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


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

Modeled Behavior (part II)

To learn about a hug one must actually experience a hug. Without wrapping your arms around a body, descriptions, visualizations, and models fall short. In parallel with plastic scale models, I am rendering body-scale models for viewers to interact with physically. The initial iteration of these huggable data is a mobile AR application. A small … More Modeled Behavior (part II)

Modeled Behavior (part I)

I have been investigating virtual intimacy: To create a prototype of virtual intimacy, I needed to locate bodies in virtual networks and render them visible. I also had to take the networks themselves into account. I began with my social media network, asking my Facebook friends to physically gather and hug one another. I photographed … More Modeled Behavior (part I)

Ghost Bodies

Virtual reality has a cultural connection to the supernatural; if the virtual is immaterial, then the supernatural might thus be virtual. Ghosts and specters are tangible insofar as they move from an immaterial origin to reside in physical space. The crux of gothic drama is the paranormal’s visibility or tangibility in our space. While there, … More Ghost Bodies

Put It On Your Face

I remember using a View-Master toy as a child. I can recall being in kindergarten and holding the red plastic viewer to my face, and looking at a forest. My memory is decidedly not of the illusionistic sense of depth achieved via stereoscopy. In fact my first association with these toys is their object-ness, not … More Put It On Your Face

2017-18 Viralnet Research Fellow – Tyler Calkin

Tyler Calkin is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited and performed in art and educational institutions around the world, including Cercle Blanc Gallery in Berlin, studio1.1 in London, Tsinghua University in Beijing, KUArt in Nepal, Tec de Monterrey in Mexico, Centre for the Living Arts in Mobile, AL, and … More 2017-18 Viralnet Research Fellow – Tyler Calkin