Eurobest

Scars of Democracy

SERVICEPLAN GERMANY, Munich / STROKE ART FAIR / 2019

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Overview

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Overview

Background

The "right to exercise artistic freedom" under Article 19 of the UN Convention for Human Rights is increasingly under threat worldwide. As one of Europe's most important urban art fairs STROKE Art Fair chose to celebrate this internationally ratified human right with a special exhibition of "Scars of Democracy" – a series of political portraits by Munich-based street artist “capo's finest”. The series includes paintings of Obama, Erdogan, Merkel and more, their bodies adorned with tattoos that represent decisions, unfinished business and the things they tried to keep from the public eye. For the first time, street art was transformed into a virtual vernissage: digitally deciphered in an Augmented Reality-App where users could reveal the truth behind each tattoo.

Idea

The "right to exercise artistic freedom" under Article 19 of the UN Convention for Human Rights is increasingly under threat worldwide. As one of Europe's most important urban art fairs STROKE Art Fair chose to celebrate this internationally ratified human right with a special exhibition of "Scars of Democracy" – a series of political portraits by Munich-based street artist “capo's finest”. The series includes paintings of Obama, Erdogan, Merkel and more, their bodies adorned with tattoos that represent decisions, unfinished business and the things they tried to keep from the public eye. For the first time, street art was transformed into a virtual vernissage: digitally deciphered in an Augmented Reality-App where users could reveal the truth behind each tattoo.

Strategy

This project was about mixing online and offline; bringing the physical and virtual worlds together and engaging users in the fight for artistic freedom. During the STROKE Art Fair exhibition, huge canvases depicting each political portrait hung from the ceilings for attendees to view – but the true depth of the experience and message was only possible with digital augmentation … literally.

We developed the SCARS AR app to allow users to interact with the portraits on a whole new level. Visitors at the art fair could watch out for our artworks, hold their smartphones in front of the tattoos to scan them and tap on the scanned image to see the story (thoroughly researched video snippets from a wide range of international news outlets) behind the tattoo.

Execution

This project was about mixing online and offline; bringing the physical and virtual worlds together and engaging users in the fight for artistic freedom. During the STROKE Art Fair exhibition, huge canvases depicting each political portrait hung from the ceilings for attendees to view – but the true depth of the experience and message was only possible with digital augmentation … literally.

We developed the SCARS AR app to allow users to interact with the portraits on a whole new level. Visitors at the art fair could watch out for our artworks, hold their smartphones in front of the tattoos to scan them and tap on the scanned image to see the story (thoroughly researched video snippets from a wide range of international news outlets) behind the tattoo.

For those not visiting the art fair, the app’s “Couch Mode” enabled users to immerse themselves in this murky world of politics from the comfort of their own home: users virtually place the protagonists onto their home walls and discover the stories behind each tattoo. The immersive experience was made possible thanks to Apple’s top notch ARKit 2.0. Visual Inertial Odometry tracks the world around the user’s device and transforms the data into a virtual object. The result: no physical artworks required!

We also engaged users on social media via Instagram where we hijacked the well-known user interface by posting a series of individual images which over time revealed a full Scars of Democracy wallpaper. Not only did we hijack the Instagram interface to engage users, but we also ran a competition whereby our followers and users could submit tattoo designs for the latest artwork: Rodrigo Duterte. The winning piece was then transferred to the canvas by Capo himself during a live-painting session at the event.

Outcome

More than 8000 visitors got actively involved in the AR-exhibition with hundreds of (free) App Downloads in just 48 hours as well as a broad international social media response (1927 Instagram followers).

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SCARS OF DEMOCRACY

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SCARS OF DEMOCRACY

2018, STROKE ART FAIR

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