Thursday, May 17, 2012

ARe2012 :: Augmented Reality Conference in Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, where ARe2012 took place

My interest in augmented reality brought me to ARe2012, the third annual international augmented reality conference held in Santa Clara, CA.

I can summarize it as a jolt of intellectual stimulation and inspiration unlike anything I've ever experienced within a 48-hour period. A showcase of crazy cool tech, futuristic ideas and paradigm-shifting inventions. It's been a week since I returned from the west coast, and I have finally scanned the drawings I did while attending sessions and presentations. The event gathered an array of brilliant people from all kinds of backgrounds who deal with augmented reality one way or another. Since this is a drawing blog, I'll restrain myself to a few memorable quotes from the speakers. Besides, writing summaries is quite the daunting task.

"Imagination rules all Realities" 

 "Simplexity of design: complicated but intuitive" 

"Augmented Reality is a node within Mixed Reality continuum" 

Christopher Stapleton of Simiosys

The future of AR: eyewear and contact lenses.
Bob Ketner from the Tech Museum

Richard Wetzel of Fraunhofer Insitute for Applied Information Technology
"Language was the first AR" 

"Environmental mediation"

Ben Cerveny's talk was just a gust of perception-shifting ideas. Bloom : New ways to see and communicate

Sophia Parafina, a geographer, gave a keynote on Serendipity. I didn't know something as romantic and ephemeral of a concept as serendipity can be looked at through the lens of data and analyzed.

The panel on Aesthetics in AR was of utmost interest to me. I was in the front row for that one! The panel consisted of Bruce Sterling (science fiction author and an art critic),  BC "Heavy" Biermann of Re*Public (new media artist working with projection mapping and AR to re-imagine urban spaces), Amir Baradaran (new media artist whose installations draw on cultural heritage), and Jason Wilson (media artist, founder of "The Outer Body Experience Lab")

BC "Heavy" Biermann of Re*Public and Bruce Sterling
Amir Baradaran

"There are two Augmented Reality artists 
I take very seriously: 
one of them is Sander Veenhof
the other is Helen Papagiannis

(Bruce Sterling)

Bruce Sterling 
Jason Wilson gave his talk wearing virtual reality goggles with the video feed from a nearby camera.

I participated in Jason Wilson's Outer Body Experience installation right after. Wearing virtual reality goggles, I had to compete against another wearer of virtual reality goggles in arranging a pattern of black and white 3D paper cubes. What I saw through the goggles was a 3-rd person view of me-a direct feed from a video camera. Such. Great. Fun.

Captivated audience.

The Auggies 2012: A panel of 4 judges with Bruce Sterling in the foreground, and one of the contestants.

The highlight of the conference for me was an hour spent in the company of Bruce Sterling during lunch, who is an absolutely delightful man in person! I learn so much from him by watching his talks that are available online. This one is phenomenal, for example: Bruce Sterling. Historical Narrative, Futurism and Emergent Network Culture. 2010

I asked him about drawing. Well, he thinks drawing from observation will remain relevant, so there you have it from a noted critic and net theorist!

Bruce Sterling during the closing notes

Big finale: fireside chat with Daniel Suarez and Bruce Sterling
Ori Inbar, organizer of the ARe Conference, co-founder of Ogmento and a fellow New Yorker!

If you have interest in augmented reality, Ori Inbar hosts monthly meetups in New York, ARNY.


Post a Comment