Friday, 15 October 2010

Shang-Pool Arcadia Project Overview

This is a collaborative project established between Liverpool John Moores University, and the University of Shanghai. Drawing on expertise and research from both science and art faculties within these universities the project will take aspects of parks and urban spaces in Shanghai and Merseyside and create virtual and augmented Arcadia’s which explore the park as an idealised landscape.

This will draw on the traditions and perceptions of nature and its relationship to the city in both Chinese and British cultures. We will explore the notion of the idyll and nature as a place of recreation, contemplation, nourishment and of meeting. It also links with schools on Merseyside and in China through a network directed by Upton Hall School FCJ, Wirral. Virtual worlds of pergolas, shrines, bandstands and pavilions set amongst pristine lakes and hills will be built within Open Sim.

This world would be designed and built by staff and students from the participating Universities informed by the imagination of children from Schools in the UK and China.

This is an ambitious project which has been divided into three sub-headings. Picnic in Arcadia, Voyages in Arcadia and Gazing in to Arcadia. The technical research is centred around the convergence of virtual, augmented, Interactive, telematic and telepresence technologies in the creation of mixed reality experiences. In discussion with Liverpool Biennial the research will also seek to align itself with the Biennials ongoing projects centred around areas of urban regeneration within Merseyside as well as considering similar projects in Shanghai.

It also partners itself with Fact with its extensive international networks and technical facilities and experience.

These virtual worlds will become places of meeting, exploration and imagining but uniquely they will also be projected within real places and experiences at a series of events within Parks and spaces in Liverpool and Shanghai between 2010 and 2012.

At these times First Life and Second Life boundaries would blur as the virtual projections align with actual buildings and places in Shanghai and Merseyside. Avatars and people in Shanghai and on Merseyside would meet and simultaneously experience ....picnics shared across continents....tea poured from China…real and virtual boats navigating lakes and waterways....message lanterns rising into virtual skies...wishes cast into virtual pools....whispering from park benches thousands of miles apart and people doing the kind of things people do in parks.

For more details about the project visit our website Shang-Pool Arcadia Project.

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