An Augmented Reality Tour Guides Visitors to the Museum’s Margins

Ana Prvački | Art in America | By Sarah Hotchkiss

Ana Prvački, ‘Nourishing Facade,’ 2019.

Ana Prvački, ‘Nourishing Facade,’ 2019.

The de Young Museum in San Francisco accurately describes Ana Prvački’s Detour, a new commission developed in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, as an “alternative” tour. I’d add a few other adjectives: decentralized, wide-ranging, irreverent, semi-private, and technologically advanced. Available through September 29, Detour is a series of videos meant to be viewed on one’s smartphone at nine specific points in the museum, offering Prvački’s take on the museum’s architecture, gardens, and the views its tower affords. Her videos are activated by the magic of Google Lens, an app most commonly advertised as a way to identify species of flowers and dogs through a smartphone camera. Though Prvački’s tour, as an artwork, is a refreshing and adventurous addition to the museum’s contemporary exhibitions, the requirement to view it through one’s phone via an app often felt like rigmarole invented for the sake of collaborating with a major tech company rather than the future of expanded art viewing.

What is Google Lens? Imagine the promises of Google Glass—an overlay of contextualizing information between your eyeballs and the world—but reined in and applied through the far more fashionable accessory of your already handy personal device. To activate Detour, you need only point your phone’s camera at the symbols found at each stop on the tour, let a dusting of white dots flitter across the screen until they coalesce into a very tappable circle, then tap that circle. This process launches a page with an embedded video and some accompanying information, such as a map of nearby spiritual centers, or the definition of a less well-known word from Prvački’s script. Not every artist equips you with the know-how to use “prelapsarian” in future conversations.

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Google Lens, Augmented Reality, and the Future of Learning

Ana Prvački | Wired | By Lauren Good

The Fine Arts Museums invited artist Ana Prvački, known for her participatory projects that use humor as a means to disarm traditional museum activities and behaviors, to visit and imagine a project that uses the museum experientially, rather than as an exhibition venue. In the resulting project, "Detour", Prvački leads visitors around the museum to look anew at the building, grounds, and collections, and imagine different ways of viewing, connecting, and behaving. In collaboration with Google Arts & Culture.

Why take a boring selfie in front of the Mona Lisa when you can use AR to dive deep into it?

Did you know that the painter Rockwell Kent, whose splendorous Afternoon on the Sea, Monhegan hangs in San Francisco's de Young Museum, worked on murals and advertisements for General Electric and Rolls-Royce? I did not, until I visited Gallery 29 on a recent Tuesday afternoon, phone in hand.

Because the de Young's curators worked with Google to turn some of the informational placards that hang next to paintings into virtual launchpads, any placard that includes an icon for Google Lens—the name of the company's visual search software—is now a cue. Point the camera at the icon and a search result pops up, giving you more information about the work. (You can access Google Lens on the iPhone within the Google search app for iOS or within the native camera app on Android phones.)

The de Young's augmented-reality add-ons extend beyond the informational. Aim your camera at a dot drawing of a bee in the Osher Sculpture Garden and a quirky video created by artist Ana Prvacki plays—she attempts to pollinate flowers herself with a bizarrely decorated gardening glove.

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Ana Prvacki: Detour

De Young Museum

San Francisco, CA

11 June - 29 September 2019

deyoung_interiorgarden_02.jpg

The Fine Arts Museums invited artist Ana Prvački, known for her participatory projects that use humor as a means to disarm traditional museum activities and behaviors, to visit and imagine a project that uses the museum experientially, rather than as an exhibition venue. In the resulting project, Detour, Prvački leads visitors around the museum to look anew at the building, grounds, and collections, and imagine different ways of viewing, connecting, and behaving.

In a special collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, short videos will be accessible on mobile devices, triggered at various spots throughout the museum to guide visitors through this alternative tour. With wit and playfulness at their core, each video addresses a different idea, relating the de Young’s context to topics ranging from ancient myth to personal intimacies, environmental matters to vision exercises. In addition to creating dialogues with collection objects and immediate surroundings, two sculptures will be installed in connection with the project.

Prvački is a cross-disciplinary artist whose works take the form of diverse projects that draw on performance, daily practices, consumer aesthetics, and popular concerns. Her projects foreground experimentation in content and form, their ephemeral nature both a strategy for creating unique experiences and a nod to an environmentally conscious artistic practice. She has realized solo exhibitions and projects at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; and the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin. Her work has also been included in many international exhibitions, including the 14th Istanbul Biennial and dOCUMENTA 13. Her performances have been commissioned by the LA Philharmonic and the Chicago Architecture Biennial, among others.

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Why is artist ana prvački licking the façade of herzog & de meuron's de young museum?

Ana Prvački | designboom | by Philip Stevens

In 2017, Ana Prvački became artist in resident at the de young museum in San Francisco. Designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, the building features a copper façade that is based on a pixelated image of a tree canopy. ‘I am quite fascinated by the copper facade of the museum,’ Prvački explains. ‘I did some research about copper and was intrigued to learn that copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for our survival, yet it is a mineral our body does not produce by itself. having a little lick of the de young could be a very generous gesture — democratic, free, and nourishing.’

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