Mananaland

Submitted by NOVABY

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Client: The Tank NYC

Location: New York City, NY, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $20,000

Project Team

AR Artist

NOVABY

AR Theater Designers

Technodramatists

Producers and Writers

The Tank NYC

Concept Artist

Pedro Reyes

Overview

This interactive, transmedia, mixed reality experience explored an alternative, utopian universe where the social and political conflicts of the present are a thing of the past.

Created in collaboration with renowned visual concept artist Pedro Reyes, The Tank NYC and Technodramtists, Mananaland unfolds as a series of five, theatrical augmented reality (AR) scavenger hunts using the iPhone app Scavengar by Amped Labs. Designed as outdoor, site-specific installations throughout New York City’s five buroughs, the hunts can also be enjoyed remotely in a park or outdoor space of the user’s choosing.

The project was partially funded by a generous grant from Times Square Arts.

Goals

As a respected performing arts non-profit in New York City's off-broadway scene, The Tank NYC has been knocking down barriers for emerging artists since 2004. When COVID caused them to close their doors, they pivoted quickly to virtual performance channels to keep the creativity, income and enjoyment flowing for performers and audiences alike.

Known for pushing boundaries, The Tank partnered with visual concept artist Pedro Reyes and AR theater producer, Technodramatists, to innovate and experiment with this new medium in outdoor, COVID-safe ways. NOVABY was recruited as an experienced, creative AR partner to produce the top-quality, custom AR art assets that would help tell the story and give it an artistic flare.

Thematically arranged, the hunts encourage interrogation and reflection on the important and timely socio-political issues of 2020. The careful use of humor, whimsey and AR art keeps the hunts fun, approachable and accessible for a range of audiences.

Process

As a fast moving, flexible project that needed to be responsive to the ever-changing events of 2020, the team fostered a collaborative spirit and set up strong communication channels across multiple time zones to ensure timely coordination. This was also essential for coordinating the many forms of digital media involved in the project including augmented reality, live action video, visual effects, web and social media.

NOVABY worked closely with The Tank NYC's and Technodramatsts' Artistic Directors, Concept Artist Pedro Reyes, playwrights and videographers to understand the narrative goals and the thematic context for each hunt and media deliverable. We collaboratively conceptualized the AR assets and defined a suitable aesthetic that would enhance the stories within the technical limits of augmented reality. NOVABY's scalability and adaptability enabled us to accommodate fast-moving schedules and changing project needs while delivering top-quality assets.

Additional Information

The AR scavenger hunts can be enjoyed on-site or remotely in a park or outdoor space of the user’s choosing using the iPhone Scavengar app by Amped Labs. The hunts can also be accessed through The Tank NYC's website along with additional information.