If we suspend the influence of individual interpretation, then we can say that an intrinsic quality of a two-dimensional image is its single point of view. Yet, even recent 3D cinema (stereoscopic) displays have failed to add a significant point of view because they are still rooted in the single one. The implication of this is that the viewer is rendered immobile—their movement, their physicality, is mute.
As a counterpoint to these stereoscopic displays, We Are With You encourages the viewer to move in relation to a 3D animated sculpture. This 3D volumetric display is more of a tannenbaum or bonfire. It is very different in that it: is viewed in the round; reveals itself with movement; shares the physical space with us; and encourages interaction between viewers.
We Are With You is, in fact, a platform for artists’ inquiry into 3D arts. It is a new medium, continuing on from the 19th century experiments with zoetropes. This platform has been used to create 3D puppets, a laboratory for synthetic psychology, interactive 3D drawings and of course 3D Pong!
For LIGHT: Illuminating Science & Art, We Are With You is presented as a mirror—a simple experiment of self and place, in the tradition of Jim Campbell, who, in a sense, was working out the basic vocabulary of interactive arts.
We Are With You was originally conceived in 2009, after a SLAB event at the VIVO Media Arts Centre. The workshop consisted of experiments with multimedia programming, media manipulation in real time, circuit bending and physical computing.We Are With You was initially funded by the BC Arts Council Innovations Grant.
During the Light installation, two young artist accessed the display, as part of an Artist Mentorship Program. Funded by the BC Arts Council Youth Mentorship Grant.
It was a great experience for me. The two mentors knew so much but never talked down. I would learn some fundamentals programming, we would come up with some code, and go up and test it right away on an audience in Science World. That condensed process was great for learning. It was also a unique balance between technical learning and refining artistic sensibility, like maybe the code would work fine, but people didn’t play with it how you imagined, so you had to rethink the concept behind it. This iterative, artistic and technical process that happened in a matter of weeks was wonderful!
– Fran Breden