Out Of Night text over hypercube

Augmented Reality commission for Inscription Journal Issue 3, Folds

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Augmented reality artwork by Avco director Daniel Jackson.

‘Into and out of’ is an augmented reality artwork triggered by the image ‘Bottari’ by Kimsooja on the cover of Inscription Journal, Issue 3: Folds. The artwork presents a rotating hypercube locked to the image, with a sequence of related words from 2 groups corresponding to the words from the artwork title ‘into’ and ‘out of’.

On a mobile device you can view the artwork here and trigger it by pointing your camera at the Inscription journal cover. If you do not have a copy of Inscription issue 3, you can point your camera at the Kimsooja image below.

Bottari image, of textiles tied together
'Bottari' by artist Kim Sooja
QR code for augmented reality artwork
Scan this QR code with your mobile phone
Graphical image of 2 triangles

Construction of the augmented reality hypercube

The development of this artwork involved the combination of several open-source web technologies. The software is browser based which means it can be linked to with a simple QR code pointing to a website url.

The two key open-source software libraries used are:

1. MindAR.j https://github.com/hiukim/mind-ar-js – this is the augmented reality component that allows the phone camera to detect the presence of Kimsooja’s Bottari image and then create an anchor on which the content can be attached

2. Three.js https://threejs.org/ – a framework for 3 dimensional visualisation

The multi-dimensional software is code that Jackson developed using the fundamentals from his MA project and which required migrating the old code from the C programming language to modern Javascript. The hypercubes are projected from 4D to 3D, at which point the Three.js software is able to handle the rendering to 2D for screen display.

The rest of the technology stack is fundamental and common to modern website development.

The open standard WebXR https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/WebXR_Device_API is not currently widely supported. It is anticipated that this will change in the near future, particularly with the forthcoming launch of Apple's Vision Pro. Details on WebXR support are not yet clear but it is understood the headset will support WebXR on Safari.

At the time or writing MindAR.js is widely supported on different devices and browsers and is the best option tested for image tracking.

Augmented reality talk at Tate for Inscription Journal, November 2022