The Gimzo and the Gaze: Discerning VR, the Virtual and Virtuality through a Select Micro-History—1977 to the present.

In 1988, Bay Press in Seattle published “Vision and Visuality,” edited by the cultural writer and art historian, Hal Foster. The book is a collection of transcripts and essays by historians, teachers and theorists who participated in a 1987 symposium, organized by Foster and the Dia Foundation on the “modes of vision.” “Vision and Visuality” was part of a series of publications called, “Discussions in Contemporary Culture.” … More The Gimzo and the Gaze: Discerning VR, the Virtual and Virtuality through a Select Micro-History—1977 to the present.

Endless Flow

One of Paola Esobar’s visions for the NPC tool was to create an unending mass of bodies, flowing past the viewer. The bodies would be in all shapes and varieties, at all scales and in as many forms as possible. Though domain limitations prevented a truly overwhelming crowd, we generated a busy path filled with … More Endless Flow

Mastering the (Chief) Body

The avatar body can of course collide with objects when scripted to, but the recorded avatar, being merely a ghost, holds no such weight (or rather, mass). One’s current avatar, for example, can pass through the body of one’s previous avatar. A double identification can occur. What are the implications of passing through one’s own … More Mastering the (Chief) Body

Ignorant Avatars

I began a collaboration with movement researcher and choreographer Paola Escobar to investigate the translation of movement into virtual space via VR hardware. We began with a series of dance experiments using High Fidelity’s avatar recording tool. We tried to find and examine the liminal edge of translation, where the software’s extrapolation of a complete … More Ignorant Avatars

Virtual Glitch

Soon after entry into High Fidelity, an unexpected value of working with beta software becomes apparent – moments of glitch offer a terrain of unpredictable interactivity. Surprising spatial moments and shifts in physics, embodiment, and interactivity can be a dynamic tool for producing uncertainty. One’s environment can suddenly open into a void, and one’s body … More Virtual Glitch

Avatar as Object

To continue my exploration of empathy and identification, I chose an avatar with the fewest physical features – a dark grey robot-like skeleton. I wanted to see how far I could counter the promise of being whomever you want online by removing as much of an identity as possible, and seeing what was left. The … More Avatar as Object

Fidelity

The following posts trace my investigations of networked VR through a creative partnership between The Center for Integrated Media and High Fidelity. Considering High Fidelity, a VR sandbox game, as a performance interface allows for an expanded approach to embodiment, translation, choreography, social media, and glitch. The first decision a player makes is what body … More Fidelity

HugWorld

In addition to entering public space with my hug models, I am constructing private spaces for viewers to play with them. Again turning to VR, I am constructing a series of environments using a game engine to give players access to these models via the ultimate empathy machine. In my desert-like virtual landscape, rubberized hugs … More HugWorld

Virtual Gesture

Searching for new indexical means to record moments and movements, I have begun to trace motion using VR controllers, staging hugs and other greeting gestures. The audiences of these gestures are Oculus Rift sensors. The participants’ self-awareness is heightened beyond my previous photographic staging; controllers and cables make the whole enterprise more cumbersome and staged. … More Virtual Gesture