(endless) Wall

v1.1 by: Michael Takeo Magruder with Drew Baker, 2008(v1.0) - 2009(v1.1)

A real-time virtual world in which a user exists in a state of perpetual containment and isolation.

About the Artwork:

We are a divided society. Throughout history our ancestors have purposefully constructed barriers and divisions to fragment the world's population. From land and wealth to knowledge and freedom, social engineering has created arbitrary imbalances between nations and individuals alike.

In this age, new industrial and communication technologies have the potential to extend human creativity and provide numerous benefits within our everyday lives. Although such technologies can engender an open and enabled society, these mechanisms are often implemented in processes of restriction and control.

From the Israeli wall in Palestine to DEC's firewall, governments and corporations surround us with impassable barriers under the guise of 'protection' and 'security'.

(endless) Wall is a virtual 3D environment into which a single individual can venture. Upon entrance, the user is confronted by a wall that spans into the distance, whilst behind them a barren ground dissipates into a black void. The wall is impassable. As the individual journeys along its base there is never a break in the structure or a means to transverse the barrier.

At regular points, small openings like narrow slits of a prison cell allow the individual to gaze into the space that lies beyond. The view is not of a utopia, but only another wall – imposing and unbroken like the first. In the distance, a beautiful and soft light emanates from the sky and stretches across the horizon. The passage of time is recorded only by the slow but constant progression of the clouds above.

We sense the notion of a better place (a better life), but we cannot reach it.

Artwork Documentation:

In Collaboration with:

Drew Baker [ VRML programming ]

With Thanks to:

Nathalie Hénon & Jean-François Rettig [ curation ] . Arturo Moreno Reyes [ Rencontres Internationales production ] . David Steele [ consultation ]

Supported by:

(endless) Wall v1.0 was created in 2008 with generous support from King's Visualisation Lab, Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London and ParallelGraphics.

Installation Documentation:

Artwork Requirements:

[ gallery ] High-specification Windows 7/8/10 computer system capable of real-time high definition 3D rendering (VRML); multi/single-channel high definition video system; 5.1/2.1 audio system; and HCI device for user interaction.

[ online ] Windows 7/8/10 computer system with Firefox or Internet Explorer; the Cortona3D Viewer plugin; and stereo audio. A high-specification CPU/GPU, colour display with ≥1024x768 resolution and high-speed Internet connection are recommended.

[ VIEW THE ARTWORK (Windows - Firefox/Internet Explorer) 3MB ]

* The Cortona3D Viewer is not available for OS X and Linux. On these systems FreeWRL can be used to render most aspects of the work.
* In April 2015 Google deprecated support for NPAPI plug-ins (including Cortona3D Viewer). As such, VRML works can no longer be viewed using Chrome.

© TAKEO 2008-2009