Fashioning a Virtual Artist

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by richard brown on May 21, 1997 at 15:42:28:

As a "vr artist" I would like to react to the comments of Barbara London
- which challenged a response:

Current vr activity appears to be preoccupied with simulating reality in
a parallel manner to pre-20thC painters trying to realise realistic
copies of landscapes, portraits etc.

The advent of photography and the early 20thC art of Cubism and Duchamp
combined with non-Euclidean ideas of reality broke this mould.
Virtual Reality can be seen as conceptual stake into the land of
arrogance and illusion - where we believe reality is a purely perceptual
phenomena and model this theory as a mathematical, Cartesian,
perspective illusion in the depths of vr software. Whereas the
relatively new Quantum physics indicates complex mathematical
"realities" that challenge our everyday assumptions as to what reality
might look like.

What is to be gained by simulating the mundane when the medium of vr
potentially offers alternate conceptual realities? The fourth dimension
inspired Duchamp into creating artworks that were perhaps not quite of
its time, I too find the idea of higher dimensions inspiring and a means
of questioning the perception of, and interaction with, so called
reality. Vr enables the manipulation of space, time and energy, the
exploration of the interaction between perceiver and perceived giving
rise to completely new types of work that I would hope unify the
disparate idealogies of art, science and the mystical.
The creation of Alembic, an interactive vr installation (see
represents a small step in this direction.

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