In this article we will introduce Strabismus AR/VR by graphic designer and filmmaker Tomoro Hanzawa.
Tomoro Hanzawa is an artist exploring the features of cutting-edge media such as VR and AR, and the contemporary situations in which they are used. Strabismus AR/VR utilizes both mediums to move between the real and virtual.
About Tomoro Hanzawa
Tomoro Hanzawa works as a graphic designer, creating album covers, logos, and posters for art exhibitions, as well as doing design work for his own band. He is a graduate of Tohoku Art Design University, Department of Graphic Design.
In recent years, he has been involved in a wide range of projects, including live-action and 3DCG video creation, VR art exhibition production, “extreme” improvisation performances, and joining the band Atochi.
Virtual Art Exhibition: The First Year of Great Destruction
PICNICYOU/ REAL GOLDSPIRITAS
Strabismus AR utilizes location-based AR, which allows the viewer to experience the AR work at a specific location.
This work is location specific to Nakashibu Street in Shibuya PARCO, and was available for a limited time only.
When you launch the scene, a smartphone appears superimposed in the foreground.
At first glance, the images appear to be repeated as if they are inside a mirror, but on closer inspection, if you look at the people passing through the screen, you will notice something strange. The display on your smartphone alternates between real images and replicated photogrammetric objects.
Strabismus VR/Web is a VR work that can be experienced inside VIRTUAL PARCO 2021.
This work is designed for VR experience, but can also be viewed in your browser (click here to see how to experience VIRTUAL PARCO in VR).
This work is a counterpart to the AR work of the same title, allowing visitors to experience VIRTUAL PARCO’s Nakashibu Street in VR.
When you launch Strabismus VR/Web, countless smartphones are spread out and circling in space. Inside each smartphone, there are images replicating the view of Nakashibu Street in reality.
Media Vibrating Before Our Eyes
At VIRTUAL PARCO, Hanzawa describes the work as follows:
The French thinker Paul Virilio predicted a future in which images acquired by various “visual machines” would be shared in real time, and would reign as the primary perceptual experience over physical reality.
The AR contents displayed through a smartphone will be the display, which occupies a small part of the viewer’s field of vision, is defined as the top layer of the visual experience.
Using Virilio’s point as a foothold, this work emphasizes the localized visual experience unique to mobile AR, and paradoxically aims to create an experience that moves back and forth between physical and virtual reality.
—via the official NEWVIEW Website
Hanzawa observes and explores the characteristics of various media devices and the perceptual changes surrounding them. His most notable work includes DisplayXR, which won the Silver Prize and Super Dommune Prize at NEWVIEW AWARDS 2020.
Strabismus explores AR and VR as mediums that both exist in the top layer of the visual experience and display a digital space.
As we can understand from the explanations and captions from his work, Hanzawa highlights the distinctive features of location-based AR, and juxtaposes it with a VR world that mirrors the same location. The re-deployment of reality in the virtual world could be one answer to Virilio’s prediction.
Our Eyes that Oscillate Wildly between Reality and XR
In Strabismus AR, the real view and the replicated photogrammetric view are infinitely stacked in the frontal direction, so that the outer screen is like a picture frame for the inner screen.
However, unlike mirrors facing each other, light does not diffuse and decay, so reality and augmented reality are mirrored indefinitely. At first glance, it is hard to tell whether this work consists of many objects, or if it is an infinite simulation.
However, even if the image were intended to be infinitely repeated, it would at some point converge to the finite due to the limits of computing power, display resolution, and human vision.
Currently, man and machine have their limits, but this in turn creates the illusion that we can move forward infinitely from this situation. Strabismus can be interpreted as a critique for our over-the-top attempts on extending physical reality.
In Strabismus VR, smartphones projecting a replicated landscape are scattered in a rhizomatic manner, reminiscent of a computer operator or the image of the internet.
At first glance, it’s hard to decipher what is being shown inside the screens.
It may appear as if there are operations going on in each smartphone that display multiple locations and times.
As you proceed down Nakabishu street in VIRTUAL PARCO and approach the smartphones, you will see that each smartphone displays an identical view of reality.
This virtual space which is composed of many smartphone screens extends an illusory world within itself, by replicating a virtual reality further inside the smartphone.
These smartphones are constantly circling the space while facing the viewer.
The work gives the impression that we—by seeing virtual reality through fragments—exist on top of a certain reality, which is being observed from another reality.
About the Title “Strabismus”
Both Strabismus (meaning cross-eyed, and that one or both of the eyes are out of focus) works are composed in a contrasting and complementary manner, taking advantage of the unique properties of each device.
In Strabismus AR, a space is repeated infinitely, and in Strabismus VR/Web, there are many different spaces which interlock to form a space that resembles a single universe.
XR is a technology based on the premise of reproduction, and the reality that lies at the foundation of XR is always facing us. Hanzawa juxtaposes reality and XR’s traits through these two works.
How do you think our eyes look as they oscillate wildly between reality and XR?
How to Experience the Scene
This scene is located within VIRTUAL PARCO 2021.
When the scene appears, switch to VR mode and tap Strabismus from the leaflet in the scene.
After tapping “Try Now,” you will be redirected to a page like below.
If you have already downloaded the STYLY Mobile app, select “Activate in STYLY app.”
If you have an HMD device, select “Experience in VR” from your PC web browser.
Download the STYLY Mobile app
Download the Steam version of STYLY app:
Download the Oculus Quest version of STYLY app:
For those who want to know more about how to experience the scene:
For more information on how to experience VR scenes, please refer to the following article.
Edited by SASAnishiki
Translated by cpnnn