“I do not think that art can change the world, I think art can educate, inspire, empower people to act” – Judy Chicago
We all know Judy Chicago as an artist famous for uplifting women, but did you know that she’s also a massive champion for promoting climate awareness?! Chicago first turned her attention towards the planet in the 1960s in her series Atmospheres, which sought to bring art into harmony with the environment. The works involved bringing environment-friendly coloured fire into the landscape, injecting a cloud of colour without leaving a trace of destruction. And now, almost 60 years later, she is bringing this work into the digital space in a collaboration, through an interactive app that she has created with Light Art Space.
Through an immersive AR app called Rainbow AR, Chicago gives you the opportunity to create your own coloured smoke, which you can then share with your art pals online to reinforce that consciousness about the climate must be a continuing concern. The app works as a reconfiguring of Chicago’s Atmospheres performances which were ephemeral, site-specific work that used coloured smoke to transform and soften the landscape. The digital nature of the app sees Atmospheres move into the 21st century into Judy Chicago Rainbow AR, where pyrotechnics morph into AR technologies to push the boundaries of the medium.
The app allows you to continue Chicago’s long-running Atmospheres series to create Smoke Sculptures in Augmented Reality, which you can film or take pictures of through your smartphone. The best part is, you don’t even need to leave your home to have your arty fix, since we tried it in our lockdown home office, and it worked just great!
Text Lizzy Vartanian