About the project

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? If you did, do you still have a relationship with him or her? If not, why not? And if you never had an imaginary friend growing up, do you feel like you missed out on something special? Maybe even something important?

There are lots of things that count as imaginary, not just imaginary friends. But too often we are told not to believe in the imagination, as though somehow we would need to prove it was there before anyone might take it seriously. This project takes a different approach, suggesting that our lives are made richer by engaging with the imaginary, and that in fact the imagination already surrounds us everywhere we look. And so, instead of refusing to believe in the imagination, why not make friends with it instead?

Imaginary Friends is an augmented reality (AR) public art project that asks participants to share stories of their imaginary friends in visual and written forms. Contributions to the project are exhibited in geo-located public spaces and are accessible by using a free smartphone app. The project is ongoing, with new contributions always welcome. Currently there are 2 live public installations of the project, one in Victoria, BC, Canada and one in Bothell, WA, USA. Details about these installations are available from the menu or by clicking on the maps below: