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Extracts from IPS 2006 speech by Prof David Malin

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  • Erik Roberts
    “The imaging possibilities of science are endless; it is our imaginations that are required to make these images available to the general public. And it’s
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 20, 2006
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      �The imaging possibilities of science are endless; it is our
      imaginations that are required to make these images available to the
      general public. And it�s not recognised that planetariums have been
      the best organised people involved in astronomy outreach for a long
      time, since about 1927, or thereabouts.�

      As the stars have become less accessible so planetariums have created
      ever more realistic representations of the dark sky. The dark sky is no
      longer familiar to 99% of the population, so that role ofthe
      planetarium is still an absolutely vital one - to bring the beauty and
      awe of the night sky to people who never normally lift their eyes above
      street level.

      However, it was recognised very early on by people who managed
      planetaria that a hemispherical dome could be used for much more than
      simply representing the night sky. Long before IMAX was invented,
      planetarians understood that planetariums were not cinemas - they were
      not places where action, life, drama were played out in some kind of
      rectangle in front of you where you didn�t have to move your head.

      In a planetarium it�s not like that. The action, the drama is all
      around you and you have to move your head to look at this and to look
      at that. And that very action makes it not cinema. You cannot make a
      planetarium show that is cinematic in content and form. It�s more
      thematic; you have a theme. But the idea of moving your head and your
      eyes to some different part of the dome is an important distinction
      from cinema because when you focus on something over here, or over
      here, you have to pause, and you have to think about it. And that�s
      what planetariums do best in my view. They make people stop and think.

      And in my view, the time for that should be built-in to a planetarium
      program. Many of the programs I see are full of fantastic imagery, and
      music and voice over. There are times when you want it just to stop.
      Let me digest that good thing; I need to think about� that. So if
      there�s any (point I�m making) it�s to give people time to think when
      you are presenting them with such a rich experience in a planetarium.

      And regarding planetariums as cinema again, you couldn�t imagine, for
      instance, watching an episode of �The West Wing� in the round, or an
      episode of a �Harry Potter� film. You wouldn�t be able to follow it.
      So it�s not in any way a cinematic experience (because) the audience
      chooses its frame of reference and is obliged to be selective. I think
      that�s a very important ingredient.

      Now all of this encourages a sense of wonder - which is in all of us.
      Curiosity and wonder are definably human characteristics. My cat looks
      at the stars but I don�t think it wonders about them. We do. We have
      this marvellous adventurous sense of wonder. Unfortunately, it�s a
      tender thing, especially in young people. It can easily be squashed.
      Planetariums have a golden opportunity to capture the attention of
      young people, encourage the sense of wonder and foster it.
    • Ed Lantz
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 20, 2006
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        <<So if there's any (point I'm making) it's to give people time to think
        when you are presenting them with such a rich experience in a
        planetarium.>>

        Thanks for posting the David Malin excerpt, Erik.

        It reminds me of Theo Mayer who had the privilege of screening the first
        IMAX footage shot from an orbiting space shuttle. No sound - just raw
        2-minute reels. He said it was stunning - awe inspiring - deeply
        moving. When he saw the resulting IMAX documentary, with short edited
        cuts and a narrator speaking the entire time, there was no such effect.
        The cuts were too short and the narrator too distracting.

        Immersive cinema provides an opportunity to go beyond traditional
        storytelling. It is a chance to take people on inner journeys, to
        explore their own consciousness, rather than being spoon fed a story
        through narrative. We have only touched upon what is possible.
      • Don Davis
        ... How true! I was at a screening of the raw footage and was also later struck by the difference between how I was affected by the raw footage and with what
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 20, 2006
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          >It reminds me of Theo Mayer who had the privilege of screening the first
          >IMAX footage shot from an orbiting space shuttle. No sound - just raw
          >2-minute reels. He said it was stunning - awe inspiring - deeply
          >moving. When he saw the resulting IMAX documentary, with short edited
          >cuts and a narrator speaking the entire time, there was no such effect.
          >The cuts were too short and the narrator too distracting.

