Helen Jackson

Hybrid Space: Movement, Technology and Creative Practice

In understanding those projects that attempt to connect users more intuitively to simulated worlds, movement through real worlds is generally understood as providing the appropriate visual clues and perceptual motor coordination necessary to make human computer interaction successful. The emergence of mobile media platforms that displace the physical architecture that have accrued around fixed media and their networks, has provided new forms of media practice in which simulated virtual worlds and the physical real world have become intertwined and thus formed aspects of each other. Therefore the creative potential of these forms of hybrid space and the technologies that facilitate them, can be considered to lie in an ontology of design where interaction with virtual worlds is best anticipated through approaching agency as action (and thus movement) in real space.

The proposed chapter documents projects in media arts where the media form, through mediation by movement capture technology, has been turned into a condition of movement, both spatially and temporally, of the viewer. It thus considers whether technology’s most important contribution to media arts practice, is in its reconfiguration of the aesthetic and creative potential that consists of interaction with and movement through space.

In tracing the development of media arts practice that invest in application of mobility in virtual worlds through real world contexts, the proposed chapter will document the methods and forms of artists including Myron Krueger (Glowflow, 1969; Videoplace, 1974), Jeffry Shaw (The Legible City, 1988) and David Rokeby (Silicon Remembers Carbon, 1993). The analysis of the potential creative aesthetic derived from the mobility of the user through these examples will be contrasted with contemporary media arts practices where movement through the immediate installation space has been replaced with the media artifact is that is consumed through movement in wider geographical spaces. This will include those projects such as Janet Cardiff’s audio walks, examples of ‘walking cinema’ (Murder of Beacon Hill) and historical reconstruction applications that use media content (London Street Museum).

In the assessment of the design factors that successfully connect the aesthetics and meaning of virtual media forms that prompt movement through real world spaces, it is proposed that this analysis of latter day emergent practices will point to media forms that no longer provide a spatial structure that fixes movement. Instead, it is anticipated that through design methodologies that consider participative practice, a sense of time will be understood as having been introduced into these media texts, so that the movement is not only considered as spatially motivated in such constructions, but also durationally dependent.


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