Posts Tagged ‘virtual reality’

We took OneAvatar at Milano in Digitale.

OneAvatar - the Game and the packaging

OneAvatar – the Game and the packaging

The third edition of the Milano in Digitale competition was held at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, an industrial complex restored by Milan’s public administration to host artistic and cultural projects. Organized by the Fondazione D’Ars Oscar Signorini onlus, it is a competition created to investigate the evolution of the artistic research performed by young artists in the fields of digital and new media arts.

The competition is really interesting as it features a great level of openness towards the proposed works: both the organizing team (composed by Cristina Trivellin, Morena Ghilardi and Martina Coletti) and the jury (Paolo Rosa, Pier Luigi Capucci, Antonio Caronia, Francesco Monico, Domenico Quaranta and Franco Torriani) carefully analze all of the works selecting the ones that use digital technologies in the most significant ways.

It was, thus, a pleasure to be selected.

Me and penelope.di.pixel chose a hardcore approach to present OneAvatar in this occasion.

I designed a multi player game using IDSoft’s Quake 3 3D engine that allowed the players to hunt the avatar of the person (me! :)  ) wearing the OneAvatar suit through a three dimensional environment. [Note: look at the end of the post for the links to download the source code of the game]

When the players eventually hit the OneAvatar character, the software activated the circuit connected to the game server’s serial port (I connected through a simple circuit to the USB port of one of the laptops) sending the electric signals used to flash all the LED lights that were placed all over the suit and to send a stronger electric shock to a voltage multiplier circuit that was taped to the hands of the performer, actually hurting (a bit ;) ) him.

the installation before I started to get electrocuted

the installation before I started to get electrocuted

The installation features the results of the research coming from the OneAvatar project: technology, emotion, identity, relational dimensions in the digital domains are ome of the fundamental topics analyzed.

In this research we focus on the re-connection of the physical body to the digital identities of the persons using digital technologies and networks. In the OneAvatar project this approach produces a short circuit between the physical and immaterial dimensions, forcing the former to interact with the latter.

What results is an explicit layering of realities, entangling material and immaterial domains together. Game players are forced to thing about the physical effects of their actions when they shoot the game characters, ad the other players get physically hurt by the electric shocks.

A narrative metaphor for immaterial economies, cognitive capitalism, for the relationships established in social networks.

This is the approach that we are calling Neo Realismo Virtuale ( NeRVi )

penelope.di.pixel finishing up the packaging

penelope.di.pixel finishing up the packaging

For the event a complete marketing and communication strategy was produced to create a fictional, but realistic and produceable, product to establish the narrative level of the performance: the performer was displayed as in a shopping center showcase, with the product and the related gadgets available for sale. A further analysis on the evolution of art in the contemporary era, in its hybridization wth communication, marketing and ethnographical practices.

The results were amazing, with people happily embracing thei sadistic roles, and merrily torturing me for several hours on the first day of the show.

The other works at the exhibition were quite interesting.

IO Cose Yes we Spam

IO Cose Yes we Spam

IO Cose’s Yes We Spam featuring a massive spam action in the occasion of Italy’s elections.

nOne and three chairs

nOne and three chairs

nOne and three chairs

nOne and three chairs

nOne and three chairs, by Alessio Chierico, featuring a beautiful metaphor on an old game and on a symbol.

To-gather together n.11

To-gather together n.11

To-gather together n.11, by Cosimo Cappagli, Daniele Grosso and Lea Landucci, where Maestro Daniele Lombardi’s music and artistic practices come to a new life with the help of a Wii remote.

Poetry Machine - Change, Daniela Calisi, Shadi Lahham

Poetry Machine – Change, Daniela Calisi, Shadi Lahham

Poetry Machine – Change, by Daniela Calisi, Shadi Lahham, featuring an analysis of the process of writing.

this message will self destruct

this message will self destruct

This message will self destruct, by Marco Brianza, researching on the replicability of digital contents.


SpaceWindows, by domenico rubino, where a random picture browser becomes a tool for an interaction and aesthetics analisys.

Dancing with my Tuzki

Dancing with my Tuzki

the lovely Dancing with my Tuzki, by Valeria Ferrari, where a MSN chat becomes the occasion for a reflection on digital iconographies.

Flight SynEp

Flight SynEp

Flight SynEp, by OtherehtO, featuring a suggestive clash/encounter between Wetecho, the moist bio/technologic world, and Virtù-algorhythm the dry virtual reality.



Lacuna, by Marta Roberti, a non linear narrative exploring the concept of the double.

Non io

Non io

Non io, by Matilde De Feo, a nevrotic and torrential monologue by S.Beckett, reinterpreted through digital media

Alter Ego

Alter Ego

Alter ego, by Roberta Peveri, analyzing the concept of the alter ego through the use of digitally produced perspectives.

Compound Field

Compound Field

Compound Field, by Patrick Tabarelli, a sythtetic video discussing the relationships running between nature and artifact.

An incredibly BIG thank you to all of the organization and to all of the incredible friends that we found/re-found at the event.

Read below for the details of the software used in the OneAvatar installation.

The OneAvatar Game

The game uses the IRRLICHT C++ libraries and the FMOD C++ libraries to handle the 3D sound effects and music.