          How true! I was at a screening of the raw footage and was also later
          struck by the difference between how I was affected by the raw
          footage and with what they did with it. I wish someone would do a
          musical sound track for a new presentation of extended scenes from
          the original films. If they still exist.

          Don
        • Mark C. Petersen
          At the risk of quoting quoting and destroying context, here goes. ... And... ... I had an eye-opening experience at IPS, when I saw the New York Hayden show
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 24, 2006
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            At the risk of quoting quoting and destroying context, here goes.

            David Malin was quoted thusly:

            >In a planetarium it's not like that. The action, the drama is all
            >around you and you have to move your head to look at this and to look
            >at that. [snip] But the idea of moving your head and your
            >eyes to some different part of the dome is an important distinction
            >from cinema because when you focus on something over here, or over
            >here, you have to pause, and you have to think about it. And that's
            >what planetariums do best in my view. They make people stop and think.

            And...

            >And regarding planetariums as cinema again, you couldn't imagine, for
            >instance, watching an episode of "The West Wing" in the round, or an
            >episode of a "Harry Potter" film. You wouldn't be able to follow it.

            I had an "eye-opening" experience at IPS, when I saw the New York
            Hayden show "Cosmic Collisions". I had seen the show before -- in
            New York at Hayden, where they have concentric seating. The version
            shown in Melbourne had been re-rendered for unidirectional seating,
            wherein all the action was moved "to the front."

            I found it quite remarkable to note that -- for me, anyway -- the
            unidirectional show was way, WAY more effective.

            The show *seemed* more "together", the points in the story *seemed*
            more logical. The thing just flowed better. I didn't get the
            feeling I was missing anything this time around, because it was all
            there in front of me, laid out for my eyes to drink in. Whereas in
            New York, the egalitarianism of concentric seating put maybe a third
            of the show's visual material behind me, and for other content, the
            sweet spot was at the zenith -- neither of which were places my seat
            back allowed me to aim my head. I found it a struggle to follow the
            show in New York; in Melbourne, a relief. Heck, I could even read
            the credits easily in Australia; in New York, I remember having to
            look over my shoulder at them.

            As a rule, I tend to refrain from making public comments about other
            people's shows, and I do want to make clear this is not a critique of
            the show at all. On the scale at which Hayden produces, their shows
            are all incredible achievements.

            In this case, perhaps there's a lesson to be taken from one viewer's
            experience. I haven't put much stock into the old dome production
            maxim about "never let 'em guess where the next visual is going to
            appear". That seemed to be an affectation more about the producer
            than about the audience.

            When you can lead the eye, visual choreography becomes meaningful --
            a tool you should have in your story-telling toolbox. Having stuff
            pop up randomly, here there and everywhere, just because you have a
            large 360-degree canvas on which to paint, removes that capability
            and affects the audience, not always in a positive way.

            Same show. Same content. Easier access. I saw it with my own two eyes.

            >> Mark


            ___________________________________
            Mark C. Petersen
            Loch Ness Productions
            http://www.lochnessproductions.com
            ___________ GEODESIUM _____________
          • Ryan Wyatt
            ... I find this very interesting, and I would love to figure out a way to test how general your response is. AMNH may already have the data in hand, from
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 25, 2006
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              On Aug 25, 2006, at 11:10 AM, Mark C. Petersen wrote:

              > I had an "eye-opening" experience at IPS, when I saw the New York
              > Hayden show "Cosmic Collisions". I had seen the show before -- in
              > New York at Hayden, where they have concentric seating. The
              > version shown in Melbourne had been re-rendered for unidirectional
              > seating, wherein all the action was moved "to the front."

              > I found it quite remarkable to note that -- for me, anyway -- the
              > unidirectional show was way, WAY more effective.

              I find this very interesting, and I would love to figure out a way to
              test how general your response is. AMNH may already have the data in
              hand, from surveys and such that we conduct as part of our funding,
              so I'd like to see if there's generally better comprehension and
              affective response in a unidirectional setting.

              Has anyone else created both concentric and unidirectional versions
              of their shows? Is there other content with which we could test this
              hypothesis?

