Sunday, October 7, 2012

A writing idea - Thresholds

One of the standout points from the Doctorow/Stross collaboration Rapture of the Nerds is that the Internet, and therefore the post-singularity Cloud, is not an aesthetically pleasing place to be.

Think about it - what proportion of websites are genuinely well designed, let alone works of art? Think of the distractions of adverts, pop ups, animations? Have MMORPG's, or Second Life, contributed any more than beautifully drawn kitsch?

Augmented reality - adding visuals (but also data and sound) through a phone, tablet, or some time soon just glasses - provides more artistically interesting possibilities.

While at the moment, the augmented reality (AR) industry seem to be talking about everyday overlays, displaying useful data when you need it, its the artistic applications that leap out at me.

What if you could create a space (or spaces) which were a combination of AR, real-life art installation and performance space? The vision of one or more collaborators? Artists, programmers, dramaturges, pyschologists all coming together to create a space which offered a singular vision or cracked mirror to supplement or ... perhaps ultimately replace 'real' life?

The visions of the interwar surrealism made a reality? Life as cabaret? Quasi deranged theme-parking? Perhaps.

Link it to gaming (whether MMO or LARP) and you have the potential for a second tier of collaboration through alternative personae. Living the steampunk dream 24-7, anyone?

At the moment I'm calling these spaces 'thresholds', as the participant passes from a subliminal space (beyond the point at which all these AR cues are invisible) into a superliminal space where the imaginary is manifest.

Will I get any writing out of this? Will it do for my NaNoWriMo attempt? Only one way to find out...

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