Three Wearable Devices for Augmented Virtuality
Three Wearable Devices for Augmented Virtuality is a series of three wearable devices for performance in Second Life. These devices are intended to give myself and/or my representation a heightened/augmented sense of place.
Above: Device #1: A Wearable Garden.
Device #1: A Wearable Garden is primarily a visual prop for myself as viewer of my representation from a non first-person point of view. It functions in much the same way as a flat used in theatre, providing a background and context to the presented content. Here the background is worn by my representation and so moves, clumsily, with my representation through the ‘virtual’ space.
The imagery, a live video feed from my garden in Cardiff, Wales, ‘real’ life, is static while my representation moves. Seen in relation to the environment of Second Life, computer graphics overlaid with a graphical user interface and framed within a windowing operating system, it is the video feed which becomes more unreal, representative, virtualised and affirms the visual identity of the place we would normally call ‘virtual’.
Above: Device #2: A Wearable Map of the Region.
Device #2: A Wearable Map of the Region alludes to Alfred Korzybski’s statement that “the map is not the territory” (Korzybski, 1931). The metaphor, that subject and representation are not one and the same, forms a key role in philosophical discussions around what has been termed as the Map-Territory Relation.
The work itself attempts to visualise a description of a map so perfect in detail that it incorporates itself and so on to infinity. This has been employed by Lewis Carroll, Josiah Royce, Jorge Luis Borges etc. to explore ideas of the ‘real’, representation and the issues these pose in relation to each other (Wikipedia, 2011).
Similar to Device #1, this device is a visual prop for myself as viewer of my representation from a non first-person point of view. My representation wears the device which displays a live aerial map, scale 1:10, of its position within Second Life. The map rotates and moves as my representation moves showing a view of the immediate surroundings. This gives a different point of view and forms a continuation of a space that is itself already a representation. This map however even scaled 1:1 can never be a perfect representation of the original representation. Separated in time, due to periodic (one to three days) server caching, from the original representation the map can only incorporate itself if the wearer remains motionless during this time.
Above: Device #3: A Wearable Sea View.
Device #3: A Wearable Sea View is an attempt to create a ‘virtual’ and augmented Celatone. The Celatone was a device conceived by Galileo Galilei which enabled its wearer to see a distant place through one eye while using the other to navigate their immediate surroundings (Ayala, 2010).
In this interpretation of the device my representation wears a Celatone which completely covers the view however is transparent enough to mix both distant and local views. Similar to the previous devices, it is a visual prop however this time its purpose is to allow my representation to see beyond its ‘virtual’ location to a location that is distant in another sense, other worldly outside of the ‘virtual’ and impossible to reach for my representation. The place seen and mixed with the view of Second Life is Inchydoney in County Cork, Ireland where the artist was born and so attempts to create a connection between the artist and his representation through place.
Above: Images of all three performances. Click to view.
To view more images of this work and others from the Yoshikaze “Up-In-The-Air” Second Life Residency please see the Yoshikaze Residency set on Flickr.