Film Reviews

Time for “Time Fork,” internationally celebrated video artist Van McElwee’s imaginative installation at Laumeier Sculpture Park, has been extended through spring of 2022. Described as “an augmented reality environment for contemplating time and the multiverse,” the Time Fork app takes a viewer through various mobile screens, the locations for accessing them indicated by markers. At these specific places, computer graphics and real world video (what constitutes augmented reality) appear in front of the person holding either a laptop, an iPad, or even a cell phone with the application activated.

Structures stretch out before the viewer, extend into woods, appear as pyramids reaching up toward the sky or as stairs descending into the earth. All the features invite viewers to move to and through them if they are, for example, gates or arches. They populate a vast area of the 105 acre Laumeier Park. The inventive interpretation for these ghost-like but colorful configurations is that they are remnants of a previous world dubbed World B which split from our familiar, current one at approximately 1054 C.E. when the Super Nova 1054 created the Crab Nebula. The information provided offers several possible interpretations for each of the edifices and for their World B function, possibly highly ritualistic or merely secular and functional. And for each structure—an ancestor house, a ceremonial gate, a capstone, towers, passages, and more—suggestions describe these multiple, possible functions.

I know, this all sounds amazingly fanciful, and it is, a playful intervention in time and space. The experience is both great fun and a provocative fiction that invites flights of our own imagination. Though I’ve played with virtual reality on several occasions, this augmented reality offers a very different, immensely entertaining experience. The installation will also offer exciting night viewing for "Laumeier After Dark," Saturday, November 6, from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Everyone with a time-traveling interest gets another chance to immerse themselves in this unusual, unique experience.

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