(Un)seen Sculptures

June 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

When even the tourists know which Melbourne laneways hide the best bars, the locals start watching the streets through their small glowing screens, admiring artwork that no one else can see.

Finding the (Un)seen Sculptures, a mobile augmented reality art show presented by the Australian Centre for Virtual Art, rugged up in wooly coats with a variety of small glowing screens, was a great way to spend a wintery Saturday afternoon. The only other pilgrims on our journey appeared to be a father and daughter in Fed Square, watching jasmine flowers cascading like rain within a birdcage. Between the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Fitzroy Gardens we saw a large chunk of the digital exhibition, that can only be viewed via the Layar Augmented Reality app for small glowing screens. We must have been a sight for passers-by; eyes transfixed on the glowing screen, waiting for the closest artwork to download from a grey dot in the streetscape, following the glowing device like a religious icon whilst moving in curves and swirls to get the best angle, like first-years between Carlton pubs in the first week of March.

Although we weren’t necessarily blown away by some of the artworks, I think we caught a glimpse into the future of installation art and maybe even tourist information.

Notitiaviridae internets

Warren Armstrong's Information Virus, out the front of NGV's water wall

In the streets and public spaces of the City of Melbourne, Saturday 14 May 2011.

Free access available via http://www.unseensculptures.com/?page_id=31

Attendance: Extremely low, but it was the opening weekend.

Half-time refreshment: A berry mocktail from Blue Train. As mentioned previously, most prices at my Southgate favourites have increased substantially since I last lived here, but stopping for a refreshing mid-afternoon break out on the sunny and enclosed balcony, experiencing it’s own little greenhouse effect, was well worth it.

Best on ground:

3 votes – Warren Armstrong for the Information Virus in front of NGV’s water wall

2 votes – The origami cranes on the Yarra River, actually called the Sea of Tweets by Mark Skwarek, Tamiko Thiel, John Craig Freeman and Naoko Tosa

1 vote – The Australian Centre for Visual Art for showing Australians the future of art

Special mention – Nathan Shafer’s Australises IX, an aurora australis over the Princes Bridge, which seemed like a strange dark UFO above us in the afternoon sky but could possibly take out BOG honours at night

Overheard during proceedings:

“There’s a big poo above us”

“I’m trying to get inside Captain Cook’s tent”

“I don’t have any POI”

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