Glitches and Ghosts abstract

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

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Hyppereal: Unity, SketchUp3D & a poodle

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!

Hastings Memorial triggering from a postcard outside Mumbai’s legendary CSMT railway

 

‘Bombay Gothic’ backdrop for Apparitions

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Apparitions app, iPhone6 Plus

I recently visited India with a work permit for an arts assignment and was amazed and had to trigger some of my ‘AR’ art nearby in its stunning ‘Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai’ (as recommended by the World Heritage Committee.) The Gothic style is dramatic, with split facades and deep shadings, embellished with etchings and engravings. The Memorial Clocktower of Hastings (1862-1973) that I created as the first ‘Apparitions_Art‘ stood proud in front of the main railway station of Chhatrapati Shivaji, once known as the Victoria Terminus built around the same time.

Once fondly called Bombay, Mumbai is the largest city in India, home to over 18 million people. The city is filled with architectural gems influenced by styles that include Gothic, Victorian, Indo-Saracenic, Art Deco and contemporary. Gothic architecture originated in India under the British Raj or Crown Rule during the mid-19th century. It became popular in Britain and naturally crossed over to India, where British architects chose to practice their new art form on Indian soil.

Here will be a link to a page of Hastings Memorial Clocktower appearing in Hyderabad  & Mumbai, India in January 2019.

10.12.18 Artist’s talk on Augmented reality : lost landmarks of Hastings & St Leonards

IMG_0358.PNGI will be giving a public talk for the Bexhill Heritage group on 10.12.18, 7pm – 9pm
at Friends Meeting House, 15A Albert Road (four doors down from Rustico ) and its free to attend. The Apparitions postcards & app will be demonstrated and given to guests
I will show the development of my idea to bring back lost landmarks implementing a bespoke app I designed that runs on smart phones capable of ‘augmented reality’
It raises questions around gentrification and preserving heritage through digital art whilst also giving an enriched experience through surreal time travelling sound scapes for each site