Reality generation notes
F15 Overview

The spaces that we want to develop are situations that are both strange and comforting; in which you can easily get lost, or can be very purposeful; where you can choose to be alone or explore with others… It is a place where you don't 'have to' do anything, but where your attention and motion entices the environment to unfold.

A world that is aware of itself, and aware of you within it (either as a disturbance, a replenishment or a mating partner).

Responsive environments are works that have to be conceived from outside the self. Their realities are shaped through constant negotiation between artistic intention of the makers, and the expectation of the public. They feed on the tension between the dynamics of the physical world and that of a simulated, fictional one. They give voice to gestures, colour to motion, rhythm to invisible vibration. As such, responsive environments have a great expressive potential, where the line between the author and the consumer of the work becomes distorted and torn to pieces. But how does one design for such expression. What concepts and designs can bring forth these 'universes of the irreal', in which reality and fiction become con-fused and actuated?

Slowly, the fog in our heads began dissolving, allowing brief glimpses into an irreal and imaginary universe that could provide a temporary dwelling for anyone with a wish to experience a strangely familiar, but slightly alien world.

The universe that we attempted to shape within TRG in order to make the leap into the 5th reality was designed around 5 main traits; compact, alive, entangled, charged and infinite. By being compact, we implied magnifying a minuscule universe that can be found in a grain of sand, in which every point in one dimension can contain a world so rich, yet so invisible to a casual passer-by.

The things that are touched, tasted, seen and heard in our environments are of both physical and digital nature, both actual architectures and virtual spaces. These zones may appear vague or indeterminate horizons to a casual visitor, but if you pay them enough attention and commit to a certain amount of time within them, they can become rich and articulate.

The glue that made it possible to stick the separate components into a consistent reality-field was the sense of touch. The physical elements (such as costumes, stretchable and inflatable architecture, varied tactile forms and textures) were shaped to amplify their tactile qualities, e.g. smooth, wet, pocky, solid, unbalanced. The soundscape echoed as a multitude of atmospheric vibrations propagating through different volumes and surfaces (as a wind passing through tensed silk, as a swarm of sonic grains bouncing within the vacuous chambers of the rubber blob…). The graphics changed lightness and density of the space, making the air appear thicker or sparser…

In any event, we nuance the notion of public by distinguishing community from society, where society is not simply a union or a web of black-box communities but a vibratory medium in which communities can absorb influences and find dis/harmonics with distant communities. It is the rich confusion of our physical world, together with the instability of the virtual one, that allows hybrid public spaces to emerge. After a long period of individualization, people are urgently forming bonds across the globe, and these bonds need a lot of room to grow. The debate about what constitutes public space and the activities that evolve in them is not new. Every society infected by the notion of the Greek polis has its own ambivalent relationship with this concept of public space. On one hand, public space is necessary to mediate a community, on the other, it has a great subversive power. Historically, public spaces were not only a home to sellers, buyers and news-broadcasters, but also to alternatives, radicals, thieves and jesters. Building a public space is a project in which the whole community contributes to build a place where both personal and public memories can be stored and reused, a place that ties society together in rituals and commons.

We pay attention to aspects of these public spaces that could inform our approach to hybrid or augmented spaces. These aspects include material resistances, territory, temporality and synchronicity and ritual, commitment and empathy, the aesthetic span between logic and sensuality. Both mentioned historical examples and public experiments that we conduct today should be fully lived interactive experiences, spaces based on the temporal rhythms of emergence and disappearance, where the experience is a synergy of an eerie ambience, smells, sounds, change and exchange, memory, prophecy and ecstatic dance. The language of the these spaces is alive and shared among its participants, not owned by anyone, but spontaneously generated by everyone, in all variety of individual argot.

But perhaps now we can build a more subtle form of immune system, that lives in the interstitial fluid inside and outside our hybrid bodies. An immune system that doesn't simply destroy or eject alien objects, but modifies the habits of the body in order to accommodate the presence of other living processes.

  • Construction of live spaces from the detritus of a “dead” public space;
  • Turning parking lots into parks using digital means;
  • Working with heat as pliable media;
  • Transforming clothing into dance-writing;
  • Building a media sauna in which people sweat out the toxic icons, dead metaphors and routinized lingo that have been embossed into our bodies;
  • Constructing an alchemical field in which the participants instigate processes of transformation and transmutation;
  • Developing a network of public gardens and inhabiting them not only with the local bio-diversity, but with global arts and media, by organizing an itinerant festival taking place in the gardens instead of in convention centers;
  • Taking the media out of the computer and into the physical world, inflating the two-dimensionality of the digital media into real life, allowing a continuous, natural interaction between the physical and the virtual.

We are looking to expand the thin data channel of computer-mediated “sense” beyond what humans are currently capable of with the hope that, for example, humans might one day touch over distance, simultaneously see in multiple directions, or have their “ears” distributed through different environments and time frames.

The [TGarden] system sensed and analyzed player movements, providing the media systems with both raw motion data and a range of “cooked” data. From this, the system could derive such things as one player’s compound activity, the players’ proximity to each other, and activity over time or average energy levels (by accumulating the total movement of one or more players). The graphics and sound systems could then use this information to modulate the realtime composition of the visual and sonic shapes.

The [TRG] environment is modeled as a “membrane universe” shaped by fictional equivalents of the four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces.

The TRG model moves further away from statebased dynamics, constructing a media world shaped by simulated forces that are assigned to particular qualities of the participant’s actions. We based the system on a fantastic physics that lets the space grow, decay, compact, or expand on the basis of different actions it perceives. With this approach, we hope to come closer to our ideal responsive environment: a free form, spontaneous space with a consistent aesthetic, yet indeterminate evolution, that people from a range of cultures, ages, and backgrounds can experience.

  • f15/reality_generation_extracts.txt
  • Last modified: 2015-04-22 09:27
  • by alkan