Zero and I: The Void in Augmented Reality

Grace Herrmann and Ross McLennan Part of CW18

The void is a multifarious subject with roots in ancient philosophy, spirituality, science and art. It is both multifarious and profound, suggesting a space of nothingness, silence and darkness, yet also the infinite and the sublime. In the visual arts, it has inspired prolific exploration from the works of Yves Klein to well-known, contemporary exponents like Anish Kapoor.

This project explored the void by integrating augmented reality (AR) into creative practice and employed the three defining characteristics of AR: that it combines the real and the virtual; is interactive in real time; and is registered in 3D. The resulting artwork utilised virtual imagery projected onto sculptures, and motion sensors to allow audience interactivity in a physical space.

The project approached AR as a concept rather than a technology, to focus on the creation of a meaningful experience of the void, without the barriers to immersion inherent using screen-based devices such as tablets and smartphones. The resulting artwork aimed to create a new way of depicting and exploring the void by using contemporary methods that build on the history of art.