Tuesday, June 08, 2010

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"Given Time": Mixed Reality Art Installation Connects Avatars Across Real Space

Speaking of the realness of avatar interaction, here's an intriguing and innovative mixed reality art installation that conveys a connection between two simulated people staring wordlessly at each other across real space:

"Given Time" was created by Nathaniel Stern (Natberg Sternberg in SL), head of digital production in the art college at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and was shown earlier this year at the Greylock art gallery in Massachusetts, but now that that show is over, the video suggests how profound it likely was (notwithstanding the over-explaining narrator.) More on it and the artist from Sitearm Madonna, who first alerted me to this work.


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Heh heh - the narrator is Nat.

I am trYIng to convince Nat to extend Given Time by simulcasting its real world presence (which reflects virtual SL avatars into real exhibit space) back into SL as a further reflection of real into virtual space. You know: create a new kind of recurring reflection related to but beyond standing between two mirrors, or having a video camera aimed at the video screen to which it is projecting.

That kind of reflection can lead to burnout or breakthrough, take your pick. Like the old Star Trek episode where Kirk defeats the Evil AI by telling it "This statement is a lie." It'll kill you or transcend you.

Nat's always coming up with weird - um I mean contemporary, innovative - concepts like this. He's a heck of an artist, teacher, and leader; and he's also hands-on practical (witness his ability to whip together a few PC chasses, projectors, not to mention custom SL avatar skins).

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