An Immersive Virtual Environment Installation by Garth Paine (Development, Programming, Sound)
Animation - Rebecca Young
This installation uses audio and animation/video to create a three-dimensional virtual environment which is sensitive to human presence and movement patterns. Twenty sensors (floor pads and light beams) transmit information about how many people <BODY(S)> are in the room, their position, direction and speed of movement.
A Macintosh computer acts as the central controller, collecting the trigger input information, analysing that data and controlling, according to the behavioural patterns within the space, a network of 4 animation computers projecting their output into the environment through 4 LCD projectors. It also controls six CD-ROM drives providing interactive audio. A six speaker set up is used with the addition of a sub-woofer. The trigger input uses a custom designed ADB interface and proprietary software developed by Garth Paine.
Initially, the environment is a primitive, green, hushed state. Each dimensional plane is constructed of a grid of individual images, that initially create one image. Each person (<BODY>) entering the room acts as an irritant to the space. As the <BODY(S)> move throughout the space individual image elements morph into other animated elements and evolve before making way for a transition to another world. In this way the inhabited environment evolves through the serene to the mechanised to the chaotic. The environment is soothed by movement. In order to maintain a serene state, the <BODY(S)> must move more and more rapidly. The environment reverts to a serene state when uninhabited.
The sound evolves and accentuates the visual environment in symbiosis with the animation, whilst also providing a sense of spacialisation within the room.
This installation is designed to reflect on the paradox of the human/machine relationship: we use technology to avoid the dangers of the natural world, but as life becomes less dangerous the human population explodes and we need more technology to sustain us. Thus we are enslaved by the machine and we have to work harder and harder to develop and build new technologies.
The development of immersive interactive environments is an attempt to go beyond the screen-based paradigm of so much multimedia, which, I suggest, alienates the audience from the content and the experience.
Images from the Installation For your eyes only and perhaps a few other people ;-)
To another installation Moments of a Quiet Mind (MQM)