_ART: C.a.p.e. Release: 2010

What if you could physically walk through the past or maybe the future? What if you could walk in a reality that is NOT HERE. What if an artist would transform your reality and put you right in the middle of his art work?

C.A.P.E.  (Computer Automatic Personal Environment)  is a futuristic system, a high-technology configuration and artistic concept that induces exactly this experience, this illusion in your body.  Brussels based performance group CREW and artistic director Eric Joris have been experimenting with this concept for years and propose a whole new way to experience a documentary, a visit to the past, a performance, a far-away city....


How does it work?
A visitor is equipped with video-goggles, headphones and a portable computer. This 'immersive device'allows him to enter a different reality. Pre-recorded or real-time 360° film images in the video-goggles and omni-directional sound puts him literally in the middle of the image. He can look around into this filmed environment at free will. Moreover, he can move around and walk inside the virtual space. He is, so to speak, teleported from one place to another or fromone time to another.

The combination of looking, hearing, moving (and sometimes even touching) creates this bewildering illusion. An important mechanism here is the so-called sensorial deprivation: the lack of observation of one's own body, in favor of a newly represented body, intensifies the experience.

The technical concept of this ground-breaking medium was developed in close collaboration with the University of Hasselt/EDM (B).


C.a.p.e presentation
is a performance. Three, four or more visitors at once are equipped with the omni-directional equipment (the immersive device) , consisting of video-glasses, motion trackers, a head-set and a backpack with a computer. During about 15'they will walk through a new world. The visitors (we call them immersants) are being guided each by an assistant, who will accompany them during their walk and reinforce the experience with occasional tactile interventions. An operator ensures the necessary technological back-up.
The experience is presented in a continuous way, one session after the other, so that almost 100 visitors per day can experience this mesmerizing walk. Simultaneously an unlimited number of onlookers can enjoy the event. After all, the performance can take place in any semi-public space, such as a museum, a library, an entrance hall of a theatre or conference hall, a shopping mall, a school, a castle...In this space, images of the 'immersive world'are projected on large screens, so that passers-by or other visitors of the site can follow the event. With C.A.P.E, CREW swaps the familiar inside of the art centre or theatre for the public space, where it aims to trigger the curiosity of many passers-by or accidental visitors and to share with them the excitement of stepping into the future.


The exploration of C.a.p.e
The creative potential of this new, unexplored medium is immense. Over the next years, CREW will focus on the intensive exploration of this instrument by developing C.a.p.e applications in the widest possible domains and with a group of European partners.

C.a.p.e is a strongly experience-based medium. It redefines the artistic experience and puts the visitor, who is no longer just an on-looker, into the heart of the experience. This unique, penetrating experience is accessible to all. It is CREW's aim to distribute the developed C.a.p.e projects as widely as possible and to share them with a with all types of audiences in many different settings.

We intend to find out how this special medium will develop in the hands of very different artists...How it can be used to stimulate the artistic experience and creativity of children... How it can function as a new tool for bringing the past to life in heritage sites or historic events... How it can be explored as a radically new form of documentary, that makes current events elsewhere in the world strangely tangible... How the heartbeat of a far away city can be transmitted to visitors, thousands of miles away... How the museum visitor can be catapulted into another world... Etc. Etc.




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