Ars Electronica 1990
Festival-Program 1990
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Festival 1979-2007


The Theatre of Hybrid Automata
Lecture and Performance

'Woody Vasulka Woody Vasulka / 'David Dunn David Dunn

This presentation will be concerned with two basic modalities of space: the actual and the virtual. Believing that the notion of construction and syntax for a new dramatic space can develop as a dialectical confrontation between the traditional stage (or media space) and the data based virtual world, we have set out to build some basic tools for space exploration. The most advanced to date is the Pan/Tilt/Rotate camera head, a robotic physical device which, when linked to graphic virtual computer space, attempts to redefine the traditional stage and established media space. This device can also be activated through two aural modes: simple verbal commands or musical vocalization. A second tool, the binaural microphone system, creates a confrontation between an actual acoustic space and its synthetic model.

In order to demonstrate this concept we will present a binaural sound environment which models the audio component of virtual reality research currently in progress. This environment explores the potential for interpretation between diverse sensory worlds, subjective and objective experience, and the real versus the impossible through aural illusions of orbital motion in physical and virtual space. A variety of soundscape will be explored using the robotic camera device to literally rotate the listener's aural perception through a cube of sonic stimulus. Some of these soundscapes will include texts by writer Lizbeth Rymland which articulate the seeding of the virtual technological domain with evolutionary imperatives. These imaginary scenarios show how ephemeralized technologies, physically incorporated into the human organism, will extend perceptual, locomotive and expressive capabilities beyond the familiar human spectrum.