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Seeing the Invisible

An Outdoor Augmented Reality Exhibition

October 1, 2022
— September 30, 2023

Immerse yourself in incredible augmented reality art at MOCA and throughout the beautiful landscapes of Toronto’s public parks.

MOCA presents the acclaimed augmented reality (AR) contemporary art exhibition, Seeing the Invisible, in partnership with the City of Toronto and Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation. Presented for the first time by a museum and in free public spaces, the exhibition includes AR works by thirteen internationally recognized artists: Ai Weiwei, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Sarah Meyohas, Timur Si-Qin, Isaac Julien CBE RA, Ori Gersht, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Pamela Rosenkranz, Mohammed Kazem, Mel O’Callaghan, Daito Manabe, and Sigalit Landau. 

Starting at MOCA, which will act as a hub by introducing the project and artwork locations, before moving to locations at Sorauren Park and throughout High Park, Seeing the Invisible will take visitors on an exploration of virtual art and nature, as the artworks are seen and activated using a customized mobile app.

Seeing the Invisible creates a new approach to presenting and discussing art in outdoor, accessible spaces, while also allowing local communities to be exposed to the forefront of international contemporary art. Setting these digital experiences within natural and urban contexts, without disturbing the actual land and keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum, the exhibition addresses themes pertaining to nature, environment, and sustainability, and explores the boundaries and connections between art, technology, and nature. 

Each artwork offers a unique perspective on these issues, creating thought-provoking, experiential, and contemplative spaces for viewers to immerse themselves in.

Seeing The Invisible was initiated and organized by the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in partnership with Outset Contemporary Art Fund. The co-curators of Seeing the Invisible, Hadas Maor and Tal Michael Haring worked with the artists to select existing works as well as commission new ones. The project has been locally tailored by MOCA to be a unique experience for Toronto residents and visitors for a full year. 

For more information, please visit the Seeing the Invisible website.

 

MOCA presents the acclaimed augmented reality (AR) contemporary art exhibition Seeing the Invisible in partnership with the City of Toronto and Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation. The exhibition includes AR works by internationally recognized artists such as Isaac Julien, Pamela Rosenkranz and Ai Wei Wei. The route includes locations at MOCA, Sorauren Park and throughout High Park, taking visitors on an exploration of virtual art and nature as the artworks are seen and activated using a mobile app. This is the first time that Seeing The Invisible is presented in public space and the entire programme is free. Seeing The Invisible was initiated and organized by the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in partnership with Outset Contemporary Art Fund and has been locally tailored by MOCA to be a unique experience for Toronto residents and visitors for a full year.

Seeing the Invisible creates a new approach to present and discuss art in the current pandemic crisis, while also allowing local communities to be exposed to the forefront of international contemporary art. The exhibition features thirteen AR artworks by established artists from various countries: Ai Weiwei, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Sarah Meyohas, Timur Si-Qin, Isaac Julien CBE RA, Ori Gersht, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Pamela Rosenkranz, Mohammed Kazem, Mel O’Callaghan, Daito Manabe, Sigalit Landau. The co-curators of Seeing the Invisible, Hadas Maor (curator of contemporary art) and Tal Michael Haring (virtual and augmented reality expert and curator), worked with the artists to select existing works as well as commission new ones.

Setting these digital experiences within natural and urban contexts, without disturbing the actual land and keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum, the exhibition addresses themes pertaining to nature, environment, and sustainability and explores the boundaries and connections between art, technology, and nature. Both bleak and hopeful, each artwork offers a unique perspective on these unresolved issues, creating thought-provoking, experiential, and contemplative spaces for the viewers to immerse in.

How It Works

Viewers are invited to start the route at MOCA, which will act as a hub by introducing the project and the artwork locations. The walking route takes around 1–1.5 hours and has been devised by MOCA to include a variety of experiences throughout urban park contexts. Individuals will need to use their own personal wi-fi connected devices to position the digital works, launch them into existence and, in many cases, experience the way their own physical presence affects the work and changes the environment.

