Created in Unity using the Vuforia plug-in, 200 Castles is an augmented reality piece for iPad about time, longing, and magical spaces set in both the domestic spaces of a castle across multiple decades and in the spaces of memory. The viewer unlocks the story by using the iPad as a magic looking glass to look at a series of images in a photo album (‘trackables’ – the images contain features that the camera on the iPad is seeking). When the iPad’s camera ‘sees’ the images, the augmented reality technology overlays a small digital scene with accompanying audio. An early iteration was created for touchscreen (central image). Premiered at Cherchez le Texte, Biblioteque Nationale, Paris.
The story itself is non-linear, and the small stories can be encountered in any order. But the strategy of using a print book, whose pages need to be turned, is designed to make the experience more intelligible to new users – giving an easy sense of scale. The small stories are about the same physical space — the castle — encountered at different moments in time. different histories. a mystery is suggested through archival ephemera as a through-thread, but the story as a whole is best understood only after all the small lexias have been ‘read’ — contemporary sex scenes, mannered tales of hoarding, war stories and poetry blend to present a larger story of a physical space filled with stories over time.