Ars Electronica 2003
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Festival 1979-2007


An Electronic MuseumVirtual Interactive 3-D CAVE Installation

'A. Benjamin Spaeth A. Benjamin Spaeth

raum.art is an interactive virtual environment developed at the University of Stuttgart’s High Performance Computing Center in cooperation with Erwin Herzberger and Uwe Wössner. The work makes a statement about the relationship of architecture, art and virtual space.

Virtual space with its electronic texts, sounds and images is a real part of our reality. The shifting of the realm of human activity into the digital domain is being prefigured by the world of art. This museum as a forum of art carries out this shift in an appropriate way. The consequences of this phenomenon are manifestly, palpably evident in the museum both conceptually and as an architectural presence. This raises the question of a museum that dispenses with the physical existence of both works on display in a museum context and visitors coming to view them.

To compensate for the absence of a genius loci in virtual space, there is the ephemeral presence of real places. The concrete architectural form takes shape by means of the network linkage of real locations and the inscription of significant processes and qualities of these locations upon the electronic presence. The absence of external parameters like gravity, rain and wind makes it possible to reduce the architecture to its pure content. This state of “being space” offers the opportunity to place the objects in relation to each other, to establish an order among them, and to allow them to enter one’s faculties of perception. In its mode of manifestation, architecture in the electronic sphere reifies the specific characteristics of virtuality.

Idea, concept, programming: A. Benjamin Spaeth
Concept: Erwin Herzberger
Programming: Uwe Wössner