by Deborah and Richard Cornell

  1. Description
    This piece can be viewed from two venues, the ImmersaDesk and the Access Grid.

    1. VR
      The VR environment consists of a navigable texture-mapped space (two concentric spheres, one slowly rotating) with ambient audio. Using the wand, the viewer can draw lines on a virtual canvas in the center of the space. As lines are drawn, sounds are produced whose timbre, etc. is a function of drawing speed and location. Lines drawn by remote participants (AG and VR) are seen and heard as well.
    2. AG
      Each AG participant runs a drawing application on a laptop. This application produces a stream of coordinates which are used by other networked programs to draw lines. The AG screen shows a number of rendered views from VR, one of which is navigable by AG participants. An AG-wide audio rendering engine is used to produce a composite sound stream using all drawing applications to control sound parameters. In addition it is possible that a dedicated 'rat' computer will be connected to a Lexicon PCM90 to generate a delayed, altered version of any spoken audio.

  2. Technical Requirements
    Standard AG hardware and software is required. Sites which wish to navigate in VR must also provide computers running Windows '98 or Windows 2000. The VR navigation software will be distributed on the Web. Sites which wish to draw lines in the VR space must provide computers capable of running browsers which support the Java 1.3 plug-in.

  3. Artists' Statement
    Tracer is a luminous revolving world of drifting atmosphere and cryptic messages appearing in thin air. The piece combines active real-time participation with the discovery of ancient images from archeology, historical texts, and proto-verbal markings. Visitors to Tracer, both on location and at remote sites, connect with each other in its environment, by creating their own gestural tracery within its sphere. Sound sculpts the local atmoshere. It emanates from air and objects and responds to the movements of navigators. Tracer's aesthetics are of gesture, human communication, time and transience.

  4. Artists' Bios
    1. Deborah Cornell is on the faculty of the Boston University School for the Arts, where she is Chair of Printmaking, and is also the Director and Co-Founder of the Experimental Etching Studio in Boston. She works in digital and traditional prints, painting, installation, and sculpture. Her work has been supported with a Bunting Institute Fellowship and grants from the Deya Archeological Foundation (for work in Majorca), the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Ford Foundation among others. She has lectured and exhibited internationally, including Great Britain, Canada, France and Australia. Her works are included in the Museum of Fine Arts, the Worcester Museum, IBM, Gannett Corporation, Fidelity, Bank of Boston, Hospital Corporation, and other public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad.

    2. Richard Cornell is an Associate Professor at Boston University's School for the Arts Music Division, where he teaches composition, theory, and computer music. His works have been performed by the New England Philharmonic, Boston Musica Viva, Collage New Music, Alea III, Triple Helix, and, most recently, the Muir Quartet. His works have been performed internationally, most recently in Athens, St. Petersburg, Sofia and Gdansk. His electronic and computer music for theater and dance has been presented by the Blue Heron Theater in New York, and by Beth Soll & Co. in Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Boston, and in Russia. His collaborative works with Deborah Cornell (The Sleep of Reason, Linea Australis, Tracer) have been shown in galleries actual and virtual and worldwide over high-speed computer network.

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