Excavation

Networked virtual environment | 2001

Excavation is a networked virtual environment that explores the mediated surface of historiography.

The work immerses participants in a metaphoric archeology of encounter, wherein their presence engenders temporally unique and continually adaptive sets of relationships between the networked participants, the fluctuating anatomy of the metaphoric landscape, and its historical inhabitants. These inhabitants constitute a subjective aggregate of modern history as captured and conditioned by the technological apparatus of post-industrial society. They continuously cross paths along a dynamic surface that slowly folds in response to the participants’ motion and direction of gaze. As the archeological landscape distorts with every move and gaze of the audience, the work becomes a lens of history’s subjective, ever-changing, mediated nature.

Excavation is a collaboration with Joseph Tremonti and Alex Hill. In 2001, it was part of a suite of virtual environments presented in ‘Alive on the Grid’ at the Ars Electronica Festival 2001. Alive on the Grid, visitors were continuously recorded and became virtual inhabitants extending and recontextualizing the history of Excavation.