Re: [-empyre-] response to tamiko

im thinking a lot about your picture/space example  that started the whole
other thread..and i wanted to address it a fresh.. a few nights ago i was at
yoga class and we were doing the "going into the space behind your third
eye" visualisation bit and  i was thinking about vrml and 3d images (as one
does at yoga) .... i can have quiet an emotive/impactful adventure fully
conscious with my eyes closed.. i dont even need visual stimulation.... and
in very happy to shrink my field of perception up and down.. pull my body
phantom in and out to accomodate the space i'm interacting in whether ita a
small screen or a large environment.

i do show empyrean in  large installation space a lot, and i like
it..especially with a good sound system(tho there is soem other work i dont
want shown that way)  - but im not sure if i really like it because it
becomes filmic at that scale..,, and i adore film..the being drawn along by
the narrative.. feeling where you are immersed by your passivily really..
almost a child like state of suspending disbelief.. so when you have to be
an active participant in a large projected space..which installation art has
schooled us to be - i dont know if it is really necessary..actually i guess
im ambivalent rather than anything else.... ..its the thing to with CAVEs as
well...i find them very distracting and like over kill.. looks nice but im
not sure it adds to my experience.. im always totally aware that im in a
computer constructed environment..rather than immersed and interacting in a

..i find it fasacinating that you have such a different stucture to manzanar
to the way i worked in empoyrean.. i see your content is about constarint
and lack of choice,and  mine is about floating exploration and dis
assiociation from constraint..  so imnot concerned with the moving viewers
thru specific routes.. im very happy for viewers to wander round and find
thier own pathways.. tho i do like to throw in a few easily clicked to
points of view for less explorative users more used to 2d naviagtion. the
lack of direction is fine with some viewers.. and others get extremely
frustrated because they are used to gaming situation or they want the "money
shot"..the closure sequence that weve been trained to look for from holly
wood -which of course isnt there..

and yes i m really gald this forum is happening as well.. as ive been
looking for along time for a space for artists to discuss the pecularities
of  3d web so i built one..:)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tamiko Thiel" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002 5:54 PM
Subject: [-empyre-] response to Melinda's questions

> Hi Melinda,
> interesting questions re: beyond manzanar
> > did you find the process of writing for 3d vrml like writing a theatre
piece? do you construct scenes and imagine users viewpoints from the
audience point of view?
> My approach to composing VR comes from the work of my father, Philip
> Thiel, in the field of architecture and urban planning. His book
> "People, Paths and Purposes" develops a theory of experiential urban
> that this is how one needs to develop VR spaces in order to harness the
> power of immersion and user agency. In interactive 3D VR of course one
> has little control over the user viewpoint at any given time, so that we
> must either constrain the user's movements with devices (walls, bushes,
> fences, etc. that appear logical in the space) or compose the space so
> it looks right from any possible angle - as must an architect of real
> spaces. Additionally, the SEQUENCE of spaces must be composed as a
> musician arranges phrases of music to dramatically structure the user
> experience in a compelling way.
> The dramatic structure of the piece was an interesting question in our
> collaborative process. Zara, coming from theater direction, strongly
> wanted to have a classical structure of beginning, middle with climax
> and denoument to create an ending, and to achieve this wanted to create
> a very strongly controlled user experience. My background is video art
> and new media, so I on the one hand wanted to create a strong dramatic
> structure, but on the other hand I wanted to experiment with the
> possibility of a more open structure, where the user had room to wander
> and "construct their own experience." I also strongly felt that the
> piece should loop and be accessible at any point in that loop, so that
> people could wander in and out of the installation and still have it
> make sense.
> We began with a roughly chronological structure, but then started
> playing around following instinct rather than rules. Elements from
> different times and both cultures are woven in to almost every scene -
> creating a parallelism throughout the piece that underlines commonality
> of experience. I think the idea of "dream logic" is way overused to
> justify LACK of structure, but in this piece I can think of no other way
> to describe it. We follow a metaphorical and poetic logic rather than a
> historical or chronological logic.
> Perhaps the structure that resulted could've been developed for a
> theater piece as well, but one point was strongly determined by the
> medium: I shut every door behind you once you go through, in order to
> compell you to always move forward in the piece. In a play one can
> direct the actors, but how does one direct users who can go in any
> direction whenever they please? There have to be clues that lead the
> user on - and in the case of this piece, I trap the user in order to
> compell them to look for a new way out of every space. So the element of
> user "free will" is definitely different in an interactive 3D VR piece,
> and this created dramaturgical decisions that would'nt happen in a
> theater piece.
> > did you see the work always in the  installation space, ie large
> > rather than on a small moniter? i'm interrested if you think it
> > would be as physically immersive on a small scale.
> The feedback I have gotten from many, many people who have seen  my
> piece both as a "demo" on a computer monitor and as an installation on a
> large screen jives with my personal suspicions: that your body perceives
> and reacts to the small image as a "picture," but the large image to be
> a "space." I do believe that a piece shown on a monitor can be very
> engaging and compelling, but it is simply a different experience. I
> would very much like to encounter your Empyre piece on a large screen
> sometime - do you ever show it that way?
> Thanks for your feedback on how the camp scene worked in Cosmo - I'll
> have to try it out and see what you're describing.
> And thanks for the interesting questions, it's good to have dialog with
> people who have dealt with the same problems! Hope my postings aren't
> too long for everybody.
> take care - tamiko thiel
> _______________________________________________
> empyre mailing list

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