Apple teams up with the Getty to unleash William Blake-inspired augmented reality demons at its new London store

The works of William Blake are known for their highly charged spiritual energy. Now they’re getting a new high-tech incarnation with “United visions,” an augmented reality (AR) experience by creative technologists Tin&Ed (Tin Nguyen and Edward Cutting) made for the Getty Museum in partnership with Apple.

The tech giant’s purpose-built Blake app is being unveiled as part of the launch of its new London branch in Brompton Road, where you can sign up for demo sessions. (Note: Experience requires iPhone 11, iPad Pro, or newer Apple device.)

Looking at the space around them through the application window, users will encounter fantastical creatures recognizable from some of Blake’s most famous works. These life-size apparitions were sculpted using 3D software and brought to life using motion capture technology.

Among the monsters to be seen are large snakes, a frequent motif for Blake. Tin&Ed were specifically inspired by Satan exulting over Eve (1795), an image in the collections of the Getty and the Tate.

William Blake, Satan exulting over Eve (1795). Photo by Ben Davis.

In a statement, the duo promised that the AR work “opens Blake’s imagination wide.” “United Visions” sets out, they wrote, to celebrate Blake’s hybrid nature of angels, demons and beasts: “No identity is fixed. Instead, they undergo constant transformation, coming and going.

The app’s soundtrack by Just Blaze also helps bring Blake’s visionary interweaving of poetry and art into the modern world. The hip-hop producer, who has previously worked with Jay-Z, Drake and Beyoncé, layered in some of Blake’s own verses, including The Tyger read by his son Solomon Smith, as well as other verses by “urban poet and actor” Oveous Maximus.

Tin&Ed are Australian artists living in New York. Both are members of NEW INC, an art and technology incubator run by the New Museum. They have previously shown work at Rockefeller Center in New York, the Sydney Opera House and the Barbican Center in London.

The new commission is riding the trend, seen on popular shows such as “Immersive Van Gogh” and “Frida: The Immersive Experience,” to engage with treasured art historical figures through the lens of modern technologies. immersive. Previously, Apple has partnered with the New Museum to work with contemporary artists, including Nick Cave, on AR experiences.

This isn’t the first tech spin on William Blake, either. Last year, the artist The Ancient of Days (1794) was scanned using multispectral imaging analysis, producing an equally striking but darker effect. This work was sold in series of 50 NFTs on the Hic Et Nunc marketplace by the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester in partnership with Vastari.

A major exhibition of Blake’s work is planned for the Getty at the end of next year.

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