Making Art With Augmented Reality Workshop – March 31 & April 1

What: Making Art With Augmented Reality: A  Workshop with John Craig Freeman and Upgrade! SF
When: Workshop Saturday, March 31 & Sunday, April 1, 2012, 11am–5pm. Plus a free public lecture March 29, 7pm.
Where: SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St (btw 8th & 9th), San Francisco. Click here for directions.
How Much: $50 (plus EventBrite processing fees)
Advance Registration Required: Enroll online at  by 11:59pm on Friday, March 30; no day-of registration will be allowed.

This 12-hour workshop provides a hands-on introduction to Augmented Reality (AR) – a technique where virtual 3D objects can be overlaid into physical space and viewed through the camera and screen of mobile devices. AR is an emerging tool in game design and offers many exciting possibilities for visual artists and activists to realize their ideas in any scale or location in the world.

Boston-based artist John Craig Freeman, who creates innovative public artworks and memorials with AR, will teach participants how this new technology can be used as an alternate type of installation and intervention in public space.

This workshop, a public programming component of SOMArts Cultural Center’s exhibition I Am Crime: Art On the Edge of Law, is designed for a range of skill levels; from individuals who are familiar with basic mobile technology but have never worked with augmented reality, to intermediate practitioners who want to develop an augmented reality art practice.

By the end of the workshop you will be able to:
• Map your personal experiences and memories across the city of San Francisco.
• Create simple but meaningful 2D and 3D augmented reality objects and place them at specific geographical locations.
• Know more about the Layar Mobile Augmented Reality Platform and the Hoppola Augmented Reality Asset Server
• Test, view and document your work on location using iPhone or Android mobile devices.
• Exhibit your final augmented artwork, and a 17” x 22” color print of it, will be included in the SOMArts exhibition I Am Crime: Art on the Edge of Law.
• Take home the full color high-quality quality print after the exhibition closes on April 19, 2012.

Participation Requirements: Each student must be 18 years or older, provide their own Wi-Fi enabled laptop, and bring a late model smartphone (iPhone or Android mobile device) equipped with a camera,  GPS, compass, accelerometer, and mobile Internet or Wi-Fi connection. Technical questions may be directed to

Class Size: The maximum number of participants is 15. If EventBrite notifies you that registration is full, you may email to be put on the wait list.

About the Instructor: John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public works at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. He has produced work and exhibited around the world including in Xi’an, Belfast, Los Angeles, Beijing, Zurich, New York City, Taipei, São Paulo, Warsaw, Kaliningrad, Miami, Bilbao, Havana, Atlanta, Calgary, Buffalo, Boston, Mexico City, London and San Francisco. Freeman received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently an Associate Professor of New Media, at Emerson College (Boston) in the Department of Visual and Media Arts and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, at UC San Diego.

Questions about the workshop should be directed to Scott Kildall at

SOMArts is wheelchair accessible. If workshop participants have any special needs, they may email at least two business days in advance of the workshop with requests.

“Making Art with Augmented Reality” is produced by Upgrade! SF, a regular programming series with speakers and socializing designed to foster community around new media arts in San Francisco, and presented at SOMArts Cultural Center as part of the exhibition, I Am Crime: Art On the Edge of Law.

Support for this workshop is provided by Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant Program.


Pictured above: Border Memorial Frontera de los Muertos by John Craig Freeman