Orpheus is an anime created by San Francisco artist, Rudy Lemcke, to be viewed in Augmented Reality on a smart phone or tablet.

The project is currently sited in the Tenderloin National Forest in downtown San Francisco with plans for it to be installed in various venues in San Francisco and beyond – able to be viewed in multiple locations simultaneously.

[map address=”Tenderloin National Forrest, 509 Ellis St San Francisco, CA 94109 ” type=”roadmap” width=”100%” height=”300px” zoom=”14″ scrollwheel=”yes” scale=”yes” zoom_pancontrol=”yes”][/map]

Orpheus in the Tenderloin National Forest may be viewed on a smart phone or tablet as an Augmented Reality installation.

To see the anime, you’ll need to download the AR app Aurasma to your smart phone or tablet. See instructions below or go to the “Finding Orpheus Page” for more detailed instructions.

Then point your phone at the murals as you follow the path around the TNF garden. The animations will appear on the phone’s screen as a hidden layer of reality.

The project’s animations are triggered by the site’s/location and mapped onto the images of the murals.

[vimeo url=”http://vimeo.com/91810704″ width=”500″ height=”375″ fs=”0″ portrait=”0″]
[vimeo url=”http://vimeo.com/91810705″ width=”500″ height=”375″ fs=”0″ portrait=”0″]


The Myth of Orpheus

In the myth, Orpheus is given permission by the gods to descend to the underworld in order to retrieve his loved one, Eurydice, and lead her back into the light of day. Orpheus must promise not to look back at Eurydice until he reaches the upper world; but in his gaze backward at his love, Orpheus loses her forever. Orpheus’ descent into the underworld is to travel to the limit of the visible in order to see what precisely cannot be seen.

Orpheus as Fairy Tale

In my retelling of the myth of Orpheus, three magical creatures conjure-up the boy, Orpheus. Seeing his beauty and magical powers Orpheus is kidnapped and taken by the Dark Bride to the underworld. Panji Tomo – one of the fairies– descends through a series of game worlds in order to rescue his beloved Orpheus. Unable to execute the final directive of the game, he looks back at Orpheus and in this moment, Panji Tomo and Orpheus are transformed and return to their world.

The story is shifted away from the more traditional interpretive narrative of Eurydice as the Abyss, as Death, as the Unknowable, as the failed object of desire and the fount of poetic thought to an ontological re-framing of poesis (poetic thought); as already given, forgotten and remembered through an experiential acquisition and understanding of techne (the root of our modern word for technology). Orpheus is therefore a call for remembering this originary meaning of the word techne as the craft of knowing as art – and a call for a poetry of living.

About the Tenderloin National Forest
(For more information about The Luggage Store and the Tenderloin National Forest go to their website: http://www.luggagestoregallery.org/tnf/ )

Luggage Store Co-Artistic Directors/Artists Darryl Smith and Laurie Lazer have been working to transform Cohen Alley since 1989 from a health-hazard zone to a vibrant community commons where people of all ages can gather for public art, performance, experimental art projects. and classes and activities… Driven by experimentation, cooperation, volunteerism and inclusion, dialogue and food.

One of the very few open spaces in a high density neighborhood of over 40,000 culturally and ethnically diverse residents, TNF lies adjacent to two heavily trafficked inner city streets (Leavenworth running north and Ellis running east); and it is roughly 23 feet wide by 136 ft. deep. It is surrounded by multi- story residential buildings and hotels that house formerly homeless, immigrant individuals and families, as well as seniors, artists, active drug users, dealers and others.

Over the years, Lazer and Smith have organized murals to be painted on all sides of the Alley, produced and presented hundreds of performances and cultural events, planted trees, vegetables, herbs, flowers, built a small “ green” structure with a living roof, a staging area, seating, a clay oven, and upgraded lighting.

In May 2009 The Alley was reclaimed as “The Tenderloin National Forest.” With recent funding from the San Francisco Art Commission/Creative Space Fund and the Mayor’s Office, Community Challenge Grant, a series of physical improvements were completed.

The Tenderloin National Forest is now dynamic, and is one of the most peaceful, quiet and inspirational areas in then neighborhood.

The name “Tenderloin National Forest” came from Marco Crescenti, a student at SF State University during Sarah Lewison’s residency in the alley…The alley’s original name is Cohen Place.

Orpheus was developed with an individual artist commission grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.