“Aspirational Space” presented by Nash and Greuter

  • ©ISEA2016: 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art, Adam Nash and Stefan Greuter, Aspirational Space
  • Photo from adamnash.net.au


Session Title:

  • Dreaming VR and Post-Screen

Presentation Title:

  • Aspirational Space




  • Out of Space (aka Aspirational Space) by Adam Nash is a playable abstract audiovisual virtual environment, using the Spacewalk system developed by Stefan Greuter (see below). Immersed in an infinitely self-producing virtual space made of nothing but colour and sound, the visitor plays, flying and falling, creating little melodies and rhythms of sound and colour. Out of space, out of thin air, out of nothing, music and memories are made with virtual visions and vibrations.

    We explore the invitation to digital art inherent in the 21st century renewal of interest in so-called “virtual reality”, a renewal currently dominated by libertarian digital capitalist rhetoric. Digital art has a long history of practice and conceptual development in the field of virtual reality. As the philosopher of art, Friedrich Schiller said:
    But while in ecstacy we give ourselves up to the heavenly beauty, the heavenly self-repose awes us back. The whole form rests and dwells in itself —a fully complete creation in itself— and as if she were out of space, without advance or resistance; it shows no force contending with force, no opening through which time could break in.” (Letter XV)

    Art now is for play, for playing with, for playing. Play in all its productive potential becomes the push and pull between artist and interactor (who is no more just a viewer or listener, spectator or audient) creating the work in real time, and in no time at all the interactor becomes the artist, and each interactor/artist creates a unique virtual work, unique to themselves and yet outside of themselves, in the world, virtually.

    Schiller again: “The sensuous instinct wishes to be determined, it wishes to receive an object; the formal instinct wishes to determine itself, it wishes to produce an object. Therefore the instinct of play will endeavor to receive as it would itself have produced, and to produce as it aspires to receive.” (Letter XIV)

    Spacewalk, designed by Stefan Greuter, is a low cost experimental platform that enables participants to experience full-body immersion in virtual reality. The platform combines a commodity Head Mounted Display, with a depth based camera capturing movement of body and limbs within the space and makes Virtual Reality in small environments such as people’s homes compelling, easy to setup and use. Spacewalk helps make Virtual Reality accessible to a wider group of users who do not have access to a professional virtual reality facility and may help to unlock new paradigms for work, learning entertainment and art.