LACMA & Snapchat Erect AR Monuments Across Los Angeles

Explore five virtual monuments and murals honoring the history of Los Angeles and its various communities.

This past December we learned that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was collaborating with Snap Inc. to develop a series of AR monuments celebrating the history of Los Angeles and its diverse communities.

Today, LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspective officially launched in Los Angeles, allowing Snapchat users access to five unique AR monuments scattered throughout the region.

“LACMA and our partners at Snapchat are fundamentally interested in storytelling, but in new and innovative ways, and that’s what many artists are interested in as well,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO, and Wallis Annenberg Director in an official release. “The resulting monuments visualized by Mercedes Dorame, I.R. Bach, Glenn Kaino, Ruben Ochoa, and Ada Pinkston are not only relevant to issues of today—Los Angeles, civic space, community—but also to the medium of art, opening doors to new ways of thinking about art in both physical and virtual spaces.”

Using the Snapchat camera, you can access one-of-a-kind digital structures at LACMA, MacArthur Park, Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park,
and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. You can even use the Map feature in the Snapchat app to locate nearby markers as well as access additional information about each project. Those outside of LA can view each of these unique digital works by visiting via their smart device.

Image Credit: LACMA, Snap Inc.

“The virtual monuments and murals that these five artists have created illuminate how we can reimagine and rebuild commemorative spaces across the country, and embodies the visionary work we aim to support through The Monuments Project,” added Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation. “Like these immersive commemorations, we’re excited to see more artists using innovative means—beyond bronze and stone—to memorialize historical figures, ideas, and movements, and to recontextualize existing monuments that teach too little of our collective history in public spaces.”

Here’s a bit more information on each of the five AR monuments (as provided by Snap Inc.):

  • Mercedes Dorame (Portal for Tovaangar, 2021) – “Working in landscapes she feels anchored to, Mercedes Dorame reclaims connection to the land and ancestral knowledge by exploring what it means to exist as a Native inhabitant of contemporary Tovaangar (Los Angeles). Portal for Tovaangar creates an immersive portal that links past, present, and potential future worlds.”
  • I.R. Bach (Think Big, 2021) – “Through larger-than-life animations, a whimsical soundtrack, and a guiding basketball, Think Big crafts an experience designed to inspire self-reflection as you proceed. “The aspiration is to collectively build an invisible monument of thought.””
  • Glenn Kaino (No Finish Line, 2021) – “No Finish Line centers generational stories from the communities, businesses, and organizations along the 1932 L.A. Olympic marathon route, which started and ended at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This conceptual project highlights how the stories of daily life come together to make history.”
  • Ruben Ochoa (¡Vendedores, Presente!, 2021) – “¡Vendedores, Presente! responds to L.A.’s complex history with street vendors. Ruben Ochoa draws from his family history—his mother pioneered a mobile tortilla delivery system in San Diego County—to pay homage to the critical role of street vendors in L.A.’s culture and economy.”
  • Ada Pinkston (The Open Hand is Blessed, 2021) – “The Open Hand is Blessed is a memorial series that pays tribute to the voice and spiritual philosophy of Biddy Mason. The story of Mason is one of resilience. In 1851, Mason arrived in San Bernardino, California, after traveling thousands of miles by foot as an enslaved person. After this arduous journey, she settled in Los Angeles and worked as a nurse and midwife. She died a free person and one of the wealthiest Black women in the country.”

“Through this collaboration with LACMA, Snap Inc.’s augmented reality technology has become an immersive medium for advocacy and representation” said Bobby Murphy, co-founder, and CTO at Snap Inc. “We’re thrilled to empower these artists and Lens Creators, and support their desire to share untold stories through a new perspective.”

Image Credit: LACMA, Snap Inc.

Today’s launch coincides with International Day for Monuments and Sites and will be followed by a series of podcasts, docuseries, and art kits related to each of the projects beginning Sunday, April 18th.

To check out the project for yourself, use the Snapcode found here.

Feature Image Credit: LACMA, Snap Inc.

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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