WALK INTO FICTION
art evolved in indivisible union with modern science during the
Renaissance and is considered one of the greatest achievements of the
human genius. From Giotto to the Industrial Revolution in the 19th
century, illusionary art has been the visible aspect of science.
For Leonardo da Vinci, drawing and painting were, as a
qualitative science, simply a medium for interpreting the universe.
Without wanting to set
ourselves such a
formidable task, we - the authors
of "A Walk into Fiction" - see new possibilities open
up in virtual space for thrilling adventures in the spirit of the
painting "Landscape with Mushrooms" is the starting point
for such an adventure (acryl and ink on cardboard,1991). The painting
was modelled by the artist in 3D using the software package 3D Studio
Max, and was animated by Emanuel Wenger.
was implemented on a commercial Pentium II PC with 166Mhz and 256MB
RAM within the framework of a project for the Commission for Scientific Visualisation
at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. "A Walk into
Fiction" exists as an animation as well as an interactive computer
computer installation is part of a more comprehensive project currently
under development in which interactive and "self-confident"
images appear to change form coincidentally with time and interact with
the observer, gather information from the environment and integrate this
into the image. The "illusionary" image no longer behaves as a
static flat object, but becomes a seemingly living organic volume
continually undergoing transformation, which disappears and evolves
again, has its own will, reacts to the environment, collects and saves
information from it.
observer is initially confronted with a scanned two-dimensional image.
Gradually the image morphs into a three-dimensional scenery which moves
and changes form, whose components fall apart only to re-order
themselves. The installation was achieved on a computer with a
"pointer device" (i.e. a mouse), a camera and a microphone.
The "pointer device" enables the observer to interact with the
installation, whereby he or she can only trigger changes and neither
control nor repeat them due to built-in random generators. The camera
and the microphone record information from the environment which is then
processed by the computer and introduced to the scenery, for example as
a texture. This allows for the evolution of an almost infinite
multiplicity of virtual worlds which are always variations of the
original image. This can be compared to a conventional jazz
improvisation where the theme (in our case the original image) varies,
but is never totally destroyed. Single motives or parts re-appear
to the modest hardware components currently available, we have been
unable to realise interactivity. For the present installation, short
image sequences were calculated as AVI files. These are demonstrated in
varying sequences using an AVI player. The sequence of the AVI files is
controlled by a random generator triggered by the observer by mouse
clicks or movements. At present, the observer can only influence the
sequence of metamorphoses of the image (the sequence of AVI files). We
are working to achieve the full interactivity of the installation.