Client: Halcyon | ARTECHOUSE
Location: Washington, DC, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $15,000
Conceptualization, 3D Design, Animation
Development, Authoring, Implementation
TINE is an Augmented Reality experience highlighting diversity as strength — and the heart of what makes nations exceptional and allows local communities to thrive. Once activated in Augmented Reality (AR), this 3D sculptural animation stands approximately 20’ high to mimic the real world scale of its digitally crafted counterparts.
Created for the inaugural By The People festival in Washington, D.C., TINE is an acronym for ‘Tolerance Is Not Enough’. In the AR experience, viewers are reminded that, as a collection of individuals from different geographies, backgrounds, ethnicities, genders and beliefs — some traveling great distances from life-threatening circumstances, our diversity as a country is our strength. This rising, diverse tide lifts all boats. And tolerance, the ability to endure the existence of opinions or behaviors that one dislikes or disagrees with, is truly not enough. It’s only through a willingness to learn and understand the differences of others that we build the empathy to raise each and every one of us to our highest potential. The anonymous figure poised atop the bow, asks viewers to recall dreams of their youth and perhaps the pursuits of their own children. She is everyone and anyone in pursuit of their own sense of life, liberty and true happiness.
The goal around the creation of TINE was to connect with the focus of the By The People festival, which was to demonstrate “how the arts can create a platform for empathy and inclusivity.” During this 3-day event, the festival’s theme of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness would be investigated and debated in an effort to drive “real learning about being better citizens of our world.”
With that directive, I could think of no more appropriate subject than that of immigration. Nearly every community experiences it and benefits from it. And I wanted to connect the anchoring presence of this diversity with the scale and mass of the artwork itself. To achieve this, I incorporated digital representations of familiar elements, whose scale a viewer is familiar with in the physical world.
With the flexibility of Augmented Reality as a medium, I was free to conceptualize, unrestricted by any specific physical location. However, once TINE was visually established and the tone it evoked was clear, the amazing team at ARTECHOUSE carefully considered potential locations and chose a perfect spot directly in front of the Washington National Cathedral. It not only beautifully staged TINE but also contextually enhanced its message.
Following my concept submission of TINE, collaboration with the team at ARTECHOUSE was quite effortless. They clearly communicated the parameters around the final Augmented Reality (AR) experience and gave guidance around any technical specifications and / or limitations. This was vitally important, especially when it came to performance oriented items like optimized polygon count. Additionally, the team was consistently sending me updates at every stage of implementation, including physical site selection. Also, because the creative team was so intimately familiar with the AR medium, they were able to offer exceptionally helpful tips and added flourishes that truly enhanced the project.
CODA “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, as penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, has been interpreted in numerous ways since its initial drafting. Some, rather academic. While others see them as very personal words that act as a source of inspiration, a beacon of hope and a driver for perseverance. Often going hand in hand with the idea of “The American Dream”, Jefferson’s words ring truer today than ever before. In a constantly changing, increasingly tumultuous, and infinitely more connected world, the equal application of these tenants to all, regardless of outward differences, is starkly in question. And through improvements in mass communication and technology, these disparities no longer remain isolated and quiet. Never have the words, “The world is watching” been more true.