Please note that while the walking route has been mapped to be as accessible as possible, the project takes place in public space and MOCA is not responsible for the physical conditions of the paths or personal route choices/changes and inaccessibility due to inclement weather.

For more information please visit the Seeing the Invisible website.

Download the App

How to Experience the Exhibition

Seeing the Invisible is accessible via smartphone and tablet through the unique Seeing the Invisible app, which is available for iPhone and Android in the App Store and Google Play. The app will guide you around the exhibition via GPS and prompt you to view each artwork in its location.

Individuals will need to use their own personal mobile devices to position the digital works, launch them into existence, and in many cases, experience the way their own physical presence affects the work and changes the environment.

The entire walking route takes around 1–1.5 hours and has been devised by MOCA to include a variety of experiences throughout urban park contexts. Download a PDF map here. Download an interactive map here.

 

Before You Visit

  1. View the list of compatible devices. The app will work on phones and tablets up to three years old. Some devices will work better than others.

     

  2. Download the free Seeing the Invisible app at home. The app is 1.6 GB in size. It is recommended that devices have a minimum of 4 GB of free memory. If you wait to download the app on-site, it may take upwards of 20 minutes to complete.

     

  3. Come with your phone battery fully charged. We also recommend bringing a portable battery/charger if you have one.

     

  4. Consider bringing headphones as several of the artworks include a soundscape.

     

  5. Make sure your mobile data is turned on. While there is free WiFi available at MOCA, mobile data will be required for both parks.

     

  6. Adjust your settings to allow the app to access your camera, microphone, and location. This will enable you to snap photos and record videos of your interactions with the artworks.

     

  7. Consider the time of day. Installations are only fully visible between dawn and dusk.

Featured Artists

FAQs

Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view, often by using the camera on a smartphone or tablet. Virtual reality (VR) involves a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world, often by using a specialized VR headset.

Yes. The Seeing the Invisible App will work on Apple and Android devices and will be available for free in the in the App Store and Google Play. We recommend downloading the app ahead of your visit and that you arrive at the Museum with a fully a charged phone.

No, this is an AR exhibition that will be accessible via the Seeing the Invisible app, which can be
downloaded to any standard smartphone or tablet through the App Store or Google Play. It is optional but recommended to
bring your own headphones in order to enhance the experience of the exhibition.

Unfortunately, at this time the exhibition is only accessible via the Seeing the Invisible app, which can be
downloaded to any standard smartphone or tablet through the App Store and Google Play

While the works of art on view will be the same in all venues, the experience of the exhibition will be different, as the works will be displayed in different locations as well as climates. The extraordinary thing about Seeing the Invisible is that many people can be viewing the works simultaneously in different countries around the world, but the experience will differ greatly based on the garden and the context of the artwork.

Seeing the Invisible was envisioned as an exhibition to be enjoyed in daylight. While it is possible that some of the works may be viewed at dusk or in the evening, depending on lighting conditions, for an optimal experience we recommend that you plan your visit before sundown.

You will be able to take pictures at the exhibition using your phone or handheld device while in the exhibition through the screenshot feature. Due to the nature of the AR technology, rather than taking a selfie, we recommend that someone else hold the device to take pictures of you with the artwork.

Seeing the Invisible is a free exhibition, and tickets are not required. The Seeing the Invisible app is free to download.

While the walking route has been mapped out to be as accessible as possible, this project takes place in public spaces, and MOCA is not responsible for the physical conditions of the paths or personal route choices/changes and inaccessibility due to inclement weather.

If accessing the exhibition with a wheelchair, assistive device, walker, or stroller, an outdoor model is suggested. Benches will be available along the route for those who require them.

Founding Partners

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
Outset Contemporary Art Fund

Collaborating Partners

Adelaide Botanic Garden
The Eden Project
Garden at Elm Bank
Gardens by the Bay
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
National Gardens of Greece
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

Foundational Supporter
Major Supporter
Kiki and Ian Delaney
Contributing Supporters
Andrea Bielecki and Scott McLorie
Tiana Koffler Boyman and Marc Boyman

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