The idea for the AR project Uncharted Territories
started from the Altas Obscura Website where one can find weird city facts about the different cities in the world. Emma Creed and I look at how this could be translated in augmented reality and how it could be the foundation for a bigger narrative that gives the Users a new understanding of the city that they live in or visit and allows them to build a different connection with it. We identified architecture as the narrative device that with the use of 3D animation will unfold the stories of the city that show its hidden identity. The kind of stories that if they are not an expert on the topic, they would not be able to read in marble and stone.
Augmented Reality captures the User because of its playfulness its ability to bring to the here and now a new surprising element. In the Uncharted Territories AR app, this new element was the secrets of the architecture and the result we are aiming for, will be the audience’s engagement with the city.
This playfulness in regards to the environment is not in any way a new media intention. One of the key collaborators of this project is the filmmaker, dramaturg and old head of our University, Harald Stjerne. He has a knowledgeand interest in psychogeography and is organizing walking tours, that take the audience in both famous monuments but also not so reputed spaces. He took those walks with us in Beckomberga and Skågkyrkogården. His walk in the second case was much different from the walk that is suggested by the municipality for the “official” tour, but from juxtaposing those different approaches, we were able to see how Harald’s tours are more interested in the experience and less information-driven. We had long discussions about the tradition of psychogeography and the situationist’s tactics to make people playfully reconnect with the city and were deeply inspired by those talks.
At the same time, this kind of approach to engaging with the audience seemed to be a great analogy or metaphor, for the process of this making, between my collaborator Emma Creed and myself. We worked together similarly, trying to engage each other and make each other creative playfully. The exploration of digital media and XR became, to a great extent, a personal exploration of our roles and the meaning of those roles. Relieved from the typical expectations and obligations we are facing in our professional lives, we decided to enter the XR world with innocence and instead of copy/pasting practices of our common background which is filmmaking, challenging them with the ultimate goal of rediscovering them, and their best possible adaptation to the new formats.