Unknown Meetings is a site-specific augmented reality project that takes as its premise the awkward and surreal encounters that daily occur on commutes. Designed by new media artist Matt Roberts and poet Terri Witek for local transportation systems riders activate via smart phone both an “unknown” object moving over the actual landscape and an accompanying brief poetic audio file which considers such encounters.
These are activated whenever the train approaches a station. Commuters use the free Augmented Reality app Layar on their smart phones to see a floating image—usually an out-of-place object –and hear a brief accompanying text. Stations are nexuses of anxiety when we commute—is this our stop? By floating objects and words that offer still more unexpected juxtapositions, Roberts and Witek try to shift the anxiety of arrival into a consideration of moving “connections.”