Art Alive

Art Alive is an interactive experience that provides users a chance to delve deeply into culture, history and art in a way that was not previously possible.  Art Alive takes the form of a museum or gallery installation tailored specifically to a location's needs.  It takes the form of of an educational tool that uses technology to bring a deeper level of engagement for students with curriculum.  It takes the form as a mobile application for person use at home. 

The product takes existing pieces of art, culture and history and brings them to life using technology.  Pinnguaq animates existing pieces of art, photographs or digitally recreates cultural items to allow users to interact, learn and have fun with them in ways that the item itself doesn’t allow.  Art Alive creates experiences around these authentic items that both entertain and educate.  

Existing iterations of Art Alive include the following (Click for Further Information);

Aeroplane VR Aeroplane Journey Into Fantasy
Imposed Migration Rewarded For A Succesful Hunt Spot The Differences
Shaman's Domain

Aeroplane VR: In addition the the touch screen gaming experiences that we have developed, we have also created a VR interactive experience around the 1972 print, “Aeroplane” by Pudloo Pudlat of Cape Dorset.  In this piece the user is placed in the middle of an art gallery, the various prints of “Art Alive” hanging on the wall.  Outside the window the user can see elements of the print “Aeroplane”, fully rendered and in game.  

After a few minutes of exploring the room and interacting with various objects from the Aeroplane print, the room starts to flood and the user is placed directly in the centre of the Aeroplane print, brought to life.  The mountains stand in front of him, and behind him the Aeroplane from the print appears in full 3D and passes overhead and moves behind the mountains.  The print is alive and through narration by our own Ame Papatsie, the user hears the history of the piece as it moves around him.

Aeroplane is a 1972 print from Pudlo Pudlat of Cape Dorset.  It was made into a Canadian postage stamp and tells the story of the introduction of the Aeroplane to Nunavut.  When Aeroplan’s arrived in Nunavut communities, it was a community even.  People would run to the airport to see the landing and watch what came off and who would be getting on.  It was the supply line to the rest of the world and the centre of community life.  

The game we created around Aeroplane is an endless runner.  Using only assets from the original print, the user takes control of the “yellow shirt” man and races along the ice floes, trying to stay ahead of the planes.  The user must navigate tricky jumps and avoid splashing water which will induce a “hypothermia” effect in which the screen blurs.   Score is tracked by how long you can stay alive.  Allowing the plane to get ahead of you, or falling in the water, ends the run.  

Journey into Fantasy is a 1986 print from Pudlo Pudlat of Cape Dorset.  It shows a fantastical scene that combines various elements of both past and present Inuit life.  Aeroplanes are seen strapped to the back of qamutik and being flown into the sky by fish, over fields of ice.  It is a genuine Journey into Fantasy.

The game we created around Journey into Fantasy is an action/runner style game in which the user can switch between the two realities created by Pudlo.    The user progresses along the water and must either duck under the water or fly above the various icebergs that populate the screen.  The user is tasked with balancing oxygen (for use underwater) and fuel (for use when flying above) and has to balance collecting additional supplies with avoiding the obstacles.

Imposed Migration is a 1981 print from Pudlo Pudlat of Cape Dorset.  It contains four simple images.  A helicopter, a Muskox, a Polar Bear and a Walrus.  The three creatures are hanging from the Helicopter.    This print, like the others Pudlo created tell the story of the introduction of machines to the North and his experience seeing the forced relocation of both his own people and the animals they had lived in harmony with for many years.  

The game we created around this print is a helicopter pickup simulator.    Users are tasks with flying a Helicopter over open water, pulling animals away from broken ice and bringing them to a central location.  The user must balance the weight of each animal as the Helicopter can only hold so much, and they are racing against a setting sun.  The goal is to get as many animals as possible to safety before the sun sets.  

Rewarded for a Successful Hunt is a 2011 print from Poena Keyuryak of Pangnirtung.  The print, as told to us directly from Peona who helped developed the piece we prepared tells the story of his grandfather who was a Shaman.  It combines transformation and imagination to tell a story about around belief, the land and food.  It features a large bird creature that is greeting the protagonists after a successful hunt.  Peona explains that often hunters would be surprised by these spirit creatures on the land and it would lead to conflict, before finally understanding as it is revealed they are there to help.

For the game for “Reward for A Successful Hunt” we rely on this initial conflict and confusion to tell a story.  Leaning on ideas like Shadow of the Colossus, this game has the player performing strategic jumps to climb the body of the gigantic bird creature and disable it.  Timed jumping sequences and strategic timing and maneuvering make this a complex and entertaining game that ultimately leads to understanding.  

Shaman’s Domain is a 1986 print from Peterloosie Kappik of Pangnirtung, Nunavut.  Shamanism was an important religious practice pre-Christianity and it led the way Inuit communities ran and functioned.  Shamans were of key import in a community and this picture depicts a time “pre-contact” and the beauty of the culture at that point.

The game we created for Shaman’s Domain is a narrative adventure.  It tells a deeply personal story that travels through a variety of different game mechanics to tell a story of the introduction of Christianity and the “taboo’ing” of traditional shamanistic practices.  The user starts by tapping the drum on the screen until it shatters the print, and then progresses through 4 unique interactive experiences to bring the print “back to life”.  Through a fire puzzle, the user re-lights the “Qulliq” (traditional lamp), through a tracing game they bring back the drum and through a side scroller the user brings colour back to the world and reforms the print.

Using all of the prints listed above we have also created a classic take on “Spot the Differences” type of game play.  Intended and available both for gallery installations in which the original print is available as a comparison, or as a dual screen experience in which the original print is compared to a randomized series of differences that are procedurally generated by the system.  The user has three chances to find at minimum, five differences.  Each of our prints listed above is available as a spot the differences game.  

Each experience is different and each time the game is started, it is a new series of differences, but the challenge remains.  A timer is in place that slowly works it’s way down (each user has 1 minute to spot five differences), and for each error the user makes, they lose 5 additional seconds.  The entire experience is complimented by lessons about the printmaking style, form and artistic process.