Boston University Art Galleries

Boston University

Boston, MA



Spirited Ruins


The Boston University-based consortium, High Performance Computing in the Arts (HiPArt) and BU's Scientific Computing and Visualization Group bring the magical three-dimensional world of "Spirited Ruins" to the Sherman Gallery from Wednesday, September 20 through Sunday, October 8, 2000.

Created by computer science researchers and artists working in close collaboration, "Spirited Ruins" takes visitors to an imaginary ancient palace, bringing to light the artifacts of a long-lost civilization. In this dynamic space where the real and virtual worlds collide, gallery-goers interact with kinetic sculptures to activate objects in the virtual world and can become virtual explorers bringing the kinetic sculptures alive by manipulating virtual objects. (left: Boston University SCV, "Spirited Ruins" 3D mixed media and electronics, 1999)

Art New England's contributing editor and writer George Fifield describes a section of "Spirited Ruins" created by printmaker Deborah Cornell and her husband, musician Richard Cornell. "In a huge glowing universe, floating shapes similar to Australian petroglyphs can be explored by maneuvering (flying) toward and through them," he writes. "As you approach the shape, ethereal sounds well up ... You create your own musical score by traveling through virtual space from one beautiful shape to another."

"Gateway to Spirited Ruins" is presented on an ImmersaDesk large-format display with an eight-speaker surround sound system. Virtual reality goggles provide stereoscopic vision and a hand-held wand allows one to move through the virtual landscape and interact with participants at other ImmersaDesks in other locations. (left: Boston University SCV, "Spirited Ruins" frame grab from VR 1999)

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/23/11

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