Priam Givord, Martin Lenclos: NEWYORKEXITNEWYORK

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Creation Year:



    virtual environment



Artist Statement:

    NEWYORKEXITNEWYORK is an ideal version of a “city,” infinitely extending and ever growing. It is a true and unpredictable surfing experience for a not-too-far-in-the-future Internet. It creates a personal space-and-time relationship, different and original for each participant. Each will be able to say: “I’ve been there, really…and I’m going back!”

    After living in New York, we wished to create a piece that would retrieve memories of our personal experience while at the same time allowing participants to create their own experiences, and revisit their own forgotten memories.

Technical Information:

    NEWYORKEXITNEWYORK is a virtual environment in three dimensions built from over 6,000 photographs and videos taken during three weeks in New York City. With a joystick controller, users can freely surf the Village, Wall Street, and Times Square projected on a big screen, and partake in the thrill of defying laws of gravity, diving in and out of space and time. Users take part in, and observe, a new interpretation of urban patterns like traffic, noise, colors, lights, signs, materials, and streetlife. Materials in a picture refer to lost sensations such as touching and hearing, marks of space and time. Their emotional states allow the observers to project themselves into the picture.

    A great deal of the work consists of keeping and even enhancing the “realness” of a texture through compression and the display qualities of the 3D graphic engine. Construction of the 3D universe occurs mostly in real time in a proprietary software called Virtools DEV 2.0 ( Textures are added on the spot and placed dynamically to form the landscape. Some shapes that require complex polygons are modeled elsewhere and integrated later for texturing into DEV 2.0. After the universe is built, animations and a joystick controller are programmed in DEV 2.0 to bring life to the installation.

Process Information:

    The system reconstructs a composite universe of New York from 27,000 objects. The material is structured in a database that is accessible with a picture browser. The materials and textures are extracted from the photos and processed through graphic software, compressed, and sized for 3D modeling. There is no color filtering or any similar modification that alters the original picture. The point is to extract the essential “real vibration” in the picture (the true colors and patterns taken in the precise time and space conditions of the photographs) and preserve it.

    The sketches and samples of process steps show the essential use of planes and transparencies to build and animate objects, everything from cars to people and buildings.

Additional Images:

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