
My latest platform BlendAR (http://blendar.io) is designed to empower brands to seamlessly incorporate augmented experiences. It is easier than ever for any organization to take the initiative to craft engaging customer experiences by leveraging emerging technology.