Exploration of Space

Peter McCready’s Virtual Reality work (http://www.petermccready.com/) reminded me of something Robert Polidori mentioned briefly in his talk a few months ago: very high resolution displays, with a resolution that can compete with print, to the extent that when a person walks into a still-life frame, that will be a surprise. Contrapuntally, in McCready’s work, it is a bit of a surprise that we can explore frozen/still space in 3 dimensions; the surprise is when we see frozen people in that space even as our point of view is moving through it. Though he has many pieces from the CERN Large Hadron Collider to coincide I guess with the news cycle, I found the one about the European Space Operations Center most interesting (unfortunately he has fallen into the Adobe Flash trap of not providing URLs for specific pages), where the eye passes over banal objects like file drawers, fire extinguishers, an electronic display board listing satellites and missions (well not so banal) like flights in an airport, etc, with a loop of scientific chatter playing in the background like a message from a vanished planet.

I’m not so sure I like the ability to control (with the mouse) what I see and and at what pace. Art is this dance between the artist and audience; the artist provides the material to the audience to complete the art with; to relinquish this degree of control seems paradoxically a sign of insecurity on part of the artist, a kind of spray and pray.

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