Rendering Text(ures): Foundations for Developing a Virtual Text-Crafting Environment

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Abstract (in English): 

Over the past decade, installations of the CAVE have compelled participants to explore how immersive text spaces create playful literary sandboxes in which to experiment with various forms of appropriated writing. Although the fusion of virtual reality and literature has continuously been flirted with, the interactive digital creative space has yet to be realized with comparable impact. So far we have been invited by composers such Rui Torres, Stuart Moulthrop, and Jörg Piringer to participate in the ludic engagement with textual instruments; with “New World Order: Basra,” Sandy Baldwin demonstrated how gamespace provides a compelling environment for textual manipulation. However, to my knowledge, we have yet to develop the space that places these a combination of these capabilities within a single compositional environment.

With the upcoming commercial release of both the Oculus Rift and Google Glass headsets, the arrival of virtual reality’s now decades-old promise of embodiment within the digital appears to be more imminent than ever before. My paper will articulate the foundation of an ongoing project that will attempt to mitigate these revolutionary output devices with combinatorial input sources already in use to create a creative virtual realm. As my presentation will introduce, my Text(ual) Renderer Project will combine VR technology, speech-to-text software and motion-sensing devices to create a unique composition environment. Within this virtual space, the user will input speech which will then be displayed in the 360-degree VR space provided by the Oculus Rift. This text will then be manipulated and arranged through motion input of the user.

My proposal for ELO’s gathering consists of both a paper and a demonstration to be presented simultaneously. My paper will first review the relationship between VR, performance, and language manipulation. After this summary, I will then propose the next iteration of this embrace, an environment that, like the CAVE project, provides the user with a textually creative and interactive experience. I will then provide an exploratory first stage of ongoing research in the modification of an existing gamespace, Mojang’s sandbox world generator Minecraft, which will render the Text(ured) environment into a viable compositional space. Through the creation and manipulation capabilities provided with Minecraft, I will then illustrate the numerous potentials for text creation and manipulation in the virtual landscape.

Finally, my paper will posit several subsequent projects that depart from Minecraft mods to renegotiate the user’s relationship to the textual environment within virtual and augmented realities. These include the development of a VR Processing compiler that allows users to manipulate the code structures and modules through sensory input, the potential benefit for accessibility, as well as the possible opportunities provided by augmented reality (AR) devices. (Source: Author`s abstract)

Works referenced:

Events referenced:

Title Date Location
Electronic Literature Organization 2014: Hold the Light 18.06.2014
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Milwaukee , WI
United States
Wisconsin US
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Elias Mikkelsen