May 15, 2013


Traversal is a series of Hybrid World interactive installations and performances created by myself and John Fillwalk from the BSU IDIA

The theme of the series was traversing the void between the virtual world of Second Life and the physical world. This was done connecting physical interactions within the virtual world (like touch, movement, walking on, bumping into, throwing, etc.) to virtual control of physical instruments like a pipe organ, carillon, midi instruments, and even a project with the bell in Faneuil Hall.

The technology behind this project to link the two worlds ran through a number of iterations. At the time it was virtually impossible to get information out of second life in real time. However, there were two ways that the world (and all MMOGs) deliver realtime content - via image and sound. So, I built two Max patches. The first approach listened to sine wave beeps attached to physical motions in second life that indicated specific events. The second approach set up a HUD (heads up display) on an avatar that consisted of colored strips, the colors of which were updated based on in-world parameters. I took continuous screen captures of the HUD in Max and controlled parameters and events based on the color changes. Someday I'll write a post about this technique and share some code.

Recording of the premiere performance

Here is a brief video where John and I discuss the thought process behind Traversal for Pipe Organ which was performed in the Sursa Hall in 2008.

For more info on the project check out Traversal for Pipe Organ | Traversal for Boston CyberArts | Traversal for Eindhoven