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March 06, 2007

DualTerm :: Second Life


An Immersive Airport Experience

DualTerm -- by ERIK ADIGARD + CHRIS SALTER -- is an online installation that uses the platform and interaction framework of the networked 3-D virtual world Second Life. Exploring two contrasting forms of immersion (noise versus silence, the intensity of data versus the experience of emptiness) that mark the contemporary airport experience, Dual + Terminal presents a visual and aural walk thru 3-D environment that alternates the visitor between the built, physical space of the new Moshe Safdie terminal at Pearson International and an exact 3-D simulacra running in Second Life on the Terminal 01 kiosk.

The project situates itself in the increasingly complex territory currently being mapped between physical reality and its simulacra within 3-D simulations, gaming environments, meta worlds and other data-driven representations of built space. More specifically, DualTerm aims to explore an unavoidable tension that the modern traveler is increasingly caught within the context/site of the contemporary airport: the desire to be immersed in the public space of information and noise overload versus the craving for a private, interior state of suspension, contemplation, groundlessness and stillness before the act of flying.

The dramaturgy of the installation involves an interactive, 3-D walk thru of the Pearson Terminal by a visitor controlled avatar which makes experiential the contradictions of information saturation versus the desire for emptiness and stillness. The visitor's Second Life avatar can thus wander in a 3-D simulation of the actual terminal, entering into two potential experiential zones: (1) a data space in which real time data, noise, CNN broadcasts, LED advertisements are all texture mapped onto the existing features of the terminal animation (floor, walls, ceiling, furniture, visitors) creating a frenzied and overwhelming environment of noise, color, sound, image and information glut and (2) a void space contained within the data cube in which the visitor/avatar confronts an environment no longer determined by external flows of data but by the their own internal experience that occurs in the threshold between arrival in the terminal and the taking off from earth. Dual Term thus oscillates between two alternating intensities: the seduction of data saturation as it is generated by the airport and a feeling of interior suspension that can evoke the conditions of flying.

Posted by jo at March 6, 2007 02:02 PM