"Crossings" (1995), a project about landscape architecture, using Virtual Reality and the Internet, by Stacey Spiegel and Rodney Hoinkes.
Crossings investigated the potential of the Internet for large infrastructure projects, such as the construction of a high speed train line in a landscape -- enabling architects to design together over the Internet. The project explored the boundaries of VR representation techniques and the potential of 3D interactivity and navigation on the World Wide Web.
Crossings is an artwork crafted from the software tool set called 'Polytrim' developed at the Centre for Landscape Research of the University of Toronto. This project was first realized as part of the artist in residence program at ZKM in Karlsruhe. Crossings achieves a compelling dynamic immersive landscape where the terrain is shaped from information structures and links to the information space of the WWW. Crossings is an evolutionary step that extends painting beyond cinema, weaving the desire for the merging of content and information to the artistic potential of a real time interactive virtual environment. While the computational world has mechanized nature into a transcribable and mechanical format, Crossings has focused on the history of landscape painting as the embodiment of human experience and emotion. By expressing the metaphoric power of landscape in a virtual environment as a non-hierarchical dynamic space Crossings reasserts that art is not merely transcriptive in the sense of conveying information, but is also a transformative process. When one is navigating the immersive environment of Crossings, the traditional distinction between reality and virtuality disappears and the artificial dualism of information and sensation is eliminated. This happens through the interactive unfolding of a personal narrative that occurs when one navigates the live links to the WWW that occupy the formal pictorial space. Crossings, created by Stacey Spiegel in collaboration with Rodney Hoinkes, was presented as a fully interactive immersive environment at the Rotterdam Harbour Simulator during DEAF95.
A project by Stacey Spiegel and Rodney Hoinkes
in cooperation with the University of Toronto, Department of Landscape Architecture Research (CDN),
ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie),
Marcos Novak of the University of Texas, School of Architecture (US),
Attila (K. Oosterhuis, I. Lénárd, M. Rubbens) (NL),
Thomas van Putten (NL),