A Quick Google Search: AR & Fine Art

I’m beginning to teach myself to code. I’m starting with Python, and then I’ll likely move to either C# or C++. This is in pursuit of developing my own AR/VR applications or tools or art works. I’ll likely explore coding-less means as well, as well as tangential areas of interest, like 360 photography, or virtual tours.

Each day, beyond just teaching myself some coding, I want to try to read around the internet and catch up a bit on various aspects of AR/VR in relation to fine art, but also some more mundane or business like aspects.

Today I simply googled: augmented reality fine art photography

I went through the first two pages of results and opened 6 links. I’m going to quickly skim through the links and write a short bit about them or do some free associative writing in response.

https://www.google.com/search?q=augmented+reality+photography+fine+art&client=firefox-b-d&sxsrf=ALeKk00WQAIfGFyk2XByDtx49z5fKgiciA:1599043724607&ei=jHhPX4DMJPKH1fAPovSWwA4&start=10&sa=N&ved=2ahUKEwiAwr2JpsrrAhXyQxUIHSK6BegQ8NMDegQIDBBB&biw=1366&bih=661 | augmented reality photography fine art - Google Search  || This is just the google search, in case you care to have a look yourself.

https://blog.artstorefronts.com/augmented-reality-photography/ | Why AR Has Forever Changed How Photography & Fine Art Is Sold  || This is a business’ pitch. It’s  a bit longwinded, tbh, and is a bit *face palm* inducing in its use of gifs, but it’s trying, so I applaud it for that. And it is a bit assured of itself in its copy. That all aside, the idea has merit, even if I am not totally convinced that “people don’t use apps” as they claim. The idea is, in-browser augmented reality for art purchases. You’re on your phone, on the gallery website, and therein is the option to select a piece and have a live preview of the wall in front of you with a scalable image superimposed. Turn the camera to another wall and the piece moves to that wall. Neat.

https://www.paulreiffer.com/2020/06/ar-see-your-new-fine-art-print-in-your-own-space-with-augmented-reality/ | AR - See Your New Print in Your Own Space, with Augmented Reality | Paul Reiffer - Photographer  || This is another pitch on using an in-browser AR sales tool. The copy is much cleaner and more direct, and the images do a much better job of speaking to the potential customer about how the feature is used and how to control it. It assumes that you are interested as gets to the point, whereas the previous link assumes you need convincing. I’d be more likely to pursue using this tech than the aforelinked. Not to mention, the actual images that Paul is selling are, if a tad trite here and there (how many times do I see the same shot of Firefall or Horseshoe Bend from different photographers all using HDR?), extremely well executed and composed and finished. He has a high caliber roster of clients, so I imagine his attention to detail is excellent.

https://www.lumas.com/pictures/xavier_portela/augmented_reality/ | Augmented Reality by Xavier Portela | LUMAS   || This one doesn’t have anything to do with augmented reality beyond the name. The photos are fine, they look somewhat interesting, if not a little, once again, trite, for “drawing inspiration from Manga aeshtetics” to depict Tokyo in an over-satured neon-color-scape with long exposure times. The resulting image is titled “augmented reality”. *shrug* moving on

https://fineartamerica.com/mobile-app | Augmented Reality Art App for iOS and Android - View Artwork On Your Wall - Art Virtual Reality App  || This is ANOTHER pitch for using their AR app to drive sales of prints. The link can probably be skipped, unless you want to chuckle at their pitch. What I found kind of hilarious about this pitch, done through a video, is the sort of ridiculousness of the video.

   The guy uses the app to demonstrate to a supposed-gallery owner what his prints would look like on the wall. It just seems a bit contrived. It’s blank white walls, and they’re looking one at a time, not overall at the space as to how each image would work next to each other. It would seem to me to be more valuable to be able to have a VR or 360 tour experience and be able to see multiple prints on the walls at once so you can see how they might work in relation to each other, rather than one at a time. Furthermore, he resizes the prints in the app for the gallery. I can’t imagine a gallery owner would want mass-produced reproductions for their exhibition.

   Beyond that, the video is more so selling the idea of a budding relationship brodering on artist-client to new boo between the male protagonist and female potential client, who then shows up after the artist is taking down his exhibition, casually holding a reproduction of one of his prints in her hand with a sharpie in the other like, “will you sign it for me?” I find this all hilarious because the wbesite is “fineartamerica.com” and this is not at all how a fine art scenario would go down.

   Admittedly, I did avoid opening a link to Saatchi’s AR sales technology, and they’d be more likely to know how such a scenario would actually play out. Perhaps I’ll investigate their platform in the future.

https://9to5mac.com/2020/03/17/augmented-reality-artists/ | Augmented Reality: Meet the artists creating the future of storytelling - 9to5Mac  || This is the first really interesting link. There’s not only a few artists doing some interesting things with AR (see: Heather Cathleen Dunaway Smith, Matthew Rey Treece, Susi Vetter, Darren Booth), but the article also points the way towards tools these artists are using to create art work. This is an avenue I need to explore as well, the coding-less tools to make AR artwork. I’ll let you go have a peruse of this link.

https://www.wired.com/story/augmented-reality-art-museums/ | Augmented Reality Is Transforming Museums | WIRED
|| Wired always has top notch journalism, and this article, from 2018, is no exception. It explores the potential for distruption of traditional art spaces by rogue artists using AR apps within museum-settings without permission, but it also explores the ways museums are or might use AR to increase visitor engagement and open up new possibilities for telling stories or displaying art works. Not to mention the article points to even older examples of AR art works. This is all right up my alley (“you got to fight the power, fight the powers that be”). I want to look into MoMAR Gallery, as well as artists

Sander Veenhof and Mark Skwarek who, way back in 2010, also took over several floors with an AR app. Talk about pioneers.

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