Scott Price –
What if your sculpture could be seen anywhere, at any time? What if your sculpture could be experienced from all angles in 3 dimensions as if it was right in front of an appreciative patron or art lover, even though your original physical sculpture was still in your studio a thousand miles away? What kind of possibilities and opportunities could this create for you to get cutting edge exposure of your work through a whole new way to interact with 3D art?
Chas Martin, president of Pacific Northwest Sculptors, connected with Miguel Arias, founder of the California technology company Prefixa that specializes in new advanced visual and immersive experiences. In parallel, Scott Price, founder of Price Sculpture Forest located on Whidbey Island, was researching how to bring augmented reality sculpture for visitors to expand their onsite art experience in a big, modern way. Miguel was a featured speaker at a recent monthly PNWS members meeting, and that convergence sparked a great collaboration that is now growing.
The vision is for augmented reality renditions of sculpture to be displayed in a sculpture park on a pedestal. This will meld and blur the historical distinction between in-person sculpture experiences and detached, location-independent augmented reality experiences. An artist will be able to have their work displayed virtually for an audience that would otherwise never have experienced the artist’s work. With the increasing presence and computing power of mobile phones, augmented reality allows visitors to interact, control, and have fun with how they experience the art.
Prefixa has developed technologies and easy to use processes for a sculptor to convert their sculpture into the company’s format and customizable phone app. All the high-tech wizardry will be performed behind the scenes by Prefixa, requiring only minimal, non-technical steps to be performed once by the artist.
Then Prefixa will create a high-resolution, realistic representation of an artist’s work that can be viewed from all sides. At the Sculpture Forest, the visitor will look at their smart phone screen to see the augmented reality sculpture overlaid on a physical pedestal. The viewer can physically walk around your sculpture where it sits in virtual space, observing it from all angles up, down, left, and right from 360 degrees around in all directions. If the viewer wants to see the other side of your sculpture, they walk to the other side of the pedestal that your sculpture is sitting on in augmented reality, just like they would if your sculpture was displayed there.
This is an exciting new frontier for physical art merging with digital space and modern interaction modalities. It spans time and space, and this even opens up future opportunities for NFT (non-fungible token) art sales. Only a few sculpture parks around the world have exhibited digital 3D art. In addition, they have generally been purely digital software that was not based upon original physical sculptures. The few attempts up to now have been created more by software designers and digital designers with an artistic flair, rather than sculptors of physical materials. This new collaborative effort is based on our shared reality of physical sculptures and transforms them for public exhibition at a physical sculpture space into interactive augmented reality. We will be venturing into new frontiers here.
The three partners are currently working on multiple aspects of building out this new experience. The program, physical space, and funding is being led by Price Sculpture Forest. The underlying technology, approach, and custom app is being developed by Prefixa. Pacific Northwest Sculptors will lead in getting the word out to sculptors of this new opportunity and helping with the upcoming Call for Artists and exhibition.
If this excites you, please consider a donation toward the technology and program startup costs. You can donate at www.SculptureForest.org/donate and specify it go toward the Augmented Reality Sculpture Project.
Stay tuned for more updates as we get this unique and groundbreaking effort launched.