Virtual Reality Installation
inSite '94, San Diego, CA
September 23 - October 30, 1994
Apparitions, a virtual reality installation by a Vital Signs, was exhibited as part of inSite ’94. Members of Vital Signs were:
Sheldon Brown, project director
Apparitions consisted of a physical installation that served as an interface to a computer-generated virtual environment. Gallery visitors were able to move through a virtual medical clinic using a wheel chair as a navigation device. By turning the wheels of the chair, visitors were able to travel down virtual corridors and enter virtual examination rooms and laboratories. By approaching objects in the virtual environment, visitors triggered video sequences. Together, the virtual environment and video used the clinic as an allegory for technologies of representation.
An excerpt from the project description:
"Technologies of representation from the Daguerreotype to Magnetic Resonance Imaging affect and are affected by the ways others see us and the ways we see ourselves. As a new and much discussed technology of representation, Virtual Reality raises and reiterates a host of questions about ourselves and the world. Apparitions addresses issues that circumscribe our most basic assumptions about identity. Social institutions, as sites of knowledge and authority, draw lines between public and private, deciding for us what parts of our lives and bodies we control. In medicine, imaging technologies are used both to inform these choices, and to legitimate medical authority. In popular culture, emerging information technologies will send unprecedented quantities of entertainment, information and advertising into the consumer's home, targeted with an almost military precision. Our exhibition is designed to examine the revolutionary and restrictive possibilities of these technologies, as well as their interplay with the human body and identity."