LA County Museum of Art, Snap launch AR monument collection

LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives explores the history of Los Angeles.

Imagine a famous monument that exists only on your phone. 

That’s the concept behind a multi-year initiative between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Snap, which have created five augmented reality monuments on the Snapchat camera. 

The project, LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, explores the history of Los Angeles Indigenous communities through digital monuments, created by artists including Mercedes Dorame, I.R. Bach, Glenn Kaino, Ruben Ochoa and Ada Pinkston. 

Each monument pays tribute to a different aspect of LA’s history, including the different generations that have passed along the 1932 L.A. Olympic marathon route, street vendors, and a tribute to Biddy Mason, respectively. 

The monuments can be experienced through the Snapchat camera at various locations, including at LACMA, MacArthur Park, Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 

“We’re thrilled to empower these artists and support their desire to share untold stories through a new perspective,” said Bobby Murphy, cofounder and CTO at Snap, in a press release. 

Snapchat users can “discover” the virtual monuments through markers on the Snapchat map, which will also share more details about each piece of work. Those not in L.A. can view the monuments through the LACMA mobile website

Snap and LACMA are also developing additional programming including podcasts, a docuseries and art kits to be presented throughout the year starting on Sunday, which is International Day for Monuments and Sites. 

The initiative is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest funder of the arts, culture and humanities in the U.S., which announced a $250 million, five-year commitment to investing in historical monuments in public spaces last year.

Funding will be used to expand Monumental Perspectives to include more artists as well as community engagement and public programming.  

Snap declined to comment for this story.

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