Mapping Ararat

Publication/Creation Date
Melissa Shiff (creator)
Louis Kaplan (creator)
John Craig Freeman (creator)
Layar AR (contributor)
Media Type
Persuasive Intent
Discursive Type
Mapping Ararat digitally actualizes an early plan for a prospective Jewish state in New York, which was initiated and patronized by Mordechai Noah in the early nineteenth century. In the Mapping Ararat app, visitors to Grand Island, NY, are invited to explore the never realized Ararat community, imagining how such a Jewish colony would look if it had been developed. The tour contains 24 digital monuments and structures accompanied by audio tracks describing the settings.

This app demonstrates the AR category of Counterfactual Histories. In this category, counterfactual histories are visualized through AR interfaces and developed to pose the question of alternative futures. In this case, the virtual content represents events that did not happen, but could have happened. These scenarios were possible but did not actualize. 

Read more: 
Kaplan, Louis. "Mapping Ararat: Augmented Reality, Virtual Tourism, and Grand Island’s Jewish Ghosts ". C/R: The New Centennial Review 13, no. 2 (2013): 239-64.

Kaplan, Louis and Melissa Shiff. "Mapping Ararat: An Augmented Reality Walking Tour for an Imaginary Jewish Homeland." Anthrovision 4, no. 2 (2016).

Shiff, Melissa. "Mapping Ararat: An Imaginary Jewish Homelands Project."  

HCI Platform
Relation to Body
Related Body Part
Marketing Keywords
Mapping Ararat

Date archived
September 25 2020
Last edited
July 5 2021
How to cite this entry
Melissa Shiff, Louis Kaplan, John Craig Freeman. (2014). "Mapping Ararat". Fabric of Digital Life.