Mixed Realities - An International Networked Art Exhibition and Symposium

Opening and Performance: February 7, 2008; 5-7 pm
Symposium: February 8; 10 am - 5 pm
Workshop: February 9; 1-5 pm
Exhibition: February 7 - April 15, 2008

Free and Open to the Public

To Register for Symposium: email jo at turbulence dot org with Symposium in the subject line (Lunch included)

To Register for Workshop: email jo at turbulence dot org with Workshop in the subject line (Limited to 12 participants)


Mixed Realities: An International Networked Art Exhibition
February 7 - April 15, 2008
Monday - Friday, 11 am to 3 pm

Opening Reception:
February 7, 5-7 pm
Pierre Proske's Caterwaul will be performed by Emerson College students at 5:30 pm

Venues: Huret & Spector Gallery, 10 Boylston Place, 6th Floor [MAP: select #4, The Tufte Performance and Production Center], Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts; Ars Virtua (Second Life - Teleport)* and

* To visit Ars Virtua simply create a free account in Second Life and run the current client. Once you have this properly installed follow this link directly to Ars Virtua.

by Pierre Proske, with technical assistance from Artem Baguinski and Brigit Lichtenegger
Imaging Beijing

by John (Craig) Freeman
by Scott Kildall and Victoria Scott
by Neill Donaldson, Usman Haque, Ai Hasegawa, Georg Tremmel
The Vitruvian World
by Michael Takeo Magruder, Drew Baker and David Steele

Curated by Jo-Anne Green, Co-Director, New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.

The competition was juried by Yasmine Abbas, Founder, Neo-Nomad; Michael Frumin, Technical Director Emeritus, Eyebeam; James Morgan, Director, Ars Virtua; Trebor Scholz, Founder, Institute for Distributed Creativity; and Helen Thorington, Co-Director, New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. Bios >>

by Pierre Proske, with technical assistance from Artem Baguinski and Brigit Lichtenegger

When someone screams in real life, do they hear us in virtual reality?
Do they want to?

The proliferation of networked online worlds has provided a small quota of the human race the option to seek refuge in utopian, less troubled imaginary lands. Rolling synthetic green pastures offer us respite from a planet undergoing exploitation and climate change. For those of us too firmly rooted in this material world to join them, how shall we communicate with them? In what way shall we lament their departure? The essence of CATERWAUL is a large, monolithic, dark wall that is represented both in the real and virtual worlds. It is a one-way portal to the virtual world through which people can whisper their thoughts, scream their frustrations and convey regret without the privilege of reply. It is a wailing wall through which to mourn the loss of our humanity to the virtual network.

CATERWAUL is an interactive sound installation that operates as a one way “portal” to Second Life via the internet. A physical wall in Boston operates as a totemic locus of grief. People approach it with intent to wail and mourn. The mourners grieve their lost loved ones who spend more time in virtual and on-line worlds than they do communicating in real life. The cacophony of the lamentation is recorded by hidden microphones in the wall, transmitted across the internet and piped out of an "identical" wall in the virtual world Second Life. A website displaying a simulation of the wall allows other people, on the threshold of "real" and "second" life, to vicariously eavesdrop the wailing.



CATERWAUL operates as a one way "portal" to Second Life. Like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, people approach it with the intent to wail, and mourn. The mourners will be grieving their lost loved ones who spend more time in virtual and on-line worlds than they do in real life. Recorded by hidden microphones, their lamentations will be piped into an "identical" wall in Second Life.

Celebrating the Ancient Roman tradition of hired mourners, a procession of 6 men and 6 women will approach CATERWAUL wailing and sobbing. Each will invoke the names of the people they are mourning. Proske will then deliver a eulogy.

From Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal"

Pierre Proske is an Australian electronic artist intrigued by the pervasiveness of technology in culture and its relationship to nature. After years of juggling parallel interests in technology and the arts, Pierre tired of the schizophrenia and finally discovered that it was socially acceptable, in fact highly desirable, to merge the two. Consequently he has taken on the ambitious task of rendering computers accountable to our sometimes misplaced but inevitable humanity.

Proske's work involves exposing the unspoken relationships we have with technology and harnessing machines into exploring new aesthetics. He has exhibited or performed in Australia, Sweden., Brazil, Japan and the Netherlands.

Having studied Electrical Engineering and Liberal Arts at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Pierre spent 4 years in Sweden where he performed, exhibited and obtained a Master of Science in Art and Technology from Chalmers University. His background in arts, engineering, philosophy, music and literature provides him with sufficient options to keep himself perpetually occupied in a self-inspired quest to weave together several unrelated threads of activity.

Imaging Beijing
by John (Craig) Freeman

Imaging Beijing is the latest installment of Imaging Place, a place-based, virtual reality project that combines panoramic photography, digital video, and virtual worlds to investigate and document situations where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. The goal of the project is to develop the technologies, the methodology and the content for truly immersive and navigable narrative, based in real places.

