(endless) Wall

v2.0 by: Michael Takeo Magruder with Drew Baker, 2015

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 movement of the grass below and 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 [ Unity3D programming ]

With Thanks to:

Aaron Rosen, Carolyn Rosen & Joanne Rosenthal [ curation ]

Supported by:

(endless) Wall v2.0 was created in 2015 for the Your Jewish Museum: Journeys exhibition at The Jewish Museum London. Version 1.0 was created in 2008 with generous support from King's Visualisation Lab, Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London.

Artwork Requirements:

[ gallery ] Modular installation using: a high-specification computer system capable of real-time high definition 3D rendering (Unity3D); multi/single-channel high definition video screen/projector; 2.1/5.1 audio system; and HCI device for user interaction.

[ online ] Mac or Windows computer system with Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari; the Unity3D webplayer plugin; and stereo audio. A high-specification CPU/GPU, colour display with ≥1080p resolution and high-speed Internet connection are recommended.

[ VIEW THE ARTWORK (Internet Explorer/Safari Only) 35MB ]

* In April 2015 Google deprecated support for NPAPI plug-ins and Mozilla followed suit in 2017. As such, Unity3D webplayer works can no longer be viewed using Chrome or Firefox.

© TAKEO 2015