SamovAR Installation


An Augmented Reality (AR) Installation: Antique brass samovar fitted inside clear plexi-glass case approximately 30"x20"x18", iOS tablet, fluid dynamic algorithms, porcelain saucers printed with custom designed AR markers.

Artist Statement

In this installation the Samovar is examined as part of a tradition of sharing and serving beverages and enjoyment of lingering conversations in a communal setting. The early Samovar, an elaborate pot used as centerpiece to heat water to prepare tea, used had the dual purpose of warming bodies and stimulating minds. There are many different types of samovars that are intricate and unique artistic expressions. In this interactive installation the artist will revisit this centuries old cultural tradition that ranged from lavish social affairs to intimate hearthside family gatherings. Incorporating the use of Augmented Reality (AR) technology, the artist will reproduce the experience of the tea ceremony, however, the tea itself will be an optical effect of the technology and programming. With acute potential to change the nature of perceived "reality," AR is now understood as a new human interface - a new way of seeing, viewing, interacting, enabling the exploration of scenarios that don't exist in the "real world" however are experienced in "real time. Transformation of visual perception and the fusion of simulated reality and the unadulterated human gaze lead the artist to explore the proliferation of new "realities" and their burgeoning interpretations. The spectacle and stimulation of high technology will stand in for the actual real experience of consuming a hot beverage in social setting, giving participants an opportunity to reflect upon the advantages and deficits of the promises of technology in cultivating human interaction and growth.

Project Description

An iOS tablet is installed beneath the spigot of a samovar that inside a wall mounted clear plexi glass apparatus. Participants will sign in and receive a porcelain teacup saucer with an Augmented Reality (AR) marker imprinted upon the surface. When holding the tea saucer in front of the tablet, a motion detection camera will record the object and fluid dynamic algorithms will create an AR 3D stream of hot tea pouring into a Persian tea glass.