Image credit: stills from a video produced by Membit
Augmented Reality (AR) multimedia art installation
Art by Richard Humann
Digital Experience Curator Seol Park
Produced by SPARK+
Venice, Italy | May 13 - November 26, 2017
"The strength of this year’s Biennale may be found in...the many remarkable satellite exhibitions under the auspices of the Biennale, plus the collateral events or independent shows scattered throughout Venice. A recurring theme apparent in some of these presentations might be described as “futuristic archeology"... New York’s Richard Humann's high-tech contribution to the exhibition, Ascension..."
- David Ebony, Critic, Yale Univ. Press / Art in America
We are pleased to premier “Ascension,” a breathtaking location-based augmented reality (AR) art installation by Richard Humann and curated by Seol Park to premier during the 2017 Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy.
The constellations that we recognize today are based on a 2,000-year-old mythology of the ancient Greeks. Their heroes, villains, mortals, and gods ascended into the sky for all eternity. In "Ascension," Humann draws inspirations from the seminal work of comparative mythology, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell and presents twelve new constellations that tell the myths and legends not of the ancient Greeks but of our own -- the heroes and villains of the past century. These new AR stars are suspended across the expanse of the sky over the magical city of Venice.
Exhibition design visualization by Seol Park
The Lion of Venice, drawing by Richard Humann
The narrative begins with the two-headed dogs of war, “The Great Wars,” that represent the two wars, WWI and WWII of the first half of the 20th Century that shaped so much of what was to come. The world at war then gives way to the era of the “Shining Suburb on the Hill,” which is the America of post 1945. We see the rise of “The Blue Moon King,” represented in the form of a black and white bear that is Elvis Presley. Then comes “The Gentle Beast” which is a whale-car hybrid spouting oil that opened up the vastness of America while making it smaller and more accessible to all at the same time. The bunny rabbit, dressed in royal attire, is “The Tragic Queen” who is actually Marilyn Monroe. “The White Knight” stands proudly with his sword by his side, and the nuclear briefcase by his feet. He is John F. Kennedy and is a man of peace who is prepared for battle, but it is during peacetime that he meets his end too soon.
“The Four-Headed Monster” quickly rises from the vacuum left behind by the loss of The White Knight. The monster is an eight-legged creature with four heads that takes over the entire world with its message of love. It is The Beatles, portrayed as a revolver headed octopus, holding flowers. “The Butterfly Bee” is both delicate and deadly. It is graceful and powerful. It is Muhammed Ali. Next is “The Brave Explorer” who was running out of land to explore on this planet and launched himself into space to reach out to the stars, and eventually took giant steps onto the moon. It is all the astronauts, and the space program that allowed mankind to leave this world for the first time and walk among the gods. “The Princess Adored,” or Princess Diana, captured the heart of the world, and is represented by a beautiful rose, on a thorn-less stem with a ladybug at its heart. Then there is “The Silicon Prophet” calmly sitting in the lotus position, with an apple body, and young tree sprouting from its stem. It is Steve Jobs patiently growing an orchard that will bear fruit to millions. And finally there is “The Silver Tower” that was a tower of silver coins, knocked down by a hawk-headed dove. It is The Twin Towers that brings the constellations of “Ascension” into the 21st Century, either full circle to that of the Third Great War, or to a time of peace and prosperity.
1.The Great Wars - Near the center of the stairs of Venezia Santa Lucia
2.The Shining Suburb on The Hill - Center of the bridge next to Calle De Magazen
3.The Blue Moon King - On Strada Nova in front of the doors of Palazzo Mora
4.The Gentle Beast - Center of Rialto by railing looking S.E.
5.The Tragic Queen - 3724 Calle Del Dose
6.The White Knight - Bridge over Rio de L'Arsenale
7.The Four-Headed Monster - Parco D'elle Rimembranze
8.The Butterfly Bee - Plazza San Marco
9.The Brave Explorer - Academia Bridge
10.The Princess Adored - Campo San Margherita near center looking south
11.The Silicon Prophet - Calle Tintoretto - small square near well
12.The Silver Tower - Fognatura near store number 540
13.The 12 Constellations Dome View - San Giorgio Maggiore overlooking the Riva degli Schiavoni
ASCENSION Viewing Spots
NYC preview of Ascension takes place on April 24, 2017 on a rooftop in Long Island City with an expansive view of Ascension suspended over the beautiful Manhattan skyline, with a private reception from 7:30 to 9:30pm. In Venice, the interactive AR installation is placed throughout the city, the exact locations of which are accessible within the Membit app (see "HOW TO VIEW" below). Additionally, an artwork on canvas of the Ascension constellation system is presented as part of exhibition “Personal Structures,” organized by the GAA Foundation and hosted by the European Cultural Centre at Palazzo Mora on the Strada Nova in the Cannaregio sestiere of Venice. "Personal Structures" runs from May 13 through November 26, 2017.
Richard Humann – Artist
Neo-conceptual artist Richard Humann has had several solo and group, national and international museum exhibitions, including the Kemi Art Museum, the Tampere Art Museum, the Tornio Art Museum, the San Cristóbal Art Museum, Macao Art Museum, and Kaohsiung Museum of Art. Humann has been included in both the Arbitat Biennale in Taiwan, and the 50th International Art Biennale in Venice, Italy, and will be representing the United States in the upcoming 2017 Karachi Biennale. He is a recipient of grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Pollock-Krasner Award. His artwork is included in the Nokia Collection, the Sackner Collection, the Moen Collection, The Collection of David Byrne, the Buhl Collection, and the collection of the Sarah Hildén Art Museum, among many others. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Seol Park – Digital Experience Curator
Seol Park is a digital experience producer-curator and frequent collaborator with other artists and occasionally with consumer brands as well. Specializing in experiential exhibits development and brand activation, Seol Park has advised American and Asian corporations including Microsoft, Chevron, Four Seasons Pty. Ltd., Miller Coors, and is currently serving as advising curator for Intel. Seol’s academic background spans across a wide art historical time periods and media. Stemming from her study in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Design, incorporating cutting-edge digital technology in artistically rigorous presentations has become a strong component of her current producing practice. She published articles and was quoted in various publications including Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus.
Young Jeon – Project Manager
Young Jeon orchestrates the multi-faceted workflow. Comfortable with both institutional-scale curatorial projects and communication/PR for smaller art organizations, Young is currently involved in the Brooklyn Museum’s overhaul of Asian Art galleries and advise galleries in New York on digital communications. Prior to these posts, Young worked at leading art institutions in the United States and Asia, including the Armory Show, Asian contemporary Art Week, SongEun Art Space, and Sungkok Art Museum. She also served as the content curator-organizer of artists panel talk programming for KANA (Korean Association of New York Artists). Young holds a Master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute and dual Bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Design and French Literature from Korea University.
Membit – Technology Partner (Jay Van Buren, technology counsel)
Membit is an Augmented Reality app that lets you pin an image to 3D space and leave it there for other people to see. Membit’s patented Human Positioning System (TM) allows for markerless Augmented Reality to be used anytime, anywhere, by anyone. www.membit.co
SPARK+ ART, Young Jeon, firstname.lastname@example.org