3D and AR Immersive Mural and Video Artwork
By PluginHUMAN, Akshat Nauriyal and Lorraine Brigdale
To establish new creative collaborations, that may extend into future projects, and to develop an AR mural design and video artwork.
Project Development: October-December 2021 (Funded by AsiaLink and Partners – TBC).
Project Presentation: February-March 2022 (externally funded).
This cross-cultural project weaves together layers of information that highlight the artists’ relationship with their lived environment. This project involves the award-winning art-tech duo PluginHUMAN (Justin Dwyer and Betty Sargeant), the Indian tech-artist Akshat Nauriyal and the award-winning Yorta Yorta artist Lorraine Brigdale. The first stage of this project will occur from October to December 2021. This project development stage will enable a new creative collaboration to evolve and will result in a creative outcome – an AR mural design and a video artwork. It is believed that this project will be presented in 2022 at the EyeMyth Festival in India (Febuary) and at a festival event in Regional Victoria (March) – TBC. This project will ultimately invite audiences to draw deeper connections between themselves and their lived environment. Through this work we hope to initiate discussion, action and change, encouraging symbiotic relationships between the human form and the natural forces that surround us. This project also highlights deep resonating connections between the Indian and Australian artists involved in this project – a connection that also reflects a complex interweaving of these two cultures over time.
The AR mural and video artwork will be created from layers of visual information, drawing together diverse environmental and cultural perspectives that reflect each of the artists responses to their lived environment.
Betty Sargeant from the Australian art duo, PluginHUMAN brings to this project her long-standing practice of photo-microscopy. The bottom layer of the mural will display a collection of her new microscope imagery revealing intricate detail of local Australian fungus and mycelium. Overlaid onto this imagery will be her creative responses to topographic lines showing contours of Australian land and seascapes. These visual elements will help audiences experience hidden qualities of nature, qualities that are inaccessible without the use of specialist digital equipment.
Indian tech-artist Akshat Nauriyal will bring to this project his hybrid connection to his lived environment. This involves both a physical and digital experience. Akshat will create a series of abstract visual element that represent futuristic micro-organisms. The mural will feature abstract symbols (similar to QR codes) created by Akshat. These elements will be layered within Betty’s microscope images and contour lines. When scanned by your phone, the symbols will come alive. Audiences will experience Akshat’s futuristic microorganisms as animated 3D AR elements that emerge from the surface of the mural. These AR elements help represent the chaotic, unexpected and wild energetic flow of Akshat’s home city of Delhi.
The final visual element of the mural involves the creative and cultural perspective of Lorraine Brigdale. Lorraine Brigdale’s long-term arts practice is a creative response to landscape, environment and history. Layered within the mural’s imagery will be Lorraine’s images of contemporary ‘shields’. Her shields reflect the strength and resilience of Australian First Nations peoples. According to Lorraine, a shield is something that is used in battle, but it’s not designed to harm another person, it’s designed for protection. This traditional male item is being reimagined by Lorraine and will be used here to show how shields can be a strong protective symbol that can enable culture and nature to thrive.
Lorraine will create these visual shields using a wooden stamp and ochre pigment. Lorraine’s first shield images were created using a wooden stamp which she designed and had created by Indian craftspeople whilst she was living and working in India. She will use natural ochre pigments that she will source and prepare from her own country. This project allows Lorraine to further develop a key thread of her recent arts practice – the symbolic and cultural nature of shields. It also allows her to consider her ancestry including some Indian heritage that’s connected to her proud Yorta Yorta identity.
The final mural will feature layers of visuals that represent the artists’ different perspectives on their lived environment. These layers will be digitally compiled by Betty Sargeant from PluginHUMAN, she will create the final digital canvas in conversation with the full creative team. This working process will enable the artists to work remotely. The collaboration will be fed by regular video chats, enabling the sharing of stories and discussion on artistic perspectives. When the artwork is presented in 2022, the mural will be printed and installed as a ‘paste-up’. This allows for the work to be presented in different sizes, it is expected that the exact size and shape of the Indian mural will be different to that presented in Australia. The printing of the mural also means that the artists are not required to be at the locations in which the artwork is installed. This project has been designed to be Covid Safe.
THE VIDEO ARTWORK
Each of the visual elements that are created for the mural will be reimagined by Justin Dwyer (of PluginHUMAN) and formed into a video artwork. Justin will create a computer program that will generatively animate all of the project imagery. His abstract generatively animated moving image work can be presented as a stand-alone video artwork or it can be projection mapped onto the mural at night, further igniting the mural’s multi-faceted form. This video artwork will begin by subtly moving the mural’s static imagery, so that it gently shifts and comes alive for audiences. The experience will then deepen, bringing to light the power of computer processing and the random nature of computer-generated imagery. This abstract video artwork will highlight the ways that Justin experiences the digital form as a dominant part of his lived environment. It emphasises his hybrid experience involving digital, human and environmental factors.
PROJECT PRESENTATION PLANS FOR 2022
The project has been designed so that there can be different outcomes, some designed for audiences in India, some designed for audiences in Australia. Each of the ways that the project is delivered will respond to the different needs of these two environments. For example, the EyeMyth Festival may present a screening of the video artwork in a cinema style setting, and a mural situated outside the cinema in the festival’s eating, networking areas. This will enable audiences to view the full video artwork and then to more deeply engage with the work by interacting with the AR qualities embedded in the outdoor mural.
For the Australian delivery it is expected that we will install a long, large-scale mural that snakes in and around a laneway precinct. This will allow audiences to experience a mural by day; a mural that will feature 3D sculptural elements that emphasise layers of country, as well as interactive AR elements. At night this work will be a projection-mapped light experience. The video artwork will be projection-mapped onto the mural. The projection-mapped moving imagery will gently animate the mural’s 3D form, bringing it alive for audiences. This artwork can be installed in an outdoor environment (ie in a laneway or small precinct) and may be a stand-alone installation or the backdrop to small related cultural rituals, performances and discussions.
From January 2022 emerging trans audio artist Meri Leeworthy will be bought into the project. She will become a part of the collaborative team and will form the audio soundscape for the video artwork and for the Australian outdoor immersive mural. This aspect of the work will be separately funded. Meri will create an audio soundscape that reflects how her lived environment is made up of internal and external forces. Her soundscape will feature electronic music and field recordings. The audio will highlight the intricate connection between history, identity, body and our natural environment.