Tag Archives: AR

A city building game for refugees to heal , give hope and dream of a better future.

Rest in peace #Beltrame , let’s all give the two fingers to IS !!

“ Two Digits to ISIS !!“ 150x100cm Hahnemühle Bright White Photo Rag mounted on Dibond, Inspired by my visit to Palmira’s 3D printed arch in Trafalgar Square.

How do you fill the empty space resulting from the complete destruction of what was once a city??
Recasting, restoration and 3D printing, and in some cases repatriation… so many issues around the reconstruction of war torn or nature devastated countries.
A good place to start would be a game.

Imagine providing all refugees with a free app, a game, a way of virtually visiting every inch of their hometown , where they can start imagining their future city by building , 3D printing and even landscaping in augmented reality. Kind of a Pokemon go game without the battles, where your personal avatar is free to wonder around his hometown with the ability to add, build and construct not only a house or a building but a whole city! Great way to encourage refugees to dream about going back to their homeland and give them incentive to go back and start a new future.

And while refugees ,are dreaming of their new city by playing the game, scholars, archeologists architects artists regulators etc can keep the discussion going.

What does it mean to copy an ancient monument or historical city ? Can a replica ever be as good as the original? What about “authenticity” ? To people who’ve survived death and destruction , authenticity might be less important than symbolism.
Some are still horrified at the idea of recasting and or 3D printing a historical city such as palmyra.

The whole argument of authenticity vs symbolism seems to me useless since first , what’s gone is gone, and so you are left with two solutions , either accept the disappearance of a city or simply reconstruct it, ideally using material from the site, to have a semblance of authenticity. But then, what if what was destroyed wasn’t the original anyway? Oftentimes, Artifacts, for so many reasons, have been replaced by replicas and the original have migrated and chosen residency in a foreign country. And so sometimes there is no way of really telling which artifacts are authentic . Head to Sfeir Semler Gallery whose few last shows seem to be meditations on authenticity from Yto Barrada, to Walid Raad or more recently Rayyane Tabet’s exhibition. Rayyane’s ongoing show whether intentionally or not opened once again the Elgin Marble’s debate, just like the British museum, where Rodin’s sculptures are juxtaposed with Athen’s Parthenon frieze reliefs and figures.
“Fault lines run through any claims on antiquity” and it might take years to reach a compromise between countries . In the meantime and while refugees are waiting for the proper time to go back to their war torn counties such as Syria, Iraq or to their hurricane devastated country such as Puerto Ricco, a simple computer game such as the one described above should help don’t you think?

My virtual dream…

A huge soap bubble, my own version of Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine pavillion(2015)

Beirut ! Such a vibrant creative zone. Not that I am an expert on that , I am still trying to catch up with the lebanese art scene .( TAP is a great place to start!)
Lebanon has so many wonderful artists whose work revolves around war, I don’t get it, why is the maison jaune /Beit Beirut( the war/memorial  museum in Beirut) still empty!!???

While those in charge of Beit Beirut are trying to reach a consensus to agree on what is supposed to be there , someone on the other side of the planet is busy 3D mapping the whole world . Others  are busy selling virtual land using blockchain technology to buyers who can build anything from the most basic sculpture to the most complexe augmented reality experience you can ever think of!

We live in a fantastic world. Now almost any dream can come true at least in the virtual/augmented  reality space !
Imagine buying the virtual plot of la maison jaune and filling it with works of our very talented artists.

Virtual tresspassing you might think. Ok forget about the maison jaune, choose another virtual location, preferably one of the most contentious zone in Lebanon , and build the virtual war museum on it. Call that one , maison rouge, add an extension , a hole , Bernard Khoury’s hole in the ground museum.  Voila! Lebanon could have it’s state of the art contemporary art/war museum with all the augmented reality you can think of, it could be built in no time at a fraction of the cost of a real one.
And one day hopefully , the digital curator hand in hand with a human curator will enable the virtual project to  morph into reality! Virtual or real, offering a space where every voice could be heard regardless of which side of the war you were on, a place that would open the dialogue, so necessary for healing, understanding and forgiving… Having said all that , I sometimes wonder , should we really keep looking back to the past?  Forget and keep on going . At times I am totally with this opinion. I reserve the right to contradict myself , lebanese are known to be masters of contradictions:)!! So  I go through stages, this happens automatically , when I’m in Beirut I shift gears . It happens unconsciously. The thing is , something in this country forces you to keep looking back . I guess it’s because nothing really changed in the political power structure of the country and so to understand the present you definitely need to understand the past.

Sorry guys to disappoint you . My dream has nothing to do with the lebanese election which is supposed to take place tomorrow. Tomorrow happens to be Martyrs’ Day too!