About | Project Members | Research Assistants | Contact | Posting FAQ | Credits

The World Generator / The Engine of Desire

Bill Seaman’s 1996 interactive and computer-mediated reading environment/ art exhibit.

“The World Generator / The Engine of Desire is an interactive computer-mediated environment which enables viewers to construct and navigate poetic worlds in real time based on an interactive template of potential choices. The system is facilitated through a new interface metaphor. At the bottom of the screen is a rotating set of container-wheels. These container-wheels house a variety of selections. One mode allows the viewer to observe a full screen blow-up of this menu. The menu system contains the following set of wheels: 3d models; poetic text fragments; texture maps – both still and video; location sensitive audio objects (musical loops); behaviours; and function menus which enable the viewer to center themselves in the world; to scale objects and texture maps; to make objects and texture maps transparent; to construct random worlds; to make a series of different “random” choices including random text, random sound, random object, random texture map, random movie, random world, random behaviours; as well as to clear the world. The still and moving texture maps can either be applied to objects with an “aura” or be placed in the space as pictures and/or movies on flat screens.

The work functions in a two stage process: The viewer first constructs a “poetic” environment based on selections from the template of variables. When the viewer chooses the “objects wheel” from the main menu, a set of container-wheels housing pre-rendered 3D objects, rotates. The actual storage is in the form of long “virtual” rotating belts which can have great length (based on available memory) although the viewer only sees the curved front edge of the belt. The following manipulations can be made: Layout – placement of the object on the site; Scale – scale of object on the site; Texture Map – attach still or video texture map to an object with an aura, as well as place “screens” of stills and video into the space, when the aura is toggled off; Behaviours – attach behaviours to selected objects, texture map screens, and/or sounds. Once this process has been completed (or anytime during the construction process) the viewer can enter the space and navigate. An elaborate object-based text is included in The World Generator. A viewer can choose any single line from the text and place it in the space as a visual object with a “location sensitive” audio text triggering mechanism.

Recombinant Music -The sounds included in the system are made up of hundreds of techno ambient loops, composed by the author, consisting of synthetic rhythms, drones and tonal loops. Specific tonal sax loops have been played by Tony Wheeler. These sound object loops are placed by the viewer on the site. As the viewer navigates, a location sensitive audio mix is generated.

The work can be interacted with from multiple locations. Two or more users can be involved with poetic construction and/or navigation in the space at the same time, currently via modem, and in the near future via the WWW. I have coined the term “RE-I” (pronounced RAY or Re—I) short for Re-embodied Intelligence, as the term to describe the visual representation of these alternate, multiple users. A “RE-I” is potentially visible in the space, showing the location of the alternate userâ€? (from the Project Description).

Starter Links: Project description | “Recombinant Poetics” | bio | links to the artist’s work| exhibition notes | about the artist

  tl, 04.23.06

Comments are closed.