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Creative

Tool Pays Homage to David Bowie with Psychedelic AR Experience

The release of Modern Love AR, created with Apple’s AR Kit platform, marks what would have been Bowie's 71st birthday

Tool Pays Homage to David Bowie with Psychedelic AR Experience

To celebrate the anniversary of David Bowie’s birthday, creative production company, Tool of North America, created Modern Love AR, a testimonial to the iconic artist who transcended creative formats and cultural divides throughout his career.

In addition to being one of the greatest musical figures, Bowie was also a technological pioneer, and Tool aimed to envision what he would have done in the age of AR.

The release of Modern Love AR, created with Apple’s AR Kit platform, marks what would have been his 71st birthday and comes nearly two years after his passing. Tool believed AR would be the perfect format to reflect a human-centered experience that’s all about user engagement.

“This project was an experiment for us to see how we play with perception to blur the line between the physical and augmented world,” said Clay Weishaar, Creative Director at Tool. “Modern Love AR is meant to be experienced while you move through your environment. The combination of camera art, atmospheric effects and audio reactive visuals felt like the perfect blend for such an inspiring track.”


Julia Sourikoff, Executive Producer of AR/VR/360 at Tool stated:

"Upon launching the app, the user is instructed to scan their environment to activate world-tracking and spatial awareness on the ARkit platform. A recording UI button lingers at the bottom of the screen for users to take a video of their experience. The words “tap or drag to interact” appear, indicating to the user that this augmented world will respond to your movement or behaviour.

The easily recognised muted guitar riff that opens the song begins to play, and a transparent glass silhouette of Bowie appears in front of you. As you tap on the silhouette, he disappears leaving behind an iconic 80’s technicolor portrait of Bowie suspended in the three dimensional space. You can tap or drag your fingers across your phone to draw with a refractive brush stroke that occupies the physical space around you.

Users can walk into their drawings completely immersing themselves in the the artwork they have created. As his lyrics unfold, a torrent of glittery particles emanates from the central point on the screen. in time with the cadence of Bowie’s voice. Audio reactive visuals like glass lightning bolts pulse around you in sync with the tempo of the music. Utilising the devices point cloud detection and computer vision technology shaders cast geometric patterns, rainbow star fields and a prisma colour filter that blur the line between the physical and digital reality. Effects transition from verse to chorus based on the tone of the song, so that the progression of the visuals match the musical intensity. The entire experience is spatially aware and the narrative unfolds as you move through your environment."




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Editor: Kelsey Sante (Filmmaker)

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Tool Of North America

Executive Producer: Julia Sourikoff, Erich Joiner

Managing Partner: Dustin Callif, Oliver Fuselier

Technical Director: Adam Ferris