Field of Dreams, Badanami WSU 2017

18:43 19 November 2017

Badanami Centre’s innovative online outreach tool Field Of Dreams (FoD) utilises two Virtual Reality (VR) platforms, 360 video and WebGL. Designed for off- and on-site engagement, FoD deploys an appropriate Aboriginal design language and user experience (UX) to highlight WSU, its Council of Elders and its potential for Aboriginal students.

FoD is comprised of a WebGL landscape showing the WSU campuses. The WebGL enables users to fly between campuses and watch videos of elders, academics, professional staff and students. Some of these videos are 360 degrees showing immersive learning environments such as The Moot Court. There is a gameplay – follow a series of video clues to best understand the tertiary learning cycle. As users watch the videos, their message stick fills up with symbols that explain the learning cycle in a culturally appropriate ways. FoD is designed to be used with VR goggles onsite at Open Days, and before, during and/or after student/teacher engagement with WSU. Visitors to classrooms can use the online tool to explain aspects of WSU; teachers can show and discuss videos about the various disciplines on offer; students can navigate the VR landscape, identify the campuses and learn about the aims, priority and forms of education available to them at WSU.

This project contributes to the building of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander excellence at Western Sydney University including in its methodologies of cross-cultural co-creation.

Produced by Kate Richards, Experiential and Immersive Research Lab, HCA WSU.



Travels in Beautiful Desolation 2009

13:40 3 February 2010

“Gondwana” is a galaxy of the imagination created using astronomical visualisations from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Mt Stromlo, Canberra.  It is a playful riff on astronomical data, scientific research, cosmology and allegorical discourses.

Realised in a games engine by James Hudson of Nocturnal, with an immersive interactive interface using handheld navigation and augmented reality ‘heads up’ display.

Astronomical visualisations are combined in aesthetic, striking and original ways. The galaxy is complete with fictional constellations imagined for the southern skies. My aim is to explore the premise that the universe is complex and ecological in the sense of a generative system – it is outcome and process. The universe is not just an engineering equation but is informed by creative intelligence, ordering principles, patterns, significance and aesthetics. Does it posses a kind of intelligence with aesthetic qualities as well as mathematical ones? What can folk sciences and naive ontologies offer current astrophysical problems? How can we come to terms with a universe that is expanding and accelerating, from each point in it? I am working experimentally with astronomical visualisations (3d), scientific language, cosmology (current theoretical dilemmas of mythical proportions) and folk sciences (Aboriginal and classical), to explore the gaps and connections between science and spirituality, fact and speculation. Exhibited at DreamWorlds – Australian Moving Image in Beijing and regional China 2010.

Developed during a residency at the Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, ANU with help from Professor Brian Schmidt and James Hudson from Nocturnal.

Foul Whisperings, Strange Matters 2008

10:18 29 March 2009

Shakespeare’s Macbeth interpreted in Second Life

FOUL WHISPERINGS, STRANGE MATTERS brings Shakespeare’s world renowned and extraordinarily influential play Macbeth into a virtual worlds environment. This is an appropriate, timely use of pop culture as an adaptive bridge between classic texts and new media technology. The poetic use of metaphor, image and symbol that permeate Shakespeare’s language can be brought to 3D life using the online world as a discursive design space where visitors experience the motivations and emotional journey of character, and explore and make personal sense of the universal themes of Shakespeare. In Foul Whisperings, Strange Matters a prelude at the arrival grove sets the tone for the visitors’ exploration of seven scenes depicting Macbeth’s journey. Visitors engage with the participatory potential of Second Life to remake, co-create and mash-up Shakespeare. Foul Whisperings, Strange Matters’ inworld roleplay studios enable visitors to take part in group play and workshops that are exploratory, spontaneous and performative. A virtual world is a flexible, living, real time environment where things can change, appear and disappear and visitors can interact with real agency. Foul Whisperings is a fabulous cutting edge example of the potential of online media to breath life into old texts, taking classic narratives to new realms of possibility with diverse, unexpected and educational outcomes – off the page onto the virtual stage! DOWNLOAD A PDF ABOUT THE PROJECT