Re: [-empyre-] Learning - ?

Hi Steve,

If I'm wrong, well then I suppose the developers on
this list can tell me what they've learned, who from,
and how it was directly applied in their work.

(For now I'm looking to the act of learning from
others - not personal development. A person who
inspired you, is not enough, I'm asking about the
concrete application of knowledge.)

Well, Steve, many years ago you presented a live MU performance poem to Miriam English's Virtual Reality Association. That directly inspired me to download VNet and start experimenting with it.

The work that I consequently did for The Men Who Knew Too Much using VNet directly influenced me to pursue the course of non-representational avatars that I'm now on. Does that mean I influenced myself? I may do a John Fogarty and sue myself!

Steve, your VRML menu device that used Dali as a major aesthetic influence taught me how to use curvy, squishy lines and shapes in VRML, as well as several practical notions about 'spinning things in and out of the foreground'. In a more general way, some of your ideas about narrative have helped me to define my own approach to narrative, something I've been very actively thinking about for a very long time.

Melinda Rackham's work, particularly with Empyrean, showed me how to concretely apply these nagging thoughts that representational was not the road I wanted to take with VRML. Personal discussions with Melinda over the years, have helped more than any other single influence to concretise notions of multi-user spaces that are not based on verbal/textual interchange or representational avatars. I can not stress enough how much an influence Melinda's work and ideas have been.

Miriam English, when we were both working on an ill-fated and quite ridiculous commercial VRML shopping mall, showed me a lot about dealing with large scale worlds, and using javascript to control navigation, animation and world-loading.

There are of course the hundreds of - specific and general - pieces of advice given on the www-vrml list and the newsgroup, as well as the gazillions of wrls demo'd in those forums, which have served as both positive and negative influences.

God, what else is there? I can't remember now, there's been so much.

As far as non-web3d artists go, Moholy-Nagy's ideas of light-as-sculpture has had a major influence on me. It is interesting to me that of all the exhibits in the Deep Space exhibition that recently opened Melbourne's new mega Australian Centre for the Moving Image, a Moholy-Nagy film from 1928 was to me far and away the most interesting and compelling piece in the exhibition.

I have to say though, Steve, that I consider myself to be an artist - definitely not a developer or a designer.

FWIW, I don't agree that things haven't changed, but I'm not really sure what you mean by that - could you perhaps spell out what you find disappointing about navigation and interface?

Frankly, has anyone ever seen a good study done of the
web3D works produced in the past seven years?
Something that looks beyond a single person and tries
to compare and understand the vast array of work
that's been done?  I'd like the url

Nope, never seen one, would love to. Of all people, you would be in an excellent position to do it, given that you have one of the most complete understandings of the medium of anyone, and that you have been active in the field long enough to know where to look. Frankly, the chances of getting the money to do such a project in Australia are zero, but maybe it's worth looking into...


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