June 27, 2016 Anna Lowe

SMARTIFY and Sculpture in the City 2016

SMARTIFY partners with City of London’s public sculpture exhibition for it’s 6th Edition.

SMARTIFY is a London-based social enterprise whose mission is to enrich visits to art venues by creating meaningful connections with the artworks. We use the fastest image recognition technology to allow viewers to scan artworks and access engaging audio and video commentary, and also create a personal gallery.

We’re now bringing this mission out of museums and onto the streets. We have partnered with Sculpture in the City 2016 to provide on-demand information about contemporary sculptures now on show throughout London’s Square Mile.

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Jürgen Partenheimer, World Axis, 1997/2014, Bronze, Copyright the Artist courtesy of Michael Ulmer and White Cube.

The City of London’s annual public art programme, Sculpture in the City, places contemporary art works in unexpected locations, providing a visual juxtaposition to the capital’s insurance district. This year’s edition, the largest to date, showcases 17 works ranging considerably in scale.  A seven-metre high, cast-iron head, by Catalan sculptor Jaume Plensa peer over visitors to the Gherkin, while a series of delicate and playful lead paper chain sculptures by Peruvian artist, Lizi Sánchez, invite the attention of the more observant passer-by in multiple locations including Leadenhall Market, Bishopsgate and in and around the Cheesegrater.

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Sarah Lucas, Florian/Kevin, 2013, Bronze. Copyright the Artist, Courtesy of Sotheby’s and Sadie Coles HQ.


Ugo Rondinone, Sunrise. East. July / Sunrise. East. October, Cast Bronze, Silver Car Paint. Copyright the Artist courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ.

In many ways, public art is a perfect partner for SMARTIFY as our mission is to help people make meaningful connections with art. Often public art is outside, on the street, and without the wall labels, audio guides or a frames that help focus people’s attention when in a gallery. Now we can add a layer of interpretation to outdoor art through augmented reality.

At the launch of Sculptures in the City 2016, Vivienne Littlechild, the Chairman of City of London’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries, commented ‘The sculptures have the power to stop people in their tracks and it is a joy to see how they interact with them.’ With SMARTIFY this initial moment of curiosity at seeing an artwork can become something more profound as viewers instantly access more information about the artist and work. We have also added a map to the app so visitors who stumble across one sculpture can easily continue on the trail.

It’s hugely exciting to be able to add 3D sculpture to our platform and we look forward to future app developments as gallery and artist partners continue to define and shape the form artworks take.


Jaume Plensa, Laura, 2013, Cast Iron, Photo: Kenneth Tamaka

For more information on Sculpture in the City, visit the website here and follow updates via Twitter @sculpturecity, Instagram @visitthecity.

by Anna Lowe

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