Call for Proposals

Artist’s Statement
Throughout my time at the University of Florida (UF), I have created many projects incorporating the use of Nintendo Wii remotes.  Most of these projects dealt with the juxtaposition of simultaneous connection and disconnection.  It interests me to explore how one can be connected to something by means of controlling, manipulating, or producing something via physical movement without ever actually physically touching anything.
            The reasons I use Wii remotes in these projects are because they are readily available to me and there is a great deal of source code and personal projects out there that are free to use and build upon.  In addition to this, the Wii remote is a powerful piece of technology, one that can be implemented for a number of different uses in addition to its original intended use.
            This piece, titled YouAre is the culmination of all of my previous projects using the Wii remote.  Many of these projects have been used as a base for my aggregate knowledge about how to technically use and artistically implement the Wii remote in my current and future projects.  Specifically, these projects have been building up towards their combined uses and themes to create a connection/disconnection contrast that involves one’s entire body.  Whereas my projects before have involved different body parts separately (hands, arms, legs, head), this piece combines them all.  In addition to this juxtaposition that is common with all of my projects using Wii remotes, this piece has a more specific concept behind it.  It deals with, at its core, humans’ desire and drive to work towards their imagination.  Stemming from that, the project explores the convoluted ordeals and arguable ridiculousness of achieving such goals as well as people’s readiness and willingness to accept and embrace such ludicrous requirements.
            I’ve had the idea for a project like this for years, at least for the entirety of my attendance at UF.  Given the current trend of working towards true virtual/augmented reality, I’ve always wondered how exactly one could be completely immersed in a virtual world, particularly using the technology available to us now.

Description of Proposed Artwork
YouMove is a first-person virtual immersion piece.  Participants assisted in putting on a series of Velcro and elastic bands that hold one Nintendo Wii remote each.  A Wii remote is placed on multiple joints of the body (upper arm, lower arm, upper leg, lower leg, hands, and back).  The participant then steps into a large suspended cube.  Projected onto from the back of each of the cube’s sides is a slightly different angle of a virtual environment.  Upon entering the cube, the participant may notice the projections form a full 360 degrees view of said environment.  The participant will then step onto a Nintendo Wii Balance Board placed in the middle of the cube.  By shifting one’s weight on the Balance Board, the participant will find that they are able to move through this virtual environment.  In addition, the Wii remote strapped to the participant’s body allows for continuous tracking of his or her body and movements.  These movements are mimicked onscreen by corresponding virtual limbs.  For example, if the participant moves his or her arm out in front, a virtual arm will also be seen extending from the “front display.”  If the participant were to turn to the left and raise his or her right hand in the air, a virtual right hand would also extend according to the participant’s new orientation, and will likely reach high enough to be seen on the “top display.”
The work seeks to explore the common ridiculousness of technology and those who both support and thrive for such absurdity.  This piece is not meant to criticize technology, but rather the often convoluted and pointless means of achieving certain technologies, particularly those common in science fiction.

Tools/Technologies Used/Needed
            This simulation is mainly a result of the Unity game engine in combination with a freeware program called OSCulator and an open source plug-in, OSCumote allowing Unity to communicate with OSCulator.  Through the use of OSCulator and OSCumote, Unity is able to read and interpret data from various Wii controllers connected to the computer via Bluetooth.
            The initial installation of this piece included 11 Wii remotes, 11 Wii MotionPlus add-ons, one Wii Balance Board, 6 high-end Macintosh computers, three routers/splitters, four projectors, Velcro and elastic for securing the Wii remotes to one’s body, and PVC, white muslin, and fishing line to create and hang the cube.  The created cube was 3x3x3 feet, however, it would ideally be large enough for a person to comfortably fit their entire body into with enough room for generous limb movement.  This would require more room for the cube itself, more room to allow larger projections, and more material to cover the cube.  Additionally, the ideal situation would allow adequate room and equipment to project onto all six sides of the cube (four sides, bottom, and top) rather than just four.  Having said this, the piece is not necessarily site specific, but, as stated, adequate room would be ideal.  Also, if time allows, it would be preferred if the virtual environment being shown by the piece is a virtual version of the space the piece is being shown in.  This will add another “pointlessness” to this already cumbersome task as the participant could simply explore this space in real life rather than taking five or more minutes to suit up and learn the controls of the piece only to find that he or she is most likely experiencing what he/she just did only moments ago but in a much more restrictive, uncomfortable, and confusing way.

Previous/Related Works
            Previous and/or related works can be found at: