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Hyperreal Digital Cutup – Memorial of Hastings visits atemporal glitching at the Ashton memorial in Lancaster #glitch #glitchesandghosts @glitchghostart #Lancaster #hastings #VictorianGothic #mixedreality #unity3d #sketchup3d #vuforia #hauntology #postcard #ar #victorian #AR #art #interactiveart #williamsonpark #williamsonparklancaster
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A visit to the concrete ‘Sound Mirrors’ in Denge Kent inspired me to combine my enquiry into emerging virtual digital techniques with obsolete & lost heritage as I am an artist fascinated by the relationship of history, new technologies, memory & dreams. These spectacular remnants of a dead-end technology from WWI would tell more of a story if combined with augmented reality.
Funded by a ‘Grantium’ from The Arts Council of England (focussing on my hometown of Hastings & St Leonards) I designed and produced an ‘augmented reality(1)’ (AR) application called ‘Apparitions’. It triggers spectral artworks – 3d models with anachronistic soundscapes when viewing special vintage postcards of the sites using smartphone cameras. Digitally Elevating traditional souvenirs of obsolete sites into steganographic missives, described by Mark Fisher’s as ‘hauntological(2),’ embedding the past into the future so it may be interrogated as a simulation and a simulacrum(3).
There are three experiences allowing a glitching, time travel, potentially creating a nostalgia for a future we cannot experience and each is accompanied by a soundscape encapsulating its lifetime: St Leonards Pier (destroyed in WWII) & the Albert Memorial (lost to fire in 1973) and Edwardian beach huts (destroyed by storms 1907).
Until the 1960s the act of looking back, or nostalgic reminiscing was seen by the medical profession as a pathological aspect of ageing (causing or exacerbating depression & disengagement from everyday life). American Psychiatrist Robert Butler challenged these views popularised the term ‘Ageism.’ The platform of ‘AR’ enables me to exploit this and deliver an expandable series of artworks in a significant exploration of the impact of cutting edge ‘augmented reality’ technologies on memory & nostalgia.
As contemporary degrading or invisible urban palimpsests, they offer several levels of engagement: uncanny bygone landscapes both real and imagined, self-selecting experiences that also include factual historical presences anchored in surreal soundtracks. Apparitions are visual, sonic and metaphysical, their role as artworks is also to preserve and share social memory and lost heritage as simulacra during rapid gentrification.
- Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.
The overlaid sensory information can be constructive (i.e. additive to the natural environment) or destructive (i.e. masking of the natural environment) and is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment.
In this way, augmented reality alters one’s ongoing perception of a real-world environment, whereas virtual reality completely replaces the user’s real-world environment with a simulated one. Augmented reality is related to two largely synonymous terms: mixed reality and computer-mediated reality. -Wikipedia
- Fisher, Mark. “What Is Hauntology?” Film Quarterly, vol. 66, no. 1, 2012, pp. 16–24. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/fq.2012.66.1.16.
- Baudrillard J. (2009) The Precession of Simulacra. In J. Storey (Ed.), Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader (4th ed.) (pp. 409-415). Harlow: Pearson
I am an artist fascinated by the relationship of history, new technologies, memory & dreams. In 2018 following a visit to the WWI concrete ‘Sound Mirrors’ in Denge Kent, I was inspired to combine my enquiry into emerging virtual digital techniques with lost Heritage, revealing other versions from postcards and the palimpsests. Elevating vintage postcards into digitally enabled missives that embed the past into the future is both described by Mark Fisher’s as ‘hauntological’ and influenced by Baudrillard – concerning simulation and the simulacrum.
Funded by a ‘Grantium’ from The Arts Council of England focussing on my hometown of Hastings & St Leonards I designed and produced an ‘augmented reality’ (AR) application that triggers hauntological ephemeral artworks of bygone public structures – St Leonards Pier (destroyed in WWII) & the Albert Memorial (lost to fire in 1973) as 3D models viewable triggered from special vintage postcards using smartphones. Called ‘Apparitions’, there are three experiences allowing travelling through time, creating a nostalgia for a future we cannot experience and each is accompanied by a soundscape encapsulating its lifetime.
Until the 1960s the act of looking back, or nostalgic reminiscing was seen by the medical profession as a pathological aspect of ageing (causing or exacerbating depression & disengagement from everyday life). Until a paper by Psychiatrist Robert Butler challenged these views, coining the term ‘ageism.’ The platform of ‘AR’ enables me to exploit this and deliver an expandable series of artworks in a significant exploration of the impact of cutting edge ‘augmented reality’ technologies on memory & nostalgia.
