H+ Creative is excited to welcome WRLD.SPACE (Clay Weishaar). WRLD.SPACE is a filter designer and experiential artist based in Los Angeles. He creates immersive realities using VR and experential reality technology and then translates that to the playfulness and accessibility of social media lenses. His art looks to tell stories and express narratives new and innovative ways, always playing with the newest intersections of art and tech.
H+: What drew you to making lenses? How did you get started?
W: I have been creating Augmented Reality experiences for he past 4 years primarily for wearables like Magic Leap and Hololens.
It was a natural transition to social AR. Filters and Lenses have a much wider reach. I currently have over 1.5 billion impressions on my filters and lenses. I emphasis this because it's one of the few mediums that can allow a single creator to get their art in front of a global audience.
H+:You also do interactive art and site-specific installations. What is your process with those projects?
W: Over the past year I have had many opportunities to combine art and technology to create public installations.
I start with an onsite visit to get a feel for the space and how the public will experience it. This informs my design process and I begin to sketch, 3D model and eventually build a working prototype to show the client.
Recently I have been collaborating with architects on physical projects that have digital overlays. It's a very natural partnership, and fascinating how physical buildings and spaces are integrating interactive digital experiences.
H+: Where do you find your inspiration?
W: I find inspiration from food, pop culture, music, and film and travel.
Teaching can be inspiring as well, it allows you to see things from a different perspective. This year Snap gave me the opportunity to lead an AR workshop at a hackathon for MIT Media Lab. I would love to do more of it.
H+: What technology are you excited about?
W: I am excited about wearable AR, and location based experiences. Over the next few years we are going to see Augmented Reality become persistent. Cloud based AR will allow artists to anchor digital experiences to reality. It will provide emerging artists the opportunity
to take advantage of the medium and design amazing immersive location based experiences.
H+: Who would you like to work with?
W: I would like to work with more fashion brands and collaborate with traditional artists. I feel like fashion and wearables are the perfect canvas for new forms of technology and art.
H+: Do you have a favorite lens you made?
W: I have 2 favorites at the moment. My donut lens, and the Mirror Frame lens I did in collaboration with Gucci. The donut lens was my first lens creation and got me started
as an official lens creator for Snap.
The Gucci lens utilized Spectacles 3 and a state of the art technology that captures depth information when you film through the glasses. It was in collaboration with Snap Labs, Harmony Korine and Gucci for Art Basel. I worked with artist Filip Custic to create a surreal experience that utilized augmented reality overlays and the feed from your camera to reflect the person using the lens and their environment in the videos they create. It was an extremely personalized experience.
H+: What's your favorite part of making art in Los Angeles?
W: I find Los Angeles to be such an inspiring city., It’s full of creative people, and has provided me so many opportunities for collaboration with the some of the most talented people in our industry.
I live in Venice Beach,It's full of character and characters. I love it here because I can walk through the canals end up at the beach and go for a surf. The ocean has inspired me since I was a kid. I feel fortunate to be living so close to it, also sea level is good for creativity.
H+ What would your ideal augmented reality look like?
W: My ideal augmented reality is 80 percent art and 20 percent utility. I love when my art can have a purpose and enrich people’s lives beyond aesthetics. I worked on a project last year called Imaginary Friends, it was an Augmented Reality app designed for doctors and nurses in a hospital setting.The goal of the app was to create an experience that brought animated AR characters to life in the hospital to encourage kids and ease the burden while they were recovering or undergoing serious medical procedures.
H+: What music do you listen to while you work? What's your workspace like?
W: I really love edm, it transports me to a place in my imagination where I can envision the future. Listening to music while I work is really inspiring it helps me get into a zone where I can spontaneously create and tap into the emotion I want people to feel when they look at my art.
I travel across the city often to meet with clients so I am thankful technology is getting more compact, all I need is my phone, laptop and ipad pro and I can work anywhere.
H+: What would you like to see happen with lenses and filters as an emerging platform?
W: I am really looking forward to when filters allow us to experience our everyday environment through different eyes. Using AR to create experiences that allow us to see the world through different perspectives is an exciting concept I want to explore.