[-empyre-] Text, VR, sound, brainspace

Greetings Ollivier,

There is a lot of interesting material being discussed on the list that I am
not familiar with. Looks like I've got some reading/research to do.

I've been exploring http://www.chairetmetal.com/oeuvre.htm and enjoying the
statements and links. Some of the text is in French, it would be nice if it
could also be provided in English as well.

Re your discussion/reply 17 Jan 2002

Text, VR, sound.
It is hard moving from one area of practice to another or trying to, ie
traditional arts practice to digital, nevertheless this is being done by a
huge number of visual artists and other creatives. I hope you don't mind me
illustrating this discussion with my own experiences.

In my own case I have been practicing in digital media for 18 years or so
and traditional media for much longer (drawing). The thing that I really
found difficult was to start to move into sound and music which I did
recently in my Masters course. I am not a composer and do not think like a
one, so that when I started to put together my online interactive AV
instruments (see users.bigpond.com/adhocgraphics/) the issue of how to
handle the sound was very challenging.

I have a friend who is a performer/composer (Colin Offord) and who has been
very helpful at this time and not necessarily in ways that perhaps he is
aware of. Simply by watching him work, improvise, and discussing performance
etc I have learned a great deal. I found myself listening differently. The
interesting thing about Colin is that he is also a visual artist and he
makes all his own instruments. He can turn an eagle feather into a flute and
play evocative music on it. We can discuss things as visual artists, this is
helpful to me but at the same time I became aware of the huge universe of
musical and sound ideas and how much there is to learn about it and from it.

Deciding how to integrate/make-work-together, the visual and sound elements
in my AV instruments was and is a challenge. Should I think of the
instruments as primarily visual or audio? Of course this combining of audio
and sonic elements has been been considered before by film-makers, opera
composers/producers etc, but I was intrigued by the idea of when is an audio
visual work/idea more a visual work or more an audio work and most of all by
the idea that audio and visual can be both at once or inseparable. Perhaps I
am barking up a blind tree, but out of this challenge to my conceptualizing
came the idea that it might be appropriate to write code based works for the
web where the same code is used to produce both sound and visual results.
There is a bit of this around but it is difficult to work out how it has
been done. Java as no sound engine and both Java and Actionscript only
handle sound clips. There must be something ...

With your seeming difficulty working with text/sound/visual material and
trying to conceptualize with these modes of expression in combination there
is this matter of integrating your thinking, which is always a challenge for
one's wetware. To integrate different media, ways of conceptualizing, in
order to bring into existence some kind of meaning ...

One of the things I find limiting about the current web is that it is
largely presented to us as a linear, branching world. It is an 'enchanted
loom' as someone has said about our brains, but this vast electronic loom is
not really 'visible' to us. To be able to apprehend this world with a 3
dimensional structure, VR, VRML and manipulate and navigate it, with touch,
with sound, as another almost parallel world to the one we live in would be
most intriguing. Char Davies (http://www.immersence.com/) created a VR world
called Osmose in which she created layers of meaning that included a
substrate of text - the code that generated her VR world, floating beneath

May I be so bold as to suggest some reference material that I think you
might find interesting and perhaps useful where textual representation and
computers are concerned.

These works are theses from students who have studied for the degree of
Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology.

Defining Digital Space Through a Visual Language by Axel Kilian

Rethinking the Book by David L Small

Computational Models for Expressive Dimensional Typography by Peter Sungil

System Models for Digital Performance by Reed Kram

They can be found at http://www.media.mit.edu/mas/

If they are no longer available there I have copies that I can send you,
they are about 1 to 2 MB each.

Cheers, Barrie

::: every day, computers are making people easier to use :::
Barrie Collins, Carl and Lillian Frieden-Collins
7 Blaxland Avenue, Leura NSW 2780
Tel + Fax: 02 4784 1224
Mobile: 0409 449 138

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