Blue Violet River: Augmented reality fairy-tale experience comes to Mersey Ferries

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) create groundbreaking projects which challenge the definitions of art and moving image with a distinct emphasis on creative enquiry and provocations.

AND Festival is the UK’s first roaming festival of cinema, art, and digital culture. It is an international catalyst for partners and artists to explore different contexts and curatorial models.

As part of AND’s post-COVID programme, Australian artist Anita Fontaine has produced an augmented reality fantasy future fairytale set on the Mersey Ferries running between Seacombe, Liverpool and Woodside at Birkenhead.

Her work, entitled Blue Violet River, runs on the Mersey Ferries between 27 May and 11 July. “I want to update the conventional guided tour into something magical that weaves together science fiction, environmental themes and local architecture into a future fairy tale – as seen from the River Mersey Ferry.”, Anita explained.

Anita Fontaine’s augmented ecology of the River Mersey invites the viewer to suspend belief and encounter a kaleidoscopic world through custom-built viewfinders on the decks of a Mersey Ferry. Psychedelic audio-visual sculptures explode from land and water, and the Liverpool skyline playfully shapeshifts revealing a surreal alternate reality of the urban landscape in The Blue Violet River.

About the artist:

Anita Fontaine is an Australian speculative future artist who blurs the virtual and physical with a flexible tactility. Layering high tech with low art, her work spins fanciful new expressions within the grand Metaverse marked by a sense of punk and hyperrealism.

Her visionary perspective has materialised future labs, VR experiences and immersive installations, games and films, and led to collaborations with galleries, museums and select brand entities. Most recently she co-founded The Department of New Realities – a future-forward creative unit hell-bent on finding ways to connect humans with new tech art experiences.

She continues to alternate her technical approach like a chameleon for the new age. Concerned with expanding eco-anxiety she’s now focusing her inventiveness on untangling the collective hive mind. Through the synergies of art and innovation her hope is to positively influence the future’s landscape, benefiting the environment and reducing the suffering for all.

In 2019, Fontaine was voted one of Adweek’s most fascinating creatives and was one of 50 Creative Leaders to watch in 2018’s Creative Review. She has spoken at SXSW, OFFF, Nicer Tuesdays and FrameLab and been featured on Nowness, Dazed Digital and It’s Nice That.

Anita Fontaine

The Blue Violet River by Anita Fontaine. Commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England with further support from Merseytravel.

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