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Augmented Reality: The Dragon Of San Fernando Valley

Here’s a rough example of an idea from an earlier post on why augmented reality excites me.

You could have communal art projects,  or art projects for the community. They could be dense and obscure  (hey, it’s art, nothing wrong with that!) or they could be simple and direct.  

You could have abstract projects,  such as a Mondrian-like grid in the sky that reflected traffic flow on the ground below.  Or a series of accumulations of small polygons that merely traveled about to in pleasing, ever-changing configurations like refugees from a Radiohead album cover.

Or you could go with more dramatic works.  A dragon that lives on the mountaintop and circles the valley from time to time,  guarding or perhaps merely observing the people below.   The dragon could still be a method of information-communication.   His flight pattern or disposition could indicate the state of the population he protects.  Or he could simply be an icon of his locale, a mascot or a symbol of community pride. 

You could also have more communal works.  Say a steampunkish zeppelin that allowed other individual works to orbit it.  Members of the community (which of course do not have to be geographically proximate) could devise the elements of the entourage and determine the way they interact, either on the basis of aesthetics or utility, or perhaps both.  The work would then represent a coming together of the locals, both literally and figuratively.

Another alternative- works that span the entire community area, but represent alterations to IRL that indicate group membership or presence.  Imagine small objects that individually simply add color or texture to a location, but when taken as an area-wide they whole comprise a symbol of a certain group. Think of each local “pixel” being part of a national flag when viewed from overhead, for example.

Which brings up the final point- viewpoints in AR do not necessarily have to be physical location of the viewer.  Since the Augmentations exist as digital data on a server, it’s possible to move the viewpoint and allow a variety of perspectives on the work. 

And the works can either coexist or only be visible on exclusive layers.  Any eventual common AR infrastructure will have to allow for layering, and the activation or deactivation of each layer.  If each work exists on its own layer, viewer can choose which they wish to experience. 

The idea of all this is to pull the experience of AR away from individuals perceiving Augmentations in isolation, and instead use AR to foster a sense of community, whatever sort of community that may be.

Expand the definition to include communities that follow various narratives (tv shows, novel series, films, etc), and it’s easy to see the next step of integrating augmented characters into a community.  Lestat roams your streets at night, that kind of thing.  Or characters from your own Canon In CC.

Many worlds can coexist with AR, it’s an interesting opportunity.

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