isaac-cohenARQUA! was one of the ARKit launch applications that was designed by VR veteran Isaac “Cabbibo” Cohen, and it has the same indie charm and shader art aesthetic as his previous VR experiences of Blarp! and L U N E. ARQUA’s gameplay involves you creating a rainbow aquarium by playing kelp plants, schools of fish, and 3D rods that you place around your space by turning your body into the controller. Cabbibo is really interested in providing users of his AR experience with an experience of agency, creation, and beauty in a way that recontextualizes their relationship to their surrounding environment. I had a chance to catch up with Cabbibo after a presentation about Art in AR/VR in Portland, OR, where we talked about ARKit, exploring what makes a compelling AR experience, lessons that VR has to teach AR, and how data is the ‘R’ in MR/AR/VR/XR in that it’s the transformation of real objects into data that allows us to have mediated experiences within a symbolic reality.


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