The opportunity to explore a world different from our own is perhaps one of the imagination’s prime movers. Throughout history, fortunately, several methods have facilitated the practice. To the repertoire of these eclectic tools, we can now add one more: a video game created by Laurie Anderson in collaboration with Taiwanese artist, Hsin-Chien Huang.

Chalkroom is a virtual platform programmed to a near artistic level. Anderson says that it’s not oriented toward making decisions, performing actions or accomplishing tasks. In fact, it consists in disembodiment, and then in flying. It’s about liberation and floating, and while you’re at it, it’s also about exploring the intrinsic elements of human reality in language and in history. These too are built into and deconstructed within the peculiar architecture of the platform.

The possibility of materializing sounds in three dimensions, of floating and drifting between letters and codes, and passing through organic, earthy structures. All the while, these have very little to do with the normally unrealistic cleanliness of virtual reality. These are just some of the adventures awaiting those who immerse themselves in Chalkroom – at once a zone of temporary futuristic autonomy.
Virtual reality, until now, has been used in fields such as therapy, for example in the treatment of phobias and mental disorders or in programs for physical or mental rehabilitation. Virtual tools have allowed us to navigate mystical experiences – such as in living the unfolding of the bodily experience. But one of the most exciting aspects of virtual reality is that it still remains a largely unexplored universe, with many more applications yet to come.

Chalkroom aims for an integrated, decentralized experience and one which will detonate still others ranging from the therapeutic and the ontological to the countercultural. One experience invites appropriation, with no linear rules much less competition. It relies more on free, nearly random stimuli and with an eagerness likely to truly shake our conscience.

To date, the installation has been presented in museums that include the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It also won the Venice Film Festival award for Best Virtual Reality Experience.

 

 

*Image: Louisiana Channel – video

The opportunity to explore a world different from our own is perhaps one of the imagination’s prime movers. Throughout history, fortunately, several methods have facilitated the practice. To the repertoire of these eclectic tools, we can now add one more: a video game created by Laurie Anderson in collaboration with Taiwanese artist, Hsin-Chien Huang.

Chalkroom is a virtual platform programmed to a near artistic level. Anderson says that it’s not oriented toward making decisions, performing actions or accomplishing tasks. In fact, it consists in disembodiment, and then in flying. It’s about liberation and floating, and while you’re at it, it’s also about exploring the intrinsic elements of human reality in language and in history. These too are built into and deconstructed within the peculiar architecture of the platform.

The possibility of materializing sounds in three dimensions, of floating and drifting between letters and codes, and passing through organic, earthy structures. All the while, these have very little to do with the normally unrealistic cleanliness of virtual reality. These are just some of the adventures awaiting those who immerse themselves in Chalkroom – at once a zone of temporary futuristic autonomy.
Virtual reality, until now, has been used in fields such as therapy, for example in the treatment of phobias and mental disorders or in programs for physical or mental rehabilitation. Virtual tools have allowed us to navigate mystical experiences – such as in living the unfolding of the bodily experience. But one of the most exciting aspects of virtual reality is that it still remains a largely unexplored universe, with many more applications yet to come.

Chalkroom aims for an integrated, decentralized experience and one which will detonate still others ranging from the therapeutic and the ontological to the countercultural. One experience invites appropriation, with no linear rules much less competition. It relies more on free, nearly random stimuli and with an eagerness likely to truly shake our conscience.

To date, the installation has been presented in museums that include the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It also won the Venice Film Festival award for Best Virtual Reality Experience.

 

 

*Image: Louisiana Channel – video