Commisioned by the Urban Walking Festival ‘(Im)possible promenade’ is a trail of surreal, augmented reality curiosities that respond to and question human’s relationship to nature and the surrounding Tamaki Estuary environment. Inspired by games, toys, miniature theatres, and wonder rooms the curiosities ask us to play and perhaps imagine alternative futures. A hamburger floats above cows, in the historic stockyards, speaking of the now suburban landscapes and a call to shape the future. A boat house, adapted to rising seas, harks back to a simple life where consumerist desires were kept at bay and we lived in full feeling of the elements. A door, signed ‘nature’ leads us in both directions to the same site questioning the dualism entrenched in our systems.
This performative trail is also taking place at Whangarei Fringe Festval 2022.https://urbanwalking.nz/2022-festival/impossible-promenade/
‘Lock Down Gigs’-A billsticker project
Thinking about friends and family in the UK and Covid lock down restrictions this project is being developed in collaboration with musicians and performers in the UK. Its aim is to liven up lock down walks and give a small village a magical mystery tour of their own locale. Concert posters in public spaces are activated by your phone. Once scanned by a free app on your phone (using augmented reality) the posters come to life and are little secret performances/music concerts in themselves.
To get involved with the project or for more info. please email: email@example.com Or download Musican/performer Call Out below
We hope this project can spread to other communities and cross boarders and give musicians and other acts the chance to perform in public.
‘Augmented art trail’
Currently in initial stages of R&D. Watch this space for an augmented reality art project born out of thoughts behind Covid19 restrictions and enlivening neighbourhoods during Lock Down. Please see research tests below.
Augmented Spaces- test 2 from sarah-jane blake on Vimeo.
Augmented spaces- test 1 from sarah-jane blake on Vimeo.
‘A Fantastical Journey by Boat’
Developed for Splore Music Festival 2020 http://www.splore.net and with future touring in mind. A Fantastical Journey by Boat is an immersive performance and multimedia experience which takes you across a magical ocean. Join the Owl and the Pussy Cat on their Pea Green Boat and enter a transformed seascape where birds may fly backwards and icebergs could be pink. This is a two person at a time performance which explores virtual reality and eco-anxiety all with a nonsensical twist. The show has travelled to Whangarei Fringe, Bay of Islands and the Maritime Museum and was selected as part of the Aotearoa garden ARS festival 2021 www.ars.nz
Audience feedback: “Outstanding loved the messaging too.”,“First proper VR Trip. Amazing to be transported to another world. Important message too.”, “Stunning immersive experience.”,“Loved this experience-relevant, quirky and bringing VR down to earth.”, “Great creative experience with powerful hidden messages creating awareness for ocean pollution and care.”
Below is a promo film of the performance and further below a little bit about the performance and why it came about. In the performance two participants board a sardine can. While being rowed by a wise and peculiar Owl the participants take on the role of ‘Fish’ or Cat’ (VR headsets inclosed inside their particular masks).
VR Films edited by James Blake @jamesblakefilm . Music for VR composed by Alistair Maude-Roxby @wraudio and Alice Lacey @alicelouiselacey
Inspired by the fictionalised landscapes in the writing of the blog http://www.darthandstormy.com and not being able to carry many theatrical artifices on the boat VR appeared be an interesting option in terms of creating an immersive other world.
Within the imaginary seascape there’s an altered state, an underlying sense of unease , and confusion. The colours are saturated, there’s a chemical haze and the lens burns with heat, wildlife is not what it was . There are characters shouting but we can’t hear what they are saying, things are passing by but we can’t quite make them out. Ecological emergency symbols, broken toys from a child’s dream, scale changes as the Owl and Cat become puppets/dolls (frozen in their fate, they are pulled by larger forces). There are perhaps infinite dimensions of reality at play.
The Owl and Cat are suffering from an overwhelming anxiety about the environmental future, about the changing seascape. All they do, for now, is row on.
Sarah-Jane is in experimenting with multi- media to create new aesthetics and new meanings or emotional curiosities. Drawn towards false facades, the grotesque, fairground rides, games and play, the work blurs the boundaries between adult and childhood asking us to look back into our pasts and forward to our futures.
‘Adventures by post’
Inspired by Edward Lears nonsense poem ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’ the Owl and Cat share their adventures, fictionalised ocean going stories, by writing postcards to individuals and posting them (the old fashioned way) each month. Each postcard reveals a secret AR (Augmented Reality) mixed media art work/art film integrated within the card.
The post card project is an interactive art project with cards being sent to Subscribers, young and old, all over the world. Please see www.darthandstormy.com for more details.
Feedback: “Kids are still looking at it daily and checking out the AR very clever!”, “Great idea and so creative it is a bit of magic in the letterbox.”, “Can’t wait for the next instalment we all love reading the next adventure.”, “Ahoy there Owl and Cat, We are loving receiving your amazing postcards. I look forward to them every month. So fantastic.”