Nam June Paik, Korea
Random Access, 1963
JODI, 2000
I/O/D, United Kingdom
I/O/D 4: The Web Stalker, 1997
John F. Simon, Jr., United States
Every Icon, 1997
Mark Napier, United States
RIOT, 1999
etoy.Corporation, Switzerland
Toywar, 1999
David S. Touretzky, United States
Gallery of CSS Descramblers, 2000
Josh On, United States
They Rule, 2001
Char Davies, Canada
Ephémère, 1998
John Cage, United States
Imaginary Landscapes, 1939-1952

3D virtual reality immersive environment "Seeds."

[Char Davies, Seeds, from Ephémère, 1998] †
Digital image captured in real-time
through head-mounted display during live immersive journey/performance.

Char Davies, Canada
Ephémère, 1998

There are both technical and cultural reasons why the hype about virtual reality has diminished since its peak in 1993. The technical problem was that advances in eyepiece resolution couldn't keep up with accelerating microprocessor speeds: No matter how advanced the software, virtual reality headsets were just too blurry to convey the illusion of another world. The cultural problem was that virtual reality's promise of constructing a ghostly realm that consciousness could explore without the constraints of flesh had become obsolete. Gawky virtual reality helmets have now given way to scarlet Nokia phones and burnished Palm Vs, and people use these stylish wireless devices not to escape bodies, but to find them. Given this historical context, it's not hard to see why Osmose and Ephémère have more staying power than most experiments in virtual reality. The realm Davies creates is deliberately watery and out-of-focus, and her breath-activated interface makes viewers more conscious of their bodies.

See also Steve Dietz's article Ten Dreams of Technology and Steve Dietz's Selections

This article may include minor changes from the original publication in order to improve legibility and layout consistency within the Immersence Website. † Significant changes from the original text have been indicated in red square brackets.

Last verified: August 1st 2013.