Artvertiser: Augmented Reality Billboards

Artvertiser: Augmented Reality Billboards
Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 21 may 2009

By hacking together a netbook and a video camera, Julian Oliver, Clara Boj and Diego Diaz created software that would recognize outdoor advertising and swap in images sourced instantly from the web so that they display in the viewfinder in real-time.

The Artvertiser is an urban, hand-held, augmented-reality project exploring the live substitution of advertising content for art. Software is trained to recognise individual advertisements, each of which become a virtual ‘canvas’ on which an artist can exhibit when viewed through the hand-held device. The guys behind the concept call this ‘product replacement’ and their site reveals more:

The Artvertiser software is trained to recognise individual advertisements, each of which become a virtual ‘canvas’ on which an artist can exhibit images or video when viewed through the hand-held device.

After training, where ever the advertisement appears, the chosen art will appear instead when viewed live through the hand-held device. It doesn’t matter whether the advertisement is on a building, in a magazine or on the side of a vehicle.

If an internet connection is present at the site, the substitution can be immediately documented and published in on line galleries such as Flickr and YouTube.

While offering itself as a new platform for public art, The Artvertiser seeks to highlight the contradiction of Public Space in the context of what can and cannot be written on the surface of our cities. Neither graffiti or Fine Art, The Artvertiser exploits the inevitable redistribution of these surfaces in media such as digital film and photography, providing an alternative memory of the city.

By leveraging the internet as a redistribution mechanism, The Artvertiser supposes that an urban site dense with proprietary imagery can be re-purposed as an exhibition space for art and archived as such in turn. Similarly, on-site exhibitions can be held whereby pedestrians are invited to use the looking device to view an exhibition on the buildings around them.

Finally, non-live video can also be used. This enables artists to substitute advertisements in film and video with alternative content.



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