Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Not Here Not There Volume 19 Issue 1, January 2013. pp106-122. Leonardo/ISAST


This article discusses the possibilities for Augmented Reality (AR) as a driver of data based art. The combination of AR and Open Data (in the broadest post-Wikileaks sense) is seen to provide a powerful tool-set for the artist/activist to augment specific sites with a critical, context-specific data layer. Such situated interventions offer powerful new methods for the political activation of sites which enhance and strengthen traditional non- virtual approaches and should be thought of as complementary to, rather than replacing, physical intervention.

I offer as a case study this author’s “NAMAland” project, a mobile artwork which uses Open Data and Augmented Reality to visualise and critique aspects of the Irish financial collapse. The project, overlayed Dublin with an activist derived data-layer which supported and enabled physical interventions, making visible/concrete abstract financial dealings through situating them in real space, enacting a virtual layer of critique which facilitated and catalysed wider debate.