Demystifying Augmented Reality: An Introductory Workshop

Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (lunch included)
Optional one-on-one sessions available on Sunday, May 22, 1–3 p.m.
Mezzanine Conference Room and Center Space at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts 7380 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Are you an artist interested in learning more about augmented reality (AR) artworks, but don’t know where to start? Are you familiar with 3D software but not sure how to bring it to life using AR for others to view? Or do not really know what an AR artwork is but are looking for a new and exciting format to present you artistic practice? Then this workshop is for you. 

Scottsdale Public Art is excited to present the in-person AR course Demystifying Augmented Reality: An Introductory Workshop. In this by-invitation-only workshop, Hoverlay’s founder Nicolas Robbe and Phoenix-based AR artists Casey Farina and Roy Wasson Valle will give a one-day presentation and workshop for artists who have little to no experience with AR technology and software and for artists who are getting started in 3D rendering programs and are ready to take the next step. 

Workshop Timeline

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.:

  • Augmented reality and Hoverlay overview, presented by Nicolas Robbe
  • Augmented reality artwork creation process and experience with Hoverlay, presented by artists with two different backgrounds and approaches: Casey Farina and Roy Wasson Valle

1–1:30 p.m.: Lunch

1:30–3:30 p.m.: Participants will split into groups, depending on their skillsets, and receive hands-on training with the AR technology

3:30 p.m.: Opportunity to sign up for one-on-one, 15-minute sessions with one of the workshop presenters on Sunday, May 22, between 1 and 3 p.m.

Canal Convergence AR Artwork Opportunity for Workshop Participants

Once the workshop concludes, participants will have a new virtual toolbox to play with to create their own augmented reality artworks. It is the hope of Scottsdale Public Art that participants use these new skills to then propose and AR artwork for Canal Convergence 2022. 

Scottsdale Public Art’s annual, free 10-night public art event, Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light, began to integrate AR technology with Hoverlay in 2020 as a way to experience both artworks and artist talks in a safe, socially distanced format. In 2021, Canal Convergence increased its AR presence at the event, resulting in more than 17,000 total views of AR content and artworks. In November 2022, Canal Convergence will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary by presenting artworks that honor past and present themes, artists, and technologies. As AR technology has become more widespread and accessible, Canal Convergence will also look to highlight AR artworks this year as a part of its history and evolution as an event. Therefore, shortly after the completion of the workshop, Scottsdale Public Art will be posting a new open call for proposals for augmented reality artworks by Arizona artists. All workshop participants are invited to apply. 

If you have any questions about the workshop, or have confirmed attendance but are no longer able to attend, please email Canal Convergence Assistant Director Jennifer Gill at [email protected]. 

Workshop Presenters Biography Information

Nicolas Robbe

Hoverlay Inc.  

Nicolas Robbe is CEO and co-founder of Hoverlay and is a pioneer in the area of augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Robbe works closely with public art organizations, cities, artists, and creators around the world to help them bring their vision to life using augmented reality. He’s held senior leadership positions at IBM. Nicolas holds a master’s degree in computer science from University of Technology of Compiègne (France) and attended Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program. 

Roy Wasson Valle

Created Aerogels AR artwork with physical components for Canal Convergence 202

Roy Wasson Valle was born in Mexico to a Mexican mother and American father. He spent his childhood in Cuernavaca and continued to visit for consecutive summers all through his youth. His childhood was a mixture of American ’80s popular culture mixed with dubbed Japanese cartoons and European art films, as well as Mexican movies, legends, and traditions. The work he produces reflects the colors, themes, and mishmash of growing up between the cultures of Mexico and Arizona. His work is rooted in his past but looks forward to become a consistent “other.” 

Wasson Valle studied at Arizona State University as an undergraduate and graduate student, completing a master’s program in sculpture in 2019. He works with an artistic partner, to whom he is married, in a Phoenix studio. They work to create speculative spaces for engagement with the public that are not age specific and can be appreciated through different levels of experience and understanding. The work Wasson Valle makes individually and with his partner are all about light, exploration, space, parallel worlds, the stars, and a possible positive future. The materials and methods vary, but the works are connected through form and approach. He wants viewers to think of their place on Earth and consider their relationship to the larger solar system, galaxy, and universe. 

Casey Farina

Created Keeping Time AR artwork for Canal Convergence 2020 

 Casey Farina is a Phoenix-based artist who creates audio/visual artwork from iterative processes. This work often combines Farina’s expertise in animation, sound design, visual effects, digital fabrication, and improvisation. His video sculptures have been recognized as impressive works in an emerging genre and have been exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum. Farina has been commissioned by the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, and Scottsdale to create public artworks that combine projection-mapping and interactivity. He is an active artistic collaborator, working with choreographers, technologists, composers, and musicians throughout the Phoenix area. Farina’s work as an animator and sound designer has been exhibited internationally at “dance for film” festivals. His animated-graphic scores have been described as “imaginative” and are frequently presented domestically and internationally. Farina was named the Best Multimedia Artist by PHOENIX magazine in 2019 and is a winner of the 2017 Contemporary Forum Emerging Artist Grant, which included a place in the accompanying exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum. He is a residential faculty member in the Digital Media Arts program at Glendale Community College and his students have won several Student Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards.