Research and Development for A Physical Installation
1. Learn to fly a light aircraft and a videogame simulation of flying, spending equal time at each.
2. Explore the potential of different media for recording and using this process for a final installation
Biotelemetrics - gathering physical data eg. Pulse, temperature, brain activity.
Writing an evolving report of each part of the process as a web log. ( ie a live and developing document functioning as evidence).
Streaming the game playing aspect live to the web along side recorded footage of real flight.
By creating a pseudo scientific web site of data recorded during each flight/digital flight as a method of further exploring the fact and fiction of real and virtual.
video, photography, audio
3. Experimentation with the creation of an augmented environment / haptic physical interface.
This may include creating physical feedback systems and sensitive surfaces through the use of fine switches, triggers and sensors embedded in surfaces and objects. Working with I-cube in conjunction with ready made and custom sensors & switches .
Following an initial test flight I was particularly interested in indirect contact with the weather through the planes steering mechanisms, constantly in contact with wind movement, making intiuitive corrective motions to keep the plane level, which would never come about in a game playing situation. Live weather conditions are available in Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2000 via the web - This information (or information from meteorological offices) could be utilised to create a live spatial /physical responsive environment.
The research will explore
'liveness' and the nature of mediation, simulation, kinaesthetic experience,
muscle memory and the performative practices of both producer and audience.
If we are already cyborgs, we are also already living within virtual environments. WAP phones, SMS, palm pilots, game boys and GPS systems give us the ability to be simultaneously active within both physical and digital spaces each feeding back into the other. In exploring our physical negotiation of the convergence of real and virtual landscape can the rules of real space be given currency in game worlds and vice versa?
The term 'virtual space' only really tells us that space can be simulated and is usually limited to a visual representation, how then can the time based physical processes of a place, such as weather, wear and tear or dust and scratches impact on simulations?
This research also explores learning as a transformative process. The media is always keen to suggest a transferral of learnt behaviour from video games to real spaces when a violent act has occurred, but there is very rarely evidence to suport this. It is however a commonly held belief that we learn more from actively engaging in an activity rather than reading or listening.
When flying a plane, as you come in to land, just before you touch down, there is a moment after you have seen the pattern of fields and houses laid out below you in fascinating detail, a moment when all you can see are airport buildings, grass and tarmac, a moment just before touch down when you are between flight and landing, when the plane seems to hold back, almost as if repelled by the earth. Instead of flying you feel suspended, at the height you are usually at on a bridge. Its a transition point between a suspension of disbelief whilst flying, its the moment when gravity tightens its grip again, you are held in a moment of blissful defiance of the friction of the earth, and gut dread that in a split second from now something could go wrong.