Science and Technology in Cultural Context
Window Zoos & Views Exhibition

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- virtual interventions in public space

Exhibition Opening: Monday 6th May, 17:00

Exhibition Dates: 6th May to 19th May, 10:00 - 22:00


The project "Window Zoos & Views" was inspired by an image of a car driving down Singapore’s legendary Orchard Road. The windshield of the car was plastered with stickers of popular cartoon characters. By driving down the street, the car mixes the cartoon characters with the actual world and the cartoon characters augment the real world environment. The interior of the car was transformed by the stickers into a kind of a virtual space in which the passengers inside were able to exceed the bounds of physical reality.In keeping with the idea of the car and the experience it provides those inside it, a concept was developed to transform Orchard Road into a virtual exhibition space for pedestrians by creating an responsive smart phone application and overlaying the entire road with geo-tagged media common to game technologies and augmented reality systems. Like the car's windshield, pedestrian's mobile device screens become windows onto the virtual world that is emerging around us, expanding our notion of what constitutes public space and how art can be exhibited. Whether traveling by vehicle or by foot, artworks will augment the "stop and go" journey down the road adding to the hustle and bustle of the people and the glare and flash of window displays and neon signs. Utilizing this type of technology in an art context is a new proposition that explores all that we know and experience as the mix of the real and the hyper-real, calling into question the border between art and life itself.

Artists & Researchers
John Craig Freeman (USA)
Tamiko Thiel (USA/DEU)
Lily & Honglei (CHN)
Lalie S. Pascual(CHE)
Will Pappenheimer
Marc Skarek
John Cleater

Project Leader & AR Curator
Arthur Clay

Participating Institutes
School of Digital Media and Infocomm Techology (SP) → more

List of Artworks

Works on Orchard Road → more info

The 1st AR Float Parade

DAW International (CHE) & Singapore Polytechnic (SGP)

Parades are held for a wide range of reasons, but are usually celebrations of some kind. The DAW AR Float Parade is the first of its kind and celebrates the coming of age for Augmented Reality art. The AR Float Parade extends what was began in real space in the 1920s with the first balloon parade inspired by legendary puppet maker, Anthony Frederick Sarg and promoted by Macy’s Department store in New York City. At that time, the large balloon floats were produced by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and seen by millions over a period of a few hours as the parade marched down crowded city streets where people gathered.

Today, the scenario is different and with the 1st AR Float Parade ever, history is being changed. The Ballon Floats for this parade are no longer produced in reality by rubber company but by creative industry students at the Singapore Polytechnic using computer tools and mobile devices. They march magically down Orchard road all day and everyday during the DAW festival from May 6 to May 19 for all to admire by simply looking and having the sense of "touching" them in close proximity. We indeed move into this new world of art and technology through the window of their mobile device.

Works in the River District → more info

Flying Windmills

Tamiko Thiel (USA/DEU)

The „Flying Windmill“ is a solar-powered paraglider windmill, symbolizing the hope for a future with renewable energy. It is an augmented reality artwork from the ongoing project „Transformation,“ part of the transdisciplinary series „overtures ZeitRäume.“ The project „Transformation,“ by artist Tamiko Thiel, investigates daily life in a city and asks how we can transform our cities for a more sustainable future. Augmented Reality artworks for the project are geolocated at relevant sites in the city where they indicate past, present and future possibilities for a sustainable lifestyle. The virtual artworks can be viewed using a smartphone app as overlays on the live camera view of the surroundings, embedding them visually and experientially in the “real” world. The project series “overtures ZeitRäume” is a long-term R&D transdisciplinary collaboration between artists, designers, architects, technologists, scientists, business people, local residents and government officials to develop scenarios and lifestyles for a sustainable future. It was launched at Ars Electronica in 2010 by artcircolo in cooperation with pilotraum01 and Kunst | Konzepte, and is curated by Serafine Lindemann (artcircolo) and Christian Schoen (Kunst | Konzepte).

Sky Pavilions

John Cleater (USA)

Sky Pavilions are virtual cloudbursts filled with nonsensical and practical guidance. They may be located near cultural landmarks, empty fields, abandoned developments, or even above your home. They cause disturbances in the atmosphere and may jump out of bounds without notice. These hovering vessels are prepared to carry you as far out or as deep within as you need to Be. If you see a Floatie hovering above the ground, be sure to send a message with them to the Sky Pavilion nearest you............... Dewanatron asks, "where are they located? Here, there or anywhere. But not everywhere. Because you don't see things like this everyday. In fact you can't see them if you look around. If you did, people might think you are seeing things. Which as you know, is not permitted. People might think you're superstitious. But you didn't hallucinate it. Look up in the sky. Its not a police helicopter.... They were created, but can they be destroyed? I ask You... The great thing about them is that they don't weigh anything!"

