20 North Main St (also enter on 224 Benefit Street) Providence, RI 02903

The museum is closed today.

a resource about art and its making


By Markus Berger and Michael Grugl
  • RISDM 53-317

Activating This Augmented-Reality Work

Transmutation can be viewed on tablets and iOS and Android smartphones. Any iPad 3 or newer, iPad Mini 2 or newer, or iPhone 5 or newer should work. Mid- to high-end Android devices that are three years old or newer should work. Even if your device doesn’t fit this description, the application may still work.

1) Download and install ENTiTi. This app will allow your device to load Transmutations.
- AppStore link
- Play Store link

2) Load Transmutation. On starting the ENTiTi app, you will find two sections to choose. Select AR, then type Transmutation in the search field and select the first suggestion. Depending on your connection speed and the processing capability of your device, the loading time can take a few seconds or a few minutes.

3) View Transmutation. This step requires a copy of Manual Issue 7. If you don’t have it, you can download the cover via the ENTiTi app and print it.

Place the cover image front of you and point your device’s camera at it. Leave your camera pointed at the image during the time the program runs. As long as you keep the camera pointed at the cover, you may move around within the image. The program will adapt its imagery accordingly.

If you are interested in further exploring the underlying concept of augmented reality, please visit This site currently offers a free creator application for Apple and Windows computers, as well as tutorials on how to create your own augmented and virtual realities.

More About This Work

Transmutation, an augmented-reality work by RISD professors Markus Berger and Michael Grugl, interprets and contextualizes the cover image for Manual Issue 7. The Sorceress, a 17th-century print by the Dutch artist Jan van de Velde, examines societal issues through a bleak scene depicting death; demonic, animal-like spirits; and an alluring sorceress.

To the old alchemists, chemistry was an art, not science. They sought to convert one physical substance into another, such as lead into gold. Berger and Grugl’s augmented-reality work relates to alchemical processes by imitating chemical color changes and providing a playful narration of the main characters in the scene. The Sorceress becomes the source and starting material for Berger and Grugl’s work, which outlines the demonization of sexual lust in the past and points to current demagoguery, and suggests that Van de Velde’s critique of the Dutch golden age may be as politically relevant for our times as when it was made.

Please head to to learn more about this work and how to activate it on your mobile device.


Barbara Kruger, “Implying demagoguery is death to dialogue and mutual understanding,”


Sergey Cheremisinov, “Pulsar,” (licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License).

Zinaida Trokai, “The Spirit of Russian Love,” (licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License). 

Krackatoa, “The Passing of Time,” (licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License).