Augmented Resistance: The Possibilities for AR and Data Driven Art + Interview, Statement, Artwork


  • Conor McGarrigle


This article discusses the possibilities for Augmented Reality (AR) as a driver of data based art. The combination of AR and Open Data (in the broadest post-Wikileaks sense) is seen to provide a powerful tool-set for the artist/activist to augment specific sites with a critical, context-specific data layer. Such situated interventions offer powerful new methods for the political activation of sites which enhance and strengthen traditional nonvirtual approaches and should be thought of as complementary to, rather than replacing, physical intervention.

I offer as a case study this author’s “NAMAland” project, a mobile artwork which uses Open Data and Augmented Reality to visualise and critique aspects of the Irish financial collapse. The project, overlayed Dublin with an activist derived data-layer which supported and enabled physical interventions, making visible/concrete abstract financial dealings through situating them in real space, enacting a virtual layer of critique which facilitated and catalysed wider debate.