Technological displacement: The Coat Check interactive augmented reality installation in perspective
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 18:21 by Aysegul Koc
Technological Displacement: The Coat Check Interactive AR Installation in Perspective is a two-part dissertation that involves the research/creation of an augmented reality installation and a textual critique of displacement both as a socio-cultural phenomenon and a technology-driven status quo. Digital technologies involve a series of displacements from data storage and transfer to creating global networks. Going hand in hand with human mobilities technological displacement affects our lives and interactions deeply. Multimedia and digital overlaying of information and interconnectedness (mobile devices, tracking technologies, the internet...) make up our quotidian in various degrees, impelling us to be 'present' in time and places we actually are not. Technological displacement may be viewed as an extension of physical displacement of individuals and communities in that the need to reconcile, re-invent and innovatively market proximity becomes more and more an underlying theme of contemporary lives. Nowhere the reorientations of presence is more accentuated than 'augmented space', as described by Lev Manovich, "a physical space overlaid with dynamically changing information, multimedia in form and localized for each user." (219) It may be argued that our sense of reality is already 'augmented' by digital stimuli in many ways. Here I make the case that in an augmented or digitally enhanced environment we are displaced multiple times, or "multiplaced". Augmentation is superimposing multimedia to real space, blurring the boundary between the real and the virtual, creating a heterogeneous space defined neither by the standards of the virtual nor the real but the coexistence and cooperation of both. Augmented reality functions on the principle of multiple displacements in that real space is not a backdrop to multimedia: it is indispensable to the overall embodied experience. I created the Coat Check in 2011 using motion tracking technologies (Intersense IS900), specialized cameras (Point Grey 360 degree Spherical Vision Camera), screens (Fog Screen), software (Max/MSP), tools and applications (Snapdragon AR). The conceptualization of The Coat Check is based on an analogy between digital technologies and coat checks that are both storage, retrieval and displacement systems. The Coat Check also raises questions on identity and history as it refers to belonging, temporality, and mobility.