The edge of VR

9 January 2010 | by | In Uncategorized

As we were discussing ways in which the virtual is physically manifested, I remembered going to Ars Electronica in 2002 and visiting their virtual reality lab. The space was filled with various projections using game engines to create virtual ‘caves’. You put on goggles, gloves, and went into these cubes to experience an imaginary world.

The worlds themselves were unmemorable, unimportant. The entire time I was singly conscious of the gloves, the weight of the goggles, footsteps, the conversation of people around me, the fabric of the screens, the darkness of the space.. perhaps over time these would be less noticeable, but this edge between the virtual and real was interesting, a consciousness of the ‘other’, which it seems most virtual worlders try to erase.


5 November 2009 | by | In Uncategorized

We have been thinking of different ways to show [here][now]. The project begins through a series of workshops in or near the final installation. Using individual experiences, of a sense of place, of city or town, we distill a set of ‘elements’. These are a distillation of how the workshop participants understand the physical and virtual influences around them.

The installation then, is an expression of the workshops, where we try to create a set of dynamic codes that correspond to an experience of place. These installations can be formal – in a museum of gallery setting as at Incheon, or can be informal, spontaneous events that take place on an outside wall or other non-standard place.

see workshops

see installation at the Incheon Digital Art Festival


4 June 2009 | by | In process

At our presentation in Montalvo, as we were talking about the creation of places by avatars, Rory mentioned my fascination with the erasure of memory. Which leads to the following story. Continue reading Erasure…

cynical vs critical

21 May 2009 | by | In process

A question we are often being asked when describing the project is something like “So you guys are really into Second Life?” Which is a bit like asking someone who has made an experimental, abstract, or avant-garde film whether or not they are a fan of Hollywood blockbusters. Virtual reality (with its various software incarnations like Second Life, World of Warcraft, etc) is an interesting idea and one worth challenging and exploring. Cynical is boring, critical is interesting. Further extending the analogy to film is the idea that virtual reality, social media, etc is really just yet another instance of “the spectacle”, and how the only way to challenge the medium is to engage it.

We took a nice hike today … walked up through a redwood grove to the top of a small hill and sat on a bench with a really nice view.

be here now?

19 May 2009 | by | In process

So we have modified the project title yet again to “[here][now]“.  Where each word is a variable that should be replaced by the appropriate values for the person saying it.

In sharing this with some friends, people have mentioned an allusion to Be Here Now by Ram Das, which is a sort of New Age book about spirituality and meditation from the 70′s. We are ok with this. An important point of the book is an emphasis on living in the present moment. These ideas are not unrelated to those we are attempting to address with this project. In fact, even the word “avatar” is an English interpretation of a Sanskrit word meaning literally “descent”, but usually implying “a deliberate descent from higher spiritual realms to lower realms of existence for special purposes” [wikipedia].

© Walczak & Solomon