"Boundary Functions shows us that personal space exists only in relation to others and changes without our control. ...
By projecting the diagram, the invisible relationships between individuals and the space between them become visible and dynamic. The intangible notion of personal space and the line that always exists between you and another becomes concrete. The installation doesn't function at all with one person, as it requires a physical relationship to someone else. In this way Boundary Functions is a reversal of the lonely self-reflection of virtual reality, or the frustration of virtual communities: here is a virtual space that can only exist with more than one person, and in physical space.
The title, Boundary Functions, refers to Theodore Kaczynski's 1967 University of Michigan PhD thesis. Better known as the Unabomber, Kaczynski is a pathological example of the conflict between the individual and society: engaging with an imperfect world versus an individual solitude uncompromised by the presence of others. The thesis itself is an example of the implicit antisocial quality of some scientific discourse, mired in language and symbols that are impenetrable to the vast majority of society. In this installation, a mathematical abstraction is made instantly knowable by dynamic visual representation."
(Scott Snibbe, 1998)
Fig.1 Scott Snibbe (1998). "Boundary Functions".
"An interactive system defines a virtual space, whether the system’s interface provides access to the inhospitable planet of Stroggos or the Microsoft Windows desktop. Users of both these systems interact with a place, one created by a computer and in which users and computational agents carry out their individual and collective activities. The intuitive and often-discussed benefit of a well-designed interface metaphor is that it allows users to carry over conventions from their 'real' experience when performing tasks within the interface world.
Another key and often unarticulated value of an interface arises from the interface’s mimetic quality. While mimesis is often discussed by narrative theorists as a contrast to diegesis, distinguishing the concepts of showing versus telling (Aristotle), my emphasis here is to distinguish between an artifact that is intended to be an imitation of something, but is not really that thing and an artifact that is intended to be mistaken as that thing. An example of the former case would be a film of a fictional account of the D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy. An example of the later might be a virtual reality system displaying photo-realistic graphical images of a physical space. D-Days stories like The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan are, in some ways, imitations, and so are more mimetic than VR systems whose design is intended to '...produce synthetic images visually and measurably indistinguishable from real world images.' (Greenberg 1999)(pg. 45)."
(R. Michael Young, 1999)
Greenberg, D. P. 1999. 'A framework for realistic image synthesis'. Communications of the ACM 42(8):45-53.
1). R. Michael Young (1999). 'Notes on the Use of Plan Structures in the Creation of Interactive Plot', Papers from the 1999 Fall Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Symposium
"CTM is a new research center dedicated to the invention, critique, and understanding of transformative media practices, including gaming, social networking, creative mobility, data mining, and participatory learning.
Our work combines expertise in the design of social media, games, learning environments and communities with a deep understanding of the way dynamic media networks are used - and increasingly transformed - by audiences in their quest to learn, work, play, and participate. Projects draw from expertise in both design and the social sciences with a particular focus on ecologies of change. An emphasis on networked publics as spaces of learning forms a core perspective of The Center for Transformative Media.
Faced with an increasingly complex, participatory, and information-rich network culture individuals must learn how to engage in meaningful ways, with others, in order to gain access to information, services and entertainment. The space of the network, which spans local and global, real and virtual space, has become a primary site for engaging with the world, people, events, and ideas.
The power of the collective has become a primary strategy for managing information, solving complex problems, and building expertise. Recasting media spaces as networked learning environments will be the key to innovation within the next decade."
(Center for Transformative Media)
"Heterotopia can be described as a material space as well as a conceptual, virtual, urban, and even geopolitical spatial construct, including hinterlands, wonderlands, borderlands and brothels. Heterotopia is an unwieldy collection of Other space - including museums, military camps, colonies, libraries, and cemeteries."
(Ace Sophia, 13 February 2008)
Fig. 1 Fran's Star Ranch / Angel's Ladies (4miles North of Beatty, Nevada on U-95)