HiPArt in the News...

"Chinese dynasties speak via relics" (excerpted)
by Cate McQuaid
Boston Globe, Living|Arts Section
October 4, 2000, page C6

Portal to virtual reality The Sherman Gallery at Boston University becomes a gateway between virtual reality and the concrete world with its presentation of "Spirited Ruins." Real sculptural objects in the gallery trigger events in the virtual world (which you can enter by putting on head-phones and standing before a screen in the back of the gallery); events in the virtual world might trigger the sculptures to move or emit sound.

The project, put together by BU's High Performance Computing in the Arts, asked real-life artists like Deborah and Richard Cornell to design spaces in the virtual world. They created a colorful, Milky Way-like galaxy; as you pass through it, sounds well up.

"Spirited Ruins" is at once breathtaking in its technology - you can get dizzy flying through the virtual world - and a little clunky in its execution. Maybe that's because it takes time to feel at ease with the controls. But it's also the real-world objects - a fountain, a sandbox - feel oddly mundane and clunky just because they are three dimensional. It's fun stuff, but even aesthetically, there are still a few bugs in the system.