VideoSpace - Narvika Bovcon & Ales Vaupotic [-empyre-]




VideoSpace was created on the basis of three projects:
Javornik (2001), R III (2002) and VSA (2003). These
are autonomous artistic projects (that have been
exhibited also separately), which should be conceived
through the viewpoint of video-integrated media and
conceptual art. Each of the three projects and of
course their relationships (alliance) in VideoSpace
are realised through multiple artistic media: as video
tape, video installation and web site, in some cases
also as an interactive CD-ROM (Javornik), traditional
paintings acrylic on canvas (R III) and corporate
identity (VSA). VideoSpace is realized on different
levels, too: first as a conceptual diagram, than as an
interactive CD-ROM with a virtual three-dimensional
hyperspace and as a reduction of the CD-ROM version
into the language of VRML three-dimensional net

Three autonomous projects in the VideoSpace are
connected to each other by the conceptual horizon that
defines each of them and all of them in relation to
each other. This is a triade of irreducable cosmic
substances: the matter, the human and the language.
With this triade we are able to overcome some of the
crucial contemporary philosophical biases embodied in
critical movements - as for example formalism (that
functiones only in the field of language and to some
extent in the field of matter), psychologism (with the
human expressivness through language), historical
materialism and neomarksisms? - of course in the
theoretical form enabled by the metalinguistics of
Mikhail Bakhtin and the archaeology of Michael
Foucault. In the three projects all three substances
are intertwined on the artistically specific level:
the language is considered from the point of view of
literary sciences and intertextuality, the human
through the theories and practices of body art and
performance, the matter through Bakhtin's and
Foucault's theories of the materiality of discourse.

Language is in the focus of the project R III, which
is actually a transposition of Shakespeare's history
play King Richard the Third into the medium of
videotape. Today King Richard the Third is perceived
mainly as a discoursive field that transgresses the
mere problematics of literary intertextuality and
extends into the field of material effects that
interfere with human life in the form of politics.
Javornik explores the borders of body art, which
despite its apparently transparent aim turns out to be
not as non-problematic as it may seam. Activation of
unplesant conotations of artistic discourses and
institutions shatters the very institution of artistic
abuse of the body. The VSA project is focused on the
materiality, it searches for the contact with the
matter in its pure form. However, this contact is not
non-problematic but instead it appears wraped into a
Kafka-like maze of discourses and institutions.

In VideoSpace we followed the logic of the triade
language, human, matter and we added the spatial
dimension. This move is suggested in the theoretical
shift enabled by the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and
Michael Foucault. Foucalt somewhere clearely states
that the shift of the philosophical research from the
problematics of time onto the problematics of space
relations is necessary. The teritorialization of the
discourse has replaced the deconstrictionist or
Lacanian burgeoning of the discourse from the rapture
in time. Since we are dealing with computer media, we
evolved our concept mainly from the model of the
hypertext, that is, by means of links spreading
through the internet, and from the model of video
games, that contribute the three dimensional graphics
- some kind of hyperspace -, which appears before our
eyes in real time.

On the level of conceptual diagram we added to the
three projects also the context of the video game Tomb
Raider, which makes use of the third person gaze,
attached to the model of our double, the avatar. The
space with which Lara Croft communicates and interacts
is mainly a representation of the real space. In the
CD-ROM version, when we have faced the concrete dilema
about what the virtual space should look like in order
to enable the coexistence and mutual functioning of
the three projects, the shift of the player's interest
from the avatar to the space itself was necessary.
That is because the avatar implies the connection of
the tactile qualities of the space details with the
user, who relates to the virtual space thorugh the
experinece of his/her own physical body in the real
space. The meaning of the avatar in the video game is
that it as a perfect double of the user takes over
his/her complete interest and thereby it disqualifies
the spatial features of the game (eg. video game
Tekken). Since the triangual relatiogram of the world
is developed on the conceptual level and since it
addresses the user completely on the conceptual level,
too (and not on the level of physical experience), the
avatar as the strongest carier of identification
becomes unnecessary and even disturbing, since the
user strolls in the conceptual space with the aim to
discover the space and not to experience it as his
home. By absence of the experimental manipulability of
the space features the empirical distance is evolved
between the user and the virtual space, the
consequence of which is the shift into the conceptual

The virtual space of VideoSpace is founded in three
elements: the three dimensional objects, the two
dimensional textures and the interested gaze which
explores the space. Each of the elements is developed
through its crucial perceptive aspect: three
dimensional objects mimics the three dimensional
objects from the real space (eg. the house), textures
are not mimetically applied to the objects they cover
(eg. The texture of wall bricks is not applied to the
object of the house), instead they claim the
two-dimensionality, whereas the interested gaze is
focuesd into the space itself and it does not disclose
its carrier, the avatar. The three dimensional objects
and the two dimensional textures are thereby
functional in their specific roles and not in the
common role of an illusion of the real world. This is
in part possible because the three dimensional objects
carry enough information about the references to the
real world by their three dimensional form alone and
would be therefore reduntantly codified if they would
mimic real world also on the level of textures.

The textures are utterly flat, two-dimensional when
they carry pornographic images. In fact, the meaning
or the story of any image takes place in the ponit of
its suspense, the macule. This is the point, which is
not directly, or onefoldedly interpreted; it is the
point of the submersion of the viewer into the image.
A pornographical picture has no such point since it
discloses everything. It has no suspense; its first
meaning is at the same time also its last and all the
meanings in between. It shows to the gaze what the
gaze is looking for and the finding of which should
never occur in order for the search of the interested
gaze to be possible. 

Each of the three elements of the VideoSpace (objects,
textures, interested view) could not exist without the
other two and every two of them without the third
could not form the logic of the virtual space. The
segmentation of the virtual space into the crucial
perceptive functions of the elements that form it has
been the foundation for the understanding,
conceptualizing and designing the form and the way of
codification of each of them. Hence, here we have a
conceptual virtual space, the task of which is not to
mimic the real world at the resolution as high as
possible (as are the trends in contemporary video
games), but rather to evolve an environment into which
the triangular relatiogram of the world can be placed
and developed by the means of the three projects
Javornik, R III and VSA.

The VRML version of the VideoSpace
( is reduced to
a platform in the black infinite space and the
conceptual triad of the relatiogram language, human,
matter juxtaposed with the triad of the projects
Javornik, R III and VSA. The space in the virtual
reality of the VRML code is functionally reduced to
the minimal possible information in order not to
overload the internet data transfer. The platform in
the black space is manipulated by means of the
possible movements in the virtual space: the
translation with the functions of zoom in and zoom
out, and the rotation of the object (the platform).
Each of these manipulations creates a travelling in
the space, whereas through travelling different points
of view and interest are created and discovered.
Thereby the user gradually approaches the relatiogram:
he/she can grasp it from a distance by zooming out or
proceed from one mapped identity point to another.
Each of the identity points is linked to the web pages
of the project in concern. Thus the spatially mapped
relatiogram is transferred to a parallel level of
separate pages by the instantaneous action of the web
links. The linked pages may be considered flat in
comparison to the three dimensional translations in
the virtual reality of the VRML VideoSpace. This is
one way of exiting and re-entering the virtual space
of VideoSpace; the other is the disclosure of the
symbol of the relatiogram, which is the Star of David.
It is the point of leakage of the virtual space into
the real world space of a specific social context that
cannot be perceived as a neutral appendix but instead
it modifies the self-contained structure of the
virtual reality and makes it dependent on and a part
of the social network of discourses.

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Calendar - Free online calendar with sync to Outlook(TM).

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.