January 28th, 2007
It is the uniqueness of Virtual Reality as a medium that calls for the creation of hybrid realities which blur the finite boundaries between physical and digital existence. Virtual Reality’s distinguishing features as an artistic medium embody a distinct form of aesthetics: it is a stereoscopic, immersive, interactive, performative, dynamic, and experiential medium.
A Virtual Reality art piece manifests in multiple ways. It can present itself as an interactive virtual archetype, exploring concepts rendered from different perspectives, and as an impetus to challenge the platform’s capabilities, not only theoretically as an artistic practice, but also by calling for the instantiation of authoring tools for the development of virtual reality experiences.
The paradigm presented in this paper is a Virtual Reality art piece, called skin, 2006, was developed on Electro, which is an open-source cross-platform development environment. skin, 2006, is an interactive hypersteroscopic high-definition audiovisual installation that explores a dialogue between physical and digital senses of “touch”.
The installation consists of a screen representing artificial skin, onto which hyper-stereo skin-related video imagery is projected. The imagery is accompanied by a generative composition of digitally manipulated and synthesized skin sources: porous breathing, the friction of skin on various surfaces, and synthesized representations of the electrical pulses inherent in skin at the molecular level.
These skin-derived media serve as an exploration of a new territory: the intersection of the human body as a landscape / mindscape and the body’s own traces of touch. By reacting to the imagery, the participating audience deforms virtually the skin-derived media. Physical gestures are translated into accentuated and non-literal digital deformations of the projected imagery, while new sounds, both organic and synthetic, are added to the mix to accompany these deformations.
Keywords: Virtual reality, hyperstereo video, electro, open source
Kostis, H., Kooima, R., Kannenberg, J., Skin: an interactive hyperstereoscopic electro installation, IS&T / SPIE Electronic Imaging 2007 Conference Proceedings, January 28th, 2007.