Google’s ‘Weird Cuts’ Invites Users to Cut Out Pieces of Reality to Make Collages and Assemblages
The Google Arts and Culture Lab has partnered with the artists Zack Lieberman and Molmol Kuo to help users get artsy in augmented reality. By leveraging augmented reality, the team has created a tool called “Weird Cuts” in the Google Arts app that enables users to create their own collages as well as assemblages in augmented reality space by making use of photography.
The ‘Weird Cuts’ will have two modes namely, the cutout mode and the collage mode. In the app’s cutout mode, a user can walk around and collect a vast range of materials through photographs which they cut into shape.
In the collage mode of the app, the user will be able to assemble and arrange these cutouts in 3D space simply by moving and tapping the screen. Users can also adjust the shapes by holding down their finger and moving it in various directions to scale or rotate the images.
The result will be a multi-dimensional work which has been created from combining the different found objects and spatial improvisation.
The Weird Cuts AR app was formally unveiled during Google’s I/O developer conference. The app’s concept was created by Zach Lieberman and Molmol Kuo and the project was supported by Google Arts & Culture. Weird Cuts provides users with an odd but fun app which they can use to play around and have fun in augmented reality by making weird-looking collages.
The Google Arts & Culture Lab worked with artists @zachlieberman and @molmol_k to help you get artsy in AR. Using #AugmentedReality, Weird Cuts in the #GoogleArts app lets you create your own collages. ✂ https://t.co/MDNQxcr8cF ✂ pic.twitter.com/7vFmpsiGSF
— Google Arts&Culture (@googlearts) May 9, 2019
The two artists who conceptualized and worked on the project have always had a fascination with the intersection of code, hardware and handmade objects and have been working on exploring this technique of cutting, assembling and augmenting images into our space for some time.
The duo performed various experiments and started by trying to figure out how they could re-appropriate and assemble AR objects in the user’s line of sight in order create new virtual scenes. They wondered whether augmented reality can be used as a creative medium for creating rather than just consuming media content. Could immersive messages be left at specific points in space which can be referenced in the future?
Their efforts hit a synergy with Google Arts & Culture division which has been working on the preservation of art and historic landmarks from around the world and frequently collaborates with artists to experiment on the intersections between art and technology.
Apps such as Weird Cuts provide users with a lighthearted experience of augmented reality but they also help enhance our understanding of the new technology, its possibilities and how users can interact with it.
The Weird Cuts app is a unique one in that it is not created with any particular aim in my mind. Most of the AR apps in place serve a functional need and are developed for a specific purpose. This app, however, doesn’t aspire to any higher goal. It’s simply for fun, being creative and for re-imagining a new augmented experience by putting together random images in place. The artists have already published the app and you can download it for free on Google Play.