Michael Naimark Talk: Cycloramas Re-Imagined

April 16, 2014

“VR is back!”, and while for most this means head-mounted displays and fantasy imagery, collective displays and realworld imagery are untapped both as a new art form and as a new market (e.g., “virtual travel”). Of course, display type and imagery style need not be coupled, but the concept of large-scale public exhibition of realworld imagery has a good hundred years of history to learn from. These spaces were called Cycloramas, and the hundred years were throughout the 19th Century, before cinema. So how would this be done today? For one thing, the rules for such real world image capture and collective displays are not yet written, and different approaches to specifications, artifacts, and genres will be presented. In the end, these rules and approaches will be driven by the messages we wish to convey. A colorful and exemplar use-case will be described, as well as a fresh look at the 2008 USC Viewfinder project in this context.

Michael Naimark is a media artist and researcher who often explores “place representation” and its impact on culture. He is noted in the Computer History Museum’s account on Street View; the Wikipedia entries on Projection Mapping, Virtual Reality, and New Media Art; and a short vision essay of his ranks #1 (of over 1 billion results) on Google searches for live global video. He has directed projects with support from Apple, Disney, Atari, Panavision, Lucasfilm, Interval, and Google; and from UNESCO, National Geographic, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Exploratorium, the Banff Centre, Ars Electronica, and the Paris Metro. Michael has recently served as faculty at the MIT Media Lab (2011-14), NYU Arts’ Interactive Telecommunications Program (2009-13), and USC Cinemas’ Interactive Media Division (2004-09). He’ll be keynoting at the upcoming First International Symposium on Immersive Creativity in Montreal next month.

RSVP: Valerie Dauphin,

Here is a link to a PDF of the talk (12 MB, no video) for those who were unable to attend.

Photo Credit: 2014, Scott Snibbe