The combined catastrophes of the climate emergency and COVID-19 prompted Global Atlantic Fellows to explore how XR can support our community to be meaningfully together when physically apart. To enrich our annual Global Convening, Fellows developed the Augmented Artifact by harnessing phone based augmented reality, and in doing so, strengthened community and championed creative, collective experience.
The Augmented Artifact is a physical object, created by Global Atlantic Fellows across numerous continents and disciplines. At intervals throughout the virtual event, we used our phones to augment creative gestures of welcome from those already within the Fellowship.
Rather than the flat screen of video conferencing, we integrated the experience into our own environment. Fellows from Southeast Asia greet you in their national dress on your kitchen table; Ohia, a type of stone known to the Māori people as Pounamu, elegantly spins, positioned by your touch around your home. Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity flood your space with a visual poem on Black joy; Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health gift a playful reflection on the role of imagination when caring for those with dementia. Each digital object champions touch and togetherness, in a time that largely denied us of both.
Emerging technology often exacerbates pre-existing racial, social and economic inequities. As a Fellowship committed to equity, the global Atlantic community chooses not to be passive recipients of new technologies, but a community confident in developing, critiquing and connecting through them. This project exemplifies what can happen when those outside the silicon elite creatively engage with frontier technology.
We invite you to click through the XR gallery below, and follow the instructions on how to use your phone to experience the Augmented Artifact for yourself.