              Before I joined the Rose Center team, I was a vocal proponent of
              unidirectional seating (now I'm simply not vocal), and I have to
              admit that my main positive feelings about the concentric environment
              have to do with the interesting challenges of working in the space.
              That said, one effect that truly works best in the space is rising
              (or sinking) vertically into or out of an environment -- e.g., rising
              off the ocean floor or landing on Mars in "Search for Life." Having
              the horizon surrounding the audience is a very powerful shared
              experience. Otherwise, concentric feels more like a liability than
              an asset.

              Of course, our theater also has to accommodate a star projector in
              the center of the theater, which demands a springline of a certain
              height, etc. The idea of having an omnidirectional theater in which
              the audience is pushed up into the sphere a bit more... I find that
              intriguing. Although it works perhaps more as a venue than a theater.

              Anyway, I'll keep y'all posted to see if I can mine any data from our
              surveys about the dome configuration. Or perhaps we can structure
              our next batch of surveys to see if we can get those kind of results.


              Ryan, a.k.a.
              Ryan Wyatt, Science Visualizer
              Rose Center for Earth & Space
              American Museum of Natural History
              79th Street at Central Park West
              New York, NY 10024
            • Ryan Wyatt
              Posted for Larry Ciupik: ... Hi -- At Adler, we have two theaters that have seating (typically) arranged in these two ways. Over the years we have done a
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 25, 2006
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                Posted for Larry Ciupik:

                ===

                > Has anyone else created both concentric and unidirectional versions
                > of their shows? Is there other content with which we could test
                > this hypothesis?

                Hi --

                At Adler, we have two theaters that have seating (typically) arranged
                in these two ways. Over the years we have done a number of show
                evaluations in our older concentric-seating theater (the Sky
                Theater). These repeatedly found a major visitor complaint to be
                images that they could not see (or had difficulty seeing) due to
                images projected behind them (or at difficult to see angles), even
                without asking a leading question such as, "Could you see everything
                well?" We, therefore, reproduce our projected images on both sides
                of the dome whenever possible and that reduced the complaint (some
                still had trouble seeing "through" the Zeiss projector, though
                <<grin>>). Obviously, one usually cannot double images in the sky
                when one wants to create a scene on a planet, or in another
                "realistic" environment. However, since we have portable seats in
                the older theater, we could create a unidirectional environment.
                That would reduce seating capacity (and revenue) on the busiest days,
                so we have not taken that option.

                Note: Few complaints about seeing everything come from visitors
                seeing shows in the StarRider Theater, since it has unidirectional
                seating.

                Best wishes!
                Larry

                ***************************************
                Larry A. Ciupik
                Astronomer
                Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
                1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
                Chicago, Illinois 60605
                Email: lciupik@...
                URL: http://www.adlerplanetarium.org

                Subscribe to the Adler e-news!!!
                http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/enews/index.shtml
              • Ken Miller - GOTO USA
                Posted by: Ryan Wyatt Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:21 am (PST) ... Dear Ryan, Modern starball type opto-mechanical projectors don t demand any specific springline
                Message 7 of 15 , Aug 26, 2006
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                  Posted by: "Ryan Wyatt" Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:21 am (PST)

                  > Of course, our theater also has to accommodate a star projector in
                  > the center of the theater, which demands a springline of a certain
                  > height, etc. The idea of having an omnidirectional theater in which
                  > the audience is pushed up into the sphere a bit more...

                  Dear Ryan,

                  Modern starball type opto-mechanical projectors don't demand any
                  specific springline height. All that's necessary is that the center of
                  the starball be at the center of the dome's curvature whenever it's
                  expected to show an accurate sky. The dome can be high, low, 180º,
                  165º, tilted, flat,... it really doesn't matter. It's generally an
                  architect, doorway heights, an administrator's personal preference, or
                  local building code inspectors that set springline heights, not the
                  requirements of an opto-mechanical starball.

