Re: [-empyre-] Learning / What is it good for

Hello Adam, Melinda, Roya +

Roya, its difficult for me to follow the conversation
here too. I think I agree with John Klima - but I'm
really not sure. Also its also not just this list.
Most VR conversations seem to be drawn into "Angel on
Pinhead" debates. VR seems to invite folks to impose
their philosophies on it. There's actually a good and
very critical book on the subject. "Digital
Sensations" by Ken Hillis. Ken quotes (well, someone)
as calling VR "The Emperor's New Media" 

Yet despite the abundance of naked people in VR, I've
got hopes. 

Hopes which, deep thanks to Adam & Melinda, are a much
higher. To them a few quick comments and a small

> pictures in frame?
No complaints here, I like monitors too. Wish other
folks did. Technology moving ahead isn't an issue.
Heck, I can't afford it so its really a negative...
(I think I meant what we as builders create as
navigation schemes)

> performance poem to 
Ha! thought so... then I remembered that I'm kinda
arrogant and thought I was just being arrogant. 

> excellent position to do it
Cool, because it's done. (Can't believe I'm first
though - I'd become way too arrogant)

This one is clipped from a larger version that I
couldn't quite resolve. It's tailored toward
Museum/Information design. (23 pages and a fair number
of pictures)

Lastly I've had some interesting thoughts lately. Not
100% worked out, but lets give it a go...

I've always thought that moving through space created
a narrative. (the term narrative is used loosely) Much
of my work blends spatial, audio, textual modalities
to shape that narrative...

Now lately I've been reading old film theory texts.
They talk about montage, close-ups and how the
filmmaker has this wondrous new power - the complete
control over time and space. (at least on screen)

So what about us - do we control time and space? Well,
space I do believe we as builders completely control.
Nothing is there or does anything that we didn't (even
accidentally) program.

Time on the other hand we don't control. The user
moves through the space at their own pace and in their
own directions. They create their own linear
narrative, their own timeline of events.

In the end, we negotiate time with the user. We do
this by creating pathways in which we hope/have to
follow our timeline. This extends to viewpoint nodes,
opening new urls, Japanese internment camps, walls
lined with images, even I think more interface type of
actions. Much of what we do to define space is really
to affect time.

...hmmm seemed brilliant just before I wrote it. I'm
less comfortable now but still, something is there.


PS thanks again Melinda & Adam for answering a grumpy

--- Adam Nash <> wrote:
> 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...
> Regards,
> Adam
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum


    The reality of the building does not 
    consist in the four walls and roof but
    in the space within to be lived.

    - Laotzu

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