©︎ Adrien M & Claire B-Acqua Alta-Crossing the mirror

24th Art Division Excellence Award

Acqua Alta – Crossing the mirror

Interactive art, Digital art

Adrien M & Claire B[France]


A pop-up book whose story is appreciated by looking at the drawings on actual paper using a dedicated AR application on a tablet or a smartphone. On a background of white paper folded to form a house and black ink drawings, an AR movie produced by capturing dancers’ movement is overlaid. Depicted are a white house and a man and a woman in black silhouette who live in the house. One rainy day, their life is turned upside down. The rising water drowns their home in an ink-colored sea, and the woman slips and disappears. Only her hair remains, still moving as if it is alive. Acqua Alta in the work’s title signifies high tide seen in Venice. The motif of a disaster, which is unique but also a universal natural phenomenon, is turned into a work of imaginary realms of water. It offers an experience at the crossroads of theatre, dance, comic book, animated film, and “artsy” video game.

Reason for Award

Reading stimulates imagination through words and pictures. Physical experiences gained from turning pages and feeling the paper’s weight and texture play an important role in this process. This work combines a pop-up picture book with AR technology, while esteeming the physical feel and experience of paper books. Furthermore, when projected on a tablet or smartphone, the 3D picture book transforms into a backdrop of the story. The characters cross the boundaries between analog and digital, picture book, image, and performance, inviting the viewers into the story world. Technological capabilities based on careful analysis and witty originality can be found in this cross-media work. With plentiful metaphors intersecting story and reality, this work experiments with a new visual language and opens up the possibility of performative expression. (TASAKA Hiroko)