Since 2018, LACMA and Snap Inc. have brought together artists and technologists to expand the dialogue between their respective fields. The results of this collaboration include immersive exhibitions like Christian Marclay's Sound Stories (2019) and artist experiments with Art + Technology Lab grant artists, of which Snap is on the lab's advisory board.
Today, LACMA and Snap Inc. are continuing that spirit of collaboration and experimentation with a new interactive initiative called Monumental Perspectives, which will bring together local artists and technologists to create new augmented reality (AR) monuments and murals throughout Los Angeles, including LACMA's Wilshire Boulevard campus and Magic Johnson Park. These new virtual monuments will celebrate diverse histories in an effort to reflect richer and more inclusive perspectives from communities across the region.
Launching in early 2021, this initiative will pair established and emerging artists with members of Snap's Lens Creator community and bring their shared visions to life. The virtual monuments and murals can be experienced through the Snapchat app. The Mellon Foundation will support the expansion of Monumental Perspectives to include additional artists in the coming years and provide financial support for other critical elements of the initiative including the curation, community engagement at each virtual monument location, and related public programming
We're excited to announce the first group of artists for LACMA x Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives—I. R. Bach, Mercedes Dorame, Glenn Kaino, Ruben Ochoa, and Ada Pinkston. These five artists will create site-specific AR monuments or murals in consultation with community leaders and historians to examine key moments and figures in the region's past and present that have too-often been overlooked. Read what each artist has to say about the power of AR technology as a medium to tell untold stories:
I. R. Bach
"I am thrilled to partake in such a novel and exciting project. AR is the perfect format to generate empathy and help us imagine a new kind of world."
"I'm excited to be a part of this project as AR Monuments is about imagination without constant. It is a way for me to resist the erasure of my culture and to create a world where the Tongva presence is visually highlighted within the landscape of Los Angeles."
"Working on this project is an inspiring opportunity to connect the future of technology to the past of Los Angeles, in a dynamic way that we can all experience today. AR allows for an expansive canvas for storytelling and enables ideas and artworks to present themselves in ways never before explored—it literally and figuratively creates an entirely new lens for engaging the critical issues of our time."
"The opportunity to be a part of LACMA x Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives initiative is super exciting! The fact that we could use technology to make work that pays tribute and addresses the social inequities L.A. street vendors have faced adds to the public's arsenal of community building. Having the chance to use AR as a medium means I could now reach audiences remotely and share their story."
"Monuments need to change because the world is changing. We are at a turning point. AR Monuments are a beautiful example of how technology can be used to transform existing topographies that reinforce systems of oppression. I am excited to incorporate these ephemeral digital forms in my work to uplift the stories of people who exist in the margins of history textbooks."
Details about each of the artist's projects will be announced in early 2021. Stay tuned for more updates! Visit lacma.org to learn more about the project and the artists.