A giant spaceship will hover over The University of Western Australia's Reid Library, a weird one-eyed flying creature will guard UWA's new Centenary sundial, and a swarm of space invaders will threaten the University Club - but only in ‘augmented reality'.
These three ‘sculptures' are part of 12 to feature during the University's LUMINOUSnight - a free public celebration of art and culture from 7pm to midnight on Friday 8 February to launch UWA's 2013 Centenary year.
Most of LUMINOUSnight's program of performances and displays celebrating key moments and people in UWA's history is visible to the naked eye. But the 3D ‘augmented reality sculptures', collectively entitled "Luminous", can be seen only through a smart phone or tablet.
The 12 ‘sculptures' were created by staff, students and graduates in UWA's Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts (ALVA) and combine to make the world's first augmented reality sculpture park. They will appear at special locations if a phone or tablet is pointed at them (directed by ALVA students).
The guardian of the sundial, created for UWA by graduate and Academy Award-winning artist Shaun Tan, is a Tan drawings turned into a 3D model. Other ‘sculptures' on campus include an 8m forest of trees and a human-animal ‘star beast'.
ALVA's Assistant Professor Rene Van Meeuwen, who teaches ways to harness digital technology to created ‘augmented reality', said working on "Luminous" was "like being a kid in a toy shop".
Visitors to the ‘park' can virtually walk around the ‘sculpture' by tilting or rotating their smart phone or tablet and need to download a free "Luminous" app. The software is available from app stores for iPhones and iPad, and Google Play for smart phones. If further help is required there will be a marquee on campus staffed by ALVA.