When Street Art meets Augmented Reality

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Photo credits: Luska – Graphics: Lilit Markosian

For the first five days of our exhibit « The Scale of Life », visitors have been intrigued by a very innovative artwork on show at the gallery.

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Photo credits: ARLOOPA

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Photo credits: ARLOOPA

On the right side of the gallery stands « Vishapunette » (Dragonette), the first augmented reality art piece in Armenia. The mural was created by artist LUSKA and augmented with the technology of ARLOOPA, a Yerevan-based IT start-up.

Luska created a mythical creature of her own, a woman-serpent-dragon from her  “Part Time Alien” series in which she morphs imaginary aquatic and cosmic creatures. When scanned with the ARLOOPA app on a smartphone or a tablet, the creature becomes alive!

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Artist Luska scanning “Vishapunette” with the Arloopa app. Photo credits: ARLOOPA

Intense and playful, « Vishapunette » is a definite highlight for all our visitors, from tech-lovers to kids… and former kids.

Luska is a Yerevan-born painter, filmmaker and street artist. Her work and studies took her around the world, from Baltimore to Paris and now San Francisco…

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Photo credits: Luska – Graphics: Lilit Markosian

Our curator Anna K. Gargarian was first contacted by Luska in July – upon seeing her bold, unique style, she immediately booked her for HAYP’s upcoming « The Scale of Life » exhibit.

Luska used water-based paint to create the mural, which took three days to finish. She then worked tirelessly for a few more days with the ARLOOPA team to make her creature come alive.

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Luska working on the mural. Photo credits: Yerevan Residence

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Luska’s mural “Vishapunette”, augmented by the ARLOOPA app. Photo credits: HAYP

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The art “pops out” of the wall when you move around it. Photo credits: HAYP

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Augmented Reality can be dangerous… Photo credits: HAYP

Luska’s augmented reality piece was a real success – to the extent that several people asked why the other artworks at the gallery weren’t augmented as well.

You might think it’s apsos (« too bad ») to have this amazing marriage of street art and technology last only the duration of the exhibit… But the magic doesn’t end here – we printed posters of Luska’s work, and the ARLOOPA app works on them as well. Those posters are exclusive limited edition prints signed and numbered by Luska herself. You can come see us at the gallery and bring home your own magical artwork!

Anna K. Gargarian, our curator, holding a print of Luska's work. This photo was taken with the ARLOOPA app! Photo credits: HAYP

Anna K. Gargarian, our curator, holding a print of Luska’s work. This photo was taken with the ARLOOPA app! Photo credits: HAYP

We’re excited to collaborate more with ARLOOPA in the future, so make sure you download their app (it’s free!) and look out for more augmented reality artworks at the next HAYP exhibits…

To see Luska’s work before it get’s taken down, and to get your own limited edition prints, you can visit HAYP Pop Up Gallery at Yerevan Residence, 186/11 Antarayin Street, 6th floor. We’re open from 4PM to 9PM everyday until Monday, September 7.


*** You can follow Luska on Facebook and on her website ***
*** You can follow ARLOOPA on Facebook, Twitter, and download their app for free***


Where to find us?

HAYP Pop Up Gallery
6th Fl (Penthouse) of Yerevan Residence
186/11 Antarayin St, Yerevan
For directions: Concierge 011-61-01-11/091-000-107

Charlotte Poulain

Noumeda Carbone: HAYP Resident Artist

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Photo credits: Sasha Maddah Photography

Noumeda Carbone’s 6x4m wall painting “Unmapped 7” is stunning and profound: a web of intertwined vein-like forms spans across a weightless space, severed at the center. Like a butterfly split into two or a severed lung, the arterial shapes breathe both life and pain at once. “Unmapped 7” shows simultaneous connectivity and disconnect: Noumeda’s interpretation of the theme of HAYP’s exhibit “ANKAPital”, which takes a closer look at “ankaputyiun” (disconnected or non-sensical in Armenian). Carbone has been developing these “Unmapped” forms over the past few years, as seen in her wall painting from the 2012 Castro Street Art Project in Tel Aviv and in several live painting performances in Florence, Italy.Telaviv_Florence

I like to give myself limits” she tells me, “I’ll work with a single form or shape in repetition, and push myself to see how far I can take it. There’s a certain rhythm and multiplicity that comes out of limiting the elements with which I work, like color and shape, an almost obsessive multidimensionality. I am very inspired by nature and creating parallel spatial dimensions”. 

And in fact, what I like the most about Noumeda’s work is her ability to create deep spatial dimensions despite her minimalist graphic style. Her work conveys a fine balance and harmony between the simple and the complex.

