Finding Ghosts places the documentation of three Augmented Reality walks conducted in Dunedin, Auckland and Copenhagen in a gallery context. The ghost metaphor is appropriate because ghosts connect us with a past that is not quite dead, an unresolved past with which we are often uncomfortable.
Benson’s work is concerned with the ways geographic environments impact upon the emotions and behaviour of individuals. It is also about creating inventive strategies for exploring urban spaces with the technology of Augmented Reality (AR). Using an application called Aurasma the viewer is able place an Internet enabled mobile device running iOS or Android against an image to be transported into the past. From a hideous modern office block for example, emerges the beautiful Tivoli Theatre demolished in 1980 for the Sheraton Hotel scheme.
Much of the beauty of AR in Benson’s project is that you don’t need to be on the actual walk to enjoy the experience. In Finding Ghosts photographs of the walks provide the viewer with the necessary information to be transported to another time.
Adapted from catalogue essay by David Broker.
Photograph from The Tour: Finding the Ghosts of Karangahape Road, 2014, augmented reality photographs , Tracey Benson in Auckland, New Zealand; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.