Abstract: Finding Ghosts to Look Both Ways - Dr Tracey M Benson

Whereto: Tracy Benson

Finding Ghosts to Look Both Ways
Dr Tracey M Benson
Australian National University

At the Where to? symposium I will present some documentation of my walking projects that have incorporated Augmented Reality technology to explore the city/site in different ways. So far a number of projects have been undertaken in collaboration with local historians, researchers and software developers. These walks have happened in a range of places - Dunedin, Auckland, Copenhagen, Kochi. The overarching title for these walking works is Finding Ghosts as I often use historical images of sites to reveal layers of the past.

Aurasma has been the AR tool used so far to reveal historical imagery into the contemporary landscape. The AR elements have also been available on printable maps and blogs about the projects. For more info see: traceybenson.com/category/art-projects/augmented-reality/

To expand on this focus, I am now working on a number of projects:

  • Collaboration with an retired park ranger to develop a project that maps changes in the landscape in some of the bushland around inner Canberra
  • Look Both Ways is another historic walk where I am collaborating with a developer in Bangalore to create a history walk there
  • In addition to these projects, I am also hoping to secure funding to work with an Indigenous community in Victoria, Australia, to create interactive walking tours for education and eco-tourism purposes.

As an artist, I seek to create engaging and innovative works that explore ideas of place and traversing the landscape, whether urban, rural or remote. In the forthcoming project Look Both Ways, the intention is also to customise open source AR tools to enable a broader engagement across platforms and hardware.

The Look both Ways project explores augmented reality technologies as a means to develop interactive guided walks. Look both ways is a collaboration between artist Tracey Benson and developer Aruna Sankaranarayanan, and the intention is to jointly create an AR application that is open and accessible to a broad range of users.

Biography: Dr Tracey Benson

Tracey Benson is a media artist, writer and researcher living in Canberra, Australia. Her work explores notions of place through locative technologies, augmented reality, photography, online writing and video. Her work has featured in many international and national emerging media festivals since 1996. Tracey has a MA from QUT, Creative Industries and a PhD from ANU, which explores online environments and social impacts in the geo-physical world. Since 2007, she co-organised the Canberra chapter of Dorkbot and is also Secretary/Treasurer of NZ based organisation Intercreate. This organisation brings together artists, scientists and Indigenous peoples to focus on environmental challenges and sustainable solutions.

Biography: Aruna Sankaranarayanan

Aruna Sankaranarayanan is a developer living in Bangalore. She is currently working with a startup called Brainwave in Bangalore who make science learning more enjoyable through digital apps, books, board games and other tools. Aruna is also a huge Linux and open source enthusiast.