From Overlay to Interplay: Subverting the Message and Creating the Surreal With Augmented Reality

From Overlay to Interplay: Subverting the Message and Creating the Surreal With Augmented Reality

Nina Lyons (Technological University Dublin, Ireland) and Matt Smith (Technological University Dublin, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6605-3.ch011
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Abstract

This chapter explores the unique characteristics of AR as a visual communication medium while also considering the diverse and potentially powerful meanings that can be created by using it in conjunction with established visual communication devices such as posters. The chapter evaluates a number of current projects that have utilised this type of digital narrative. It also explores the theories of visual communication to understand how posters communicate in order to leverage the same techniques for AR. Using three case studies, the authors examine how AR, when used in conjunction with a printed poster, can subvert the original meaning of the poster to create a new meaning for the viewer and ultimately create the surreal.
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Background: Design Is Storytelling

We live in an increasingly visual, image-based culture. The digital age has brought with it a growing expectation of pictorial instruction, signs and symbols (Salisbury & Styles, 2012). The design of information is nothing new. From the earliest cave paintings to modern-day data visualization, humans have always utilized graphic depictions as a means of representing information (Lankow, Crooks, & Ritchie, 2012). Visual storytelling is a pervasive and powerful way to share ideas, educate and communicate (Cherry, 2019). As with all types of storytelling, in order for visual storytelling to be effective, it must communicate and resonate with the intended audience. Visual storytellers must convey emotions and ideas, feelings and personality and bring characters and settings to life to tell their story. In fact, visual communication is a long established discipline in which visual communication has been used to stir emotions, illustrate facts and sway opinions. Designers as storytellers use a myriad of mediums and tools to create meaning and tell stories that resonate with their audience.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Interplay: A connection of shifting meaning between two different elements. Here, the inter-connected relationship between the visual and the textual elements.

Non-Diegetic: A term defining the elements that are presented as not being part of the scene. For instance, a voice over in a film, where the characters do not hear the voice. In game design, Fagerholt and Lorentzon (2009) categorized non-diegetic user interface elements as those not part of the fictional world presented in the 3D environment.

Overlay: The addition of Augmented Reality features to a non-digital medium.

Diegetic: A term defining the elements that are presented as part of the scene. For instance, music playing on a radio in a film scene. In game design, Fagerholt and Lorentzon (2009) categorized diegetic user interface elements as those part of the fictional world presented in the 3D environment.

Anchorage: A term coined by Barthes in order to define the process of applying text to an image in order to fix the meaning of the image.

Relay: A semiotic term to define the complimentary relationship between text and image. Through their relationship, their unity, a message is realized.

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