As the end of the century approach, the inhabitants of the megalopolis having acquired an unlimited expansion of physical and sensory faculties are no longer able to survive without the invisible suits of a neural network called "media." Forced of constant acceleration in evoluting and irreversibly relativized, any notions of human scale is literally uncalled for on either individual or social level. An individual is reduced to a dehumanized mere data on a production/consumption line. The history of progress in complete absence of its protagonist unfolds endlessly as a nightmare.
We are teetering on the brink of the next millennia awash in a wave of utopian innovation which is reconfiguring the very means of our communication. It is here amongst the thousands of newsgroups and webmasters, providers and users that we find ourselves peering through the immaterial-into cyberspace. There flowing through the ether of the networks is "Crossings", the poetic intersection of media (technology) and content (perceptual experience) that moves beyond travel logs and terrestrial territory in search of the gravitational pull of new sublime landscapes.
"Crossings" is an artwork crafted from the software tool set called Polytrim developed at the Centre for Landscape Research of the University of Toronto. This project was first realized as part of the artist in residence program at ZKM in Karlsruhe. "Crossings" is a work in progress and continues to be developed to achieve a compelling dynamic immersive landscape where the terrain is shaped from information structures and links to the information space of the WWW.
"Crossings" is an evolutionary step that extends painting beyond cinema, weaving the desire for the merging of content and information to the artistic potential of a real time interactive virtual environment. While the computational world has mechanized nature into a transcribable and mechanical format, "Crossings" has focused on the history of landscape painting as the embodiment of human experience and emotion. By expressing the metaphoric power of landscape in a virtual environment as a non-hierarchical dynamic space " Crossings" reasserts that art is not merely transcriptive in the sense of conveying information, but is also a transformative process. When one is navigating the immersive environment of "Crossings", the traditional distinction between reality and virtuality disappears and the artificial dualism of information and sensation is eliminated. This happens through the interactive unfolding of a personal narrative that occurs when one navigates the live links to the WWW that occupy the formal pictorial space .
Crossings by Stacey SPIEGEL in collaboration with Rodney HOINKES was developed as fully interactive immersive environment at the Rotterdam Harbour Simulator under the sponcership of V2 Organization for DEAF95 in Rotterdam the Netherlands.
photo: Shigeo Muto