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ReBlink will make you look twice

July 10th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Have you ever looked at historical paintings in the AGO Collection and wondered how the scenes would look today? Would this country landscape look so serene, would that portrait look so formal, would this plate of food look so appetizing?

Well, the answer to the last one is definitely yes, but a new artistic intervention at the AGO helps us imagine what it would look like for some of the AGO’s most beloved pieces to jump through time and enter the year 2017. And it does so using Augmented Reality technology, an iPad, and a newly-developed program called ReBlink.

ReBlink was created by the creative technology company Impossible Things and Toronto-based digital artist Alex Mayhew. It officially launched at last week’s First Thursday event (it’s world premiere!) and runs in various spaces inside the AGO until December 3. Inside the Jackman Gallery on Level 2, paintings like Paul Peel’s After the Bath come alive when an iPad or smartphone with the ReBlink app is pointed at them. Suddenly the serene fireside setting is turned into a loud, brash television set with the channels flipping from commercial to commercial. On Level 1, Augustus Edwin John’s The Marchesa Casati moves from her stylized pose towards the viewer and instead takes several selfies on her cell phone (complete with selfie stick).

Here are some photos of First Thursday-goers getting the first look at ReBlink.

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

ReBlink is included with General Admission. AGO Members see it free.

Download the ReBlink app onto your own device in advance to see all the works in the Gallery.

Please note, the ReBlink app runs optimally on faster devices such as later versions of the iPhone and iPad, Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4, Nexus 9, Nvidia Shield K1.

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