Blog Post

Project report: Greek tragedy in augmented reality

 

I'm pleased to announce the release of Bitter Wind.

Bitter Wind uses holograms and 3D printing to adapt the Agamemnon mythos for augmented reality, interrogating presence and replica in a new media landscape.

The HoloLens version is available now on the Windows Store. A mobile version is in progress.

The project was funded through a grant from Northwestern University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts and a competitive residency at Northwestern’s innovation incubator. I wrote, designed, and directed the build, and hired a team of software developers, artist/animators, and a music supervisor to create the digital assets and do the coding.

Bitter Wind transforms the user’s space into a room with a mysterious mural, which contains clues to the Agamemnon mythos. As they pace the room, users occupy the POV of the grief-stricken queen Clytemnestra, who mourns her sacrificed daughter. By following directions from Bitter Wind’s ghostly hologram, users unlock the mural through HoloLens triggers:

Gaze targeting
Spatial colliders
Air tap
Object recognition of AR tag pottery shards (accompanying 3D or paper download)

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The overarching goal of Bitter Wind is to center Clytemnestra’s grief over losing her daughter Iphigenia as a vital component of her revenge. I pursued this objective in two ways:

  1. Using the technological affordances of augmented reality to allow users to embody the subject position of Clytemnestra, who paces the house of Argos for ten years, besieged by memories of her murdered daughter who once lived there.
  2. Operationalizing the “semiotic approach to mythical names” Classicist Marianne Hopmann proposes as a method for distilling the constitutive semiotics of a specific mythical name from a given mythos’ many variations.

I'm deeply appreciative for the support groups like HASTAC provide for these kinds of research experiments. If any HASTAC folks have access to a HoloLens, I'd be glad to provide a promo code for the app. 

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