When a denizen of Second Life first arrives at Imaging Beijing, he, she or it can walk over a satellite image of central Beijing where they will find a networks of nodes constructed of primitive spherical geometry with panoramic photographs texture mapped to the interior. The avatar can walk to the center of one of these nodes and use a first person perspective to view the image, giving the user the sensation of being immersed in the location.

Streaming audio is localized to individual nodes providing narrative content for the scene. This content includes stories of formative memory told by Peter Guo, a resident of Beijing, who appear in the images. The work is projected nine by twelve feet in a darkened space with a pedestal and a mouse placed in the center of the installation enabling the audience to interact with it. A web-cam captures live video of the user and transmits it to the head of an exhibition avatar. Dated links in the virtual space launch a browser, which opens a web journal of the Imaging Beijing field research.


John Craig Freeman's work has been exhibited internationally including at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, the Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich, Eyebeam in New York, City, the Zacheta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki (the national gallery of Warsaw), Kaliningrad Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Russia, Art Basel Miami, Ciberart Bilbao and the Girona Video and Digital Arts Festival in Spain, La Biblioteca National in Havana, the Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, the Nickle Arts Museum in Calgary, the Center for Experimental and Perceptual Art (CEPA) in Buffalo, Art interactive, Mobius and Studio Soto in Boston, the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, Ambrosino Gallery in Miami, the Photographers Gallery in London, and the Friends of Photography's Ansel Adams Center in San Francisco.

In 1992 Freeman was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His writing has been published in Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure, as well as a chapter in the book Electronic Collaboration in the Humanities. His work has been reviewed in Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper's and Der Spiegel. Lucy Lippard cites Freeman's work in her book The Lure of the Local, as does Margot Lovejoy in her book Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age.

Freeman received a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is an Associate Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. The focus of his academic activities throughout the last decade has been to integrate computer technology and theory of electronic culture into visual art curriculum and to explore interdisciplinary approaches to education and technology.

by Scott Kildall and Victoria Scott

Pandora's Box/Jar: (in SL,as a 2d sheet and as a 3d paper object)

NO MATTER is an interactive installation that activates the transformation of imaginary objects through the Second Life virtual economy into physical space. Second Life builders construct replicas of famous buildings, luxury goods and custom-designed objects, first reproducing, then inverting the notion of value itself. With zero cost for gathering resources, production of goods and transport of finished product, these items proliferate widely and quickly. In the real world, consumer items and imaginary objects serve as forms of emotional attachment — projection screens for desire, fear and love. These idealized forms seem real but when actualized in Second Life, they simultaneously disappoint and fascinate.

Likewise, humans have long sought escape from the physical world through both stories and invention, creating “imaginary objects”, which embody the tension between the ideal and the real. These shared cultural artifacts surface in mythology (Holy Grail, Trojan Horse), literature (Tell-Tale Heart), film (Maltese Falcon), thought experiments (Schrodinger’s Cat) and impossible inventions (Time Machine). Second Life, an online social environment, offers similar possibilities of the imaginary. With 3D-simulated space combined with a virtual currency and social interaction, this is a fully functioning economy of the immaterial.

NO MATTER reflects this tension between the imaginary and real economics by (1) commissioning 25 builders and artists to produce 40 cultural artifacts in Second Life space; (2) paying them in Linden dollars at an equivalent scale of $1.50 to $12.00 per object; (3) extracting the objects from Second Life — a closed system where 3D models cannot be exported; (4) inviting volunteers to reconstruct these as 3D paper replicas in physical space and paying them the equivalent wages in Linden dollars.


Scott Kildall is cross-disciplinary artist working with video, installation, prints, sculpture and performance. He gathers material from the public realm as the crux of his artwork. Through this method, he uncovers relationships between human memory and social media technology. He has a B.A. in Political Philosophy from Brown University. In 2006, he received a M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago through the Art & Technology Studies Department. He has exhibited in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Helsinki, Ireland, Spain and Romania. In the fall of 2006, he finished a conceptual art residency called The Future of Idea Art at The Banff Centre for the Arts. He followed this with a six-month fellowship at the Kala Art Institute focusing on remembrance in simulated worlds. He also works with Second Front — the first performance art group in Second Life. He currently resides in San Francisco.

Victoria Scott is a visual artist who works with electronic media, sculpture and social relations, both materially and as conceptual metaphor. For over a decade she has researched and created large-scale installations, objects, digital prints and audio works. Her ongoing projects include the material depiction of personal simulations and psychological spaces within online environments and real life. She is also developing a series of batteries that are charged by emotional energy and microorganisms. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Victoria graduated from the New Media/Photo Electric Arts Dept., at The Ontario College of Art & Design. In 2003, she was awarded the full Trustees Scholarship to attend at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago within the Art and Technology Department. Scott completed her MFA in 2005. She has exhibited in Sweden, Mexico City, Toronto, Berlin, Boston, Miami and Chicago and is the recipient of grants from both the Canada and Ontario Arts Councils.

