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Creating Two Sides of the Same Reality

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Immersive Technology turns out to be the perfect medium for ARtistic expression and exploring identity.

Growing up in an immigrant family of Chinese descent and living in Oakland, California, Estella Tse recalls that she was always navigating a conflict between her traditional heritage – which mainly told her to “follow the rules” – and her more liberal American upbringing, which encouraged individualism and freedom of expression. Art, she explains, was a form of escapism as well as a way she found to reconcile the two worlds she was caught between.

Estella Tse explores the intersection between art, technology, and impactful storytelling using immersive technologies such as VR and AR Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Virtual Reality Consultancy Augmented Reality Festival of the Impossible ARt

Tse’s professional background is as diverse as her heritage, including web design, front-end development, sociology, illustration, and visual design. Through her work, she now explores the intersection between art, technology, and impactful storytelling using immersive technologies such as VR and AR.

Tse’s professional background is as diverse as her heritage, including web design, front-end development, sociology, illustration, and visual design Click To Tweet

Designers can easily create immersive content that can then be brought into Xcode for further refinement and development Click To Tweet

She participated in Adobe’s Immersive Artist in Residency Program where she was given early access to Project Aero, Adobe’s new augmented reality (AR) authoring tool and multi-platform system that aims to provide a user-friendly and intuitive interface for artists, designers and developers to create immersive content.

With Project Aero Adobe’s aims to provide a user-friendly and intuitive interface for artists, designers and developers to create immersive content Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Virtual Reality Consultancy Augmented Reality Festival of the Impossible ARt

“AR content development today requires a combination of creativity and technical skills,” says Abhay Parasnis, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Adobe. “Project Aero will deliver a system for both developers and creatives to build simple AR scenes and experiences leveraging Apple’s ARKit. Designers can easily create immersive content that can then be brought into Xcode for further refinement and development.”

AR content development today requires a combination of creativity and technical skills Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Virtual Reality Consultancy Augmented Reality Festival of the Impossible ARt

I wanted to make a piece that could really justify the use of augmented reality as an art medium Click To Tweet

Her work was recently showcased alongside that of 14 other artists at the Festival of the Impossible in San Francisco, where her piece – half of which existed in the physical world and half of which could only be seen in Augmented Reality – was appropriately called “two sides of the same coin,” and was developed using Project Aero.

“I wanted to make a piece that could really justify the use of augmented reality as an art medium,” she explains “As a designer who loves exploring the intersections between new technology and art, AR allows me to express myself in a brand new and exciting ways. I strive to make art that is meaningful, inspiring, and uplifting, in hopes that viewers feel less alone in their struggles, too. AR allows me to do just that.”

Tech Trends Virtual Reality Consultancy Augmented Reality Festival of the Impossible ARt

Creating for AR is more like creating a sculpture to be placed in a courtyard or someone's living room — I have to consider how and where my viewer will be experiencing my piece Click To Tweet

Blending realities to create art requires a different approach and a brand new way of thinking, yet Tse says she loves the challenge:

“It forces me to be more thoughtful in the ways I create art. Coming from traditional and digital 2D illustration background, AR is more like sculpting and environment design. Creating for AR is more like creating a sculpture to be placed in a courtyard or someone’s living room — I have to consider how and where my viewer will be experiencing my piece. Unlike virtual reality which removes you completely from the real world, augmented reality begs for interaction with the real world. How does my piece relate or conflict with the space or manner in which it’ll be viewed? I’ve had to put on my gallery show and exhibit designer hats to achieve a more holistic viewing experience.”

Tech Trends Virtual Reality Consultancy Augmented Reality Festival of the Impossible ARt

To deliver on the promise of AR requires a fundamental rethinking of what it means to create with new tools, technologies and interaction models Click To Tweet

There’s also an additional layer of social interactivity that AR provides, she says, which spurs people on to share the content with friends and on social media:”Even with my piece, designed to be a static gallery piece, so many people took pictures under my phoenix as shown through the iPad. People also wanted to explore and discover the piece together. I think as multi-user AR becomes more ubiquitous, we’ll be seeing very exciting art pieces that will play with multiple perceptions and interactive explorations of the art.”

“We see the potential of immersive design to enable new forms of creative expression, customer experiences, and business models that we can’t even imagine today, but to deliver on the promise of AR requires a fundamental rethinking of what it means to create with new tools, technologies and interaction models” Parasnis adds.

There's an additional layer of social interactivity that AR provides which spurs people on to share the content with friends and on social media Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Virtual Reality Consultancy Augmented Reality Festival of the Impossible ARt

Tools like Project Aero will, Tse believes, make the process of creating immersive art more accessible, and allow more creators to jump on board and define what this space might be, and that space might just turn out to be a lot more open and diverse than more established media and creative industries.

This is an exhilarating time to be an artist Click To Tweet

“There’s a huge thirst in the artist community for pieces with movement, depth, interactivity. From static paintings, to moving pictures and film, and now sculptures pop out of the canvas and frames — this is an exhilarating time to be an artist. Like new mediums that have come before, AR needs artists and creative energy to push the boundaries of what this technology can actually do. As a woman, as a POC, there are all sorts of opportunities I’ll be allowed in a new space that I wouldn’t have had in a more established space,” she concludes.

This article was originally published on VRScout

 

For companies looking to get into Immersive technologies such as VR/AR/MR/XR our Virtual Reality Consultancy services offer guidance and support on how best to incorporate these into your brand strategy.

Alice Bonasio is a VR and Digital Transformation Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.

Tech Trends Virtual Reality Consultancy Augmented Reality Festival of the Impossible ARt