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Alchemica, an augmented reality experience exhibition in Detroit

Alchemica has been visited by throngs of young people for an interactive augmented reality experience exhibition organised by the Italian Consulate in Detroit to celebrate the ‘Giornate del Contemporaneo 2018 – Italian Contemporary Art’ and Detroit Design Month. For two days (6 and 7 September), visitors could admire 33 illustrations that are animated when framed with mobile phones through an app developed by the Milan-based graphic agency Alkanoids at the Wasserman Projects Gallery.  The founders of the design agency, who work with a group of Italian illustrators, animators and sound engineers, met about 120 students from Wayne State University to present the exhibition and their work.

On opening day, an illustration created especially for the occasion was shown for the first time in public. The theme of the work was the link between Detroit, the Motor City, and Italian design. The image centred on a single prototype of a 1950s car called Gilda. It was created by engineer and designer Giovanni Savonuzzi, with a Chrysler frame and bodywork by Turin-based company Ghia. The image is spanned by an arch that reproduces the ‘Transcending’ monument, a symbol of the city dedicated to the labour movement and created by American sculptor, David Barr, and Italian artist, Sergio De Giusti.

Local designers and artists also showed great interest in the exhibition. This included Electrifly, a company that uses virtual reality to turn urban art into an immersive experience by animating a number of murals in the city centre. Other high-tech companies who work in software solutions, app development and augmented reality also attended,  giving the Italian agency an opportunity to share their experiences.