About IF'09: Stereo

Interactive Futures (IF) is a forum for showing current tendencies in new media art as well as a conference for exploring ideas and research related to technology and art. IF supports a conference, keynote addresses, presentations, exhibitions, and performances. For IF'09, national and international presenters, performers and artists acknowledged for their research and production are invited to contribute to an expansion of knowledge within the thematic of "stereo".

The word "stereo" usually refers to two-channel sound or stereographic 3D. For IF'09: Stereo, we are showcasing work and research that specifically experiments with the perceptual event that occurs from symmetrical sources (2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 data streams). IF'09: Stereo has invited media artists, designers, researchers and filmmakers experimenting with: stereographic projection; illusionary sound and vision; methods of co-location (ways of simultaneously mapping and representing more than one location).

Within this broad reading of the thematic IF'09: Stereo has identified three sub-thematics: Stereographics, Co-Locative, and Sensory Illusions.

The Wheatstone Stereoscope invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone, pre-photography, in 1832 was the first Western device used to create 3D images, in this case using a stereoscopic pair of drawings and two mirrors set at right angles as a viewing device. Later stereoscopes and stereographic pairs of images became mass produced parlor entertainments of the nineteenth century. The lineage of 3D entertainment can be seen in the current modes of 3D video games and 3D IMAX. Central to these modes is an intention to engage the viewer in a "convincing" realistic experience in order to produce an immersive effect (one that excludes peripheral information). Immersive experiences require that the viewer is sealed off from external optical and aural impressions with the intention of rendering an experience as a totality of time and space, without the interference of external realities.

IF'09: Stereo is interested in methods of immersive representation as a critical departure from those in popular entertainment, and as such, will be showcasing experimental film and animations and new media works created by artists.

Co-locative works engage two or more locations which complicate accepted notions of place. Here, place is a fluid co-existence of two or more locations simultaneously presented. Co-locative work can involve the representation of a virtual presence co-existing in the same space as real presence. This melding of physical and virtual is at work in modes of telepresence where one has the ability to be present at a distance.

IF'09: Stereo is interested in exploring the new possibilities for co-locating space. Interactive installations and performances exploring the use of multiple locations, virtual and real presence, and layering of varied sources of informatics will be presented.

Sensory Illusions
Unlike the immersive experience of the stereographic event, which demands total control of visual and aural field, the illusionistic event is more fugitive, co-existing within the real space of the viewer. The co-existence of illusion within physical space means that the viewer can visually/aurally enter into and participate in the illusionary space and compare it to their current real space.

In binaural sound production, recording and production techniques experiment with sound that is "shaped" by the outer and inner ear, and location difference/symmetry of the left and right ear in relation to the sound source. The reconstitution of sound within the ears is an active, physical process, not a passive mode of information reception.

What are some of the techniques and devices being used by artists and researchers to lure the body into ephemeral visual and aural spaces? IF'09: Stereo will present research and performances that experiment with the sensory illusion of visual and aural fields.

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