reinventing the world using ubiquitous technologies
Category Archives: OneAvatar
OneAvatar is a wearable technology that connects physical body to the digital body of avatars in virtual worlds.
Presented for the first time as special project of the Milano in Digitale event, its first implementation connected people’s physical bodies to their digital avatar on the virtual world of Second Life. An in-world 3D shooting game allowed visitors to hunt in the virtual world for the digital body of the live performer they had in front of them: when they shot him, the performer felt low voltage electrical shots in corresponding areas of his body.
How do our online interactions change when such connections are made? And how do *we* change when our bodies are so tightly connected to our presence in virtual worlds? OneAvatar enacts a radical scenarios to try and approach possible answers.
by the way, thanks to everyone that contacted me about the performance and the project, your comments have been really interesting and useful. We will have a couple of surprises coming up in the next few months, as the OneAvatar will probabily become a product that you will find in the stores, next to the Playstation3 or the XBoX. Critical performative consumism? ;)
keep in touch!
Here they are, with little old me getting electrified in much higher visual quality :)
the Milano in Digitale exhibition space
OneAvatar installation at Milano in Digitale
another view of the exhibition space
OneAvatar installation without me inside the suit
OneAvatar installation without me inside the suit
the exhibition space with lots of people around the OneAvatar installation
lots of people around the OneAvatar installation
people checking out the OneAvatar installation
the OneAvatar suit and installation
the participants of the exhibition
the participants again
group picture for Milano in Digitale
we’re selling the OneAvatar boxes :)
Domenico Quaranta at the exhibit waiting for his turn to torture me
blurry me wearing the OneAvatar suit
me smiling before I start getting electric shocks
blurry me again, getting the shocks from the OneAvatar game
explaining people how to use the game to electrocute the OneAvatar
playing the OneAvatar game, escaping from other players
The third edition of the Milano in Digitale competition was held at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, an industrial complex restored by Milan’s public administration to host artistic and cultural projects. Organized by the Fondazione D’Ars Oscar Signorini onlus, it is a competition created to investigate the evolution of the artistic research performed by young artists in the fields of digital and new media arts.
The competition is really interesting as it features a great level of openness towards the proposed works: both the organizing team (composed by Cristina Trivellin, Morena Ghilardi and Martina Coletti) and the jury (Paolo Rosa, Pier Luigi Capucci, Antonio Caronia, Francesco Monico, Domenico Quaranta and Franco Torriani) carefully analze all of the works selecting the ones that use digital technologies in the most significant ways.
It was, thus, a pleasure to be selected.
Me and penelope.di.pixel chose a hardcore approach to present OneAvatar in this occasion.
I designed a multi player game using IDSoft’s Quake 3 3D engine that allowed the players to hunt the avatar of the person (me! :) ) wearing the OneAvatar suit through a three dimensional environment. [Note: look at the end of the post for the links to download the source code of the game]
When the players eventually hit the OneAvatar character, the software activated the circuit connected to the game server’s serial port (I connected through a simple circuit to the USB port of one of the laptops) sending the electric signals used to flash all the LED lights that were placed all over the suit and to send a stronger electric shock to a voltage multiplier circuit that was taped to the hands of the performer, actually hurting (a bit ;) ) him.
the installation before I started to get electrocuted
The installation features the results of the research coming from the OneAvatar project: technology, emotion, identity, relational dimensions in the digital domains are ome of the fundamental topics analyzed.
In this research we focus on the re-connection of the physical body to the digital identities of the persons using digital technologies and networks. In the OneAvatar project thisapproach produces a short circuit between the physical and immaterial dimensions, forcing the former to interact with the latter.
What results is an explicit layering of realities, entangling material and immaterial domains together. Game players are forced to thing about the physical effects of their actions when they shoot the game characters, ad the other players get physically hurt by the electric shocks.
A narrative metaphor for immaterial economies, cognitive capitalism, for the relationships established in social networks.
For the event a complete marketing and communication strategy was produced to create a fictional, but realistic and produceable, product to establish the narrative level of the performance: the performer was displayed as in a shopping center showcase, with the product and the related gadgets available for sale. A further analysis on the evolution of art in the contemporary era, in its hybridization wth communication, marketing and ethnographical practices.
The results were amazing, with people happily embracing thei sadistic roles, and merrily torturing me for several hours on the first day of the show.
The other works at the exhibition were quite interesting.
IO Cose Yes we Spam
IO Cose’s Yes We Spam featuring a massive spam action in the occasion of Italy’s elections.
nOne and three chairs
nOne and three chairs
nOne and three chairs, by Alessio Chierico, featuring a beautiful metaphor on an old game and on a symbol.
To-gather together n.11
To-gather together n.11, by Cosimo Cappagli, Daniele Grosso and Lea Landucci, where Maestro Daniele Lombardi‘s music and artistic practices come to a new life with the help of a Wii remote.
Poetry Machine – Change, by Daniela Calisi, Shadi Lahham, featuring an analysis of the process of writing.
this message will self destruct
This message will self destruct, by Marco Brianza, researching on the replicability of digital contents.
spacewindows.com, by domenico rubino, where a random picture browser becomes a tool for an interaction and aesthetics analisys.
Dancing with my Tuzki
the lovely Dancing with my Tuzki, by Valeria Ferrari, where a MSN chat becomes the occasion for a reflection on digital iconographies.
Flight SynEp, by OtherehtO, featuring a suggestive clash/encounter between Wetecho, the moist bio/technologic world, and Virtù-algorhythm the dry virtual reality.
Lacuna, by Marta Roberti, a non linear narrative exploring the concept of the double.
Non io, by Matilde De Feo, a nevrotic and torrential monologue by S.Beckett, reinterpreted through digital media
Alter ego, by Roberta Peveri, analyzing the concept of the alter ego through the use of digitally produced perspectives.
Compound Field, by Patrick Tabarelli, a sythtetic video discussing the relationships running between nature and artifact.
An incredibly BIG thank you to all of the organization and to all of the incredible friends that we found/re-found at the event.
Read below for the details of the software used in the OneAvatar installation.
The OneAvatar Game
The game uses the IRRLICHT C++ libraries and the FMOD C++ libraries to handle the 3D sound effects and music.
Click this link (below) to download the game sources (only .h and .cpp files included: you do need to link the other libraries; also check inside the source code for the names of the required sound and graphic files)