by Neill Donaldson, Usman Haque, Ai Hasegawa, Georg Tremmel

Remote connects together two spaces, one in Boston the other in Second Life, and treats them as a single contiguous environment, bound together by the internet so that things that occur in one space affect things that happen in the other and vice versa -- remotely controlling each other. Communication between the two halves of this extended environment is a complex choreography coupling the environmental phenomena of humidity, temperature, light, speech, mist, wind, sound and proximity across the two. The object in Boston appears to be a seat; but, experientially, the Second Life space appears to be inside the seat. A similar alteration of scale occurs in the other direction. Visitors to the Boston space and the Second Life space must negotiate to achieve goals: e.g. by sitting down, breathing, touching, knocking, colliding. The environmental data of both spaces is publicly available in realtime via the EnvironmentXML repository enabling others to build devices and spaces that connect directly to both Boston and Second Life. The intention is to explore an architecture that is resolutely "human" (in the sense of being inhabited, configured and determined by its occupants) yet context-free (because it does not privilege geographical location).


Neill Donaldson is a programmer specialising in Java & Ruby/Rails. By day Neill works with Ruby on Rails for a startup in London. By night he works with Ruby on Rails for a startup in London. If he had more time, he'd return to his beloved arduino board, or maybe his interactive toys in Second Life.

Usman Haque, Haque Design + Research, architect and programmer, UK, has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and mass-participation performances. His skills include the design of both physical spaces and the software and systems that bring them to life.

Ai Hasegawa, Haque Design + Research, illustrator and interaction designer, studied at the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences in Japan. She spends most of her time in the world of manga but when she occasionally comes back to this planet she specialises in Flash with a little bit of Processing.

Georg Tremmel, Japan/Austria, studied Media Art in Vienna and Interaction Design at the Royal College of Art in London. His body of work mainly consists of interactive installations, of both the physical and meta-physical kind.

The Vitruvian World
by Michael Takeo Magruder, Drew Baker and David Steele

In the 1st century BC, Roman writer, architect and engineer Vitruvius authored specific building formulae based on the guiding principles of strength, utility and beauty. For him, architecture is intrinsically linked to nature and is an imitation of cosmic order. The most well-known interpretation of this postulate is the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci in which the human form is depicted in unity with the square and circle - representing material and spiritual existence respectively.

This tripart union of human body, material form and spiritual essence maintains relevance within the current climate of distributed presences, mixed realities and internet cultures. The proliferation of synthetic worlds and virtual constructs engendered by our technologically-enabled mainstream provides new realms for creative exploration and actual existence.

The Vitruvian World is a real-time immersive installation that embodies the principles of Vitruvius within this contemporary context. Existing in three distinct yet interconnected spaces, the artwork simultaneously embraces the virtual, the physical, and the network that connects them.


Michael Takeo Magruder is an American artist based in the UK working with New and Technological Media within Contemporary Arts practice. His artworks have been showcased in over 180 exhibitions and 30 countries, including venues such as the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, EAST International 2005, Georges Pompidou Center, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Trans-Media-Akademie Hellerau. His works are regular inclusions in international New Media festivals, such as Cybersonica, CYNETart, FILE, Filmwinter, SeNef, Siggraph, Split, VAD and WRO. His artistic practice has been funded directly by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Arts Council England, The National Endowment for the Arts, USA and numerous public galleries both within the UK and abroad. Michael is also recognized for his on-line arts practice and has been commissioned by leading portals for Internet Art such as and His current interests concern the simultaneous utilization and dissection of new technology as a means to explore the formal structures and conceptual paradigms of the digital realm. He seeks to create artworks in which there are no divisions between technologies, aesthetics, and concepts.


Drew Baker is a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King’s College London. One of the founding members of King's Visualisation Lab, he has worked in the field of archaeological 3D visualization and interpretation for over ten years. His specialization is in the area of 3D modeling - specifically interactive web-based environments and constructs. Drew’s primary interest in deploying 3D and advanced technologies within cultural practice is to transform spectators into active participants though the utilization of virtual worlds and artifacts. He is currently concluding a two year AHRC-funded project exploring the process of cognitive modeling in 3D environments and how visualization methodologies can be recorded and understood.

David Steele is a senior technical consultant based in Arlington, Virginia, USA working with advanced web technology and database architecture. He has been undertaking research and development in these fields since the middle nineties and was a pioneer in pairing cutting-edge clients to existing corporate infrastructures. David’s work has enabled a variety of high profile applications from global text messaging frameworks to re-entry systems for the space shuttle. He is currently interested in exploring the limits of what code can run in a browser in order to reduce server load and enhance the user experience. The ultimate goal is for users to forget that they are working in a browser as the web converges with native applications.

Thanks to King's Visualisation Lab, Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London for their generous support.



  New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. commissioned five works ($5,000 each) for Mixed Realities with funds from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Hosted by Emerson College’s Huret & Spector Gallery, the exhibition and symposium are funded by Emerson College's School of the Arts and Department of Visual and Media Arts; and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
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