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Augmented exhibit weaves technology into artwork

The Spectacle Art Group will have its debut show, “Nothing Is What It Seems” on February 3 at Gallery 2622 in Wauwatosa.

Spectacle explores using technology to enhance visual artwork. For this show, the group will use Augmented Reality (AR), which allows an artist to overlay extra content onto their physical artwork when scanned in a smart device.

The AR technology has been around for years, but did not gain mainstream popularity until the Pokémon Go mobile app took the world by storm in 2016.

The exhibit puts Milwaukee in the forefront of using Augmented Reality by blending with the traditional art viewing experience.

“The theme for the show is changing what people perceive of as reality,” explained show organizer and artist Dena Nord, “We plan to use Augmented Reality to reveal these different layers of elements, because the technology allows artists to enhance the meaning of their work.”

Augmented Reality is a technology that overlays digital enhancements, such as video or music, on top of an existing physical reality. The result creates a new level of interaction and meaning. The goal of AR is to connect real world and digital world experiences so that they enhance each other. But both elements can remain a complete idea by themselves.

Unlike Virtual Reality, which is a more immersive and simulation-type technology, requiring extra hardware such as a headset, Augmented Reality can be used by simply downloading an app on any smart device.

Artists John Kowalczyk, Jeff Redmon, Anja Notanja Sieger, Dena Nord, and Bass Structures created original pieces for the February show. Members of the Spectacle Art Group worked closely with the design agency Odvant Creative to develop the augmented experiences.

John Korom, the owner of Gallery 2622, has been very generous in giving the team a space to present this innovative exhibition.

Opening reception for the show is at Gallery 2622 on February 3, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The show is available to view by appointment through the rest of the month.

Gallery 2622

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