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Proceedings Paper

Sensate abstraction: hybrid strategies for multi-dimensional data in expressive virtual reality contexts
Author(s): Ruth West; Joachim Gossmann; Todd Margolis; Jurgen P. Schulze; J. P. Lewis; Ben Hackbarth; Iman Mostafavi
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Paper Abstract

ATLAS in silico is an interactive installation/virtual environment that provides an aesthetic encounter with metagenomics data (and contextual metadata) from the Global Ocean Survey (GOS). The installation creates a visceral experience of the abstraction of nature in to vast data collections - a practice that connects expeditionary science of the 19th Century with 21st Century expeditions like the GOS. Participants encounter a dream-like, highly abstract, and datadriven virtual world that combines the aesthetics of fine-lined copper engraving and grid-like layouts of 19th Century scientific representation with 21st Century digital aesthetics including wireframes and particle systems. It is resident at the Calit2 Immersive visualization Laboratory on the campus of UC San Diego, where it continues in active development. The installation utilizes a combination of infrared motion tracking, custom computer vision, multi-channel (10.1) spatialized interactive audio, 3D graphics, data sonification, audio design, networking, and the VarrierTM 60 tile, 100-million pixel barrier strip auto-stereoscopic display. Here we describe the physical and audio display systems for the installation and a hybrid strategy for multi-channel spatialized interactive audio rendering in immersive virtual reality that combines amplitude, delay and physical modeling-based, real-time spatialization approaches for enhanced expressivity in the virtual sound environment that was developed in the context of this artwork. The desire to represent a combination of qualitative and quantitative multidimensional, multi-scale data informs the artistic process and overall system design. We discuss the resulting aesthetic experience in relation to the overall system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 January 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7238, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2009, 72380I (27 January 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.806928
Show Author Affiliations
Ruth West, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Joachim Gossmann, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Todd Margolis, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Jurgen P. Schulze, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
J. P. Lewis, Weta Digital Ltd. (New Zealand)
Ben Hackbarth, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Iman Mostafavi, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7238:
The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2009
Ian E. McDowall; Margaret Dolinsky, Editor(s)

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