Workshop ‘Better than Reality’

call for participation

Better than Reality is a project in which artistic use of augmented reality technology is explored. After a series of residencies that took place last summer, V2_Lab now opens up the technology to artists and developers in the form of two hands-on workshops.


Workshop_DEAF07.jpg - fot: Jan Sprij

Last summer three artists in residence explored three central aspects of Augmented Realities (AR): While Marnix de Nijs (NL) continued his Exercise in Immersion 4 project focusing on interactive scenarios in AR, Boris Debackere (BE) researched spatial sound in AR and Jonas Hielscher (DE) worked on the 3D and visual aspects of AR.

deadline for applications: November, 13

From November 24 to 27, 2008, V2_Lab will organise a workshop split up into two tracks. After a joint introduction, Boris Debackere and Jonas Hielscher will each lead one workshop track; focusing on the audio and visual aspects of AR, respectively. Marnix de Nijs will alternate between the workshops to provide critical feedback on the immersive aspects of participants’ concepts. The participants will partake in hands-on sessions that involve both conceptual and technical development. The fourth day of the workshop will consist of an ‘open space’ for participants to play with the technology platform. Developers from V2_Lab are available for technical assistance throughout the workshop. The aim of the workshops is to provide participants with an extensive overview of state-of-the-art artistic use of AR, hands-on experience, and an opportunity to apply their own artistic concepts using AR.

The workshops are open to (art) students, artists, and other professionals who are interested in the artistic use of AR. Basic knowledge of Blender (3D modelling), audio composition, Max/MSP, programming, and/or scripting languages are a minimal requirement for participation. An overview of the results of the workshops will be presented in one of V2_’s Test_Lab events taking place in early December 2008.
The number of participants is limited, in case of too many subscriptions V2_ reserves the right to select participants.
The fee for participation is € 50,- (to be paid before the workshop), this includes coffee/tea and lunch but no accommodation. A reduced fee for students is possible upon request.

Please use the form available on or follow this link for your application.

Augmented Reality is an umbrella term for various techniques that make it possible to add virtual elements to the physical world, for example overlaid visuals or spatialised sounds. The technologies underlying such environments are, however, still very experimental, and therefore often inaccessible to artists. To enable more artists to create augmented reality artworks, V2_Lab has developed a software/hardware platform called VGE (V2_ Game Engine), based on Ogre3D, OpenAL, ultrasound positioning and various types of sensors. Artists can create immersive experiences using Blender, Max/MSP and tangible interface tools. The user of the system wears a set of stereo video displays that show a mix of 3D visuals and real world video, from a head mounted stereo camera. The position in space and orientation of the user’s head are tracked. Furthermore, the geometry of the physical space is modelled in a virtual model. Together, the tracking and the virtual modelling allow a fixation of the virtual world on the real world, by which virtual elements can behave as if they are part of the physical space. For instance, a virtual object can disappear behind a real wall. Our aim is to extend the VGE into an accessible authoring environment for artistic augmented reality environments.

Over the past years V2_Lab has been on the forefront of developments of artistic use of Augmented Reality technology. The most prominent example was the presentation of the prototype of the Exercise in Immersion 4 project, created in collaboration with artist Marnix de Nijs (NL), during the Dutch Electronic Art Festival in 2007.

Jonas Hielscher,

Marnix de Nijs,

Boris Debackere,

For more information about the Better than Reality project, please contact Jan Misker at or +31 (0)10 2067273

Better than Reality is supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, Dienst Kunst and Cultuur of the City of Rotterdam and MultimediaN