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Statue of Liberty

The Immigrants,

Medium: AR Sculpture

Target Audience: Myself

Learning Objectives: The history of Immigrants in U.S. in the late 19th century

Description: My Augmented Reality Journey Through History and Reflection


The Original "The Immigrants" sculpture in Battery Park, the inspiration of my project

The Immigrants Reimagined is an augmented reality sculpture I created, inspired by the original "The Immigrants" monument located in Battery Park, New York City. My intention was to explore the history behind the iconic sculpture while incorporating my personal reflections and an intended narrative that delves deeper into the immigrant experience. My journey began with extensive research into the original sculpture, its creator Luis Sanguino, the commissioner Samuel Rudin, and the historical context of immigration in the United States.

Throughout the process of learning about the original sculpture, I found myself grappling with questions and concerns about representation, the portrayal of immigrants, and the sense of superiority conveyed by the sculpture. My thoughts were further inspired by various sources, such as essays on race, history, and the power of media in shaping national identity.

With The Immigrants Reimagined, I took these reflections and transformed them into an immersive augmented reality experience, allowing for a more personal connection to the immigrant story. My new narrative incorporates different perspectives on immigration while challenging traditional ideas of national purpose and the struggle for representation in public art.

In the process of developing The Immigrants Reimagined, I began by using the LiDAR scanner on my iPhone to capture a detailed 3D model of the original sculpture. This provided me with a foundation to work with, which I then imported into Blender, a 3D modeling software. I refined the model by creating a low-polygon version, which allowed for smoother integration into the augmented reality experience. To enhance the visual appeal, I applied a chromatic material that gave the sculpture a mirrored effect. Lastly, I placed the reimagined sculpture in a virtual museum setting to simulate its appearance and interaction with reflections and visuals in the real world. This technological approach allowed me to successfully blend my artistic vision with the historical context of the original sculpture, ultimately producing a more engaging and interactive representation of the immigrant experience.

In conclusion, through The Immigrants Reimagined, I aim to provide a fresh perspective on a historical monument, inviting viewers to engage with the piece on a deeper level and reflect on the complexities of the immigrant experience. By incorporating new technology and my personal reflections, I hope to create a more inclusive and interactive representation of the diverse stories that make up the fabric of America.

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