Ars Electronica
Ars Electronica 1997
Festival-Program 1997
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Festival 1979-2007
 

 

Liquid Meditation


Margaret H. Watson

From the banks of a small pond in Chicago, I discovered a myriad of beautiful reflections. Liquid abstractions of nature as diverse and exceptional as the ceaseless palette of perpetual sunsets flow unnoticed beneath the shade. Through their simple, mesmerizing movements, the beholder is transformed into something beyond external. Immersion through imagination and an internal connection create a bond between nature and human. Truth reveals itself in such moments of clarity.

Liquid Meditation began with the dual goal of sharing these moments and creating a physical immersion within them. In virtual reality, the water reflections could be introduced in a new way, as images within a strange architectural structure. Within the space, the images are the reality and the world is the art. But, visitors to the space are uncertain. The abstraction of the images convince us that they are not real.

In addition, the abstraction within the work allows an individual to examine a real moment in time in a new and exciting way. Beautiful reflective surfaces transform into worlds that encompass the user. Liquid photographs flow in pieces through reprocessing within a virtual fountain or come to life through mathematical animation. Water video pulses and flows infinitely in a world where moments can continue for an eternity.

Conceptual goals of the project included embedding philosophies of life and reflection within the architecture and the work as a whole. Through individual discovery within the world, participants can hopefully examine life with new insight.

Liquid Meditation was created for the CAVE™ VR System at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sound was created by Eric Butkus.