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This Intricate AR Sculpture Warns of the Dangers of Climate Change’

This Intricate AR Sculpture Warns of the Dangers of Climate Change'

Agency Droga5 and the National Wildlife Federation commissioned artist Dustin Yellin to design the interactive piece

As augmented reality has gained traction as a tool for retailers and brands during the pandemic, artists have also begun to explore its potential as a storytelling medium for fine art.

One such foray was a recent collaboration between artist Dustin Yellin, Droga5 and the National Wildlife Federation, which seeks to portray the dystopian ravages of climate change in a sprawling, immersive AR sculpture. The work, available through a one-off app called “Procession,” combines animation, collage and archival footage to layer together hundreds of narratives that viewers can physically walk through to explore.

The piece marks Yellin’s first experiment with augmented reality, and the artist said he was drawn to the medium for its potential to democratize his sculptures—which often sell for tens of thousands of dollars otherwise—to anybody with a smartphone. The immersive format is also well-suited to Yellin’s characteristic style, which often weaves together complex collages of images, drawings and other media.

“I have always been obsessed with this idea of democratization of art because there’s been a market built around my art at this point and the idea of making things free through technology has always been something that really inspired me,” Yellin told Adweek.

The piece, which first debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, includes detailed imagery of the effects of climate change and alludes to other issues Yellin sees as existential threats, from income inequality to nuclear weapons. But the themes aren’t all dark—Yellin said he also aimed to strike some optimistic notes and there are game-like interactive features consisting of an animal scavenger hunt.

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