Virtual Reality (VR) Content
Content and application programming: Dan Sandin
Content and systems programming: Robert Kooima
Music and sound effects: Laurie Spiegel
Driver: Tom DeFanti
The virtual-reality installation, Particle Dreams in Spherical Harmonics is the latest of a series of VR art installations created by Dan Sandin and collaborators to involve the viewer-participant in the creation of an immersive, visual and sonic experience. It is based on the physical simulation of over one million particles with momentum and elastic reflection in an environment with gravity. In the final scene there is a very realistic rendering of water with reflections, and lighting based on spherical harmonics. The sound components are triggered and modified by the user and particle interaction. This work was premiered in January 2011 at the gallery@calit2.
According to Amos Jessup, standing in the StarCAVE “was like standing in a rainstorm made of rainbow fragments, with the power to guide the storm by hand. It was unsettling, out-of-body, very trippy stuff, a powerful artistic experience. The sounds, in small fragments like the rainbows, seemed to be natural concomitants of the gestures, even though you could tell it was not through a mechanical linkage, a theremin or one of its descendants. But whatever the linkage was it managed to be sensitive, or else it was just inherent in the genius of the sounds that they seemed that way.”