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Noumeda also created a second site-specific art piece in Armenia for HAYP Pop Up Gallery, this time in a public location at Victory Park thanks to the support of Zeitun Municipality. The wall painting was a public performance that took place last Saturday, April 25th from 2pm to 8pm in the company of dear friends, curious wanderers and art lovers who gathered under the sun with some drinks and snacks to see her creative process in action.

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Noumeda’s work has been commissioned internationally, and her clients include VOGUE-TRENDS, Ferragamo, Leo Burnett, Pitti Immagine, The Guardian, Kult Magazine among others, and her works have been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine and Hi-Fructose. We are happy to say that now she can add HAYP Pop Up Gallery to her list of collaborators and Armenia to her list of international destinations! You can come by the gallery to see Unmapped 7 in person on appointment (as of the 27th, “ANKAPital” is officially closed). We also have available signed and numbered Limited Edition prints for the investment savvy Collector that are available also on appointment.

Contact: info.hayp@gmail.com | +374. (0)99.741.626 . Anna K. Gargarian.

Noumeda Carbone. Internationally renowned artist. See more of her work here: http://www.noumeda.com

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Opening Night & Thanks: ANKAPital

by Anna K. Gargarian


Today, April 24th 2015, marks the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Yerevan is gray and quiet, many of the shops and bars are closed out of solemn respect. It’s a stark energetic contrast to yesterday evening’s System of a Down (SOAD) concert that filled Republic Square with an exhilarated (albeit rainy) buzz- a celebration of life and resilience in the face of tragedy.

10997976_10153306512000559_1050076477556982755_nBut today is reserved to the memory, sacrifice and bravery of the lives lost one hundred years ago. I cannot help but feel immensely grateful on so many levels despite the sadness that inevitably accompanies this commemoration. I am happy to be here in Yerevan in this moment as an Armenian and descendent of genocide survivors. I am grateful to be a part of many interesting international commemorative projects honoring our collective memory and human rights, like the “DRAEM” installation in Copenhagen (DK) which I’ve curated with artist and architect Allen Sayegh for the Armenian Embassy to Denmark and Norway, and for the opportunity to curate the upcoming “Memory and Dreams” Armenian Pavilion at the Beijing International Art Biennale this fall thanks to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia. I am also thankful to be contributing locally to the art scene through HAYP Pop Up Gallery, a personal project I started with my dear cousin Charlotte Poulain last fall, and which has continued due to the support, love and help of many dear friends who believe in me and this project. I feel truly lucky!

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In this moment of thanks and reflection, and exactly one week into our 10-day exhibit, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who were a part of making ANKAPital happen. I am thrilled to share with you the photos of ANKAPital’s inauguration, HAYP’s current collective exhibit that opened with a bang last Friday, April 17 and that will continue to be on view until Monday April 27th. The turnout was incredible and the exhibit looked great (which seemed highly unlikely 48 hours earlier). Over 500 people attended the event throughout the course of the evening, thanks to our social media following and our central location that attracted a lot of foot-traffic.

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The exhibit features a group of 15 contemporary artists from Italy, Argentina, France and Armenia and the artworks include painting, installation, photography and video art. Opening Night also featured a live musical performance by Heavy Shepherd, an experimental punk-folk-blues-digital-hip-hop ensemble that totally rocked ANKAPital. Special thanks have to be given to our sponsors Golden Grape ArmAs for providing us with our Pop Up location and wine for opening night. Other gracious sponsorship included: Crumbs Bread Factory for catering, Orange France for Internet connection, AYB School and THE SCreENERY for projectors, and the LUYS foundation for chairs and a media team.

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Heavy Shepherd, a three-man ensemble with Saro Arshag, Devon Yagian-Boutelle, and Shant Kerbabian, performed at HAYP’s opening along with projection art by Saro Arshag.

Our guests included a predominantly young crowd including many local artists, hipsters (what kind of art gallery opening would this be without them?) and socialites. Some important diplomatic officials, entrepreneurs and international organizational heads were also spotted at HAYP. And of course, a huge number of friends and supporters of HAYP Pop Up Gallery were present, many of whom lent a helping hand during the clean-up and prep work of the space.

On that note….Thank You!

ANKAPital could not have happened without the support of so many people. A huge thank you to HAYP team members Rachel Nersesian for coordinating all of the events, to Lilit Markosian for the social media and graphic design, and to Sonya Armaghanyan for assisting in administrative help and for bringing theater to HAYP through EVN 24 Hour Theater. Thank you also to Karine Vann for her journalistic support, as well as the networking and collaborative opportunities that she has brought to HAYP.

