Mechanics of Place is a collaborative art project envisioned as a framework for creative urban engagement. Participants co-create the experience by adding their audio, video and images to a Mobile Augmented Reality platform that bridges the virtual and physical world. Each individually authored experience will be tagged to a series of concepts that provide an original structure for inscribing place. The expanding collection of AR poems is layered onto specific locations in cities around the world.
The title references Byzantine mechanical science where a unity between the real and ideal was understood as combining concrete elements and abstract notions. AR experiences that are collaboratively produced by international and local artists are intended to reflect upon critical issues of cultural disjunction within each city. These short media works draw upon transitional urban contexts to fully achieve their meanings.
The participants in the project are made up of local inhabitants and visitors to the areas where the project is authored and displayed. The project facilitates new forms of collective participation and unpredictable collaboration between itinerant viewers and their surroundings. The ephemeral events that take place in these walks generate opportunities for unexpected encounters with familiar places and reveal the potential for artistic engagement in a new participatory medium.