Do you remember being fascinated by pop-up books as a child? Or, maybe you discovered them as an adult and wondered where they’d been all your life. Pop-up books have a long, historical tradition going back several hundred years. The best ones feature elaborate artwork combined with clever paper cutouts to lift a story beyond the printed page. So, the next natural step in pop-up books are augmented reality books.
Recently, the Center for Contemporary Art (CoCA) in Seattle, WA, took pop-ups a step further. They began applying augmented reality to print books. Yes, you heard that right: print and digital work hand-in-hand to create a new visual experience! It all starts the CoCA Pop-Up (AR)t book, a 48-page book published with Lulu. The book features beautiful contemporary art. With the aid of a smartphone or tablet, the artwork jumps from the page into virtual reality.
CoCA artists displayed their original works in a gallery in the museum. Visitors could scan their devices over the pieces themselves and experience the magic of the 3D popup. The printed book reproduces the contemporary art gallery’s images allowing you to view both the printed artwork and experience it in 3D. Then, using an app found in the Apple and Google Play stores, users scan their device over the page to see a 3D image springs to life. On one page, a ghost floats eerily above the page; on another, a tree appears to grow straight out of the book. The Pop-Up AR(t) book is a fantastic example of augmented reality. Truly, CoCA found a unique way to combine printed art and language traditions with technology to create an immersive user experience.
CoCA specializes in the development and advancement of contemporary art. Their innovative projects take art beyond the canvas and page. Their wide range of books, published with Lulu, expand on this idea and present new concepts to the world. The Pop-Up AR(t) book takes recent contemporary works from a variety of artists and presents them in augmented reality.
Pop-Up (AR)t By Center on Contemporary Art
Center on Contemporary Art publisher Ray C. Freeman III invited artists to explore the world of Augmented Reality by creating artworks for this technology-enhanced book. 18 pieces were selected by jurors David Francis and Joe Roberts, and were presented at a Grand Opening and Book Release Party at CoCA’s gallery on May 12, 2016.
Publishing with Lulu gave CoCA a platform for reaching artists around the world with their innovative artwork and project. As a platform for publishing freedom, Lulu gave CoCA the tools to create one of the first AR art books.