ART :: Introducing Suwappu! : Sweetly surreal use of augmented reality to generate unreal stories



So what's going on here Jack? Timo?
Let's face it - we're short of demo's, experiments and geek-art creativity that challenges us; that doesn't deliver in the first 20 seconds; that doesn't do what it says on the tin...
I have to say I'm in love with Suwappu! mainly because I don't quite understand.
I was discussing what differentiates art from advertising recently - and it sort of came down to intent. Art requiring a layer of abstraction, even in figurative work, a freedom to interpret, some non-meaning. This makes a hole into which you can pile your dreams and then interpret them using the 'art' as a medium. Pretty much everything else has a definitive logical, instructive, informative or didactic purpose which excludes abstract interpretation. Which is why when you put a bicycle wheel upside down on a pedestal it becomes so uncomprehendingly beautiful.
Generally, when we explore technology we fill in the hole (overfill normally) with a clear call-to-action. A take-away. Suwappu!  leaves the hole behind. It doesn't make sense of what is going on, even when you read all the documentation:

The references to television are also interesting - an oblique sense of as yet unconstructed narratives (oddly archaic metaphor for it).
It also plays with the idea of toys, technology and meta-communications in a way that, well, plays with them. It is nearer to Magic Roundabout than a tech demo. Again it is easier to deconstruct this work within the openly interpretive language of art-criticism than tech or advertising.
(the japonisme is almost certainly fundamental too - but I don't know much about that - so this is a straight western take)

Most importantly this presentation of Suwappu!  as more than simply experimental AR or an exercise in character driven object-recognition. It is a surreal vignette that creates a space to imagine, and a space to not understand - I think they may be a little ahead of their time here - I don't think we're ready for our technology to frame non-reality, to open our minds to geek-as-experimental-art space. Maybe that wasn't even intended - but as a geek-as-artist I cannot see it any other way and I think it's enchanting and elegant.
and I want one. well, all of them.

Written by
Tea Uglow
There is, it turns out, always a Tea in team. And Beth. Of course. x
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