Panel: Variable Reality – Inter-formalities in Digital/Analogue Arts
The virtual worlds of the new century are the playgrounds for artists to explore space and time, the digital objects created here are experienced by avatar, without the full range of sensory perceptions we use when confronting the real world. To experience the virtual as a reality we need sensors connected to our physical bodies or to solid objects to simulate real-world sensations. In order to further engage viewers as participants in their work, contemporary artists are exploring ways of synthesizing the material physical real world with that of the virtual. This presentation will explore one of the projects currently underway at CADRE, University of Wolverhampton that example ways of presenting the virtual as an alternative real. Shift-Life, is a virtual world of Darwinian fantasy sweet-like creatures projected into a sand-pit box which respond to the physical actions of visitors causing real-time upheavals in their environment. Through directly pouring liquids, hammering and adjusting lights, when interacting with this hands-on installation, the real world encroaches upon the virtual causing a life-and-death struggle to an artificial life form. This project was directly influenced by earlier works concerning Marcel Duchamp’s Large Glass, where creature-like behaviors were given to Duchampian objects to amplify their familial relations.
- Dew Harrison is a Professor of Digital Media Art and Director of CADRE, the Centre for Art and Design Research And Experimentation at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, where she works as the Associate Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies in the School of Art and Design. As a practising artist with a PhD from CAIIA (Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts), her work continues to explore a theoretically informed computer-mediated approach to the territory between art, technology and consciousness studies in order to position a participatory concept-based art practice. This involves semantically associating ideas and concepts into non-linear multimedia form and digital outcomes have been shown both in the UK and internationally. She considers the dialogue between the virtual (digital) realm and the real world, as a semantic space for creative exploration. With over 50 publications to date, she is regularly invited to present at conferences concerning Consciousness Studies, Curation and Archiving, Digital Art, Art History, Interactive Gaming, and Museology. Her practice is often collaborative as exampled in her most recent installation work ‘Shift-Life’ where she worked with two programmers and an animator. This piece was commissioned by Shrewsbury Museum Services for the International Darwin Bicentenary, and funded by Arts Council England. pva.org.uk wlv.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/cadre—centre-for-art-design-research-and-expe/