Monday, 13 December 2010
On the 26th November, we held the launch of Voyage In Arcadia at the Liverpool Art and Design Academy. From a canoe situated in the foyer of the Academy we were able to navigate our evolving second-life Arcadia to explore the lakes of our virtual Stanley Park.
Here are some photographs taken at the event.
Read more about our recent Voyages In Arcadia.
Over the last two months Second Life, a virtual world that exists in the ether of the Internet and which can be explored freely by visitors through the aid of a personalised avatar, has become the setting for a novel experiment between the University of Shanghai and Liverpool John Moores University.
The Arcadia Project, devised and co-ordinated by Peter Appleton from the School of Art and Design, has brought together key members from the two universities in order to collaborate in the development of a unique, interactive experience which builds bridges (both literarily and metaphorically) between the real world and the virtual world.
In the first phase of this collaboration, an elaborate model of Stanley Park in North Liverpool was painstakingly constructed in Second Life by Andy Laws from the Department of Mathematics at the LJMU and included many authentic details such as the pagoda, the lake and, yes, the bridges over the lake. Andy worked with a range of geographical data and with photographs of the park provided by Luke Dilnot.
This model was first showcased in the Picnic in the Park adventure at the Bluecoat in Liverpool on 23rd October.
Meanwhile, in Shanghai, plans for the second event, Voyages in Arcadia, were already underway and members of the Virtual Lab, led by Wang Zheng and Jiang Fei were busy developing the technology which would allow participants to paddle a real canoe on the virtual lake.
Wang Zheng and Jiang Fei travelled to Liverpool in order to complete and finesse their work and to meet face to face with the other team members.
The model of the park was further enhanced by Andy with the help of David Lamb and Henry Forsyth in order to feature in the second live event at Liverpool Art And Design Academy on 26th November where a real, full-scale Canadian Canoe was mounted on a trellis in front of a huge screen displaying the model of the park in Second Life. Participants were able to climb into the canoe and, using paddles containing wireless technology,row the virtual version of the canoe through the lake.
Navigation depended on the co-ordinated efforts of the two canoeists and passing through the arches of the bridges was extremely tricky and became one of the most engaging parts of the whole surreal experience.
Peter Appleton added a further twist to the Arcadian story with the inclusion of a real model boat which was launched on the real lake in Stanley Park. Powered by an onboard motor and a wireless operated rudder, the boat used the same paddles that enabled the navigation of the virtual canoe in order to sail across the lake, startling many real ducks in the process.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
On 15th November 2010, the Voyages in Arcadia canoe was successfully tested at New Brighton Boating Lake.
The above photo shows Colin Dilnot, Project Manager holding the canoe after the test. Below is video of the test launch:
We are using a replica cedar wood Canadian canoe for the Voyages in Arcadia:
This delightful model is a fully authentic respresentation of a traditional cedar wood-strip open water canoe. Hand-crafted from strips of red and yellow cedar wood sealed with a layer of fibreglass and epoxy resin, sanded to a super smooth finish it is made in the exactly same way as a full size canoe. This fantastic high quality model comes fitted with a yoke, two seats and a set of paddles.
The model is very similar to the real canoes used on Stanley Park lake in the early 20th Century:
The model dimensions: Length: 110 cm; Width: 17 cm and Height: 14 cm.
The canoe has been adapted with various equipment to power and control the canoe via the Internet.
These adaptations have taken place at Peter Appleton's workshop. The canoe was successfully tested in the workshop on 3rd November 2010.
Voyages in Arcadia
26th November 2010
4.00pm to 7.00pm
Art and Design Academy
Liverpool John Moores University
Voyages in Arcadia is the second phase of the Shang-Pool Acadia Project. On the 26th November we will be holding a launch event at the Liverpool Art and Design Academy.
From a canoe situated in the foyer of the Academy you will be able to navigate our evolving second-life Arcadia exploring the lakes of our virtual Stanley Park. You can visit the park from any internet linked computer if you download and log in to Second-Life and follow this link:
Shang-Pool Arcadia In Second Life
Our collaborators from Shanghai University have been developing wi like control paddles. Here Fred and Mr Wang can be seen discussing with Andy , Dave and Henry of the LJMU School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences.
The Maths department developments were needed to translate the control data of the paddles into directional information for the virtual canoe. The co-operation of those paddling is essential as each paddle stroke on either side affects the motion and direction of the boat.
Below Wang Zheng and Jiang Fei with John Webster preparing to make stand for canoe in LJMU workshops
These paddles also control the experimental Arcadian drone canoe. This model canoe will sail on the actual lake in Stanley Park relaying live video images of its location back to the Academy allowing us to add another layer of reality to the voyage.
Here is the model canoe under construction at Peter Appleton's workshop
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
The above are participants in the Picnic In Arcadia event in Shanghai on 23/10/10 during the link up between China and Liverpool.
The Shanghai connection was facilitated by Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon, University of Salford who are members of the Shang-Pool Arcadia Project.
Here is what Salford University said of the event:
A Liverpool Biennial event run by the Universities of Salford, Liverpool John Moores and Shanghai brought together people on opposite sides of the globe in a virtual world modelled on the newly regenerated Stanley Park.
The 'Shang-Pool Arcadia' project connected people in Shanghai to Liverpool's Bluecoat Gallery. They experienced a shared picnic environment through the latest blue screen and HD video conferencing technology.
The participants were captured by cameras which projected them onto the screen, and augmented reality allowed them to interact with surreal picnic items and animated characters from both cultures.
'Shang-Pool Picnic' combined the work of the University of Salford's Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon to explore the concept of idyllic green spaces in the city for recreation, contemplation and meetings, with Liverpool's Victorian Stanley Park forming the virtual backdrop.
It built on the technology they used at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival where festival-goers appeared and interacted with each other inside a virtual 'picnic on the screen'.
Charlotte Gould of the School of Art & Design said: "Liverpool and Shanghai were brought that bit further together in cultural fusion. It's the first time these technologies have been used in this combination of across the globe telecommunications." University of Salford
The team are currently working on the next part of the project called Voyages.
Last Monday, was the first time the two teams from the UK and China had come together. Below, the team are working on equipment and computer programmes for the launch of Voyages at the FACT in Liverpool on 15th November. We will be publishing more details on Voyages in the next few days.
Last week, Fred and Mr Wong from Shanghai University arrived in the UK from Shanghai to work on the next stage of the Shang-Pool Arcadia Project - Voyages in Arcadia
The photographs of Fred (Left below) and Mr Wong (Right below)show them in the Ye Cracke pub in Liverpool - the Shang-Pool Project's favourite drinking place!
Here is a short video of our Picnic In Arcadia held at the Bluecoat on 23/10/10.
The video includes members of the team, participants from one of our partners Upton Hall School FCJ and members of the public.