Videomapping in Augmented Reality. Surfacing media and urban storytelling in Cthulhu of the KOMPLEX-Live Cinema Group
Keywords:Augmented Reality, KOMPLEX – Live Cinema Group, Post-Cinema, Surfacing Media, Urban Storytelling
This essay analyzes the Augmented Reality (AR) installations of the KOMPLEX-Live Cinema Group, who since 2013 have worked for the dissemination of digital visualities in urban spaces. KOMPLEX’s installations define AR’S media and narrative features, as a kind of surfacing media which allows digital images to come to the surface, by narrating the user’s walk through urban spaces (urban storytelling). The following analysis will consider the interactive installation Cthulhu – An Investigation on Very Low Frequencies in L’Aquila (2016) as the topic for consideration. Cthulhu is an augmented walk through the city of L’Aquila, where many districts were destroyed by a violent earthquake. These are replaced by the rich imagery taken from the literary mythology of H.P. Lovecraft novels.
The AR work by KOMPLEX in Cthulhu aims to re-signify the interactive-immersive account between the user, medium and urban space. Before a formal analysis of Cthulhu, this essay will sketch out a theorical framework for the phenomenological study of Augmented Reality.
According to some issues taken from pre-cinema, cinema of attractions and post-cinema models, AR will be conceived as medium in transition. Through this conception, the essay will trace both the polymorphic and the sharp expressive characteristics of AR as emerging medium.
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