Image: Bjarne Melgaard
Bjarne Melgaard, Lightbulb Man Dressed as Les Sapeurs and Lightbulb Man. Augmented reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art

Bjarne Melgaard Unreal City Live

15 December 2020
Online only

These free workshops teach you about the growing art of augmented reality 

As London’s biggest public festival of AR art opens, Dazed Media and Acute Art invite you to a series of digital talks exploring the blurred lines between the real and the virtual

Yesterday (December 8), London’s biggest public festival of AR art opened as a walking tour along the River Thames. Curated by art production company Acute Art, in collaboration with Dazed Media, the exhibition features over 30 digital sculptures, all of which can be experienced in augmented reality.

Running from December 8 to January 5, Unreal City features works from Olafur EliassonCao Fei, Nina Chanel Abney, Alicja Kwade, Koo Jeong A, and Marco Brambilla, as well as never-before-seen pieces by KAWS, Bjarne Melgaard, Darren Bader, and Tomás Saraceno. The digital sculptures are arranged across 24 sites between Waterloo Bridge and Millennium Bridge on the Southbank, and can only be viewed via the free Acute Art app.

To celebrate the exhibition’s opening, Dazed Media and Acute Art are running a series of free digital talks and workshops on December 15, called Unreal City Live. The first is titled Unreal City: Obscuring the boundaries between the real and the virtual, and will see artist Cao Fei join AnOther’s editor Sophie Bew to explore how we use art, virtuality, and technology to create alternative realities.

Next up, Acute Art’s Daniel Birnbaum will walk you through one mile of digital artworks as part of Unreal City: The Curator’s Tour.

In Web of Life: For a Real Augmented Reality, artist Tomás Saraceno will join curator, art critic, and historian of art Hans Ulrich Obrist to discuss the poetry and architecture of spiders – Saraceno will even give viewers a studio tour of his spider collection.

Finally, artist Bjarne Melgaard will join Dazed’s Thomas Gorton to discuss virtual reality, memory, the mind, psychedelic drugs, and social media in the last talk, Is this the Real Life? at 3pm GMT.

Unreal City will run from December 8, 2020 to January 5, 2021. Unreal City Live will run from 11am-4pm on December 15. 

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