As contemporary steganographic articles they offer several levels of engagement : uncanny bygone landscapes both real and imagined, self-selecting experiences and also include factual historical presences anchored in surreal soundtracks for each one .They are visual, sonic and metaphysical simulacra preserving social memory and lost heritage during rapid gentrification.
I will present a twenty minute interactive Keynote at this conference in Lancaster University ( free to attend, registration essential ) on 17.04.19
Recently I discovered that the act of looking back, reviewing a life, or reminiscing was seen by the medical profession as a pathological aspect of ageing, causing or exacerbating depression and disengagement from everyday life. This was right up until the early 1960s when a paper by Robert Butler, a research psychiatrist at the American National Institute of Mental Health, challenged prevailing views, he in fact coined the term ‘ageism’.
Similarly Apparitions art considers & explores the qualia new media art’s role has in augmenting heritage digitally, creating a hauntology, invoking a hyperreal nostalgia and prodding the Hypokeimenon in Heritage (in metaphysics which literally means the “underlying thing”). To search for the hypokeimenon is to search for that substance which persists in a thing going through change, its basic essence.
Glitches are moments of disruption; they represent the exposure of technical process, moving away from the binaries of input and output to consider what comes in-between. The growing ubiquity of interconnected systems prompts a desire to understand such intangible networks around the user, an attempt to try and engage with these digital phenomena as alternate forms of ‘presence’ that cannot help but recourse to anthropocentric terms – virus, cloud, render ghost. The frequent ethereality of such language attempts to visualise, embody, and comprehend the profusion of technical systems that we share the atmosphere with, their very terming gesturing to their spectral protrusion into, ostensibly, ‘our’ reality. The eruption of pixels, voxels, and glitches haunts our peripheral vision, a deceptive representation of a far more intangible sphere.
‘Glitches and Ghosts’ seeks to diagnose and analyse contemporary cultural fascinations with the emergence of these digital artefacts, and how their spectral presence has come to define our current technological moment. This symposium aims to bring together researchers who are enticed by the prospect of re-conceptualising definitions of digital-based ontologies as a paradigm to engage with an era of technophobic anxieties and technophilic domination.
We are delighted to announce Dr. Will Slocombe as our keynote. Will’s research ranges between various aspects of twentieth and twenty-first century literature, focusing primarily on Science Fiction (particularly representations of Artificial Intelligence), Postmodernism, and metafictions of experimental literature. His upcoming book Emergent Patterns: Artificial Intelligence and the Structural Imagination is due out in 2019.
Suggested topics include:
• Digital art – glitch aesthetics, pixels, voxels, drone shadows, distortion etc.
• Détournement and system subversion – e.g. hacker ‘heroes’ and neoliberal dissent.
• Technophobia – network alienation and technological anxieties.
• Glitch and/or ghosts in music – synthwave, sampling, remixes, etc.
• Cloud spectrality, unseen network presences and how we visualise them.
• Ghosts in the machine, electronic voice phenomenon, white noise etc.
• Render ghosts, digital advertising and the disruption of imagined ontologies.
• Doppelgangers, sample image databases and the ‘ownership’ of personal data.
• Unshackled virtual consciousness, e.g. A.I. and the breaking of constraints.
• Disruption of the virtual – glitches, bugs, cheats and other subversions.
• Digital spectres – eternal or lingering existence within the network.
• Viral anxieties and data transmission; conceptualisations of network ‘presence’.
• Secular digitalities, virtual ‘gods’ or spirits and ontological transcendence.
• Permanence and/or ephemerality of data, system collapse and user anxiety.
• Creative practice and the deployment of glitches and/or ghosts within media.
• Remixed ontologies, disruption of identity boundaries and bricolage forms.
• Omnipresent networks, ‘invasive’ devices (i.e. Alexa) and disconnection.
• Machine learning and emergent behaviour from algorithmic structures.
Hyperreality is the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced societies. This video experiment expresses Baudrillard’s description here : “There is not only an implosion of the message in the medium, there is, in the same movement, the implosion of the medium itself in the real, the implosion of the medium and of the real in a sort of hyperreal nebula, in which even the definition and distinct action of the medium can no longer be determined”.
The persistence of a poodle in mixed reality still life, as an Apparition we made in ‘Unity3d’ materialises digitally : the Victorian clocktower of Hastings is conjured in strobe light and manifested shuddering like a phantom as my dog gazed through the whole experiment!