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[call for proposals] V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media (NL): 3D and Visual Aspects of Mixed/Augmented Realities


The deadline for proposals, is May 22, 2008, 12:00 p.m. CET (noon).
The selected artist will be contacted at the latest June 6, 2008.

Any queries related to this residency call should be directed to Jan
Misker,, +31 (0)10-2067273.
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Application form:

As part of the ‘Better than Reality’ project V2_Lab will host an artist in residence focusing on 3D and various other visual aspects within the topic of Augmented Reality environments. This residency will take place in the summer of 2008.

Background & Past Research
During the past years V2_Lab has been working on a number of aRt&D projects that involve Augmented Reality. The most recent project involved a collaboration with artist Marnix de Nijs (NL) that resulted in the first public user test of a project called Exercise
in Immersion 4 during the Dutch Electronic Art Festival 2007 (DEAF07).
Augmented Reality is an umbrella term for a range of techniques that make it possible to add virtual elements to the physical world; for example, overlayed visuals or spatialised sounds. The technologies needed to create Augmented Reality environments are, however, still very experimental and therefore often inaccessible to artists. To enable more artists to create augmented reality artworks, V2_Lab has developed a software/hardware platform called VGE (V2_ Game Engine), that is based on Ogre3D, OpenAL, Blender, ultrasound positioning and SIOS (Sensor Input/Output System). The latter was also developed at V2_Lab.
In VGE, the user wears a set of stereo video displays that show a mix of 3D visuals and real world video that is received from a head mounted stereo camera. The position in space and orientation of the head are tracked. Additionally, the geometry of the real space is modelled in the virtual space. The tracking makes it possible to fix the virtual world relative to the real world. For example, a virtual object can disappear behind a real wall.
The aim of V2_Lab is to extend VGE into an accessible authoring environment for Augmented Reality environments.


The project
The ‘Better than Reality’ project comprises a series of three residencies focused on Augmented Reality. Within each residency a specific artistic aspect of Augmented Reality will be researched, leading to part of an augmented reality installation. The topic for this residency is 3D and visual aspects of Augmented Reality experiences; adding virtual objects to a real environment.

The topics for the other two residencies (with pre-selected artists) in the ‘Better than Reality’ project are:
• Spatial audio, Boris Debackere (BE)
• User experience/immersion, Marnix de Nijs (NL)

Within ‘Better than Reality’ we encourage artistic experiments and knowledge exchange, multidisciplinary collaboration and public user testing. While each residency covers a specific, the overarching and shared goal is to reach a deeper understanding of artistic
possibilities of Augmented Reality environments.
In addition to a shared technical foundation, we expect a continuous collaboration, and knowledge exchange, between the artists involved.
Moreover, as the project will include collective work, the residencies will partially overlap in time.
The three residencies will be concluded with a public presentation; a large scale informal user test for artistic Augmented Reality experiments of all three subprojects. Additional to the presentation, the dissemination of the knowledge to other artists and art students in workshops and lectures, as well as a symposium is another major goal of the overall project.

The residency
We invite an artist to explore the 3D and visual aspects of Augmented Reality. We are eager to collaborate with an experienced artist on the visual aspects of VGE, focusing on creating a visually convincing experience. Specific attention will be directed towards using techniques that make virtual objects appear ‘as if they belong’ in
the real world environment. For example:
• Lighting;
• blending and mixing, specifically at the borders of real and
virtual; and
• (simulated) physical interaction between the virtual and real world.

The other artists involved in the project have set part of the boundaries of this residence with their plans, and vice versa, the objectives for this residency will influence the boundaries of their work. The plans of the other residencies are available upon request.

This residency is intended for an in-depth exploration of 3D and visual aspects of Augmented Reality, which is why we require the artist to have an excellent working knowledge of the following techniques: 3D modelling, real-time 3D and texturing (e.g. shading, light mapping, photo mapping and texture baking). Experience in computer generated animation, physics modelling, and Blender is desired.

The required activities of the residency include:
• a preparatory meeting with the VGE developers at V2_Lab and the other artists involved (teleconference is possible);
• at least one month of work at V2_Lab, Rotterdam, between July 1 and August 31, 2008;
• active participation as expert, or workshop leader, for dissemination activities (workshops, lectures, etc.) in the fall of 2008; and
• personal contribution to the final presentation and symposium.

V2_Lab offers:
• extensive support by the VGE developers at V2_Lab;
• an artist fee up to € 4500,- in total, depending on the exact activities;
• lodging for the time spent in Rotterdam; and
• travel to/from Rotterdam, up to € 250,- in total.