Mersea Circles


Masaki Fujihata (JP)
Takeshi Kawashima (JP)

Diaries, photos, films—these are all ways of preserving the memory of a certain day, a certain experience or a certain place. “Mersea Circles” opens up a completely new dimension in virtual space for digital recollection.

Archived video images that are connected with a particular geographical area give rise to a collective memory. In pursuit of this phenomenon, a two-day event was organized in the summer of 2003 on the tiny island of Mersea in the vicinity of Colchester, Essex. Approximately 120 people hiked in groups along the coast and used their digital cameras to make a record of their activities, conversations and the landscape. The coordinates of the locations at which the images were shot were recorded by a GPS device.

The next phase of the project was post-processing in the studio, where a three-dimensional cyberspace was created. Within this virtual space, each video sequence was assigned—according to the GPS data—to the spot at which the recorded event actually took place. Now, when the viewer approaches the screen, the corresponding sequence is played back.

A special feature of this CAVE application is the form of the GPS line that develops vertically along the timeline. The lower the video recording is positioned, the further back in the past it took place; and conversely, the higher it’s positioned, the more recent it is.

“Mersea Circles” is based on the idea of creating a motion picture archive in order to establish a place for collective memory in cyberspace.

This project was realized under Coast Digital programme managed by Essex County Council Visual and Media Art in partnership with Commissions East, firstsite and Future Physical / shinkansen.
Based on Vrizer: Florian Berger / Ars Electronica Futurelab