SPATIAL NARRATIVES IN ART
by SIMONA LODI, Art Director Share Festival , Curator, Art Critic
The text analyzes the work of artists who use augmentation, information and immersion in specifc contexts—public orprivate spaces. Te aim of the analysis is to understand socio-cultural transformations in the felds of art and technologyin social space and what new forms of aggregation and participation have developed, providing an opportunity to refecton new concepts of democracy that are emerging in our global media age. Te question underlying the study is how doartists who use augmentation, information and immersion give new meaning to the concept of public space, changingthe proprietary boundaries of that space and concept of what it is to perceive reality.
Working on the Invisible Pavilion project for the 54th Venice Biennale, it so happened that we came across another group of artists working on much the same issue, so we decided to cooperate with them and launch ajoint attack on the Biennale from diferent fronts and perspectives. In June 2011, the cutting-edgeinternational cyberartist group Manifest.AR¹¹ issued a statement to the general public and to the presidentand director of the 54th Venice Biennale informing them that they had created additional pavilions in theGiardini concourse, built in the new medium of augmented reality, and that some of the works had leakedout into the public space of Saint Mark’s Square. Te artists Mark Skwarek, Sander Veenhof, Tamiko Tiel,Will Peppenheimer, John Craig Freeman, Lily and Hong Lei, Naoko Tosa and John Cleater all took partdirectly in the project.
As Tamiko Tiel explains:
“Augmented reality has redefned the meaning of ‘public space.’ As corporations privatize many public spaces and governments put the rest under surveillance, augmented reality artists take over the invisible but actual realm that overlays real space with multiple parallel universes. Augmented reality actualizes the metaverse in the real universe, merging the digital and the real into a single, common space. Augmented reality can conquer space but it is not indifferent to space. With my artworks you must negotiate real space in order to view the works. They are usually not single images or objects, but installations that surround you. In order to look at them you must move your body in space, looking up, down and twisting around.12” In Shades of Absence: Outside Inside, Tamiko Tiel inserted into the closed curatorial space of the Giardini concourse in Venice the silhouetted fgures of artists who have been threatened with arrest or physical violence. Regardless of whether they are outsiders or insiders to the Art System, known internationally or only within small circles, their work has excluded these artists from the safety of protected space.
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