[ISEA94] Artists Statement: Rob Myers, Rebecca Fuson & Peter Broadwell – Plasm: A Country Walk

Artists Statement

This interactive art installation piece consists of a large screen with a dog leash out in front of it. When you first come upon it the screen is showing a sleeping dog (or a bouncy yelping one depending on how long since the last “walk”.) Picking up the leash wakes the dog up and off you go.

At first you are walking down a photorealistic country lane, bouncy puppy dog in front of you and all. Sound effects give a sense of presence to the world, chirping birds, crickets, footsteps as you cross bridges etc. The leash is both your input device and the computer’s feedback device, it pulls you when the dog sees something off the road that it wants to investigate.  Depending on how compliant you are to the dogs wishes you will encourage more or less “mutations” of the environment. Over time image proccessing effects and fractally generated
scenery will eat away at the photorealism and leave you walking through a stranger and stranger world. There is no end to how long you can walk as more scenery is constantly generated. Of course the dog gets tired after a while… Of particular interest is the novel force feedback that the leash provides as well as the realism of the imagery, at least until you have walked a long way and “evolved” a very strange world. The piece consists of a 3D0 Interactive Multiplayer, a custom force reflective electronic dog leash, custom software and large screen rear projection television.

  • Rob Myers BS in Architecture, University of Southern California, USA, 1973. Rob Myers brings a strong design sense to the interactive computer world. While holding down sundry day jobs as a user interface designer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Qubix Graphics Systems and Silicon Graphics, he has collaborated with Peter in the construction of various virtual environments and artificial life forms over the last 18 years.
  • Rebecca Fuson has drawn, painted, constructed collage, designed with type and pixels. A former modern dancer, her current interests involve the intersections of art and technology, communications and culture. In 1992 her work “Event Horizon” was awarded an honorable mention at Ars Electronica. She does not have a dog
  • Peter Broadwell – BA/MA in Applied Math Univ. Calif. Santa Cruz, USA, 1978/1988. Peter has grown up all around the world. Interested in exposing people to the beauty of math he became involved in computer graphics about 20 years ago. Since that time he has
    worked at UCSC, Silicon Graphics and The 3D0 Company always blending the purely  technical with the artistic. This blend has been meeting the public in the “Plasm:” series of interactive installation pieces since 1985. This series merges current mathematical research with state -of -the art computer graphics and an approachable aesthetic.