The disappearing frame : a practice-based investigation into composing virtual environment artworks
Through creative art making practice, research seeks to contribute a body of knowledge to an under researched area by examining how key concepts germane to computer based, interactive, three-dimensional, virtual environment artworks might be explicated, potential compositional issues characterised, and possible production strategies identified and/or proposed. Initial research summarises a range of classifications pertaining to the function of interactivity within virtual space, leading to an identification and analysis of a predominant model for composing virtual environment media, characterised as the "world as model": a methodological approach to devising interactive and spatial contexts employing visual and behavioural modes based on the physical world. Following this alternative forms of environmental organisation are examined through the development of a series of artworks beginning with Bodies and Bethlem, and culminating with Reconnoitre: a networked environment, spatially manifest through performative user input. Theoretical corollaries to the project are identified placing it within a wider critical context concerned with distinguishing between the virtual as a condition of simulation: a representation of something pre-existing, and the virtual as potential structure: a phenomena in itself requiring creative actualisation and orientated toward change. This distinction is further developed through an analysis of some existing typologies of interactive computer based art, and used to generalise two base conditions between which various possibilities for practice might be situated: the "fluid" and "formatted" virtual.