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The Virtual Brewery and Bar Code Hotel

Presented by Perry Hoberman,
Telepresence Research

Tuesday, May 23, 1995

Brief Notes by John Peterson

Perry Hoberman, an artist specializing in unique installation and performance works, spoke about two recent projects, the Virtual Brewery and The Barcode Hotel.

The Virtual Brewery was a recent project Perry did in conjunction with Telepresence Research, a company that specializes in virtual reality installations. The project, created for the Sapporo Brewing company in Tokyo, was the highlight of a "Beer Museum" there. The museum featured a number of displays about beer and brewing, with the Virtual Brewery as the highlight.

The Virtual Brewery display featured a single FakeSpace boom display, that one participant could use to control the display. Other viewers could watch along by looking into a dozen or so viewers displaying the same video and audio. A couple of museum guides coordinate the activity.

When the display starts, the particpants are first led through the gates of the "old" brewery (it used to be at the site of the current museum). And into a control room where a virtual guide gives a brief expanation of the scene. Then the particpant with the FakeSpace display can choose one of four "tours" featuring different steps of the brewing process.

Bar Code Hotel is an interactive installation for multiple participants (or guests). By covering an entire room with printed bar code symbols, an environment is created in which every surface becomes a responsive membrane, making up an immersive interface that can be used simultaneously by a number of people to control and respond to a projected real-time computer-generated stereoscopic three-dimensional world.

An interesting footnote to Perry's talk. Perry normally gives slide presentations of his work, the typical presentation method for artists. However, a slide projector was nowhere to be found in Apple's new hi-tech auditorium. Julian Gomez saved the day by setting up a WWW browser on the big screen, so Perry could show the audience his Web sites (see links above). It worked great!

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