AR Graffiti Introduction

Augmented reality (AR) is a digital layer that is added over the physical reality. WERC wants to give ‘Augmented Reality Graffiti’ a place in the public space. This gives the possibility to add the flexibility and the possibilities of digital design to the physical reality, without making interventions to other people’s properties. WERC investigates whether the added values and principles with which they work in digital media can also be applied to traditional graffiti. This way, they are trying to bring the medium of graffiti to a higher level.

WERC does a lot of research into augmented reality and the boundary between the physical and the digital world. For AR Graffiti, they made a lot of use of knowledge gained by VJing at dance events and festivals. They have mapped physical sculptures, which are digitally mapped and brought to life with projection, by live control of various layers of video, animations and effects. There are video recordings on the vimeo channel of WERC. For example: Modular Videomapping Sculptures or Paradigm NYE.

WERC has always had an affinity with graffiti. Their name comes from the word ‘crew’, spelled backwards, which is a direct reference from graffiti. Jelle Valk is the initiator of the ‘AR Graffiti’. Even before WERC existed, he was very engaged with graffiti. He saw the documentary Style Wars for the first time in 2001 and was inspired by graffiti from New York and later by European names who further developed American graffiti in their own way.

For the AR Graffiti project, WERC combined graffiti art and Augmented Reality (AR) to create "Augmented Reality Graffiti". Augmented Reality is a digital layer that is added over the physical reality.

With AR Graffiti, WERC studied the various elements of graffiti and placed "Augmented Reality Graffiti" in the public space. WERC sprayed five different pieces on a wall and recorded each version. These versions were then scanned, digitized and converted into a video animation. By projecting the different layers back onto the wall, it was possible to make endless variations. In doing so, WERC changed a graffiti piece, that is normally a static image encapsulated in a moment of time, into a dynamic image.

Projected Augmented Reality Graffiti allows artists to add movement and variation to their graffiti without leaving a permanent mark on people's property.

With their projected AR, WERC merged digital designs with traditional graffiti and created an entirely new art form.

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