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Augmented Reality Performance and Installation:
The Buzz and Growing Panes

Amir Baradaran

The Buzzz. An Augmented Reality (AR) installation piece, explores the manner in which technology alters point of view. The piece plays upon the drama of progress. The mesmerizing movements and interaction of the viewer with an AR generated fly bring the concept of fascination and creative production into the experience of the participant. The work scrutinizes the solidity of quotidian phenomenology, knowledge, and visual perception filtered by AR (Augmented Reality) technology. Buzzz employs both the most advanced technology accessible to a general audience in combination with the most primitive mechanism of visual distortion and disection – the lens. The advent of technology that project ™real-time∫ virtual additions to the ™aked∫ human gaze surfaces the fallacy of objective reality as captured by any apparatus that purports unadulterated representation.

Growing Panes is a performance art piece that tests the limits of perception, reality, and belief following the advent of Augmented Reality (AR). Spectacle, nature, art and technology are juxtaposed to query traditional utopian promises of technology. The artist raises the specter of Godot's metaphysical tree, by re-planting the tree of knowledge in a terrarium of pristine soil. The artist must shatter the membrane that separates man from that which bringing forth life, reflecting the trauma of progress. Feelings of anticipation, expectation and disillusionment are parlayed into a deliberation of the hope of technological deliverance. The fulfillment of augmented memory, vision, safety and reality via technological determinism are examined and literally magnified in the piece. Symbols of empowerment are gifted to the audience, but like Neitzche's Ubermensche, the spectators must set their potential into action themselves.


About the Artist
Amir Baradaran (b. 1977) Iranian-Canadian, New York-based media and performance artist, works in the field of Augmented Reality (AR). Speculative public experiences exploring the philosophical and social underpinnings of technology, authorship and identity are staged using AR technology and concepts. Under the rubric FutARism, AR is situated as a new installation and performance art medium. Experiential, conceptual and legal shifts are used to explore radical subjectivities, failed utopias, and mysticisms. Other AR installations include Venice Augmented (54th Venice Biennale, Italy), Frenchising Mona Lisa (Louvre Museum, Paris) and Takeoff (MoMA, NY, NY), Simple as Drinking Water, winner of 2011 International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) video competition, Transient (2010), video installations placed in New York City taxis (approx. 1.5 million viewers), and The Other Artist Is Present (2010), a guerrilla performance at MoMa, NY, NY. Published in Art in America, Forbes, ARTNET, ARTINFO, BBC and NPR.