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?ph?m?re
Char Davies, Canada
?ph?m?re, 1998
3D virtual reality immersive environment
"Seeds." Digital frame captured in real-time through HMD (head-mounted display) during live performance of immersive environment Ephemere (1998). Char Davies
Selected by: Jon Ippolito
There are both technical and cultural reasons why the hype about virtual reality has diminished since its peak in 1993. The technical problem was that advances in eyepiece resolution couldn’t keep up with accelerating microprocessor speeds: No matter how advanced the software, virtual reality headsets were just too blurry to convey the illusion of another world. The cultural problem was that virtual reality’s promise of constructing a ghostly realm that consciousness could explore without the constraints of flesh had become obsolete. Gawky virtual reality helmets have now given way to scarlet Nokia phones and burnished Palm Vs, and people use these stylish wireless devices not to escape bodies, but to find them. Given this historical context, it’s not hard to see why Osmose and Éphémère have more staying power than most experiments in virtual reality. The realm Davies creates is deliberately watery and out-of-focus, and her breath-activated interface makes viewers more conscious of their bodies.
other artworks: Osmose
Char Davies
www.immersence.com