Heavy AR is the world's first app that aggregates the best augmented reality experiences from around the world and presents them as either on-site experiences for you to download and enjoy, or as video experiences if you're not located in the installation's home city.
The Summer 2018 Highlight Experience is located in Moscow, Russia at Zaryadye Park for the 2018 Moscow Urban Forum and the associated art festival. This AR installation titled "More Human Than Human" [MHTH] is a 5.5mx3.6m mural (18'x12') on a wall near the Zaryadye Amphitheater in the heart of Moscow.
About the Moscow Installation:
In the early 21st Century, the “self” has become increasingly defined by the accumulation, aggregation, and interpretation of massive amounts of personal data. With the rise of ever-present high-powered mobile devices, social media, and artificial intelligence, our own personal data has become a digital avatar replacing us online in a way that is potentially “more human than human” - carrying a higher degree of (perceived) socio-cultural value than our physical selves.
Heavy’s work critically investigates this dilemma by using cultural datasets from the City of Moscow’s Open Data Portal to construct a new version of the self. Specifically, the latitude and longitude of all of the theaters, exhibition halls, and museums in Moscow were digitally interconnected with a 3D lattice and laid over a wireframe skull mesh. These datasets were chosen because they are representative of the Arts and Humanities, core concepts that have traditionally signified the cultural human self as expressed into broader society. However, these traditional cultural communal sites have been increasingly supplanted by impersonalized online activities and our “selves” represented not by our active presence at these cultural institutions, but rather by our accumulated data.
MHTM is both a physical mural and an augmented reality experience designed to encourage physical presence at the installation as well as communal participation in the experience. By downloading the Heavy AR app (android / ios), visitors can digitally interact with the physical mural in a way that further examines the problem of how abstract digital data often acts as a surrogate for the physical self - and how each of us must take responsibility for the security of our data, just like our own personal security. Signifying this tension, the central avatar is both human and non-human, familiar and strange, transparent and imprisoning, physical and digital. Visitors to the MHTH installation become part of the performance of this examination by using their mobile devices to physically explore the data-self scene, and via this same digital tool of data generation, visitors can interact with and possibly begin to remove themselves from some of the personal data that has come to represent them.
Undoubtedly, visitors will question what they see in the mural, so feel free to interact with it, swipe the shape, investigate the buttons, and change your view of the mural (and the universe) by walking around and repositioning not only the mural, but also yourself.