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Projects/2009/1._L'Arbre de la Llibertat i altres històries (The Tree of Liberty and Other Stories)

Details: Augmented Reality Anarchist Route (ES), 2010–2011. In collaboration with Mariano Maturana (Tactical Tourism).

During the 3rd week of October 2011, together with Mariano Maturana, I took part in M.A.L. workshop —Mobile Art Lab with seat in Hangar, Barcelona–based Visual Arts Centre.
For a week, we co–worked with artist Sander Veenhof in an already existing Augmented Reality project of ours, AR Route (Ruta Anarquista), already released in 2010.

AR Route (Ruta Anarquista) uses Augmented Reality technology by Layar. Images, videos and publications regarding the Anarchist History footage are overlaid over reality using this technology, which are visible and /or audible via a mobile device (SmartPhones and Tablets). Using AR Technology, this footage is located in relevant places for the Anarchist History of Barcelona and are available to the general public in a suggested tour that links present points of interest in the city scape to their anarchist historical counterparts. With a public intervention of the sort of AR Route, one is able, for example, to watch films and video footage realised in 1936 in the same spot where they were originally shot. In the picture below, Avinguda Diagonal corner with Passeig de Gràcia, one can watch the departure of Durruti Column on 23rd July 1936.

To experience AR Route (Ruta Anarquista), download and install Layar Reality Browser application in your Smartphone. You will find the application in your usual SmartPhone application store (AppStore, Android Market, Blackberry App World, Nokia Store, etc.). Once installed, launch the application and accept the Terms of Use.
Tap the Layers tab in Layar Reality Browser and introduce the terms AR Route or Ruta Anarquista in the search bar, then tap Enter. When AR Route loads, tap Launch and use the virtual compass in your phone to locate images and videos of the AR Route. Follow the arrow for a guided tour, or tap on the info button of the application to turn guided tour mode on/off or to be able to select a period of time for a historical custom selection of points of interest.

During Mobile Art Lab workshop in Hangar, we co-worked with media artist Sander Veenhof, to implement interactivity with AR Route.

New improvements to AR Route developed during Mobile Art Lab are:

1. International Range Availability
Although AR Route (Ruta Anarquista) was already public since 2010, it was only available in Barcelona. This meant that points of interest to the Anarchist Route could only be added and visited in the city of Barcelona.
Now, AR Route (Ruta Anarquista) is available worldwide, meaning that a user in any country can launch AR Route (Ruta Anarquista) from their device and receive information about distance and direction towards the nearest point of interest.
Additionally, AR Route (Ruta Anarquista) includes now points of interest within a worldwide range. For starters, we located two points of interest (a video and an image) in Zuccotti Park —originally Liberty Plaza— in Manhattan as a contribution to OWS movement.
In future, thanks to the International Range Availability, we will be able to integrate Tactical Tourism previous work The Way of Chilean Workers (El camino de los trabajadores chilenos) as part of AR Route.

2. New interactive functions and visuals
We have worked on new graphics to customise and unify the aesthetic experience of AR Route (Ruta Anarquista).
We have also added an option to switch off Google's default "Take me there" button, and have the possibility of an experience of guided tour instead of the default tour by proximity. In guided mode, the proximity parameter to a point of interest is substituted by with an animated arrow that indicates the next point of historical interest to the Route —as defined by us.
By default, AR Route (Ruta Anarquista) starts in guided tour mode. To turn guided tour mode off, just tap on the info button to change default settings. In the Info options, one can turn guided tour on/off or select a period of time for the tour.
We have also introduced a new ludic and participative function which allows the user to participate in AR Route (Ruta Anarquista) by sending information of interest of their own via the filling of a form which will need to include a text description and an image. To be able to participate to the project, the user needs to visit five given points of interest where they would score an Anarcoin —an animated AR token in the form of a golden coin featuring an anarchist A as its peculiar engraving. Every time the user score an anarcoin, a distinctive noise will let them know. Once the user score a minimum of five Anarcoins, they would receive a code via their device which would unlock the Participate form.

3. New concepts and ideas
The new evolution of the project and the time spent co-working and exchanging ideas with artist Sander Veenhof, have opened new horizons for the development of future tactical AR projects.
The conceptual departure point for this is the coincidental initials AR for both Anarchist Route and Augmented Reality. This, together with our tactical approach to projects, have resulted in a new AR project in collaboration with Veenhof: Tactical AR Tools, meaning Tactical Augmented Reality / Anarchist Route Tools. These are AR applications with which users will be able to intervene the public space themselves using AR technology.