Augmented Empathy at FACT, Liverpool

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Augmented Empathy at FACT, Liverpool
Keiken, Sakeema Crook and Ryan Vautier, Augmented Empathy, 2020. Photo by Drew Forsyth. Installation view at FACT, 2020.

Augmented Empathy at FACT, City Centre 2 September — 13 December 2020 Entrance is free — Visit now

From face filters to world lenses, the strange experience of seeing your own appearance or surroundings altered by one of the many free augmented reality (AR) apps now available is becoming increasingly commonplace. Looking beyond the immediate gimmick, however, what effect does encountering an altered version of yourself, aged by 30 years, as a different gender, or, say, sporting a pair of rabbit ears, have? And how can such technologies be used as an emancipatory tool? FACT’s latest exhibition, Augmented Empathy, revolves around such questions, presenting audiences with ‘an exercise in unlearning the ways in which we construct identity’.

With a particular emphasis on the power of nature to deepen our understanding of each other and our kinship with the Earth, the show features an animated woodland film installation and newly created bespoke Instagram filters that bestow scales, deep blue skin and other non-human physical traits upon users. As such, it seeks to create a fluid space of possibility, where bodies can be anything, bypassing not only their physical limitations but also the social boundaries, expectations and assumptions placed upon them.

The show is a collaboration between artist collective Keiken, CGI artist Ryan Vautier, and dance artist Sakeema Crook. Crook features in several of the interactive AR pieces, which extend from her body whilst she speaks and performs a continuation of a speech she gave during recent Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Lives Matter protests, promoting a message of understanding and intersectionality as a path towards love and change, which lies at the heart of Augmented Empathy. Head to FACT for a journey into new progressive realms.

Augmented Empathy at FACT, City Centre 2 September — 13 December 2020 Entrance is free Visit now

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Where to go near Augmented Empathy at FACT, Liverpool

City Centre
Café or Coffee Shop
Garden Cafe FACT

FACT Liverpool gets back to its coffee-with-creativity roots thanks to a foliage-full new café.

Liverpool
Restaurant
Food From Nowhere

Food From Nowhere is a weekly vegan cafe held in the basement space of much-loved radical bookshop News From Nowhere. It’s open every Saturday from midday to 5pm.

City Centre
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Bold Street Coffee

A super cool cafe at the top of Bold Street, Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool serves a range of specialist coffee, cakes and sandwiches.

Liverpool
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Maray

Much-loved Liverpool restaurant, specialising in forward-thinking small plate dishes.

City Centre
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LEAF on Bold Street

Keeping Bold Street a hub of creativity, LEAF is more than a tearoom, it’s also a bar and thriving event space with a packed schedule of upcoming happenings.

City Centre
Music venue
Arts Club Liverpool

Based in Liverpool’s old Royal Institute of Arts and Science building, Liverpool Arts Club is a great spot to catch small touring acts.

Photo of wooden tables and a green leather sofa
City Centre
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Bretta & Co

Comprising of a deli and a small restaurant, Bretta & Co looks minimalist, modern and tasteful – the kind of place that puts you in mind of lazy brunches and ladies who lunch.

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