                  By the way, my personal favorite dome is one I worked in years ago that
                  has a roughly 5 foot high springline, and a single bench seat around the
                  perimeter. The audience is free to stand, walk around, and experience
                  the full sky to their own personal horizon whenever they like. And it's
                  served by an opto-mechanical projector. (Pacific Science Center,
                  Seattle, WA)

                  Ken Miller

                  =======================================================
                  Ken Miller "See the new GOTO HYBRID PLANETARIUMS!"
                  GOTO USA Liaison
                  346 ILIMANO ST.
                  KAILUA, HI 96734
                  Toll Free from USA: 1-(888) 847-5800
                  International: 1-(808) 254-1898
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                  =======================================================
                • Erik Roberts
                  ... AMNH productions exploit the geometry of the dome for maximum affect on the viewer s sense of space. By obeying the geometry, the image should be more
                  Message 8 of 15 , Aug 26, 2006
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                    > one effect that truly works best in the space is rising
                    > (or sinking) vertically into or out of an environment -- e.g., rising
                    > off the ocean floor or landing on Mars in "Search for Life." Having
                    > the horizon surrounding the audience is a very powerful shared
                    > experience. Otherwise, concentric feels more like a liability than
                    > an asset.

                    AMNH productions exploit the geometry of the dome for maximum
                    affect on the viewer's sense of space. By obeying the geometry, the
                    image should be more engaging. From an aesthetic point of view, the
                    centricity of the screen is it's greatest asset.

                    > The idea of having an omnidirectional theater in which
                    > the audience is pushed up into the sphere a bit more... I find that
                    > intriguing. Although it works perhaps more as a venue than a theater.
                    >

                    Ryan, would you also say that omni suits visual-music and other
                    non-representational genres of fulldome - your two personal films,
                    for instance?

                    Larry Ciupik (Adler Planetarium) recently wrote:

                    "At Adler, we have two theaters that have seating (typically) arranged
                    in these two ways... Few complaints about seeing everything
                    come from visitors seeing shows in the StarRider Theater, since it has
                    unidirectional seating."

                    I understand that certain shows have been released in two
                    versions - uni and omni - to cater for both types of theaters. Do you
                    think that this will continue to be the case? Is it viable to convert,
                    say, a successful visual-music show like SonicVision, to uni? Are
                    the creativity, time and costs involved in doing this prohibitive?
                    If not, could this be a way out - to design for both formats... ?

                    Thanks for any insights you can share,

                    erik
                  • Hue Walker Bumgarner-Kirby
                    Ah yes Don... let us hope...;-) ... chronic underfunding and dominance of education only mindsets of the gatekeepers. ... David M.. thanks for the link to
                    Message 9 of 15 , Aug 27, 2006
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                      Ah yes Don... let us hope...;-)

                      >>Let us hope the potential of this medium is not allowed to stagnate due to
                      chronic underfunding and dominance of 'education only' mindsets of the
                      gatekeepers.

                      >>Don Davis

                      David M.. thanks for the link to Courchesne... any more like that??? I'm
                      looking for ideas to share with my students... inspirations which are
                      outside of the trad astronomy use, and which transcend the tendency to think
                      in gimmicks.. work that has something to say???

                      hue

                      --
                      Hue Walker Bumgarner-Kirby
                      Multi Media Development Specialist
                      ARTS Lab
                      University of New Mexico
                    • david mcconville
                      ... Hue, As far as art projects using fulldome video, check out: Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium: http://www.blackshoals.net Celestial Mechanics:
                      Message 10 of 15 , Aug 27, 2006
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                        At 05:48 PM 8/27/2006, Hue wrote:
                        >David M.. thanks for the link to Courchesne... any more like that??? I'm
                        >looking for ideas to share with my students... inspirations which are
                        >outside of the trad astronomy use, and which transcend the tendency to think
                        >in gimmicks.. work that has something to say???

                        Hue,

                        As far as art projects using fulldome video, check out:

                        Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium: http://www.blackshoals.net
                        Celestial Mechanics: http://www.cmlab.com
                        Dream Temple: http://www.artnet.com/magazine/features/itoi/itoi11-20-01.asp#1
                        Cupola: http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/projects/prj_cupola.html

                        I'm also an admirer of media artist Michael Naimark's work -
                        http://www.naimark.net Though he works in many forms of immersive
                        installations, he created early "outside-looking-in" dome experiments at
                        MIT and has some great writeups about Omnimax and other things.

