Project Profile:

Mapping Ararat: An Imaginary Jewish Homelands Project

Archived Project


Description: Mapping Ararat is an augmented reality project that navigates through an imaginary Jewish homeland.  It offers the user/participant the tools to imagine an alternative historical outcome for Major Mordecai Noah’s plan to turn Grand Island, New York into Ararat, a city of refuge for the Jews during the 1820’s. Utilizing cutting-edge digital media technologies such as augmented reality and simulated cartography, this project gives Ararat a virtual chance to become the Jewish homeland that its founder had envisioned nearly two centuries ago. The project consists of an on-site augmented reality walking tour that haunts the contemporary landscape of Grand Island as well as an interactive cartographic landscape set up in a 3D virtual world within a gallery installation. In addition, Mapping Ararat generates the vernacular artifacts common to all modern nation-states whether money, postcards or newspapers.


  • Louis Kaplan, Professor of History and Theory of Photography and New Media, University of Toronto, and Chair, Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto, Mississauga
  • Melissa Shiff, Research Associate, Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology at York University
  • John Craig Freeman, Public Artist and Associate Professor, New Media, Emerson College
  • Sarah James, Graphic Design
  • Reena Katz, Soundscape
  • Elizabeth Hirst, 3D Modelling
  • Ultan Byrne, 3D Modelling
  • Niki Sehmbi, Photoshop
  • Stev’nn Hall, After Effects

Funders: SSHRC

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