Click this link (below) to download the game sources (only .h and .cpp files included: you do need to link the other libraries; also check inside the source code for the names of the required sound and graphic files)

OneAvatar 3D game sources

Here is a gallery of the pictures:

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Here are some links:

Milano in Digitale

Fondazione D’Ars Oscar Signorini onlus

Fabbrica del Vapore

Some pictures by Cecilia Brianza

rel:attiva presenza

November 8th, 2008

while in Mexico we did quite a few things.

possibly the most difficult one was the creation of an architectural installation called rel:attiva presenza.

attiva presenza in Mexico City

rel:attiva presenza in Mexico City

the installation constituted a practical example of the theories we exposed at this congress and it was created in the beautiful cloister of the Italian Cultural Institute in Mexico City, in the colonia Coyoacan.

The concept behind the installation was a contextualization of an architectural intervention we designed by the same name, transforming a public square into an interactive location for mixed-media urban dialogue.

The installation show/performance took place together with the inauguration of the exhibit “El viaje en la mirada: dibujos italianos de dos arquitectos mexicanos” from which some drawings were taken and virtually re-interpreted for the installation’s components.

The installation was built using the openframeworks programming libraries, and it featured 2 network synchronized computers handling the sides of the visuals and the spatialized sound.

A narrative was created by juxtaposing 7 scenes projected on a cylindrical artefact hanging on top of teh cloister’s fountain.

Each of the 7 stages featured a methodology for layering virtual and physical domaind of reality.

The sounds from other spaces/times that were recreated in spatialized form in the environment.

The images from various locations of Mexico that were morphed into each other together with their localized sounds, to form new, virtual places.

The drawings exhibited, taht were used to create narrative voyages that superimposed the palces that inpired teh drawings with fantastic, non-existing ones.

Virtual architectures that were projected onto real ones, creating hybrids.

Interaction was assured by means of teh environental sound and by a simple cloister-wide motion capture system that used people’s movement to generate sounds and parameter values for the various algorithms involved in the software.

A special thanks must be given to the people at the Italian Cultural Institute, especially to Franco Avicolli, the institute’s cultural expert and responsible for inter-universities relationships, appointed by Italy’s Ministry for Foreign Relations, and to his assistant Valeria Ricci Apiròz: their enthusiasm was probably the most enabling technology that we used for this installation. :)

An enormous “thank you” goes to the Institute and to its director, prof. Marco Bellingeri, and to Felice Scauso, the Italian Embassador in Mexico, who gave us an incredibly warm hospitality.

check out the review on ArtsBlog

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architettura rel:attiva

November 8th, 2008

just back from Mexico where me and penelope.di.pixel performed quite a few activities: a congress on the revitalization of the historical centers, a panel on virtual, participative and interactive architectures and on innovation, and an installation performance called rel:attiva presenza.

attiva in Mexico City

architettura rel:attiva in Mexico City

The Seventh International Meeting on the Revitalization of the Historical Centers (27-28-29th of October 2008) was organized by the INAH in collaboration with the Spanish Cultural Center in Mexico, with the Italian Cultural Institute in Mexico and with the Italian and Spanish embassies.

This year’s edition of the congress focused on the theme “today’s  architecture as mediator of the historical and contemporary city“.

Many illustrous and international participants attended the meeting: Guillermo Vázquez de Consuegra (Spain), Teodoro González de León (Mexico), Felipe Leal (Mexico), Mario Coyula (Cuba), Maria Elisa Costa (Brasil), Augusto Quijano (Mexico), and an incredibly significative Carlo Aymonino, a central figure of Italy’s and international’s architectonic neorealism, providing for an incredible set of professional competences and personal histories.

We were infiltrates, just as usual, and were the only not-architects making a presentation. :)

The congress took place at the beautiful Franz Mayer Museum, with its incredible cloister, showing the evident signs of 1985’s earthquake.

What emerged from these intense 3 days of discussion was a really live debate on the conception of the city.

While most architects had no problems in conceptualizing a definition of architecture that includes the concepts of form and function, the impact of a our “little” semantic shift proved out to be quite a surprise, provoking deep interest and deep oppositions. It sure didn’t leave people unresponsive.

Our architettura rel:attiva discussed the point of view of the hybridization of practices and of disciplines, of the integration of the immaterial domains of reality brought on by the digital technologies and cultures, on collaborative practices applied to urban design and intervention, and on a general conception of a live metropolis, built from concrete and steel just as it is built on people, relationships, emotion and an active, collaborative way of life.

What we proposed, thus, was the idea of an architecture that was not only about the shapes of buildings and about their historical values, but also about the possibility for them to become tools, mediators and enablers of new social, anthropological, economic, relational, sensorial and emotional practices enabled in the contemporary era by digital technologies.

We talked about an anthropological, communicational, interactive, relational architecture. Which, for most of the classically architects was a shock.

In most cases the immaterial and virtual domains of reality enabled by technology are perceived just as tools to reconstruct and re-enact historical artifacts, to virtually rebuild, for example, the Roman Forum of the Templo Mayor in Mexico city so that people can walk through them and see/hear the “things of the past”.

Which is, by the way, a perfectly honest and interesting thing to do :)  but it leaves out all of the other possibilities in terms of social, business and relational models that could be enabled by the metropolis itself if spaces integrated technologies to create a truly ecosystemic environment in which interaction possibilities could turn into instruments for politics, culture, inspiration and expression.


THIS is the PDF of the architettura rel:attiva theories. It is only in italian for now: we will translate it into English, Spanish and French in a bit, stay tuned.

check out the rewiew on artsblog.

here below are some pictures from the event. Stay tuned for the report of the installation of the rel:attiva presenza, coming up next.

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