Augmented reality

In one of my Intro to Creative Writing classes, I mentioned my interest in wanting to create campus art projects/installations.  For one such project, I’m imagining the students taking a line of poetry or prose (whether it’s something they’ve written or something that’s well known, etc.) and printing that line on a piece of transparency paper.  The transparency can be cut and taped to the end of a paper “viewer”…some kind of makeshift View-Master device…so that when someone looks through the “viewer,” whatever they see will be imbued with this line of poetry/prose.  Now, what if these little devices were left on tables around the campus, just for a day, say, so that curious students could look through them and discover the text in the sky or on the sidewalk that leads up to the building where they’ve been taking classes for the past few years (yet unaware that the words had been hidden all this time)?  I was even thinking the paper viewers could then be gathered up and repurposed as containers to grow seedlings in the Spring (yes, I miss my garden).

I very much want to find ways to embrace the presence of fragmentation (images as well as text), rather than bemoan its existence.  One such way, I thought, would be to incorporate a virtual component.  I discussed this idea with Zach Whalen, ELC’s in-house Digital Media professor/genius, and he mentioned “augmented reality” apps.  So now the door is opening wider.

There seems to be a way to blend traditional forms (I’m thinking here of murals, such as The Wall Poems of Charlotte project, incorporating poems into “public” space)

charlotte wall poems

and nontraditional forms (apps).


Perhaps Scrimshaw Cinema can allow for those moments where forms and various media intersect?  I would love for other teachers of creative writing to incorporate their own projects, to share what it is they’ve envisioned and, more importantly, have enacted.  In each of these projects, the human component, via the translation of the various threads, will ultimately be the shifting interstitial goop.  I write this with all due respect, of course.

One thought on “Augmented reality”

  1. I love the way you are using this space as a sounding board for the creative ideas you want to experiment with—a brilliant use of the faculty initiative, and proof there is no one way to do this. Let’s start talking about what it would mean to see some of these ideas come to life, because I am definitely intrigued.

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