Hans RichtAR
Will Pappenheimer and John Craig Freeman 2016

Included in Hans Richter: Encounters
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Resnick Pavilion
May 5, 2013–September 2, 2013

Hans RichtAR was commissioned by the curator of the Hans Richter retrospective at LACMA, Timothy Benson, to re-envision the "Film und Foto," exhibition which took place in Stuttgart in 1929. The "FIFO room" was one of the first multi media exhibitions in the history of art which including film and photography in a sculptural matrix. It was designed by El Lissitzky and his wife, Sophie Lissitzky-Küppers and Hans Richter served as film curator. Our augmented reality version was meant to echo the artists of this era as they experimented with early modernist photography, documentary film, and notions of expanded cinema using in our case the emerging technologies are time. Our virtual version of the "FIFO room" was sited in one of the exhibition rooms including a range of the original photography and images of the original installation. Viewers could pick up one of a number of iPads and view the augmented reality version superimposed and surrounding them in the gallery space.

We were interested in the notion of "Cinematic Space-Time" discussed in an article written by the exhibition curator, Tim Benson. The notion was developed by Hans Richter and many of his very well-known contemporaries and included strategies for unfolding cinema into three-dimensional space as well as creating exhibitions designed to destabilize the relationship between the viewer and the artwork viewed. For many of the artists of this time, the representations and effects of the mechanized or industrial world transformed experience both socially and the very forms and practices that constitute the artwork. The willingness of these artists to see their work and the very the category of art expanding into every medium, even into the record of everyday life, is captured in some of their first "documentary" approaches to film. The range of meaning addressed in this group is quite huge covering everything from the nonsense of Dada to political commentary and even propaganda.

Augmented reality is for us perhaps another step in expanded Cinema, coming this time from computer-Internet space and leaking out into the landscape. The narrative montage, the illogical juxtaposition of Dada, telling a story or confounding a story, are the foundations of intervening with augmented reality. In this sense, we are interested in this new medium not just because it is a seductive new technology, but because it creates a combined space that can be both playful as well as critical.

"Hans RichtAR" augmented reality view in Resnick Pavilion, Los Angeles County Museum of Art