"Devmap" by Workspace Unlimited (BE) was the virtual online meetingpoint of DEAF04.


DEVMAP screenshot

There are three terminals that offer festival visitors access to a immersive 3-D environment composed of web cam images, videos and live-streams, texts and animations of the festival. These media will be reshaped, altered, and remapped to create a virtual version of DEAF04, constantly shifting. DEVMAP questions the relationship between experience and information, memory and interpretation.

DEVMAP is an abbreviation for "developer map," a game-design term which refers to a phase of research and experimentation, a work in progress. DEVMAP is part of an ongoing investigation into the possibilities of virtual public environments which has a direct relationship to current events. DEVMAP serves as a virtual meeting space at DEAF04. The rooms in the 3D environment, developed from an open-source Quake III game engine, are continuously furnished with current webcam pictures, live streams, screen grabs and reports from the festival. There thus arises a sort of alternative version of the festival, which reflects the character of the different program elements and art installations in the exhibition and at the same time explores the boundaries between physical objects and virtual spaces. The central environment is accessed by means of three game consoles.

The system consists of a database server containing audiovisual material from live events, webcams and installations, and the game engine with which the navigation and the 3D environment are controlled. The image, sound and information streams assembled in the database are converted into moving audiovisual tapestries, which are embedded in the rooms and rendered on objects in the game engine. At first sight, the environment seems filled with a constant stream of distorted images and sounds, but as soon as the visitor moves her avatar toward an object, a clearer picture arises. Using the avatar, one can navigate through the rooms, chat with the avatars of other festival visitors, and discover all the nooks and crannies of the festival.

Devmap by Workspace Unlimited (DEAF04) from V2_ on Vimeo.



DEVMAP, part of the Virtual World of Art network, is conceived by Workspace Unlimited vzw, and commissioned by V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media. Currently DEVMAP is presented at the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF04) exhibition. DEVMAP explores new zones of real-time communication and exchange unfolding at the boundary of physical and perceptual realities. The concept is based around the interactive use of live media feeds and constant changing media manipulations triggered by visitors. Webcam footage, video output and dedicated sensors will be captured, transformed, and manipulated. Collected textures, sounds, images, and flows of information will be reworked and reprocessed, then mapped into and onto a virtual landscape, creating a constantly updated database that reflects and refracts physical reality. Since the sources of these mapped textures are in constant flux, the new public space created by DEVMAP will be a perpetually shifting, poetic interpretation of experience. Creating a living biotope of impressions and samples sent from the real world into the virtual, reworked and reconfigured, and projected back into reality, DEVMAP forms an open system.


(Text DEAF04)

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