Hyperrealia – augmented reality experience (detail) developed by Hyperrealia and Centre for Transformative Media Technologies.
Past Event

Hyperrealia : Augmented Reality Interventions With The State Library Victoria Collection


Fri 19 May 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Free half hour sessions, booking required
Sat 20 May 11:00am - 4:00pm
Free half hour sessions, booking required


Free, booking required


State Library Victoria, Create Quarter
State Library Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia


Accessible bathroom Seating available Wheelchair accessible

Hyperrealia is a Melbourne-based media art collective exploring the creative and critical potential of Augmented Reality (AR) and ways to use AR technology to creatively engage with cultural heritage objects. Initiated by Donna Kendrigan during her 2018 Creative Fellowship at State Library Victoria (SLV), the collective includes media artists John McCormick and Chris Henschke.

This program presents a variety of AR interventions presented by the artists, created in response to unique objects (called “realia” in library terminology) discovered by Donna within the Library’s heritage collections. The artists have developed immersive AR experiences, re-animating the realia so they virtually co-inhabit the space with the audience. Bringing the realia items to life, through poetic and aesthetic transformations, enables contemporary forms of engagement with these historical objects and their forgotten stories.

Each session will include artist discussions about the development of this project, plus questions regarding user experience.

This project was developed with the support of State Library Victoria’s Alchemy program and in collaboration with the EMD Studio, Centre for Transformative Media Technologies, Swinburne University.


Chris Henschke

Chris Henschke is an artist who has been working with digital and analogue media in creating experimental and interdisciplinary projects and programs since 1991. He has undertaken a variety of residencies, including an online artist residency at the National Gallery of Australia, 2004; an Asialink residency, 2007; two art-physics residencies at the Australian Synchrotron, 2007; and 2010, and a nano-design residency at the CSIRO in Clayton, Australia, 2019.

He has a Doctorate of Philosophy, from Monash University, which included collaborative research and in-situ installations at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland, as part of the ‘art@CMS’ program. He has since co-developed a PhD program with Arts at CERN and RMIT University. Recent projects include ‘Song of the Phenomena’ and ‘Demon Core’, 2019, acquired and commissioned by DARKLAB and exhibited at DARK MOFO, Hobart, Australia; and ‘Synthesism’, 2019, an in-situ presentation of experiments developed through his CSIRO ‘Synapse’ residency, which led to him writing a book on art, science and alchemy, titled ‘Mudstone’, available through A Published Event.

Donna Kendrigan

Donna Kendrigan is a visual artist working with animation, sculpture, digital media and installation. With a passion for nature and natural history, Donna has developed a wide range of immersive artworks that express her passion for nature and natural history. Her work often draws upon the archive to explore and reframe historic objects, bringing alternative perspectives and creative agency to objects.

Donna was recently commissioned by SLV to create ‘Season of the Orchid’, an immersive video and sculptural installation developed in response to her discovery of a collection of Victorian stereoscopic orchid photographs belonging to Edith Coleman, an overlooked pioneer of botanical science. Donna’s animation works have been widely screened including at the SLV ‘Handmade Universe’ exhibition, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, ABC, SBS, and the QAGOMA 10th Asia Pacific Triennial. Donna has been the recipient of art grants including Creators Fund Creative Victoria (2022), City of Melbourne Arts Grant (2022), the Alchemy Program SLV/Creative Victoria (2021), and SLV Creative Fellowship (2018-2019).

John McCormick

John McCormick is a technology-based artist with a major interest in movement. John has collaborated on works worldwide, including at International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA), ZERO1SJ, SIGGRAPH, Melbourne Festival, Venice Biennale, Siggraph Asia, Ars Electronica Futurelab, Tokyo International Forum and Art Science Museum Singapore. John’s current artistic work explores human robot interaction mediated by mixed reality environments. John was an Australian Antarctic Research Fellow in 2020 supported by the Australian Antarctic Division and Australian Network for Art and Technology. John was lucky enough to travel on the last Australian Antarctic voyage of the research vessel Aurora Australis to the Antarctic continent. John is currently the acting director of the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology, where he investigates artistic practice in mixed reality environments, robotics, artificial intelligence, and human action.

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