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January 04, 2007

Ars Virtua Presents


Imaging Place SL: The U.S./Mexico Border

Imaging Place SL: The U.S./Mexico Border by John (Craig) Freeman :: Jan 5 - Feb 23, 2007 :: Ars Virtua: Gallery 2 :: Opening 7 - 9pm SLT(Pacific Time) Friday January 5, 2007. Go there.

"Imaging Place," is a place-based, virtual reality art project. It takes the form of a user navigated, interactive computer program that combines panoramic photography, digital video, and three-dimensional technologies to investigate and document situations where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. The goal of the project is to develop the technologies, the methodology and the content for truly immersive and navigable narrative, based in real places. For the past several months, Freeman has been implementing the "Imaging Place" project in Second Life.

When a denizen of Second Life first arrives at an Imaging Place SL Scene he, she or it sees on the ground a large black and white satellite photograph of the full disk of the Earth. An avatar can then walk over the Earth to a thin red line which leads to an adjacent higher level platform made of a high resolution aerial photograph of specific location from around the world. Mapped to the aerial images are networks of nodes constructed of primitive spherical geometry with panoramic photographs texture mapped to the interior.

The avatar can walk to the center of one of these nodes and use a first person perspective to view the image, giving the user the sensation of being immersed in the location. Streaming audio is localized to individual nodes providing narrative content for the scene. This content includes stories told by people who appear in the images, theory and ambient sound. When the avatar returns to the Earth platform, several rotating ENTER signs provide teleports to other "Imaging Place" scenes located at other places within the world of Second Life. In "Imaging Place SL: The U.S./Mexico Border," Freeman explores the issues, politics and personal memories of this contested space.

LIVE PERFORMANCE by Second Front :: Friday, January 05, 2007 - 7 PM PST :: Second Front is the first dedicated performance art group in Second Life. To officially open JC Fremont's Installation at Ars Virtua, Second Front will be creating a realtime interpretive and site-specific performance based on JC Fremont's theme 'Borders' to compliment "Imaging Place SL: The U.S./Mexico Border."

Posted by jo at January 4, 2007 05:22 PM