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This Augmented Reality Artwork Is in Every International Airport on Earth

UnattendedVaporware is a geolocation-based augmented reality network of site-specific public artworks.
April 4, 2016, 3:35pm
Images courtesy the artists

Channel TWo (CH2), the Chicago-based art and design duo of Adam Trowbridge and Jessica Parris Westbrook, make what they describe as “critical playware”: the two media artists use mobile apps, game platforms, visual and sound design, interactivity and augmented reality for aesthetic, social and political purposes. CH2’s latest project, UnattendedVaporware, is a geolocation-based augmented reality network of site specific public artworks placed inside every international airport on the planet.

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A mobile app, UnattendedVaporware users can place augmented reality luggage inside the camera frame of their mobile device, then snap photos of it. It plays with the international paranoia of unattended luggage, which state and airport officials urge travelers and commuters to report. CH2 artistically blend this paranoia of baggage (that may or may not be a bomb) with questionably effective security measures and the concept of vaporware—hardware or software that is announced to the public, but never manufactured or officially cancelled.

“UnattendedVaporware is inspired by security theater [the practice of investing in countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to actually achieve it],” CH2 explains, “looping unattended luggage announcements at airports, and the idea of vaporware, a type of software ‘never actually released nor officially cancelled.’”

UnattendedVaporware, available as an iOS and Android app, is site responsive to specific geolocations. To use it, a mobile device must have a built-in camera and internet access.

CH2 unattendedVaporware app trailer [www.unattendedvaporware.com] from Channel TWo on Vimeo.

Click here to see more work by CH2.

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