(transcript of a talk at On Borders and Edges)
first, i would like to thank Maja for having me here, as we meet in many different places, but this is the first time we are talking together on this in Brussels. I am based in Brussels and i work with a number of laboratories, what i am going to talk about is activities Ive been involved in since 1998 to 2003. On the mixed reality continuum, as previously presented, i will cover the 'augmented virtuality' part. what is interesting is how we are moving here from different angles and trying to show th landscape can be quite complex, yet each of us are looking thru our own windows onto that complex landscape. to come back to the notion of augmented reality and augmented virtuality, imagine a virtual space where you see an image of a real person, this would be augmenting the virtual space with real elements.
I will show you a project we have been doing in 1998/99 where the idea was to explore realtime video thru the Internet.
So, in 1995/96 i was working with the comic book artists Schuiten and Peeters i proposed to them different ways of exploring the 'mise en scene' of their universe on the web, ad trying to go beyond it. so i talked with a lab at Louvain-le-nouve, where they specialised in telesurveilance algorithms, things like monitoring cars on the highways and other utilitarian applications. So i asked if we could do something using these algorithms which is not particularly utilitarian, but which could explore new narrative modalities. We ended up doing something like this.
Here is a camera watching people walking on the street in Louvain-le-nouve, and in realtime their images were extracted and then put into a virtual space, this space was a reconstruction of elements of the obscure cities, Schuiten and Peeters. All the images we from the comic books, but they were mapped exactly onto the building as as they were seen by the cameras. So then, you would see people walking thru an imaginary city if you were watching on the internet.
This was the first kind of project i was involved in where there was the question of immersion into a virtual space with an assumption that the participants didn't have to wear gloves, helmets or so on. We tried to see how we could be interacting naturally within a virtual environment. What is important to note, is that people were filmed from far away, they are not aware of being being filmed, which brings in a lot of ethical issues and they don't participate directly in the narrative dramaturgy.
So as both Kristina and Vali have mentioned, children are our researchers.