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Unreal City

How to enjoy Unreal City, London’s biggest AR exhibition, from home

In response to the UK’s latest lockdown restrictions, digital artworks by Olafur Eliasson, Cao Fei, and more are coming indoors

Unreal City, London’s biggest public festival of AR art, is bringing its artworks straight into your home for one month only.

First launched back in December, the festival – a partnership between Acute Art and Dazed Media which featured works by the likes of Olafur Eliasson, Cao Fei, Alicja Kwade, Koo Jeong A, and Marco Brambilla – invited visitors to discover 36 digital sculptures arranged as a walking tour along the River Thames.

Now, as a response to the UK’s latest lockdown restrictions, the festival is making the exhibition available for audiences to enjoy from home via the Acute Art app.

“The beauty of augmented reality means that rather than extending the site specific show by popular demand, we can respond to interest and the new lockdown measures by bringing the exhibition to you,” said Daniel Birnbaum, artistic director of Acute Art and curator of Unreal City.

Also on show are never-before-seen pieces by artists KAWS, Bjarne Melgaard, and Tomás Saraceno. You can peruse the likes of Nina Chanel Abney’s “Imaginary Friend” floating calmly above the Thames; a terrifying, huge (and hairy) spider courtesy of Tomás Saraceno; and the surprising appearance of ice cubes, spinning tops, and flowering shrubs.

“You can enjoy the works over and over again but also within entirely new worlds changing and shaping the meaning and how one might respond to these sculptures. You’re not only a participator but you’re a curator too,” said Ahmad Swaid, head of content at Dazed Media.

The Unreal City artworks will be available to view from January 12 to February 9 via the free Acute Art app.