Ruth Gibson and Bruno Martelli have been resident artists during the months of May and July 2013 and have returned to complete their residency in May of 2014. They have been working with the Christie HIVE virtual reality system; creating a new piece they call In Search of Abandoned, which will be premiered at CAFKA.14 running from May 31 through June 29, 2014.

In Search of Abandoned

In Search of Abandoned builds a computer-generated world using heightmap data, game engine technology and dynamic sound to bring together both an imagined and experienced view of a place. The alternate world they have been creating presents itself as a three-dimensional stereoscopic landscape. It is a lattice of woven geometry modulated by the spectator’s specific interactions with the world.
Ruth Gibson found “Abandoned” on Google maps – a mere dot in a white expanse. It is a non-place on the Arctic island of Svalbard. At the request of Gibson, Martelli set off on a sailing expedition to find the outpost “Abandoned” in 2010. Gibson began to build and construct her own view of his voyage and what Abandoned may look, feel and sound like. After keeping Martelli's documentation, footage and photographs under wraps for three years, Gibson and Martelli began to exchange ideas in Kitchener at the Hub and began exploring virtual reality to create In Search of Abandoned. The resulting animation is where invention and memory collide, science and fiction merge. 

Hut and Figure as Landscape.

Gibson and Martelli also experimented with creating a virtual arctic hut they imagined would exist on Svalbard. They worked to get streaming motion capture data to go in, and positional data to come out of the HIVE. Towards the end of the second part of the residency they began looking at creating a lantern – a real object tracked in the HIVE that casts a virtual light into the HIVE to illuminate objects. The virtual light combines with 3D data from a Kinect Sensor, which will enable a visitor to cast a virtual shadow onto objects in the HIVE. 
Heightmap data was run through various GIS (Geographic Information System) software to create meshes. 3D software was used to create meshes that can be imported via Python script to Vizard to display in the CAVE. Gibson and Martelli’s collaborator, Dustin Freeman, used Kinect software to get 3D data to stream into the HIVE. Another collaborator, David Jensenius, used Python to get OSC to stream out of the CAVE to Supercollider.
For more information about Ruth Gibson and Bruno Martelli please watch our interview with them here.