WiWo Spinners (AR Drone)

Will Pappenheimer (USA)

WiWo Spinners is a series of leaking network apparitions. Woodstock Vermont has forged ahead to deliver free wireless access to its town. And so the beautiful rural countryside now has the world of the Internet superimposed on its town's homes, fields, steams and mountainsides. What if this invisible network began to leak objects, force fields and visions at various points in the grid. WiWo Spinners is a series of augmented reality apparitions viewable with a simple iPhone or android application at various places around the town. They show up as rotating colorful objects, patterns, clouds of ephemera. How many that can seen is unknown. Official artists have set up a site to catalog these events and determine if they have any affect on the local community.

The Butterfly Lovers

Lily & Honglei (CHN)

The Augmented Reality installation is derived from Lily & Honglei’s animated short The Butterfly Lovers. Reinterpreting Chinese folk tale Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingta (梁山伯与祝英台) or The Butterfly Lovers, the work develops traditional aesthetics with new media art. The series of paintings depict scenarios from the original story such as “Seeing off for Eighteen Miles” and “Meeting at the Balcony.” With dreamlike dislocation, the work depicts isolated protagonists, metaphorically implying the vulnerability and resistance of Chinese cultural spirit during the process of westernization.


Marc Skwarek (USA)

creatAR lets you create anything anywhere! What would you do if you could make anything... anywhere?!! createAR is the world's ultimate tool for artists, communication, and intervention. Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can create whatever they want wherever they want simply by asking for it. Project by: Mark Skwarek [project lead], Animesh Anand [lead programmer], David Chen, Naomi Namba, Amy Espesito. Becom an AR Artist and learn how to do it in three easy steps.


Lalie S. Pascual (CHE)

Hide&Seek is a group of Augmented Reality objects suggesting an imaginative garden made of images of Oak and Angsana trees. It aims to create a space where new encounters and dialogues could exist. The work takes its sources from images of Oak and Angsana trees (e.g. brunches, petals, leafs) as well as images of water, ice and snow. These images were digitally broken into abstracted shapes where similar type of structure reappear in different shapes and scales. Recombined and recomposed into three dimensional models the work aims to seek out new representational models that speak of other possibilities. Visitors could explore the virtual and the real, hide or seek where the macro meets the micro, and the past meets the present and the futuristic. But in fact in this work it is the unexpected connections and other ways of looking and seeing that matters the most.

Works Around the City → more info

Flotsam & Jetsam

John Craig Freeman (USA)

Flotsam & Jetsam is a virtual meta-comentary on global warming, expected sea level rise and the spread of plastic debris field gyres. Flotsam is floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is purposefully cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore by the Coriolis Effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction. Built for smart phone mobile devices, Flotsam & Jetsam is a clarion call for the denizens of the world to take seriously the science of climate change and other abuses to the global environment by envisioning the debris left by storm surge and other manifestations of the incoming tide. The public can simply download and launch the mobile app and aim their devices’ cameras in the streets, of Singapore

Clouding Green

Tamiko Thiel (DEU)

Based on the study "How Clean is Your Cloud" by Greenpeace, April 2012, the artist has created and placed a cloud in virtual space over the headquarters of major cloud computing providers in Silicon Valley. The clouds, in colors ranging from sooty black to brilliant green, indicate the percentage of renewable energy used by each company's cloud server farms. Although not applicable to the Greenpeace study, which provides no live data, an extension of the concept would be to use a live data feed that changes the color of the augment depending on the current values of, for instance, a pollution monitoring system or clean energy use. This artwork is an example of an important artistic contribution that Augment Reality can make: to transform abstract data onto a visually and emotionally striking overlay on the user's immediate physical surroundings, creating an emotional impact on the viewer that other forms of data visualization simply cannot provide.

ARt Critic Face Matrix

Tamiko Thiel (USA/DEU)

The self-referential “ARt Critic Face Matrix” surrounds you with animated art critic faces, ranging from skeptical to outrage. It was originally created for “We AR in MoMA,” the path-breaking AR intervention at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, 2010. In 2011 it was updated with animated faces as the “ARt Critic Face Matrix (reloaded).” It is permanently installed in fine art museums the world over, such as MoMA NY, ICA Boston, MoCA Los Angeles, Tate Liverpool, Hayward Gallery London, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Orators, Rostrums, & Propoganda Stands

John Criag Freeman (USA)

Based of the work of Gustav Gustavovich Klucis, including designs for Screen-radio Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands from 1922. Each of the Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands display a black and white animation from a contemporary mass uprising, juxtaposed with frames from the Odessa Steps scene of Sergei Eisenstein‘s historic Battleship Potemkin film. When touched, the virtual objects play sound from the uprising. The stands call up both the resurgence and nostalgia of current worldwide political idealism as they reimagine the museum plaza in the function of the public square.

Copyright @ ETH Zürich
Page last modified on July 16, 2014, at 10:42 AM