The Augmented Landscape


Boston Cyberarts commissioned four internationally acclaimed artists; John Craig Freeman, Kristin Lucas, Will Pappenheimer and Tamiko Thiel, to create 8 Augmented Reality (AR) sculptures for The Augmented Landscape, an outdoor exhibition that took place at the National Park Service’s Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Located on the historic waterfront in Salem, MA, the free exhibition opened to the public on Saturday, May 27, and remained on view through November 30, 2017. In addition at the Saugus Iron Works, Will Pappenheimer and Zachary Brady’s SkywriteAR generates virtual skywriting vapor phrases hundreds of feet above the viewer.

Inspired by Salem’s unique history and ecology, the eight artworks delved into issues as diverse as East-West relations, New England’s maritime connections with Russia, Japan & China, American idealism, the discord between globalism and isolationism, piracy as warfare, as well as the effects of climate change, global warming and rising waters.

Augmented Reality (AR) is computer-generated sound, video or graphics that are layered into a real-world environment. Sited throughout the park, either on the land and or in Salem harbor, the sculptures will be positioned via GPS, each in a specific place on the Salem campus, and will be viewable by using the augmented reality app Layar* (free for iOS and Android) on a smartphone or tablet.

The National Park Service also had printed maps available for visitors that include the site of each piece, an image, artists’ information, title of the work and how to download the app to view the work.

Privateers Reenactment, Will Pappenheimer 2017

*if it frustrates you to download a new app and then having to wait to see it work, may we recommend searching for ‘Reign of Gold’ (without quotes) by Tamiko Thiel.