Augmented wild life photography (through the apps) presents a unique experience equidistant between that of a zoo, wildlife documentary, and a videogame.
Wild Life is a series of augmented photographs of animals and insects placed in vacant, overgrown spaces in suburban Bangalore. Taken through mobile AR apps like Holo and Augment, these photographs (or screenshots) situate virtual bodies within the frame of the mobile camera – creating something in between a document and fiction. The work investigates these processes of augmentation, which enable 3D representations of things in the real/physical world to be projected back into physical space that are then photographed. The larger phenomenon of AR photography also complicates traditional notions of “immersive” media – forcing one to interact with their environments. This essay reflects on the implications of mobile AR photography on the image and the referent. Through a phenomenological reading of and immersion into popular uses of mobile AR (like the game Pokémon Go), the essay is an observation of the convoluted relationships evoked between augmented bodies, their environments and the screens on which they manifest.