Sarah Drury

Gowanus Augmented Reality Walking Tour App (Gowanus AR)
Artistic Discipline: Interdisciplinary
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2024
Location: Gowanus

The Gowanus Augmented Reality Walking Tour (Gowanus AR) is an experimental documentary in mixed reality, creating a location-based AR app for the smartphone. The tour shows images, audio and text in the camera view of the phone as you tour the Gowanus Canal, a famously polluted waterway now undergoing Superfund remediation and rapid highrise development. Media images merge visually into the location, showing what has been, present realities, and future possibilities in a realistic visual style, as if part of the scene.

The 3D animations of Gowanus AR include an amorphous watery Gaia figure as a tour guide, introducing the actors and networks at play in the unfolding Gowanus story. Both a documentary archive and a hauntological treasure map, Gowanus AR points to promising signs of futurist symbiotic urbanism, hammered out through the activism, advocacy and creativity of concerned participants.