Augmented Reality Face-Filters as Art

An exhibition as part of the Swiss Interactive Media Design Day 22: un\real

As an accompanying programme to the Swiss Interactive Media Design Day, this exhibition shows how augmented reality technologies are currently finding their way into art and design. AR exemplifies how the virtual and physical worlds are constantly converging and merging, how we can no longer think of one sphere without the other. In the form of face filters on Instagram and other social media, AR technology has long since found its way onto private devices.

The exhibition "Very F***ing Real! Augmented Reality Face-Filters as Art" aims to show how artists are using this technology.


How do I want to look on the internet?

Can I be someone else?

What is real on social media?

Augmented reality makes it possible for us to change our appearance, our face, with a click. A face filter on social media conjures up an even complexion, full lips and doe eyes or transforms us into a cute animal in an instant. This may seem like a harmless game and fun entertainment. But the trend inevitably leads to the spread of unrealistic ideals of beauty that are hardly achievable without technical assistance. The resulting phenomenon of trying to match one's own face to the face-filter optimised face is called "Snapchat Dysmorphia". Health organisations are now campaigning for digitally manipulated images to be labelled.

However, the real-time manipulability of one's own face does not only have an impact on the beauty industry: when people can suddenly speak with the face of others, the distinction between real and fake news becomes almost impossible. It should also be borne in mind that the data from facial recognition technology that is collected when face filters are used belongs to a few American mega-companies. What use the face tracking data will find in the future, apart from training face recognition algorithms, remains to be seen.

The AR Face Filters developed by artists in this exhibition address these very questions, using AR technology and social media platforms to subversively address these issues with their slightly different face filters.


Ines Alphais an internationally recognized digital artist who started experimenting with 3D while digging the beauty, fashion, and luxury industries as an art director. She then started to develop her signature style: 3D makeup. Using 3D software and augmented reality to combine makeup with tech, Alpha unfolds a forward-thinking approach to create ethereal, futuristic narratives and a new future within the beauty space. She has collaborated with the creative industry's biggest names such as Dior, Burberry, or Selfridges and some of the pop scene's top artists like Charli XCX, BIBI, or Yelle. Her works have been exhibited in the group shows such as Aquaria, MAAT, Lisbon (2021), Meta.Morf X, Trondheim International Biennale (2020), Link in Bio, Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig (2019), CADAF Miami (2019) and at many other Festival at the intersection of digital art and design. She lives in Paris.


Harriet Davey is a3D-designer with a special interest in characters. She practices art in a digital format using a selection of softwares to create virtual work. Harriet likes to describe her artistic outcomes as ‘visual vomit’. From Instagram face filters to 3D animations, Harriet has immersed her skills into the wondrous world of futurism.Obsessed with "questioning what it means to be fluid and human in a digital world", her work examines and interrogates the ugly and the beautiful; the maximum and the minimum; the online and the offline.

Harriet is definitely one of the young creative minds at the forefront of contemporary digital art. She has worked with Maison Margiela, Nike, Samsung, Weekday, Marvel, VICE, Jägermeister, KVK, Audemars Piguet, Adult Swim, and Dress X. She lives in Berlin and London.


Jess Herrington explores digital sensory experiences in augmented reality, such as touch, taste, scent, vision, and sound. She creates surreal worlds, exploring how we represent ourselves in the age of the internet. Herrington’s work experiments with how we see ourselves and others through play and interaction.She has collaborated with international brands such as Sephora France, Longchamp NYC, National Gallery of Australia, Instagram, Facebook and Her visions UK. She is currently completing an euro science PhD at the Australian National University. Herrington lives in Canberra.


Rosa Hirn has her creative background in jewelry design, crafts, fashion and theater. After starting two labels of her own, she had to break new ground in 2020 because of the pandemic. So she decided to combine her penchant for expressive head jewelry with her passion for digital design and started developing AR filters. She is particularly interested in creating a new, different self-impression for the user. This is how she draws the bow to jewelry, which is also meant to create an extension of the personality. Today she works at headraft, where she develops AR effects for social media. Rosa Hirn lives and works in Berlin.


Johanna Jaskowska works in the realm of augmented reality, exploring the possibilities of technology and how it can alter and enhance our perceptions of reality. Drawing on cutting-edge tech, she takes inspiration from the rich worlds of cinema, photography, beauty, fashion, sub-culture as well as concepts of the future and identity.

Jaskowska has established herself as a pioneering next-gen digital creative and achieved a great deal of recognition from the world’s leading cultural publications and trend-forecasters. From creating distinctive AR filters which have gone viral onInstagram; collaborating with a range of brands in the fields of beauty, fashion, music, and car-manufacturing; designing the world’s first piece of digital haute couture, as well as devising conceptual devices that would radically transform how we interact with the world around us, the scope of her unique vision is vast.

Driven by curiosity and restless creativity, Johanna Jaskowska continues to look toward the future and work at the vanguard of emerging new technologies. The selection of brands she has worked with reads as follows: Adidas, XBOX, Nike, Farfetch, Lady Gaga, The Fabricant and New Tendency. Jaskowska lives in Portland.


Keiken is an artist collective, co-founded by Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramosin 2015. Keiken’s collective title is taken from the Japanese word for experience; the lived experience being an idea at the core of their practice. They are collaboratively building and imagining a Metaverse to simulate new structures and ways of existing and to test-drive possible futures. The metaverse is a fully immersive virtual space of multiple worlds which allows Keiken to become the architects and collaborators of the future. The metaverse pierces our perceptions of reality and defies all that we know. Keiken creates these speculative worlds through filmmaking, gaming, installation, Extended Reality(XR), blockchain and performance. Through these varied mediums they explore how societal introjection governs the way we feel, think and perceive. Based between London and Berlin, they come from mixed diasporic backgrounds (Mexican/Japanese/European/Jewish).


Andy Picci studied Photography at the Cantonal School of Arts in Lausanne (ECAL), Visual Communication at the École Supérieure des Arts Modernes (ESAM) in Paris and obtained a Master in Fine Arts at Central Saint-Martins (CSM UAL) in London. His work was recently exhibited in the group shows The Artist is Online, Galerie König, Berlin (2021), Link in Bio, Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig (2019), Futures of Love, Magasins Généraux, Paris (2019) and in the solo exhibition iSOLATION. is it over yet? on the Instagram account of OÖ Landes-Kultur, Linz, (2020). His work revolves around the phenomenon of celebrity culture, our relationship to social media, and the profound quest for identity in the age of hyper-digitalization.Andy Picci is fascinated by the torments of generations Y, Z and Alpha. He lives in Paris and Lausanne.