Held from 7 to 17 March 2019, MeshMinds 2.0: ArtxTechforGood featured an exciting line-up of more than 20 multi-sensory art experiences, which tackled global sustainability challenges outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as climate change and pollution.
As part of the ArtScience Museum’s programme, ArtScience in Focus, visitors got to engage with current environmental and societal challenges through the blend of art and technology – primarily using augmented reality (AR) – at MeshMinds 2.0: ArtxTechforGood.
Discover Our Oceans
Discover Our Oceans is an immersive experience zone that includes two virtual reality (VR) works – Oceans We Make and Oceans We Save – and one AR experience, Our Ocean Life.
Back for another season at MeshMinds, Oceans We Make is an award-winning 3-minute interactive VR experience that takes adventurers on an extraordinary journey beneath the surface of a pristine ocean. Participants experience underwater life and artefacts in a stunning, immersive environment. The journey will soon turn into a mini-game where the player needs to take action against a threat that’s not just virtual, but is happening in the real world too.
Oceans We Save is a VR experience that’s designed to impart a sense of urgency about the mounting plastic pollution problem that we are creating in the world. Participants are given 90 seconds to clear a path through a fantastical underwater world to uncover a rare, hidden surprise. However, you need to be able to handle the pressure to succeed.
Meanwhile, Our Ocean Life is a five-minute AR journey that invites users to step through a portal and uncover stories about the consequences of plastic pollution on marine life. Inspired by real events, this interactive experience aims to leave you with a sense of wonder about life beneath the waves, and leaves much to ponder on why our actions matter more than we realise.
A Better Tomorrow byAndré Wee
A Better Tomorrow is an engaging AR experience that celebrates SG75, the Sustainable Future of Singapore, and the positive change that we can make to our environment as an individual and a society.
Visitors can use their smartphone camera to scan the QR codes and watch the digital drawings of buildings in Singapore come to life and evolve to a greener society. They can also learn how they can contribute towards the creation of a more sustainable future for Singapore through clean energy, recycling, and reduced reliance on fossil fuels.
Water Bodies by Adeline Tan (Mightyellow)
Water Bodies is an interactive VR installation that highlights the encroaching presence of microplastics in our drinking water. The virtual experience begins inside a virtual human stomach, in which tiny marine creatures – tardigrades and copepods – are swimming amongst multi-coloured microplastics. The VR installation is a 60-second game where players have to shoot the microplastics to learn more about the plastics that humans unknowingly consume.
The Mount That Keeps Growing by DPLMT
Another AR piece, The Mount That Keeps Growing uncovers the reality of the world’s waste situation, represented by a mountain of trash that keeps on growing. Use your smartphone to scan the QR code and be mesmerised by a series of rhythmic, hypnotic kaleidoscopic motifs. However, on further inspection, you will notice that the beautiful artwork is made up entirely of waste materials, which highlights the apt plight of today’s environment.
Hold My Gaze by Andrew Loh
Hold My Gaze is a multi-part interactive AR installation that draws attention to the consequences of forest fires that have caused haze spells blanketing Southeast Asia in recent years. With face mapping technology, visitors can interact with the virtual face on the screen, which is masked with a beautiful rainforest. But look away, and you will find the forest, and your face projected on-screen, bursting into flames all at once.
Albeit extreme, this showcase is a powerful wake-up call on the potential disasters that will befall our forests – and us – if we look away from the importance of preserving and protecting what greenery we have left.
PaperChase AR by Alfonsus Wong
PaperChase is an interactive educational AR experience that aims to create awareness on the proper way of recycling and the use of Singapore’s ubiquitous recycling points, whilst collecting brilliantly-illustrated comic strips that come together into the story of a trash-eating monster. Simply download the PaperChase AR appfrom the App Store and use your phone to navigate across various recycling points around the exhibit. Scan the marker at each recycling point to complete the story and learn the importance of moving towards a zero-waste world.
Our Better World
Our Better World – a digital storytelling initiative of the Singapore International Foundation – also presents two immersive VR stories for guests to experience and learn about life in the shoes of people with disabilities.
From Wheelchairs to Motorbikes invites guests to navigate the streets of Yogyakarta with Triyono – a polio survivor with physical disabilities – as he goes on a mission to create wheelchair taxis designed to ferry wheelchair users safely around the city. These taxis are also driven by people with disabilities, providing them with meaningful employment in a city where they once struggled to find work.
Meanwhile, (In)visible Sound uses exaggerated, discordant sounds to shed light on hearing disabilities. Viewers are put in the shoes of Grace, a theatre practitioner who grew up struggling to understand why she experienced the world differently from everyone else.
For more information on the featured artworks, visit https://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/public-activities/artscience-in-focus.html
Visuals courtesy of Soloman Soh of the DANAMIC team