On October 1st, our artists in residence inaugurated their ATLAS solo exhibition in The Glass Tank. The exhibition features an artwork that is part real and part virtual, and that has been grown over the course of a year from our collaboration. The artists, Yann Deval and Marie-Ghislaine Losseau, were supported by the European Union with 15k EUR (via the VERTIGO project)
to team up with the top notch funded ICT projects. In our case, this paired with the WEKIT project (wearable experience for
knowledge intensive training, funded with 2.7M EUR, where we sign responsible for the scientific coordination).

The artwork allows to engage the public in the more complicated research of WEKIT – the artists provide an interpretation of what our new information and communication technologies mean, in an accessible format, understandable by kids and adults alike.

  The AR smart glasses and wearable technologies used in the WEKIT project and in the ATLAS residency will change personal computing as we know it. Augmented Reality (AR) Smart Glasses will be be the next generation of personal computing, likely to disrupt the world on a similar scale as smart phones did over the past decades.

WEKIT’s focus is on augmented training – investigating what Work 4.0 will look like for an Industry 4.0 workplace. We developed a 3D learning activity authoring tool and a re-enactment client. Together they allow to very quickly create augmented reality learning experiences. We test them in three scenarios: we train astronauts on a battery swap on a mars rover, testing it on the actual rover in a mars terrain surface simulator. We test it also with airplane maintenance engineers in Norway and with
medical doctors in Genoa. We are waiting for the trials to finish, but expect our findings to show high levels of acceptance and usability of these new technologies, while at the same time improving effectiveness in training (reducing error rates, increasing efficiency). Our previous findings already point in that direction and have led to numerous high impact publications.

Atlas is an interactive and scenographic exhibition situated between visual and digital arts. The project has been produced in collaboration between Wekit and artists, Yann Deval and Marie Losseau, in the context of the Vertigo Residencies programme.
During this exhibition, the Glass Tank will host a mixture of real models and interactive virtual elements. The artists will also occupy the space, using parts of the gallery as a working studio so visitors can watch the project develop.

Using the latest in augmented reality technology Atlas invites spectators to interact with holograms in the world around them by building virtual cities. These cities take on a life of their own, with or without the interactions of users, just like living organisms…

To produce this exhibition and help bring it to the Glass Tank, the artists Yann Deval and Marie G. Losseau have been working in collaboration with Dr Fridolin Wild from the Performance Augmentation Laboratory at Oxford Brookes University. The project began with a 3D scan of a hand built wooden house and a hololens. Using the hololens, users can sew virtual seeds which cause the now holographic houses to grow. Since early 2018 when the residency began at Brookes, the prototype has been demonstrated at MCCS, Molenbeek with a group of children. The children helped to build hundreds more wooden houses which added to the ATLAS universe. Since then it has been displayed at the Venice Architecture Biennale, in Texas at SXSW, at Ircam / Centre Pompidou in Paris and at Ars Electronica in Austria.

Overall, the work seeks to provoke a reflection on urbanism, architecture, and the influences of these things on our lifestyles.

Venues where the prototype has been played in the previous months:
MCCS Molenbeek – Brussels / Belgium
EU@SXSW – Austin / Texas
Venice Architecture Biennale – Venice / Italy
Ircam / Centre Pompidou – Paris / France
Ars Electronica – Linz / Austria

  Launched on 1 December 2015, WEKIT is an ambitious European research and innovation project supported under Horizon 2020 to develop and test within three years a novel way of industrial training enabled by smart wearable technology and Augmented Reality. With 2.7 million euros of EU funding, thirteen WEKIT partners representing academia, including Oxford Brookes University, and industry from six countries in Europe will build a ground-breaking industrial-strength learning technology platform and unique methodology to capture expert experience and share it with trainees in the process of enabling immersive, in-situ, and intuitive learning. In this way, WEKIT will bring learning content and technical documentation to life via task-sensitive Augmented Reality, making industrial training more efficient, affordable and engaging. WEKIT conducts pilots in astronaut training (ground-ground and ground-space), aircraft maintenance and preflight checks, and diagnostic training of radiologists.

The temporal residency at Oxford Brookes centred in on the ‘artistic exploration of holograms’. Holograms are 3D content that cannot be captured appropriately in 2D video or imagery. Moreover, holographic exhibitions provide ample opportunity for visual research, exploring reality as a medium for the fine arts. Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality turn reality into a medium, the characteristics of which, however, still need to be determined through artistic exploration.