We’ve also had many volunteers who’ve lent a physical hand in cleaning up the space, thank you to Robin Kuehn and Caden Nathan James for helping despite not knowing much about HAYP at the time! Thank you to Khashayar Zandyavari and Seda Orbelian for your assistance during events. An enormous special thanks to Mehdi Moqimi who has been a constant and reliable anchor throughout the entire process- from transforming the space, to providing much-needed caffeine, to overseeing technical assistance for our projections. A huge thank you also to Hermine Sarkissian, a dear friend, my flat-mate, and a great supporter of HAYP who has bared with my neurosis, mess and sleepless nights these past three weeks: her calm presence and patience has been a silent source of strength for me. Another big thank you to the whole ArmAs team, including Manushak and Hagop, and in particular to Victoria Aslanian and Armen Aslanian for providing us with a very talented and efficient construction crew to set up lights and walls where needed. Thank you to our neighbors at Megerian Carpets for providing us with a restroom and sink when needed (alas, the pop up life is one without a WC!). A huge thank you to all of the artists for being a part of this project: thank you to Janine Gaelle for putting me in touch with artist Noumeda Carbone, and thank you to Noumeda for coming here all the way from Florence, to RIZEK for sending his custom work from abroad, and to local artists Asya Yaghmurian, Davit Galstyan, and Vahram Akimyan for helping to install the exhibit. Other amazing artists in show include: Samvel Saghatelian, Artak Gevorgyan, NavereY, Nairi Khatchadourian, Lucy Kirakosyan, Florencia Babouian, Shamiram Khachatryan, Ruben Malayan, Adrineh Gregorian and Serge Navasardyan.

Thank you to everyone!

Now here are the pictures:

 

by Anna K. Gargarian

We launched our crowdfunding campaign!

by Charlotte Poulain


 

What a weekend…. Our Crowdfunding campaign went public on monday, at 3PM Yerevan-time. At midnight that day, we had already raised $955…

[Edit 26/11] AND TODAY… WE ARE 45% FUNDED.

But to reach our goal, we will need your help! So please check and share our campaign, have a look at our video, donate and choose your perk 🙂

Where? On the world’s most used (and loved) crowdfunding platform:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hayp-pop-up-gallery !

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Our campaign page… Despite the play button in the middle of my face, we think it looks pretty good 🙂

 

This campaign will allow us to buy equipment for not only our first exhibit but also those to come, and will help us organize our Premiere Exhibition-Event that will help us attract sponsorship for sustainability. Setting up our Pop Up Gallery will require $3,500, and we have 17 days to reach our goal. Our first exhibition “Frame of mind: Context and Perspective” will pop up on the 12th of December… So the countdown begins!

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Photo credit: Lilit Markosian made this banner for our facebook page. Cheers Lilit!

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Behind the scenes

The 24 hours that preceded the launch were dedicated to writing and re-writing material for our Indiegogo page and our social media, including uploading pictures and videos, sorting out the Armenian bank account and… occasionally freaking out.

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We were at this table for almost 24 hours straight, we may or may not have showered in 2 days.

 

We spent the next 10 hours telling everyone we know about the launch, preparing the follow-up, and translating and uploading subtitles for our presentation video.

We are planning on going global, and we are lucky enough to have a few polyglots on our team and network, so you can now watch the video with subtitles in English, in Armenian (big thanks to Lusine Vardanyan and Mary Hakobyan), in Russian (cheers to Natasha Sekratereva), in French (thanks to yours truly), in Italian (brava Anna), Spanish (viva Oscar), and possibly even Japanese and Portuguese will be coming soon as well.

HAYP knows no language barrier, and our Pop Up will have no frontier.

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 Photo credit: I guess I could credit myself for those perfect screenshots, but really the video was shot and edited by the amazing Kohar Minassian, at the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies.

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What’s next?

We continue rollin’ as we do: this week we are planning meetings with artists, partners and potential funders. We’ll continue working on our first exhibition, and spreading the word about HAYP in general.

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How can you help?

… Did I tell you about the crowdfunding campaign already? You can donate here and now : https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hayp-pop-up-gallery

You can also share the campaign or this article with your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues, your life partners.. and also with people you don’t like that much… we’re not really picky. Everyone can make a contribution, even starting with $1 !!

Thanks for reading!

Charlotte

The HAYP Experiment

by Anna K. Gargarian


 

When sharing my excitement about HAYP with friends and acquaintances in Yerevan, the first reaction I get is a perplexed look followed by,

“A pop-up gallery?” To which I reply,

“Yeah, are you familiar with Pop ups?”

