Thursday January 18, 2018
Local artist brings augmented reality to Maori treasures By Jamie Adams
Augmented reality (AR) will be available at the public’s fingertips when an acclaimed “live art” event comes to Wellington next month. Pukana, by Suzanne Tamaki and Plan Beta, is one of several exhibitions that will feature on a two-storey arrangement of shipping containers on Wellington’s waterfront as part of The Performance Arcade from February 23. Thanks to the technological marvel of AR, the shipping containers and scaffolding will be clad with digital images of traditional Maori architecture and artefacts that can only be viewed on a smartphone via a downloadable app. The secret is in the printed decals or geo-locating beacons that are embedded on the containers, similar to QR codes that can be found at many exhibitions nowadays. Suzanne, of Newtown, says her idea came after she met Joff Rae and fellow digital producers “the Lost Boys” of Strathmore-based Plan Beta, while curating a Matariki exhibition for Toi Poneke. “Joff had been working in augmented reality and I was working in the Maori collection team at Te Papa, so I had access to their taonga,” Suzanne says. “Joff was wanting to create 3D images of the taonga. “I spoke to the collection manager about it and realised it was an opportunity to create a few ideas for an exhibition.” Using a locally-sourced photogrammetry booth, the team was able to 3D-scan a range of Maori artefacts that could then be viewed as virtual images. As distinct from virtual reality, which requires a bulky
ABOVE: Newtown artist Suzanne Tamaki demonstrates augmented reality (AR): A virtual shipping container appears on top of the photographic image of a brochure she is holding underneath her smartphone. PHOTO: Jamie Adams RIGHT: After downloading the Performance Arcade AR app, hover your smartphone over this logo to see a shipping container pop out of the page, and its doors open. Refer to the blue box at the bottom.
headset, augmented reality sees the artefacts “pop up” on a smartphone screen from certain angles. Suzanne is excited about her exhibition as not only will it attract more interest, being on the waterfront rather then inside a gallery, it is likely to be the first of its kind in New Zealand. “This hasn’t been shown in a public space yet.” She notes how what the public will view on their screens will be “copies of copies”, however she does not believe replicating
inbrief news Kai and kapa haka for Waitangi Day The Wellington City Council is encouraging people to come together to celebrate Waitangi Day at the venue our national day was named after. Te Rā o Waitangi will be happening on Wellington’s waterfront from noon on February 6. The main musical event at Waitangi Park will feature a line-up of award winning Maori performers including Whirimako Black, Rob Ruha, Tomorrow People and Alien Weaponry. It starts at noon and runs until 7.30pm. Kai will also be offered to the public that morning at Te Wharewaka o Pōneke. A hangi will be lowered into a pit at the Wharewaka Terraces at 9am with a waka salute, a weaving demonstration and public kapa haka practice sessions taking place while the food cooks. The hangi will be lifted for lunch at noon and there will also be musical entertainment outside Karaka Cafe from 2pm.
Call for action over sugary drinks
taonga diminshes their value. Running over two weekends, The Performance Arcade is an accessible and free festival of performance art and live music that has attracted 50,000 people every year to Wellington’s Waterfront since 2011. A total of 24 works from 30 artists will feature, including from Wellingtonians Daniel James with Instant Replay and Angela Kilford with Weaving The Walk. The Performance Arcade 2018 runs from February 23-
25 and then March 1-4 from 10am - 11pm on Wellington’s waterfront near Te Papa. See theperformancearcade. com for more information on each artist. For a demonstration of augmented reality in your very own copy of the Cook Strait News, download the Performance Arcade AR app from the website planbeta.co.nz/pa18.
Recent research on the sugar content of non-alcoholic drinks showed New Zealand drinks have higher sugar levels compared to Australia, Canada and the UK. The New Zealand Dental Association is calling for immediate measures to address sugary drink harm, including an icon label on sugary drinks, a sugary drink levy, and ensuring schools are “water only”. Sugar is a major contributor to dental decay, the association says. “An end to the confusion around ‘sugar per 100mls’ is within our grasp,” NZDA’s Dr Rob Beaglehole says. “We’re asking for a sugary drink icon. This would clearly let consumers know how many teaspoons of sugar are in their drink.”
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Cook Strait News 18-01-18