Vous avez certainement tous vu le court métrage Hyperreality de Keiichi Matsuda. vous connaissez peut être même son travail précédent sur le même thème Domestic Robocop. Nous sommes allées rencontrer Keiichi pour en savoir plus sur son inspiration et pour mieux comprendre le coté effrayant de sa vision.
Hello Keiichi, could you begin to introduce yourself ?
Hi! I’m half Japanese/English, living and working in London. My background is in architecture, but now I’m more interested in exploring the changing relationship between people and their environments, which I combine with my interest in technology. I make films, installations and interactive experiences with my studio, and also work as an independent design consultant.
Just before to focus on “Hyper Reality” I have a “simple” question : Why are you so interested by augmented reality in everyday life ?
My interest started while I was studying, and I wanted a way to be able to bring architecture and digital media together. AR is also a really filmic device, to communicate all of those digital experiences that are normally hidden behind the screens of our phones and computers. So I’ve found AR to be a great help, but I think the more recent work is much more ambitious. Its not really about AR; its about identity, exploitation, addiction and belief. Even on a tech level, its as much about smart cities, the internet of things, wearables, virtual assistants and gamification as it is about AR!
Now, we talk about your last production “Hyper Reality”. In this film we follow a woman in Medellin. Why have you chosen this context ?
A lot of technology is designed by and for powerful western elites. I’m more interested in the long tail; how the technology gets appropriated by normal people. I visited Medellín by chance when I was planning the film, and thought it was perfect.
There are many thing to see in only 6 minutes ! For example, we have the impression that every decision is “advised” (for job with a app, in supermarket, etc.) Another point in your vision is the main place of “gamification”. Everything is gamified, and all the things you do are rewarded with points. Are you thinking this kind of life quantification is our future ? Why ?
Games can be powerfully addictive, and as we become more advanced about understanding those processes, its natural that someone would try to apply these mechanics to productivity. The points are a type of currency the film, so I’ve imagined the economic system as an extension to the capitalism of today. I’ve tried to be reasonably unbiased when deciding what technologies to focus on; I just look at what we’re doing already and extrapolate.
With an idealistic vision, Augmented reality could also become a tool for citizens to remove the filters that hide real information. Knowing the origin of a product, who made it, in what conditions. A stream of datas can also allow us to fight against political or marketing misinformation. What do you think ?
Sure, there are definitely positive applications, and some of those are explored in the film too. I really like how spaces can be flexible and dynamic; a road doesn’t always have to be a road for example. But in terms of fighting against misinformation, I don’t think AR will bring any significant advantages in the short term.. even when good information is out there, people still refuse to immunise their children, they still fail to see the positive effects of immigration, they are still afraid and confused. We are nowhere near as advanced as we like to believe.
In conclusion : What can we do to construct a more beautiful future with technologies ?
I don’t have the answer to that question, but I’m trying. My approach is to test. Hyper-Reality is one of those tests, to try to honestly look at the way we use technology, with no marketing agenda or corporate interest. Along the way, I’m discovering many potential pitfalls, and many potential opportunities as well. By visualising these things, and encouraging people to talk about these ideas, I’m hoping we can slowly move towards a future that we actually want.
Grégory MAUBON est consultant indépendant en réalité augmentée (animateur et conférencier) depuis 2008, où il a créé www.augmented-reality.fr et fondé en 2010 RA'pro (l'association francophone de promotion de la réalité augmentée). Il a aidé de nombreuses entreprises (dans plusieurs domaines) à définir précisément leurs besoins en réalité augmentée et les a accompagnées dans la mise en œuvre.