Workspace Unlimited‘s latest work IMPLANT is both a networked virtual world and a physical installation situated at the Vooruit, a performance venue in Ghent (Belgium). IMPLANT will be networked with two other virtual world installation EXTENSION at the Society for Art & Technology in Montreal and DEVMAP at V2_Institute in Rotterdam (more about these projects.)
Users will be able to access a 3D version of the building and its surrounding on computers from inside Vooruit and simultaneously from the SAT and V2_.
Once logged into IMPLANT, visitors can navigate through two architectures: a simulation of the real Vooruit, a maze of theater spaces, cafes, meeting rooms, and offices which can be traversed in much the same way we move through physical space. And a hidden hyperlinked architecture that emerges as users interact with the simulation’s walls and ceilings. This secondary architecture is an almost liquid space that can lead us to continuously shifting destinations within Vooruit according to the position of the visitor; virtual cameras allow us to secretly follow other visitors and project their journeys and activities onto walls; and we can walk through the projection and join them in the same space.
Outside on the real street, passersby will peer into Vooruit’s lobby and see a projected simulation of the same lobby seamlessly integrated within Vooruit’s fa�?ade. Instead of theatergoers purchasing tickets, viewers will see the goings-on of avatars of actual people in Vooruit co-mingling and exploring the same simulated space with their counterparts from Montreal and Rotterdam. A web cam outside Vooruit captures the scene on the street, projecting the performances of everyday life back into the virtual world for those inside Vooruit, V2_ and SAT to witness.
The longer visitors explore IMPLANT, the more layers they encounter. Embedded throughout the virtual world, users might encounter video and sound documentation from Breaking the Game, an online symposium that brought together theorists and practitioners to reflect on computer gaming, immersive technologies, and new possibilities for artistic practice and experience.
IMPLANT opens on September 15, 8:00pm – midnight. Talking about cool stuff going on at the Vooruit, Lawrence Malstaf will be showing Compass and Paul Granjon‘s Sexed Robots will be waiting for you there at the end of this month as they are part of the Homo Futurist event, on September 27-30. Granjon will also give a performance on Sept. 28 The Heart and the Chip.