I started to build the door in late February / Early March but quickly realised a significant issue…. How was I going to get it into the exhibition space.. It was becoming too heavy to pick up and I hadn’t extended the legs.. I held off from building it until I had a plan.
After speaking with Jonathan and others about the possibilities, it seemed I was making a bigger issue out of it that it turned out to be. What was needed was some ruthless determination and hard graft. I took the whole door down for my open studios. It had been standing incomplete for almost 4 months! The best outcome of this was testing its ability to stand freely. Or at least that’s a good way of finding reason from inactivity.
I managed to get everything transported to Wilson Road on the 21st June. Luckily the BAs didn’t end up using the basement space, so I was free to work in there. I was working quickly, but not too quickly as to rush it. I’ve been slightly anxious about whether or not it would work. I still need to get on with it tomorrow, potentially to install a fake wall and screw brackets into the door to ensure its straight and doesn’t fall on any of the visitors!
(That’s another health and safety issue to add to the list. Fear of being electrocuted, crushed, suffering motion sickness and / or an epileptic fit…. Hopefully someone likes the work (and none of the above happen):(
BUT overall I’m happy with the outcome as I successfully turned a fireplace into a door.
Below are some photos of the build.
Having looked at the prospect of the internet as a physical environment, I’ve come to think, what better way of showing that, than to create an element of classical architecture. It’s perhaps all a little too literal and like something out of Stargate, but it does the job.
I magically came across the mantelpiece of a fireplace. It was sitting by the bins outside Coldharbour Studios. It seems unloved, and I knew instantly that it was something I’d want to play with. Having hauled the stash into the studio, it remained there for some time with no purpose. Initial thoughts were to place a screen in it, but having reviewed and reflected on some of my previous work, I saw an opportunity to realise my hopes for the Ultrasonic circuit.
The majority of my research has considered the importance of the device and how it acts as our access to new information. My interim piece last year ‘Congregation’ considered it as the gateway to the internet. Here, I hope to take that concept further, and more literally. (As mentioned before in the Stargate reference.)
Back to how this came about….. After staring at this pointless, hollow fireplace taking up half of my space, I realised it was perfect for the frame of a classical doorway such as the one used here:
So I got to work transforming a fireplace into a door….
Here’s how I’ve got on so far.
It’s very primitive at the moment but it gives an impression of what will be done. Alongside this, I’ve been working on the Digital side of the doorway:
The main chapel is in tact. There is a lot of detailing and texturing to do, before getting it into Unity. When in Unity, I’ll be focussing on the different strands of media presented in the main hall of the Chapel.
Best to say this now, I’ve never noticed more of a difference between the digital and physical work process since approaching this piece. Whether they come together well is yet to be seen, but I’m positive that something will come out of it.
Only large bump in the road so far is displaying live news in unity. I was almost successful with a plugin from Coherent Labs, BUT they only gave me a 30 day free trial for it, and it costs £3000…. So unless I can convince them to offer me another 30 free day trial during the exhibition, I’m going to have to re-think embedding live news channels in the chapel. Another option is to stream it from webcams facing live screens. This will require multiple news channels to be on multiple screens at some other location for the duration of the final show…. Doesn’t seem feasible. I’ve been playing around with CEFGlue but again, no luck. The only other way I can think may be feasible is screen casting onto a plane in Unity. Surely if its possible to display the webcams output, its possible to display the screen.
This is my current snag, hopefully it’ll be solved, but I’m beginning to think of a contingency, mainly by using video clips rather than live news (which is tragic!!)
Well… it appears that the Facebook owned company have gone another step further in their virtual reality dream, and have created a device that allows the user to touch things within the virtual environment….
Oculus Touch has two controllers, one in each hand, and vibrations move through the hand, simulating this virtual sense. What are the possibilities of this on virtual artwork? Unlike galleries today where the work is cornered off with motion sensors and the beady eyes of invigilators, could this bring a new element to art and the audience’s experience?
To be honest, it looks like a PS4 controller has been sliced in half, and been given a halo but its probably one of the more revolutionary designs for console controllers since the Nintendo Wii, or lack of controller, Xbox Kinect. Then again, these things should be judged on their application and ability, not their looks and purpose alone.
We’ll have to wait and see…. but in the meantime, the dream is exciting.
It’s pretty clear that Oculus Rift is getting closer and closer to being a viable commercial product with a lot of possibility, then again, so are many of its competitors.
I still haven’t tried one!!! which is frustrating more each day… as I’d love to get my hands on the developers kit. My nerdy, techy side needs to be indulged.