December 1, 2005

Virtual Reality with Davies and Thiel

Charlotte Davies

Her Background

Charlotte is from Canada. She studied liberal arts in Vermont and got a BFA from University of British Colombia in 1978.

Her focus is on dreamlike virtual realities of nature landscapes and the human body

Her Work

Ephemere 1998
She has her audience put on a special headset that monitors the persons breathing and balance. You move through a virtual world of earth-like fantacies, and also can explore your own body and blood vessels.

Osmose 1995
Similar as Ephemere. The work makes you think of the similarities of your body with nature. It is meant to bring you into another world and think about your own existence in our real space. Very interesting. She does a wonderful job crafting the piece. It is nice to look at on a 2 dimensional space.

Her Work in the Community

She was the founding director of a business called Softimage, which was a leading developer of 3d animation software. This software was used in Jurassic Park and the Matrix. The company went public and was bought by Microsoft. She then started her own business called Immerscence Inc. and lives and works in Montreal and San Fransciso.

I think it's interesting how her drive for animation to improve her artwork launched her in a whole other career.

Tomiko Thiel

Her Background

She got a BS from Stanford in 1979 in Product Design Engineering and went on to get a MS from MIT in Mechanical Engineering where she studied human machine design. She began studying studio art in Munich Germany and graduated in 1991.

Her Work

Created Beyond Mazanar with Zara Houshmand
It is an on screen virtual reality tour about the internment camp in Mazanar built to incarcerate Japanese Americans during WWII. There is a mixture of archival photos and computer animation with poetry

Community Roles

She then went on to be the Creative Dirctor and Producer of Starbright World which is a 3d online play space for seriously ill children with Steven Spielberg

She does lectures and teachers all over the world. She is incredibly diverse in her teaching venues. She has taught cinema, taught at MIT and even the Bauhaus.

Her Future

She is currently a research fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT

In studying these women I was most fascinated in how both of these women have had such an impact in their fields. It seems that when we study art history artist are making work and making an impact in the art world, but these two have done allot in the math world, animation, cinema, engineering, and even helping ill children. How cool is that. Their work seems really interesting. It's difficult to say though, I think you'd have to experience it first hand. I like the idea of putting on a headset that knows your balance. You can tell with Charollete's Osmose how well crafted the images are.

Tamiko's work is a little different. It's kind of 'mixed media' in the digital world. The images are not totally realistic but or fantasy like. Manzanar is a constructed world but it's not made to look pleasing. I don't think that was her intention for this piece. I like that she used the old photos and poetry. I'm always impressed when visual artists include their own poetry. It adds a whole other dimension.

View Osmose Webpage

View Beyond Manzanar

Posted by at December 1, 2005 2:14 PM