We’re in the final stages of creating Vävda rum (Woven Places), Sweden’s first nationwide exhibition in augmented reality. The project will display artworks at thousands of locations across Sweden, changing the experience of urban space with interventions ranging from sculptural social networks to hordes of reindeer and water spirits shaped by local climate data.
The audience experiences the art through their smartphones. This makes it possible to create an exhibition that reaches most remote corners of Sweden, bringing cutting-edge immersive experiences to places where they are often scarce.
The project is a collaboration with Sveriges Konstföreningar (The National Association of Swedish Art Societies), an umbrella organization gathering all of Sweden’s independent arts organizations. They have rallied more than 200 arts organizations to act as local hosts and place the artworks in their area. This means that, even though the project is entirely digital, it still has a solid local presence, and each artwork is locally contextualized.
Mobile technology and augmented reality constitute exciting new artistic mediums. The project explores what an art form native to these technologies can be. A networked, interactive, augmented reality art. When photography was invented, it was initially used as a mere replacement for painting. It took some time for it to mature into its own art form, fully embracing everything that makes photography unique. With Vävda rum, we embrace what makes AR art unique and create experiences that are only possible with this medium.
In order to achieve this, we created a scalable networking architecture that connects instances of an artwork to each other, allowing visitors' interactions in one location to influence the artwork in another.
Pastelae's artwork, for example, changes shape based on the number of concurrent global viewers, forming a large horde of rowing reindeer that ebbs and flows throughout the day. Oscar Häggström's work tracks how long users spend with his piece and uses this data to alter their experience, creating a gamified interactive piece that encourages you to "not miss your streak." Adam James creates a participatory sculpture that connects two geographical locations, allowing the audience to create an impromptu performance that spans vast distances.
There are, in total, 10 artists producing artworks for the exhibition, including Lundahl & Seitl, Åsa Cederqvist, James Webb, Space Popular, Eric Magassa, and SONG. We are participating with our own piece, that we will tell you more about at a later date.
Vävda rum opens on May 20th, runs until September 30th, and will be present in all Swedish cities and most towns.