Seeing the Invisible: Augmented Reality in Art

Innovative art exhibit will be on display in 6 different countries simultaneously thanks to AR technology

By Yossi Aloni | | Topics: Art
Art piece by Mel O'Callaghan of Australia.

The largest exhibition of contemporary works of art created in augmented reality (AR) technology will open in Jerusalem during this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. This is the first international exhibition of its kind in Israel and will be simultaneously presented in 12 botanical gardens in 6 countries around the world featuring augmented reality (AR) works by Israeli and international artists.

Initiated by the Givat Ram University Botanical Garden and the Outset Fund for Contemporary Art, together with the Jerusalem Foundation, the exhibition “Seeing the Invisible” will present new works in AR technology by 13 leading Israeli and international artists from Sydney, Ghana, Istanbul, London, Beijing, Israel, New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Dubai, Denmark and Switzerland.

The 12 botanical gardens where it will be on simultaneous display include: the Denver Botanical Garden (USA), the Eden Project (Cornwall, England), the Jerusalem Botanical Garden (Israel), the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (Cape Town, South Africa), Marie Selby Botanical Garden (Florida, USA), Massachusetts Gardeners Association (USA), Royal Botanic Gardens (Ontario, Canada), Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens (Scotland), Victoria Royal Botanic Gardens (Melbourne, Australia), the Royal Victoria Botanical Garden (Cranbourne, Australia), the San Diego Botanical Garden (USA) and the Tucson Botanical Garden (USA).

Art piece by Sigalit Landau.

Viewing the exhibition’s work while wandering through the blooming botanical garden will be through a dedicated app.

In the innovative exhibition, works will be displayed in similar locations in the 12 botanical gardens around the world, thus creating similarities, as well as differences, between them. For example, the same work may be displayed among tall Saguaro cacti in Tucson, in the heart of a forest of huge sequoia trees in Edinburgh or throughout the Jerusalem Botanical Garden.

The exhibition, based on AR technology, enables the creation of large-scale works that communicate with the landscape around them, without the restrictions that apply to physical works of art. Thus, many of the works created for the exhibition deal with issues related to nature, the environment, sustainability, and the encounter between the physical and digital worlds.

As part of the exhibition, the Eden International project will include accompanying educational content for children, teachers, and families, which will be available at the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, as well as all the botanical gardens involved in the project, and online for visitors from around the world.

“Visitors to the Jerusalem Botanical Garden are expected to have an extraordinary experience, during which they will be able to wander the garden, enjoy the plants and nature, and at the same time view the artwork through the app. We are very excited about the project, especially in this challenging time,” said Hannah Randall, executive director of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden.

Tom Amit, the garden’s CEO, added: “We hope that the new exhibition will pave the way for many more collaborations in the future. I invite the general public to visit the Jerusalem Botanical Garden and enjoy an innovative and unique exhibition that has never been seen before in Israel.”

“The exhibition enables Israeli and international artists who have not yet created augmented reality technology to expand their work on issues that are at the heart of their artistic work, in completely new ways in a wide range of experiences related to this evolving medium,” Hadas Maor, co-curator pointed out.

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