Client: Montefiore Medical Center
Location: Bronx, NY, United States
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $10,000
Jay van Buren
Montefiore Health System
DayDreams is an exterior augmented reality art exhibition located in the gardens of the Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx. The installation consists of over 100 3D photographs of the neighboring Hudson River by Shuli Sade juxtaposed with inspiring lines of text that Bronx resident Edgar Allen Poe had written to his wife while she was suffering from Tuberculosis. Prompted by signs, stickers, and postcards, viewers were asked to download a free App by Membit that then allowed the artwork to be seen through their smart device.
The Montefiore Gallery in the Gardens is an exterior rotating exhibition space located on the facade and in the gardens of our hospital built in 1850. Last summer, we wanted to engage with the space with little physical impact and maintenance needs. Knowing about the Pokemon Go phenomenon and augmented reality work being done by artist Shuli Sade, we though that an AR art installation could be an exciting new opportunity for art and healthcare. The integration of the art into the gardens and the lobby needed to be done using GPS so the objects had permanent placement. Ultimately, this installation showed us as curators in a hospital that walls are no longer required to bring art to patients. That working with the latest technologies could help us reach more people than ever before in healthcare, whether it be in the lobby, a waiting room, or even an operating room.
Artist Shuli Sade had created an AR piece for Miami Basel in 2017 that inspired the idea to consider AR for our hospital. Proposing the idea to Shuli, she immediately looked to find an AR company that could support a large-scale art installation in a public space. She found Jay Van Buren at Membit who, with his GPS Application, helped us conceive of DayDreams, an installation of over 100 3D photographs and over 20 lines of poetry by Bronx resident Edgar Allen Poe. Working together, Shuli took her portfolio of the Hudson River Valley and manipulated them into 3D objects that Membit placed in the gardens and lobby of Montefiore for patients, families, staff, and the local community were welcome to see. We made sure that the app could also allow for selfie pictures with the artwork thereby placing the viewer in the installation themselves.
This AR installation inspired us to create the Montefiore Einstein Augmented Reality Art Collection. We now have a dedicated program focused on acquiring fine art AR pieces that can be placed in areas of the hospital where 2-D artwork can not go. This has also helped us to get patients to interact with artwork and see artwork in an entirely new way. We hope the younger generations will use this technology as a way to see the power of art and its ability to subvert standard conventions in the art world today.