“Um… yes, I had them when I was a kid,” their eyebrows twisting as they try to imagine a gallery filled with spreads of books revealing standing paper cutouts of all sorts and sizes. Not a bad idea, but wrong type of Pop Up.

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Photo credits: Scott Willis, film maker at Popup Week, Amsterdam.

A Pop Up is a temporary installation in an unexpected location. The first Pop Ups were in retail and have been around for several years in major cities like New York, San Francisco, Paris, and London where real estate is expensive. Pop Up Shops allowed new companies to have sample sales, test the market and their product, without getting involved in heavy licensing. From there came the Pop Up Gallery, which took off in not only those major cities, but also bustling art hubs like Chicago, Berlin, Cape Town, and Mumbai. Amsterdam even hosts a PopUpWeek featuring events and talks on ideas, innovation, and methods of hosting a successful Pop Up.

Today there are even companies specialized in Pop Up spaces and events like Openhouse in New York, or Storefront in San Francisco. They advertise “Pop-up ready spaces” and even provide marketing and event planning to ensure a smooth Pop Up experience. Real estate brokerage companies are starting to add Pop Ups as a type of property available for clients. All of this is evidence that Pop Ups are not only a trend, but a successful enterprise with a real market.

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Outside view of Peanut Butter & Co.’s the Nutropolitan Museum of Art popup gallery in Soho, New York. Photo credit: Theresa Raffetto.

Now, I’m not going to pretend to know about the real estate market, nor am I professing to be a Pop Up expert. But I do know as a lover of art, a city person, and a curious wanderer, it’s an exciting viewing experience- an experience that is missing in Yerevan.

What do I mean by “experience”? As design arts curator Kory Rogers from the Shelburne Museum told journalist Sally Pollak of the Burlington Free Press, (Pop-up galleries: A growing trend in Burlington’s art scene, May 2013)

“Defining features of pop-up galleries are that they come and go, and typically appear in places not usually associated with art exhibitions. They possess an element of surprise in which viewers kind of stumble upon art when and where they don’t expect it, thus altering the experience of seeing it”.

It’s all about context. Burlington City Arts curator DJ Hellerman tells Pollak that,

“Institutions have histories and brands and reputations…You don’t get that with a pop-up gallery. You’re popping up in a space that is not your own, in a space that is temporary until somebody else comes along to claim it”.

So the experience is affected by several factors, the first is the objectivity of the viewer who is confronted with art in an unexpected space. It’s like accidentally coming across great street art, as opposed to intentionally entering a museum for the purpose of viewing art. Those are two totally different mindsets, and they affect how we see art because of what we bring to the work.

The second is the objectivity of the space. In his renowned article Inside the White Cube from 1976, art critic and historian Brian Odoherty argues that the type of galleries that came about in the 20th century were as important to modern art as the works themselves. He called them “chambers”, or sterile, white, windowless rooms removed from time, that created an almost religious experience for the viewer. HAYP is no longer following the “white cube” model, nor are we viewing art in its “original habitat” like a Madonna and Child commissioned for a Renaissance church altar. We are disrupting typical viewing contexts, and constantly changing them.

Futurist Stewart Brand converted a shipping container into his personal office space, and recorded the construction process while writing his book “How Buildings Learn.”

Futurist Stewart Brand converted a shipping container into his personal office space, and recorded the construction process while writing his book “How Buildings Learn.” Photo credits: Spasticgoat.com

I think that there’s also something to be said about the under-construction environment common to the Pop Up. In “How Buildings Learn” an excellent six-part three-hour BBC series that aired in 1997, Stewart Brand states that “low road buildings keep being valuable precisely because they’re disposable”. In other words, what Brand calls “low road buildings”, or cheap spaces, are actually more empowering structures to inhabit. Brand says that their malleability inspires change, it makes you active instead of passive, which inspires freedom, creativity and experimentation. The most creative enterprises happen in these types of spaces. That’s exactly what HAYP is all about: experimentation. We hope to inspire experimental art, and also create an experimental space where ideas can be shared and new projects can be born. On a larger scale, we hope that HAYP will make the public see the potential of these spaces and how important art is to making us see and reinterpret our environment in order to envision a better future.

With this in mind, how context affects the way we view and show art, we are excited to start the HAYP experiment! In the spirit of this theme, we will open our first Pop Up in December with the exhibition, “Frame of Mind: Context and Perspective”. If you’re in Yerevan, we hope that you’ll pop by our Pop Up.