February 1st, 2005 - October 1st, 2005
“Rutopia 2” is a collaborative virtual reality art project designed for interaction and display on the CAVE or CWall (configurable wall) advanced visualization environments.
It describes a magic garden with interactive sculptural trees that branch to distant worlds; participants traverse the branches into a shared networked community. The design of “Rutopia 2” was also motivated by EVL’s current research focus in high-resolution tiled display devices / systems. The potential of high-resolution, cluster computing, image segmentation and modularity contributed in this projects conceptualization.
In “Rutopia 2” users look through the screens to see distant environments as if gazing through a window to see the outside world. Virtual windows cross traditional borders of segregated proximities to link the future, the past, the present - the close, the distant, the public and the individual in real-time. Thus the garden becomes a communal hybrid of public sculptures propagating shared telecommunication and collaboration.
“Rutopia 2” explores the aesthetics of virtual art in its relationship with Russian painting (e.g. Palekh, Khokhloma, Dymkovo toys, Fedoskino and Lubok) and folk art. The design is based upon traditional Russian principles of composition, bright colors, simplified shapes, and material culture; Rutopian aesthetics help to provide the mental and spiritual escape from everyday reality into a magic niche. It serves as a framing device to unite the concepts of the “network” tree, public sculpture, and futuristic design while maintaining aesthetic principles of the previous centuries.