[-empyre-] text, VR, dimensions

Hello empyre list,

m   u   s   i   n   g   s   .    .    .    .

Any kind of re-construction/expression of reality cannot deny our senses,
sound, vision, libido, spatial orientation, taste and olfaction (I love food
and flower perfumes, sea smells).
Text/spoken word has a symbolic system, so has music, and dance, acting,
clowning, mime.
But wait, what about alternative realities, the joy of text in and of
itself, the sound and look of words - poetry, letterforms, typography,
caligraphy, breathing, drawing, singing.

One of the original ways that computers/people communicated via the phone
network in the recent past was with teletext - a simple printer terminal,
then came the internet. Before that, in 1983 Roy Ascott, Eric Gidney and
others ran an international art project called La Plissure Du Texte, [see
Art Telecommunication, A Western Front Publication, Vancouver] a
collaborative story-telling project (fairytale) using what amounted to a
primitive 'internet' (time sharing network, printer terminals and VDUs,
satelites). Texts were written and bounced around the world and added to,
enhanced etc. The resultant texts were a contribution to the Electra 83

This sharing of electronic space is what we are doing now on this list, it
would be very interesting if this textual interactivity could take place
live in virtual space. Perhaps even integrated into real space - as in
William Gibson's novel Virtual Light, a kind of HUD for the world at large.

Expression in a context such as this brings the challenge of providing
meaning in an endless/infinite universe. It is exciting because there are
possibilities for integrating a lot of different cultural (in the broad
sense) elements, a lot of any kind of material. Music, image making,
massage, dance, childcare, archaeology, marine biology, game-play,
telepresence, telesurgery, everything.

With text or a timeline interactive one of the things I find challenging is
being able to apprehend, contain, manipulate a lot of information whilst
working, I like to lay out all my text or visual material on a table or the
floor so that I can see it all in a glance, (storyboard) walk around it and
take it all in. Why? it is quick to be able to move amongst all the
written/visual concepts and scribble notes, sketches here, there etc,
re-arrange things. It would be good to be able to do this in virtual space
or on a very large screen. I think it is because I am a very visual person
in the way that I work.

Now, if I could also talk to/converse with an intelligent agent as I worked
things could move even faster [there was a marvelous little video from Apple
that showed how this could work] I could dictate text, move data around,
link people and information by speaking.

Reference points, where am I now, where have I come from, what else is going
on, what are my goals.

i   n   f   o   r   m   a   t   i   o   n   .   .   .   .

3 quotes from Rethinking the Book, a thesis by David L Small, available from
His thesis proposes a way of working with texts in 3D.

The idea that typography could break the two-dimensional
plane (Figure 13) of the CRT and form three-dimensional
volumes was first described by Muriel Cooper. At the TED5
conference in 1994 she talked about the issues involved.
³How do you retain the integrity of the information, and at
the same time, retain the context and clues that allow you to
traverse complex information? You are, in a sense, in an
architectural construct, but you don't have the constraints of
having to believe a physical building. So you can both use
the abstract conceptual issues, as well as the physical cues
that people are accustomed to.²


The Talmud is a collection of sacred writings on the Torah
or old testament. This project was built around an essay by
the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas [LEVINAS94], [LEVINAS82]
who¹s commentary on a tract of the Talmud, which itself is a
complex, nested series of references to the Torah, forms an
intricate web of text and references. This style of writing is
called hermeneutics, the reference of scripture to support an


In traditional graphic design the space of the paper is used
as a kind of map to the underlying information. Elements
which are related are located on the page in proximity to
each other. These spatial relationships are fixed once the
page is printed. In the dynamic context of the computer, the
elements are in a continuous state of change. In order to
maintain a specific relationship between two typographic
elements, they have to constantly adjust to changing conditions.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

Cheers for now


And she turned out the light ?
and closed the door ?
and thats all there is ?
there isn't any more.
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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