Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Cave

"Suspension of disbelief is a fundamental part of the effective use of a virtual reality Interface. Until we can ignore the interface and concentrate on the application, virtual reality will remain a novel experience instead of a serious visualization tool." (Packer and Jordan, 2001, p. 287).


This video is a video demo that explains the functionality of the CAVE®.

producer/director: Sumit Das, Alan Millman

evl contributors: Drew Browning, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Sumit Das, Thomas A. DeFanti, Alan Millman, Daniel J. Sandin.

credits: Lewis Siegel, Kathy Koller and Michelle Miller.

The Cave (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment or Computer Virtual Environment) was conceived by the media artist Dan Sandin and the engineer Thomas DeFanti with the assistance of graduate student Carolina Cruz-Neira in 1991. It was developed at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Dan Sandin, The Cave 'Virtual Reality Theatre' (Prototype: Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois, Chicago, 1991; publicly showcased: SIGGRAPH 92, (the annual convention for the Special Interest Group for Graphics of the Association for Computing Machinery) Chicago 1992). "Virtual Realiity, accessed through dark glasses, allows users to feel as if they were in a totally different universe. For Paul Virilio, 'We are entering a world where there won't be one but two realities: the actual and the virtual' (Rush, 2005, p.237)

Michael Rush describes The Cave, a virtual environment, as “a cubic room, three meters (sic) square… consisting of stereographic computer graphics which react interactively to actions of the ‘user’, who is equipped with stereo glasses which make it possible to see other ‘playmates’ (Sandin’s word) in The Cave" (Rush, 2005, p. 234).

The CAVE's immersive experience "was intended as an allusion to Plato's cave; its multiple screens and surround-sound audio evoke the metaphor of a shadowy representation of reality, suggesting how perception is always filtered through the minds veil of illusion" (Packer and Jordan, 2001, p. 287). In his Republic, Plato "used the image of prisioners in a cave who define the basis of their reality through the shadows of fire dancing on the walls of the cave to develop concepts of reality, representation, and human perception" (Paul, 2008, p.129). The "Cave 'dwellers' do not need to wear helmets, which would limit their view of and mobility in the real world , nor don bulky gloves and heavy electronics packs, nor be pushed about by movemement retricting platforms, to experience virtual reality. Instead they put on a pair of lightweight 'glasses' and walk into the Cave, a 27-cubic-meter room with an open side and no ceiling" (Sandin, DeFanti and Cruz,-Nera, 1993 p.288).


Packer, R. and Jordan, K. (2000) Multimedia from Wagner to Virtual Reality, ArtMuseum,
Available from World Wide Web:
http://www.w2vr.com/timeline/Sandin.html [last accessed 05/05/10].

Packer, R. and Jordan, K. (2001) Multimedia from Wagner to Virtual Reality New York: Norton & Company.

Plato, (2008) Republic, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Paul, C. (2008) Digital Art London: Thames and Hudson.

Rush, M. (2005) New media in late 20th-century art, London: Thames & Hudson.

Sandin, DeFanti and Cruz,-Nera (1993) "A Room with a View" in Packer, R. and Jordan, K. (2001) Multimedia from Wagner to Virtual Reality New York: Norton & Company, pp.287-292.

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