Augmented Reality – Shaun Gladwell

Reversed Readymade (Augmented Reality), (2019)

Bicycle Wheel” by spDuchamp is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

In 2019, Australian Artist Shaun Gladwell produced a piece of art for his show Pacific Undertow. The work heavily experimented with form, one particular example being a recontextualization of Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel, named Reversed Readymade (Augmented Reality). The work encouraged viewers to scan the physical sculpture with a specialized app, which would then allow certain smartphones to create an augmented reality viewing of Gladwell modifying and riding the sculpture alike a unicycle in the museum space. This experimentation with new technology allowed for an exciting contemporary approach to art engagement.

The benefits of augmented reality in this context include heightened engagement, new possibilities in art creation, and a new and potentially more accessible approach to experiencing art.

Some potential problems or concerns could be the exclusion of those who don’t have smartphones capable of displaying the work, however, the museum was lending devices. However, in a broader context, some could see this as a beginning to the downfall of physical museum spaces, as art can be accessed anywhere through AR.