The biggest augmented reality festival in Romania, XR Month, took place in Timișoara between September 9 and October 9. The second edition, BestiAR, brought 21 creatures inspired by Romanian, Hungarian, Serbian and Ukrainian folklore to the city center as augmented reality filters. Through a new type of exploration of tangible and intangible heritage, passers-by were invited to discover the beasts in augmented reality on one of the most popular social media platforms, Instagram.
By Romanita Oprea
Timișoara became the stage for the presentation of these characters, reinterpreted by Romanian artists and animated by multidisciplinary studios. They can still be accessed on the XR Month Instagram page, in the filters section.
This year, the exhibition brought together 14 national artists and studios to illustrate and augment creatures from Romanian, Serbian, Hungarian and Ukrainian folklore and mythology: Reuniform, Dan Pecete, Irina Bako, Alex Dohotaru, Augmented Space Agency, Adelina Butnaru, Andra Popovici, Cristina Frei, Tammy Lovin, Wanda, Bianca Jelezniac, Stella Caraman, Loreta Isac, Alina Marinescu.
The collection of creatures and beasts has been brought to life in multiple locations across the city within three sections:
The Augmented Heritage section – Corcoaia, Oul Magic, Sântoaderii, Păsărea Soulet, Buunii, Iovan Iorgovan, Solomonarur, Ursitorere, Zmajul and Szélanya enliven the markets and spaces in the historic center of Timisoara. The 10 3D filters inspired by Banat and national, Hungarian and Ukrainian folklore could be discovered through Instagram, but also in Timișoara, from Victoriei Square to Traian Square.
The Freestyle section – the Eels, the Kite, the Pigeons, the Bunny and the Dragon come to life in the Victoriei Square in the form of 3D filters.
The Open Gallery section – Union Square became the scene that transposed into illustrations by means of facial filters, transforming the participant into one of the most famous folkloric creatures: the Dragon, the Solomonar, the Bunny, the Eelele, the Kite, the Ogre, the Flower of Love, the Scarecrow, the Falcon or Mavka.
Filter exploration was done entirely on Instagram by opening the QR code on the XR Month bookmarks.
This was a cultural project co-financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The project does not necessarily represent the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the funding.
The event was imagined by One Night Gallery and Leo Burnett.