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.