SUSPENSION, an AUGMENTED reality EXPERIENCE
The project is a joint collaboration between Stephen Vineburg - Creative Partner, James Taylor-Foster – Curatorial Partner, Areyes – Digital Development Partner and the European Cultural Academy – Organising Partner.
Developed from the idea of a snow dome overshadowing San Marco Square the project took a more global approach. Vineburg sought to embody two familiar devices into the project. The first was to increase the level of user engagement by incorporating the child-like pleasure of shaking a snow dome. The second device was to increase the level of shared experience by inviting the users to project their interpretations of the ambiguous shapes, similar to the faces seen in floating clouds or responses to Rorschach ink blots.
The project addresses a number of contemporary themes in an engaging and interactive experience for the user. One theme is that the swirling chaos of coloured pixels can reveal hidden patterns or relationships. On close inspection the pixels are themselves the shape of smartphones. The user is invited to consider their own digital connections with friends, family and work. The user can scroll through a multiple different scenarios and also has the ability to adjust the colours of the pixels.
Curatorial Statement — James Taylor Foster
The apparent atomisation of society—our experience of and between one another—has become more striking as the world recalibrates what it means to be together. Since 2010, the latent possibility of digital togetherness has become the norm, connecting individuals to a planetary-scale mesh network that bridges emotion and experience. A decade later, the frameworks that support and frame this shared reality are disguised, camouflaged as interactions and interfaces that dissuade meaningful reflection.Suspension, a digital artwork by Stephen Vineburg, confronts this immersive space with a mixed reality installation that can be placed and experienced anywhere, at any time.
Suspension is a work that is intended to be implemented in public space, and is triggered by the experiencer.
Taking the form of a solitary and scaleless air pocket, the work utilises and then subverts the roles of the screens and the lens through which we mediate our worlds. When anchored to any private or public environment, the transparent bubble takes on the role of civic marker and a point of reference – out of scale and out of time. Housed within the air pocket is a swarm of particles, pixel-like in shape. Like a snowglobe, these particles defy gravity and overlay the visible milieu with a new domain. Apparently arbitrary at first glance, the coloured objects that make up the particles have their own logic. Revealing the organisational fabric that underpins our communications, collaborations, and connections,Suspensioninvites you to consider the bonds and hidden patterns that make up contemporary society.
Suspensionis a work that is intended to be implemented in public space, and is triggered by the experiencer. Amid the ebb and flow of what can and cannot be seen—people and traffic, waves and currents—it invites you to pause for a moment and reflect. The work asks you to mediate the world that you see on your own terms, allowing for the unfolding scene to take on new meaning
An artist and producer, Stephen has helped to create many successful and prize-winning film and art projects. He played a crucial role in developing the Suspension concept and visuals.
The project takes inspiration in part from the 'digital paradox'. In one sense, we see individuals isolated, atomized and with less direct physical interaction, yet at the same time the increasing level of digital interaction provides opportunities for shared experience and collaboration across geographic boundaries. So, there are underlying patterns of interaction in the seemingly random and chaotic digital world.