Description (in English): 

Sphiros presents the fictional tale of what happens when a timequake creates a world that really is open source. It is staged in a modified version of the WithinSpace interface (created by net artist Jason Nelson) for the Adobe Flash platform.

This is an exercise in arrangement -- most of its elements are ripped and remixed from a variety of sources both print and web; some are original.

Each layer of Sphiros can be populated by any content -- text, image, video, sound, Flash animation, webpage, etc. These layers are then stacked on top of each other. A combination of scaling and transparency allows the user to move through the piece.

Initially, Sphiros was presented in a web-distributed, mouse-driven format. For the installation at AI.ELO, the piece makes use of low-cost headtracking techniques. Users don a pair of infrared LED glasses and stand in front of a screen where a Nintendo WiiMote acts as an infrared camera. A combination of open-source and custom software translates the position of a user in realspace into a position inside of Sphiros.

This version of Sphiros is set to 'Se Izst' by Icelandic wunderband, Sigur Rós.

Sphiros was created in 2009 by James Pollack as a special project during his final semester at Yale University, where he majored in English and was a member of the Writing Concentration.

(Source: Artist's description for ELO_AI)

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Scott Rettberg