Gimme More: Is Augmented Reality the Next Medium?

Hours: Tues. – Sat., 12-6PM
Cost: Free

Opening reception and panel conversation: Thursday, February 21 6-7:30PM

From February 21 through March 2, 2013, a new exhibition will enable visitors to explore the link between the physical and digital worlds via augmented reality-based immersive installations that fascinate, engage and delight. Under the direction of Nicolas Henchoz, contributions from Thibault Brevet, Thomas Eberwein, Tim Gfrerer, Happy Pets Lab, Vincent Jacquier, Liron Kroll, Marc Mussler, Simon Pyke, Camille Scherrer, Cem Server, Yuri Suzuki and Daniel Tamburrino.

The “Give Me More” exhibition was created by Swiss design EPFL+ECAL Lab and was awarded the DMY International Design Festival Berlin Prize 2010. Previous incarnations of the exhibition have travelled to London, Milan, Paris and San Francisco, but the New York exhibition, designed in collaboration with SOFTlab studio and Laetitia Wolff of futureflair, features seven installations with new contributions from several designers. Now entitled “Gimme More, Is Augmented Reality the Next Medium?” the new exhibition presents interactive experiences in which the material and immaterial intersect. While the scientific underpinnings of “Gimme More” are compelling, the EPFL designers believe that to be effective narrative power must trump technological demonstration.

Directed by Nicolas Henchoz of the EPFL+ECAL Lab, the work of the “Gimme More” designers is based on scientific research by pioneers of computer vision, including Julien Pilet, Vincent Lepetit and the EPFL Computer Vision Laboratory (CVLab) led by Professor Pascal Fua.  Speaking to the transformative power of augmented reality, Henchoz states, “Augmented reality allows everyday objects to tell their stories, reveal information and interact with users in real time. What transpires as a result is a radical shift of interdependence between the object and the information it conveys.” Roddy Schrock, Director of Programs and Residencies at Eyebeam adds, “Eyebeam is pleased to host the exhibition as it aligns closely with our goal to innovate and develop more meaningful relationships between people and creative technologies. The organization has supported experimentation via creative use and misuse of technology for over 15 years.”

While the value of augmented reality to art is ably demonstrated in “Gimme More,” its designers believe that real world applications of the technology are limitless. As illustrated throughout the exhibition, because the technology has the ability to provide integrated and added-value narratives to products it also has great potential for the world of marketing, interaction design, social and environmental sustainability and art making. For consumer markets ranging from luxury goods to sustainable / “green” goods, the ability to express immaterial value through the medium could also create additional credibility around products enhancing their perceived value.

Designed both to inspire and encourage the audience to challenge traditional perceptions and rethink how we generate and use content, “Gimme More” enables exhibition-goers to adopt an experiential role that makes them active participants in the creation of a new media. What all this means for exhibition visitors is the opportunity to gain insight into the meaning of objects, the world around them and even into their own bodies through interactive installations that are by turns fun, ironic and thought-provoking.

A “Gimme More” panel conversation is scheduled the night of the opening, Thurs. February 21, 6:00-7:30PM. Moderated by Laetitia Wolff of futureflair, who coordinated the New York edition of this project, the conversation will feature EPFL+ECAL Lab director Nicolas Henchoz, interactive designer Carla Diana, Google designer Jonathan Lee, digital arts scholar Christiane Paul, Eyebeam director of technology and research Marko Tandefelt and art director Jp. Williams.

Special thanks to our partners: EPFL+ECAL LabEPFLSOFTlabPentagram, and futureflair.

Special thanks to our supporters: Presence Switzerlandpro-helvetiaswissnex bostonswissnex san francisco, and the Swiss Consulate for the reception.