institution: Art Gallery of Ontario
category: Exhibition Media or Experience
You won’t believe your eyes at the Art Gallery of Ontario…
ReBlink is an exhibition that blends traditional art with the latest in computer vision technologies to ‘re-mix’ classic paintings in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s permanent collection.
ReBlink offers a modern-day recasting of the past, seamlessly blended onto the original work using augmented reality. The work comments on the changing nature of the human condition.
This initial seduction paves the way for deeper engagement, in which more serious issues are explored, the intellect stimulated and a range of emotions triggered. It has always been the aim for ReBlink to transcend the gimmick of technology by acting in the traditional of art intervention.
The show has been resonating with art connoisseurs and the public alike, and has mass market appeal from kids to the golden generations:
“Past and present elements mingle on the screen, pushing the visitor to reflect on what has changed and what has remained the same… a stimulating and ironic short circuit that communicates the art of the past with the new generations.”
Valentina Tanni, art critic for Art Tribune
In October 2017, due to popular demand, the Art Gallery of Ontario, announced a four-month extension to the ReBlink exhibition:
“[ReBlink] far exceeded my expectations… not only in terms of the project itself but the intuitive response most people have about the potential for more.”
Stephan Jost, Director of the AGO
ReBlink has proven itself to be a powerful tool for education and outreach:
“I took all 200 of our students to the AGO specifically for your exhibit. They loved it. I’ve never seen a group of students more interested in art and more interested in discussing the original art piece as well as the social commentary on your modern twist. It was wonderful. I hope the gallery commissions you to do more as I think it will bring in more and more of our younger generation. “
Stav Bosotas, teacher at J B Tyrrell Senior Public School
“Very Impressive Work”
Apple Head Tim Cook during a special private tour of the ReBlink show
“ReBlink is a revelation (in every sense). An actual window on other realities, dreams, the imagination, and delight. If you have ever wondered if there are new ways of creating beauty, then you need to see this work.”
Alan Snow, Creator of The Boxtrolls
The Painting’s Revenge
The ReBlink exhibition has been extensively covered by over 180 outlets around the globe including Canada, the US, Japan, Russia, Germany, Holland, Italy, France, China and the UK. It has featured widely online, in print and on TV. This was certainly unexpected for for a location-specific art museum experience.
Here is just a small selection:
Interview on the flagship arts and culture show CBC’s Q
Fast Company – Co.Design
BBC News Facebook Live
Watch ReBlink tour on the Daily Planet (segment starts at at 30:45)
ReBlink was a highlight of the Trend Hunter ‘Trend Safaris’ at their flagship conference in Toronto last September
Contact us for the complete list of press
ReBlink has been invited around the world. Although we have not been able to tour the show (as it is still on) we have been able to simulate ReBlink through poster style reproductions. Although not quite the same experience, the work continues to draw crowds as a thought-provoking digital spectacle.
ReBlink has been shown twice in Mexico City and once in L.A. and has gone down a storm.
We are also working on a version of ReBlink that can be viewed in schools, at home, or at any location. Here is a small preview:
Why the Success?
We believe that ReBlink has been so successful because it taps the powers of augmented reality to transform a simple interaction — viewing a painting in a museum — into a visceral, explorative and magical experience. ReBlink doesn’t just extend viewing through exposition or instruction, it ‘intervenes’ – offering a new perspective. Like the remix of a classic song, it gives the audience a new context from which to view the paintings, one which has greater relevance to contemporary culture. The juxtaposition of past and present builds connections that create an impactful commentary. This approach is immediate, direct and play on a deep human desire for exploration and discovery.
Can not get to the Art Gallery of Ontario? Take a sneak peak!
Download the ReBlink app
Click on any of the thumbnail images below
Open the ReBlink app, make sure your sound is turned up and point your device at the image
Move around and explore
Alex Mayhew would like to thank the amazing team for all their hard work, creativity and support:
Developer and technical artist
Lead Production Artist
Creative & Business Consultant
Special thanks to: Amit Breuer, Nigel Newton, Conor Holler, Senait Gebremeskel, Hamza Asif, Helen Galligan, Marcelo Luft, Hart Sturgeon-Reed, Egill Vidarsson, Sally Luc, Fergui Pascual, Aaron Bosnjak, Maggie Greyson, Lyra Westecott, Emma Westecott, Mary Tsilka, Andronika Kelso, Marion Kelso, Tarik El-Khateeb, Mudit Ganguly, Corey Dean, Janine White, Orbital Arts, Ryan Miller and Reptoid Games, OCE, OCADU, Greg Singer, Heather Robson, Robert Gould, Hugh Spencer, Alan Gordon, Monica Contreras, Andy Webb and Lou Reed.