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Aqua Alta, a Unique Pop-Up and Augmented Reality Book

Image: Aqua Alta by Adrien M & Claire B

Aqua Alta - Crossing the mirror is a pop-up and augmented reality book whose drawings and paper volumes are the décor of a story, only visible in augmented reality.

This one-of-a-kind book tells the story of a woman, a man, a house. A daily routine, absurd and filled with discrepancies. But one wet rainy day, their life is turned upside down: the rising waters drown their home in an ink-colored sea. The woman slips and disappears. Only her hair remains, and it is alive. It tells the tale of a disaster, unique and universal. It tells of losing and searching. It tells of the fear of the bizarre and otherness, and how to tame it.

Looking through a tablet or a smartphone, the ten double-pages of the book Acqua Alta - Crossing the mirror (of which 8 are in pop-up) become the stage for a short dance performance - thanks to a custom-made augmented reality application. In a simple graphic stroke in black and white, ink drawings and white folded paper come together to reveal the virtual life of dancing miniature beings and their dive into the imaginary realms of water. The experience is at the crossroads of theatre, dance, comic book, animated film and “artsy” video game.

The augmented reality book was designed, produced and edited by Adrien M & Claire B, a production company established in 2011 by Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot to create work that brings together the visual arts and the performing arts. Their shows and installations immerse the body in images, they blend sensitive and handcrafted art with digital devices. The two artists will be in residency in July 2021 at the Villa San Franscico, an institution created by the Cultural Service of the French Embassy that invites artists to question the world’s most pressing challenges in connection with the Bay Area communities.

You can test a prototype for free by downloading the pdf containing 3 drawings on the AQA app, available for Android or iOS, and if the experience pleases you, the book can be purchased here.

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