AR on the Moon exhibit lands in Toronto

May 19, 2023 | Arts, Culture

An Alternate Reality art exhibition launched at four locations in Toronto is an exploration of what a populistic world is, said Paloma Dawkins, a cartoonist, animator and video game creator.

“My (animation) is about how the post-apocalyptic world looks in a way that regards technology more as a part of nature than something against nature,” she said. “Basically, these hard drives have fallen to the ground, mingled with plants on the moon, and turned into a different kind of plant.”

Translunar Formations is an augmented reality art exhibition in Toronto created by 11 Canadian artists. Their work is located at Nathan Phillips Square. Other locations include Bellevue Square Park, Philosopher’s Walk and Pix Film.

Madi Piller, a filmmaker, animator, programmer, independent curator and producer of the AR exhibition, said it is the first exhibition in the world that geo-maps artwork to locations on the Moon.

“When you see the work, you’re walking through a portal and you’re in the artwork, and it’s mapped to a specific place on the moon,” she said. “So that’s a sort of technical challenge that the Artificial Museum was really keen to take on.”

Sébastien Pitt, a professional artist working in digital arts, Interaction Design, Animation, 3D Design, and Sound Design described his artwork as a digital megalith that substantiates coveted ore and rare earth elements found in our finite concrete world.

“The piece addresses the underlying technological shortages that our world faces in rendering the limitless content creation of an ever-growing metaverse,” he said.

People can also access the exhibition virtually.

To access the event, people can go to or scan the QR code in person. Then download the Mozilla WebXR Viewer app for the full experience and select the artwork.

Virtually, it also works if online visitors go to and choose the artwork “SHOW 3D EXPERIENCE.”

Hope Peterson, a media artist and filmmaker working in experimental, documentary and installation genres, said the project is a big deal because they did have to give people support to make this leap into thinking in these dimensions where you’re in an immersive dimensional reality.

“A lot of artists have had experience working in 3D design, sculpture, sound, performance, dance, and things like that. But for most people, it was their first project using augmented reality,” she said.

Peterson said that the exhibition is not a commercial project at all, which is actually kind of ground-breaking because a lot of augmented reality is being used for promotional sort of wow elements. This is more curated work, but also skill development.

“It was a learning experience to make 3D stuff. And it was really cool to have that community. Other people that are learning the same thing at that was probably my favourite way to learn there because there was like a tagline, there were a bunch of people doing it with me,” Dawkins said.

Piller said an exhibition offered a chance for artists to move in, to expand their repertoire.

“People are learning the tools and they’re kind of crossover from one practice to actually lots of crossovers because the people are all the artists are esteemed, experienced artists having careers already,” she said.

The artists met for the first time in Toronto. Months of workflow had taken place at Zoom. But on May 18, they gathered at Nathan Phillips Square to celebrate their invisible-visible exhibition.

Visitors need only a mobile phone to have the ability to experience new technologies.

Through the use of voice apps, users will be able to listen to descriptive metadata texts describing the artworks, making the exhibition accessible to viewers with visual impairments.

The exhibition will be available all summer in different locations across Toronto. Everyone can experience a thrilling journey beyond reality. The exact addresses are on the Artificial Museum website.