Exit Glacier is one of a handful of drive-up glaciers in the world and has been one of the canaries for glacial recession. It has shrunk significantly since I was a kid, when we could walk about a mile into the park and touch its frozen face. Now it has receded so much that the walkway up to it sits well out of reach for its own protection. Exit Glacier is one of many glaciers that extend from the Harding Ice Field in Kenai Fjords National Park, but the only one accessible to the general public from the highway. It is also one of the most famous glaciers in the world.
I want to digitally reconstruct the former termini of Exit Glacier and turn them into an augmented reality public art project, and I was granted a research permit from Kenai Fjords to do just that. My big idea for these digital reconstructions is to take five of them and insert them into the virtual space around the real glacier using a combination of GPS, compass, live video and an accelerometer; and make them visible alongside the real world through a mobile device. This kind of work is called augmented reality, or AR for short. My goal for this project is a super low-impact public AR art piece inside one of our national parks, that engages new technologies and glacial recession, and is also completely rad.
The finished project will be an augmented reality application for mobile devices and an immersive 360 degree video of the glacier with the AR models built in. The mobile application will be available for free and can be used on site at the park. The interpretive rangers at Exit Glacier plan on integrating the project into their glacier tours via an iPad. The immersive video will be available as a download, and will be fully interactive.
With my official research permit from the National Park Service I am allowed to be out at the glacier doing research, and I have the assistance of park rangers if needed. I also have a local 360 degree video company (Immersive Video Solutions) who is willing to help me by shooting the video in 360 for me using an 11 lens camera. I also have the support of a local art space, Out North Contemporary Art House. They are not funding the project, but are helping me with infrastructure, promotion and a place to show the finished work through the Art House Residency Program which my art/tech/education initiative, the Institute for Speculative Media, is a a member of. This initiative's goal is to develop extracurricular activities involving art and technology for Alaskan youth as well as provide them with access to mobile technology.
I am looking for money to help me stay in Seward for a couple weeks this summer and finish up the models on site, and to bring along some technical help. I also need to buy some equipment and a laptop that I can dedicate to some of the new software I will be using for this project.
I have been making augmented reality artworks since 2009, and technology-based conceptual art projects for well over a decade. I have also taught augmented reality art making to some amazing students in the Anchorage School District as an after-school program. In-fact part of the goal of this project is to help integrate augmented reality and technology-based art with school programs in a meaningful and functional way.
I would really appreciate your support in this project!
Go to the Exit Glacier Project web page HERE
Other Augmented Reality Artworks I have made in Alaska (and some examples of the donation rewards!):
- (30 days)