sense:less is a place for humans to experience a stranger alternate reality.

Through VR technology and a custom made body suit sense:less puts the user in a multi-sensory environment. This is a dramatic space, influenced by theatre, and the users journey through the world is an exploration of multiple personalities. People watching the installation can see the users travels as projected onto the walls of the sense:less egg, a five metre high contruction of plastic and steel.

The user stands inside the semi transparent plastic egg which is inflated by a cool air fan, and suspended by metal arms over a steel platform. Video images of the virtual world are projected onto the eggs walls and these images are seen by both the user and the spectators outside the shell. A speaker system broadcasts everything the user hears to the audience.

On entering the installation the user straps on stereoscopic viewing glasses and a light weight body suit. The custom made suit contains sixteen areas of stimuli in the form of vibrating pads. In this way the creatures in sense:less can touch the user. The intensity of the touch depends on the individual creatures personality and mood. A navigating wand gives the user their motion in the world, while the viewing glasses give direction.

Five creatures live in the virtual world of sense:less. The creatures have human voices, alien bodies and distinct personalities. They are based on real people and personal experience, and each has a story they need to tell.

The virtual world the creatures live in is a constantly changing network structure based on realtime data derived from a World Wide Web server. In this way users on the net become points on this network, indicating net activity and the virtual presence of other human users. These human users are represented by mechanoid 'agents' who constantly roam the virtual world, changing shape and direction depending on the users behaviour in the hypertext structure of the World Wide Web server.

sense:less was originally commissioned by the Henie-Onstad Art Center for the exhibition Electra '96. The project was realized through support of the Henie-Onstad Art Center and Silicon Graphics Norway.

sense:less won an honorary mention in the Interactive Art category of the Prix Ars Electronica 1996 (the announcement of the winners in all categories can be found here). sense:less was shown at DEAF '96 (here is the program entry). It was also shown at the 1998 Istanbul Biennal.

Knut Mork: Application programming + text
Kate Pendry: Text + sound + voices
Ståle Stenslie: Bodysuit + installation design
Marius Watz: Graphic programming + design

 





Knut Mork

Knut Mork is a software engineer, writer and electronic artist. He has worked on VR development at Norwegian Telecom, and is a contributing editor of the Alternative-X electronic publishing network.

Kate Pendry

Kate Pendry is a classically trained actress, with 15 years performance experience in the UK and Europe. Since 1993 she has been writing and producing as well as acting.

 

Ståle Stenslie

Ståle Stenslie an internationally exhibiting artist and media designer working with VR and communication systems. His project CyberSM won the SGI grant for especially talented artists at the ISEA 94. More information about Ståle is available here.

Marius Watz

Marius Watz is a graphic designer working with custom made software for 2D and 3D graphics. He was the exhibition coordinator for the electronic art exhibition Electra '96 at the Henie-Onstad Art Center.