T_Visionarium I

2004 Lille, France
Coauthors: Jeffrey Shaw, Neil Brown, Dennis Del Favero, Peter Weibel

T_Visionarium I premiered at Eurallile, Lille, France, as part of the 2004 European Capital of Culture Festival. It is an installation conceived specially for EVE (Extended Virtual Environment).

EVE (1993) pioneered a new form of interactive, immersive visualization environment and virtual reality apparatus. In the centre of a 12 meter diameter inflatable dome, a video projector mounted on a motorised pan/tilt device could move the projected image anywhere over the inside surface of the dome. Using two projectors, EVE could also present images in 3-D. One of the visitors to EVE was connected to a spatial tracking device that identified the position and angle of their head. This controlled the positioning of the video projector so that the projection window always followed the direction of this visitor’s gaze anywhere within the dome surface.

For T_Visionarium I, twenty-four hours of television from forty-eight channels across the European continent was recorded, analised and organised into a database suitable for real-time playback and reassembly. These various television channels were virtually distributed over the entire surface of the dome, so that as the viewer moved the projection window he or she would be shifting from one channel to another. Thus, instead of the conventional paradigm of switching channels on a fixed-location TV screen using a remote control, the EVE installation offered a simultaneous spatial and totally immersive distribution of all broadcast channels, where each would come into view depending on the direction of one’s gaze within the dome.

Metadata attached to each of the video streams afforded an additional feature of T_Visionarium I: during operation, viewers could associate the televisual materials by selecting from a range of keywords. For example, by selecting the keyword ‘dialogue’, only the broadcast data with this descriptor would display across all the TV channels. In this way the user experiences an emergent narrative synchronicity between the channels they are viewing, because they are linked by the occurrence of this keyword.

Exhibition Record

2005 : Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition and Symposium 2005, China Millennium Art Museum, Beijing, China

2004 : ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany

2003/12/06 - 2004/02/22 : Cinémas du Futur, Lille 2004, Euralille, Lille, France

2006/05/18 - 06/15 : Algorithmic Revolution, Casa dell'Architettura, Rome, Italy

2007/07/15 - 08/12 : Body Media, O Art Center, Shanghai, China