Spatial Structure and Representation in Interactive Multimedia


Session Title:

  • Spaces, Bodies, Emergence, and Data in Interactive Art

Presentation Title:

  • Spatial Structure and Representation in Interactive Multimedia




  • A rather recent trend in contemporary architectural thinking focuses on architectural space generation by and through the human body movement. Thinking space by means of events and scenarios seem to prevail over the static entities of traditional architectural conception. The great majority of architectural experimentation with digital technologies is orientated towards 3D environments, based on biological or mathematical models as well as on the mobile camera representation of space. Despite more than two decades of development, space organization and conception in interactive multimedia has been given a very limited attention.

    This paper investigates analogies and differences in space conception between 3D environments and the multi-layer and multiple windows organization of interactive multimedia.

    Interactive multimedia environment is a complex one, constituted by different types of media, of location and of travel. It includes the spatial composition of the surface of each screen (on-screen as well as off-screen space) and the time-based composition of audiovisual events. Moving from one element or event into another establishes a third dimension in the mind of the viewer, that of the interactive narrative that combines both cinematic and diegetic qualities.

    Navigable space can be used to represent both physical spaces and abstract information spaces while hyperlinking often separates data from its structure. Space design is characterized by interactivity functions, hierarchical or non-hierarchical organization and modularity.

    Another notion that can serve as a bridge between architectural conception and multimedia design is that of “program”. Program can be considered both as an organization scheme of space representation and as an abstract formulation of a series of symbolic decisions and actions (the software) that organize the data space. Thus, digital technologies have spatialized all representations and experiences while digital narrative is equated with travelling through information space.

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