Artist D.S. Bradford has activated his new augmented reality initiative, Go Love Universally, on the International Space Station and Mars. It’s the first fine art activation to reach 62,368,540 miles from Earth.
“The art I create tends to occupy a space within the surreal, seeing worlds that may or may not exist, except only in the mind,” Bradford said when asked about his art.
As an artist, Bradford appreciates realism. However, he is most fond of surrealism, especially the works of M.C. Escher and Salvador Dalí. Not only is he inspired to create otherworldly art, but he’s also adamant to share it to worlds beyond our own. So far, he has succeeded. His art has reached places that existing technologies have allowed.
Go Love Universally is his first space art initiative. The launch of his virtual piece called Future makes him the first-ever artist to create accessible immersive art in space.
Pushing Boundaries With Augmented Reality
Art has always pushed boundaries. It shapes conversations and perceived realities, comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable, as Cesar A. Cruz once said. But in a pandemic, with new social norms, artists have to push past their creative boundaries even further to share their work. Driven to find opportunities to distribute his art, Bradford turned to a medium he has become familiar with—augmented reality.
Bradford has been dabbling with augmented reality since it became a contender in consumer accessibility. Starting with static and pre-composed videos, his experiments evolved as the technology advanced. He used Arloopa and Artivive, which made digital immersive art even easier to create.
Lately, artists have been using AR to make their works accessible to a global audience, many of whom are in quarantine. Bradford, however, had a different plan in mind. He wanted to do more. As a result, he made Go Love Universally, an initiative promoting “inclusivity with no bounds.”
He activated his AR artwork on the ISS, proving that art has no limits, especially when combined with AR. Being the first artist to achieve such a feat has been quite an accomplishment for Bradford. While it has been a challenge for people to grasp that this kind of art exists, it can also be an enriching experience for everyone in isolation.
The Future of Augmented Reality Art
Many industries are facing massive setbacks because of the pandemic. Nonetheless, immersive technologies are booming. Bradford believes that there’s no better time to capitalize on the medium, as it allows us to connect with the rest of the world without putting anyone at risk.
“Virtual art spaces are all digital and can be anywhere,” Bradford expressed. “It opens the door for a lot of artistic expressions to be shared on a wider scale, but occupying a small space in a computer somewhere at the same time. It’s quite possibly one of the coolest paradoxes in technology and is such a compliment to art.”
Bradford believes that immersive tech is the future. It gives artists a creative space, where their imagination becomes their only limit. More importantly, it makes it easier to share positive messages, especially during these trying times.
“Creating a multi-dimensional habitat for creativity to bloom, enriching the lives of the audience, and inspiring positive emotion are some of the best progressions in technology we’ve had in our lives,” he said.
What’s Next for the Artist
Go Love Universally, Bradford said, has so much potential for forward-thinking artists, as we are no longer limited by geographical hindrances. He has made it clear that he will continue his efforts in augmented reality, as well as other immersive technologies.
He has a myriad of projects lined up. Aside from his ongoing work with Evil Ink Records and BOOM! Studios, he’s crafting commission work. But he’s most excited about continuing his efforts to deliver human cultural experiences on the ISS. He will also be collaborating with Serj Tankian, an Armenian-American musician who has also used augmented reality alongside his creative passions, particularly art and music.
Go Love Universally is an ongoing fine art initiative. So stay tuned for announcements of future collaborations with other artists.
All pieces from Bradford’s Go Love Universally art initiative are available for viewing at select locations. Art enthusiasts can download the Artivive app for free to access them. It’s available on Google Play and the App Store.