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Dots and dashes: art, virtual reality, and the telegraph
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Paper Abstract

Dots and Dashes is a virtual reality artwork that explores online romance over the telegraph, based on Ella Cheever Thayer's novel Wired Love - a Romance in Dots and Dashes (an Old Story Told in a New Way)1. The uncanny similarities between this story and the world of today's virtual environments provides the springboard for an exploration of a wealth of anxieties and dreams, including the construction of identities in an electronically mediated environment, the shifting boundaries between the natural and machine worlds, and the spiritual dimensions of science and technology. In this paper we examine the parallels between the telegraph networks and our current conceptions of cyberspace, as well as unique social and cultural impacts specific to the telegraph. These include the new opportunities and roles available to women in the telegraph industry and the connection between the telegraph and the Spiritualist movement. We discuss the development of the artwork, its structure and aesthetics, and the technical development of the work.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 January 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7238, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2009, 723808 (27 January 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.806984
Show Author Affiliations
Silvia Ruzanka, Univ. of Hartford (United States)
Ben Chang, Art Institute of Chicago (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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