Minecraft Banksy: Augmented reality will change the way we think about street art

The potential for augmented reality (AR) devices such as the HoloLens to inject an element of unreality into our homes and workplaces has been well and truly touted. Microsoft, for example, recently showcased how the headset could let you fight robot invaders in your own living room, while Volvo has announced plans to use the device to create a digital showroom.

What happens when you take that potential and put it on the streets of our cities? Japan-based artists and “nature/tech cult” AUJIK has offered a glimpse into one possible direction – where plazas and corridors and swamped by sinewy biomechanical structures and Minecraft-like clumps of blocks.

The hallucinogenic visualisations, titled Karakuri cores with music by christ, make up part of the collective’s ongoing Polygon Graffiti project. “By using a comprehensive and vivid form of AR the artist will be able to completely deconstruct any spatial and architectonical elements in the public and private spheres,” AUJIK writes in the video description. “Precise motion tracking, 3D scanning, and GPS grids will enable the artist to rebuild any building or constructions and add their own personal aesthetic to it. This may be implemented as an open source in order to let other people or self aware software’s to contribute and hack the constructions.”minecraft_banksy_2

Walking through Soho and being beset by slithering chrome tentacles might seem like an LSD-drenched nightmare waiting to happen, but it presents an interesting idea about how artists and hackers could subvert augmented reality to intrude on the real world. Street artists such as Banksy, Neck Face, Invader disrupt urban environments with stencils, paint and tiles, but future graffiti artists could use augmented reality to distort and encroach on digital advertisements and corporation-sanctioned gaming.

Augmented reality graffiti could be terrifying but, as AUJIK show, it could also be sublime.

NEXT: What’s the point of virtual reality?

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