Jeffrey Shaw

A Users's Manual

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CLIENT: Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
2000

The interactive installation PLACE RUHR exhibited from June 7 through July 20, 1997 at the Arts and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn extends classical panoramas in painting, photography and cinematography into three-dimensional virtual spaces.

A circular room with a diameter of 8,9 metres is installed in the exhibition area, its walls being used as projection surface. Inside this 260-degree screen, users can operate three video projectors covering a panorama section of 120 degrees each..

The projection system is installed on a motorized platform; through a simple interface, users control the direction and depth of camera movements, allowing them to zoom in or out of the panoramic landscape.
The projected scenery consists of eleven panoramic views captured with a special panorama camera and combined in a computer-controlled system. The various panoramas—in the case of PLACE RUHR, industrial landmarks of the Ruhr region were used—are represented as round objects within a virtual data space and can be accessed and left singly through the control unit.

On the inside of the cylinders, video sequences are presented that correspond to the topic and place of the outside of the objects in question. These video sequences are produced at characteristical places. For the PLACE RUHR installation in Dortmund, actions with different elements were produced, including fire, water and smoke as well as sequences with actors, children, sportsmen, etc. Each cylinder is assigned a symbolic live element closely connected to the specific landmark and the position of the cylinder.

An additional microphone on the control unit allows visitors to trigger a computer program that projects three-dimensional fragments of text into the panorama.

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