In the Dutch town of Lelystad, Augmented Reality artist Sander Veenhof has launched a virtual photo exhibition that uses the graffiti on the walls of the abandoned (and never finished) Lelystad-Zuid railawy station as markers for the digital artworks. The Augmented Reality exhibition connects the digital world with the physical world in a very direct way: whenever new graffiti appears, the markers are ‘destroyed’, so the digital exhibition will slowly fade away.
With the project the initiators of De Barak and artists Sander Veenhof en Karel Staa (photographer) want to make an argument about the monumental value of the station and graffiti culture in this area. The only way to save this virtual exhibition is to conserve the graffiti on the concrete walls. Also when someone crosses the existing tags, Van de Staa’s pictures will not be shown any more. This transient expo was made for Dutch Monument Day and can still be visited at the spot, by using the Augmented Reality browser Junaio, a free app for iPhone and Android smartphones.
In another project Veenhof does the reverse thing. Pointing on recognizable urban objects like street signs, the Augmented Reality user gets a layer of street art or graffiti on top of it. The instant virtual street art creator, as the project is called, creates a personalized urban style. “Will ‘augmented’ virtual grafitti be the future? Will it lead to a situation in which everybody takes control of their own surrounding creatively, and not just the rebellious spraycan folks? Besides there are many more merits with virtual grafitti: walls can be used multiple times, no need to cross pieces by others. And it’s up to anyone to see the wall including the grafitti, or without”, explains Veenhof.