Gulliver’s Box


Hirokazu Kato (JP)
Adrian David Cheok
Christopher Lindinger (AT)
Horst Hörtner (AT)
Nina Wenhart (AT)
Gerfried Stocker (AT)
Dan Borthwick
Simon Prince
Pascal Maresch (AT) (CH)
Andreas Jalsovec
Gernot Ziegler (AT)
Roland Haring
Wolfgang Ziegler (AT)
Stefan Feldler (AT)
Rudolf Hanl (AT)
Martin Honzik (AT)
Gerold Hofstadler (AT)
Martin Sturm (AT)
Scott Ritter (AT) (US)
Robert Praxmarer (AT)
Christine Pilsl (AT)

Put on your own theatrical production in which you play the lead role, invent characters or direct the show. In “Gulliver's Box,” you can produce an entire narrative alone or in collaboration with friends, and then allow others to experience it in virtual reality.

Just like in the world of huge Brobdignagians and tiny Lilliputians in “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, the play of scale and relation is what shatters accustomed modes of seeing. The central challenge facing this project was to position a novel medium at the nexus of theater, film and installation.

“Gulliver's Box” consists of two modules. In the Recording Room, visitors can make recordings of themselves—for approximately 10 seconds, all of their actions are recorded audio-visually. These recordings can then be played back in the Stage Area.

There, users have at their disposal a series of transparent boxes—the “Magic Cup” tangible interface—which house their figures generated in the Recording Room, other animated characters and different theatrical stage sets. After users have decided on the scenery—which can be changed by shifting the theater set box—they set their characters on the stage and move them by changing the position of the respective box. If two figures approach one another, the result is interaction.

Users can also select one of two different environments for a particular scene—a standard one and a music environment. In the music version, the individual figures are assigned sounds that begin to blend harmonically when several are brought together. With a camera object, the scene is captured from the perspective of the figures and displayed on a screen.

In “Gulliver's Box,” the animated characters and the recordings of a user appear by means of a head mounted display on the stage—in this case a table. The “MagicCup” tangible interface consists of a simple transparent cube whose position and movements are tracked and interpreted by an optical system. The user takes the cube, places it over a beamed-in virtual object and, in this way, can pick it up, move it, set it down, copy it or erase it. Shifting between the individual functions is done by simply shaking the cube.

The possibility of observing and manipulating the scene from a position overlooking it—or from any other desired angle—seems to be unique in a media art context. The result of this project is an infrastructure that provides artists with new possibilities to transport audiovisual information, and ought to encourage creative artists in every discipline to work with these new approaches.

3D-Live System: Adrian David Cheok, Simon Prince, Dan Borthwick (SGP)
Supported by the funding of DSTA Singapore and the National Arts Council Singapore