a ‘phygital’ experience at twelve different gardens

 

‘seeing the invisible’ is an augmented reality contemporary art exhibition featuring 13 AR works by ai weiwei, el anatsui, sigalit landau, refik anadol and more, simultaneously on view at 12 different gardens around the world. curators hadas maor and tal michael haring worked with the artists to select existing works as well as commission new ones, and to position these in unique spots in each of the participating botanical gardens. the participating gardens all present the same exhibition, but as the works are augmented into the unique surroundings and context of each garden, the exhibition is experienced differently against the backdrop of each location. since the works cannot be experienced online, but require viewers to physically visit the gardens, they offer a ‘phygital’ experience combining the physical location and the digital manifestation.seeing the invisible: ai weiwei, el anatsui + more exhibit AR works at gardens across the globedetail image of el anatsui, AG + BA (AR), 2014/2021, royal botanical gardens, ontario, canada

courtesy of the artist, october gallery, london, and goodman gallery, london

header image: detail image of mohammed kazem, directions (zero), 2010/2021, royal botanical gardens, ontario, canada. courtesy of the artist

 

led by the jerusalem botanical gardens and outset contemporary art fund, ‘seeing the invisible’ debuts simultaneously this september in australia, canada, england, israel, scotland, south africa, and the united states. the open-air exhibition continues the efforts to present and discuss art in the current pandemic crisis, while also allowing local communities to be exposed to the forefront of international contemporary art. a total of 13 augmented reality (AR) works by established artists from various countries can be viewed upon visiting the participating botanical gardens and through the ‘seeing the invisible’ mobile app developed for this project. participating artists are ai weiwei, jakob kudsk steensen, sarah meyohas, timur si-qin, isaac julien CBE, ori gersht, refik anadol, el anatsui, pamela rosenkranz, mohammed kazem, mel o’callaghan, daito manabe, and sigalit landau.seeing the invisible: ai weiwei, el anatsui + more exhibit AR works at gardens across the globedetail image of ai weiwei, gilded cage (AR), 2021, royal botanical gardens, ontario, canada. courtesy of the artist

 

 

setting the digital experiences inside botanical gardens, without disturbing the surroundings, and keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum, the project addresses themes concerning nature, environment, and sustainability. ‘both bleak and hopeful, each artwork offers a unique perspective on these unresolved issues, creating thought-provoking, experiential, and contemplative spaces for the viewers to immerse in,’ notes the exhibition’s description text. ‘as viewers are invited to explore the botanical gardens and actively locate the artworks scattered throughout them, they must use technological devices to establish the digital works into existence and, in many cases, experience the way their own physical presence affects the work and changes its course, further exploring the interrelations between the ‘art object’ and the self.’

seeing the invisible: ai weiwei, el anatsui + more exhibit AR works at gardens across the globe
detail image of jakob kudsk steensen, water serpent, 2021, royal botanical gardens, ontario, canada. courtesy of the artist

seeing the invisible: ai weiwei, el anatsui + more exhibit AR works at gardens across the globe
detail image of sigalit landau salt stalagmite #1 [three bridges], 2021, royal botanical gardens, ontario, canada. courtesy of the artist

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