Description (in English): 

"Canticle" was written for Brown University's CAVE immersive virtual reality environment. Like a concerto, it was composed in three movements and arranged for collaborative performance between a solo user and programmed VR environment. In "Canticle", The CAVE system and its user operate in concert: rendering the world through cooperation and opposition. The tone of "Canticle" plays upon the spectacle of VR by inducing an aesthetic environment that is overly saturated despite its basic composition of greyscale letterforms. Evocative text and audio were used to assist this effect: "The Song of Solomon" and Nico Muhly's MotherTongue. A study of "The Song" resonated with the project's themes: the seduction of spectacle and awareness of a physical body within immersive spaces of illusion. Movements were written in response to spectacles that are native to the CAVE. Description of each movement refers to the specific quality of spectacle it explores: periphery, reactivity, stereoscopy, interface, depth or immersion. Along with the author’s original poetry about spectacle, the piece is also comprised of selections from the "Song of Solomon" processed by a computer program written by the author. Output from the program was then edited for form and content. The body of the text is available in the pdf below; however, because Cave Writing promotes spatial hypertext, the text is not likely to be encountered in the CAVE in the linear order presented. In the video documentation of "Movement 1: When the Eye" Asmina Chremos dances the physical gesture of reading through the interface of the CAVE. Her exquisite movements focus on the discrepancy between what the person wearing the tracking glasses sees and what the audience reads. For example, midway through the performance, the text is programmed to evade the dancer as she tries to engage with it: the text is programmed to only be legible to the audience outside the CAVE.


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Stig Andreassen