Data_cosm by: Michael Takeo Magruder - 07.2005
 
A networked, real-time virtual realm generated from the unending flow of news media.
 
Context:
 
Data_cosm is an examination of the chronological archives generated by news media and of the dynamic information structures that mediate this process. Each day, the work deconstructs and reassembles live Internet news feeds into a continuously evolving 3D realm.
 
The core structure of the composition is defined by a Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) framework that is augmented by Flash and Java code-sets. Every day at 00:00GMT a Java application samples the live BBC Internet news service and generates a database containing the website's entire collection of articles. One hundred news items are then randomly selected for the creation of a text and image dataset that will remain until the next day. Though a series of embedded Flash elements, this dataset is then combined with the 3D skeletal structure of the world thus completing the genesis of the virtual realm.
 
An individual can simultaneously interface with this virtual world though two primary viewpoints. The first, internal perspective is located at the absolute centre of the space. From this vantage point a seemingly infinite expanse of information is encountered – the unending sea of data that envelopes every aspect of our digital lives. In contrast, the second, externalised viewpoint reveals the nature of the composition as a sculptural body reminiscent of a crystalline form. Upon closer examination, the formation can be visually dissected into an interconnecting set of cubic structures that oscillate according to a purposeful, yet irregular rhythm.
 
The relative existence of the artwork as both a painterly expanse and a sculptural object seeks to question perspectival relationships within a given reality and alludes to a notion of the macrocosmic being contained by the microcosmic.
 
Assisted by:
 
Drew Baker ( 3D visualisation ) + David Steele ( backend programming )
 
Requirements:
 
* note * The Cortona3D Viewer is not available for OS X. On these systems FreeWRL can be used to render most aspects of the work.
 
[ online ] Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 computer system with Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, the Cortona3D Viewer 6 and Adobe Flash 10 plugins, and 5.1 or stereo audio. A high-specification CPU/GPU, colour display with ≥1024x768 resolution and 512+ kb/s Internet connection are recommended.
 
[ gallery ] High-specification Windows XP/Vista/7 computer system capable of real-time high definition 3D rendering. Multi or single channel high definition video system. 5.1 or 2.1 audio system. HCI device for user navigation.
 
Documentation Images:
 
                       
 
Without Whom:
 
Hugh Denard + Patrick Lichty ( discourse )
 
Supported by:
 
Data_cosm is a 2005 commission for Net:Reality. It was made possible with funding from Arts Council England and generous support from King's Visualisation Lab, Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London and ParallelGraphics.
 
* note * This version of the artwork has been updated for compatibility issues. The original work can be viewed here.
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