Using augmented reality technology, Paulo Majano’s project I Was Here recreates the drama of everyday events in public outdoor spaces and parks across Surrey and its surrounding region. Each location is captured both as a photograph and as a 3D scan (created by scanning individual elements on location in three dimensions). Each resulting photograph contains within it a latent image—a three-dimensional photographic scene that when revealed, like the latent thought in Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams, offers potentially different narratives and new layers of meaning. When each photo is viewed with a smartphone or tablet using an artist-developed augmented-reality application, the 3D scene becomes visible.
The photographic image—at times revealing only partial subjects, or showing elements perhaps a little close to the edges—is an invitation for the viewer to interact with the scene and reframe the composition from different points of view. Through this virtual view, viewers can move in for a closer look, or look behind objects to reveal elements not initially visible in the original photo. Ironically, since the viewer must move around the photograph to fully see it, this virtual medium creates the potential for active, physical interactions.