                        Buckminster Fuller was a major proponent of the power of dome-based
                        environments for relating large volumes of in short amounts of time (aptly
                        referred to as "visual bandwidth" by Ed Lantz) in a concept he called
                        "Geoscope". You can hear a podcast about this concept at
                        http://www.stranova.com/ourcurrentpodcas.html

                        I would greatly appreciate hearing from any of you about other dome
                        experiments that have happened within artistic and non-astronomical
                        frameworks...

                        cheers,
                        david


                        --------------------------
                        david mcconville
                        http://www.elumenati.com
                        612.605.0826 x5
                      • Erik Roberts
                        Here are several short extracts from an an art project outline by UK sonic artist Pip Greasley, who is no stranger to the dome. I think most people would agree
                        Message 11 of 15 , Aug 30, 2006
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                          Here are several short extracts from an an art project
                          outline by UK sonic artist Pip Greasley, who is no stranger
                          to the dome. I think most people would agree that his
                          soundtrack for "Astronaut" is a tour de force and gives the
                          vision a shifting emotional layer that augments the whole
                          experience very effectively. Here he is speaking out loud
                          about his impressions of full-dome. The more you think
                          about his observations the more perceptive they appear,
                          for me anyway. It suggests that, ultimately, the issue
                          about blurring the boundaries between cinema and immersive
                          video and the supposed threat of the planetarium profession
                          lowering its standards may be unfounded. Pip is saying what
                          I have always believed - that the dome is a whole new
                          medium - we don't really understand its psychological and
                          perceptual properties just yet.

                          (The last thing I want to do is offend any one on this
                          list, so please forgive my unbridled enthusiasm and sense
                          of hope that full-dome fills me with.)

                          cameraderie

                          http://www.subtletechnologies.com/symposium/Greasley.html

                          It's unlike any conventional format 00 even 180, and
                          because it's fully immersive, there is no fixed frame, no
                          spatial reference point around which to wrap sound. It's as
                          though the envelope of the dome takes control of the space
                          and the once static viewpoint is free to roam. It's flipped
                          conventions; where once image defined viewpoint, sound now
                          guides the viewer through the field of vision.... As I was
                          being transported by the smart CGI imagery into a new
                          spatial infinity, I was still aware of the physicality of
                          architecture around me. It was though the building would
                          materialise and dissolve away revealing an alternate
                          fictive space..... So, the strangest phenomenon of all was
                          an almost hallucinatory sensation where neither fictive nor
                          real worlds were quite in focus. Somehow the soundtrack was
                          reading as a real acoustic space whilst the projected
                          imagery seemed to become embodied within the domed surface.
                          (Pip Greasley, composer of "Astronaut")
                        • Hue Walker Bumgarner-Kirby
                          yes yes yes! Our domes are story telling (I use the term VERY loosely... just because we include a temporal element) spaces which, in a way, predate the
                          Message 12 of 15 , Aug 31, 2006
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                            yes yes yes!

                            Our domes are"story telling" (I use the term VERY loosely... just because we
                            include a temporal element) spaces which, in a way, predate the frame...
                            these spaces relate more to the campfire... and the dream... and what
                            happens in our heads when we "hear" a story or an idea or a description of a
                            place or an experience... the way we build ourselves into such a mental
                            image...

                            I like to think of our domes as magical cauldrons... or as the outer
                            extension of our craniums... I look up into my empty dome and in a very
                            visceral way I "feel" the underside of the top of my skull filling with the
                            ideas I want to see on the dome...

                            and I really believe that we are not just inventing... but RE-inventing how
                            to tell a story (or poem, or idea, or exeprience)... getting back in touch
                            with the pre-frame imagination...

                            hue

                            --
                            Hue Walker Bumgarner-Kirby
                            Multi Media Development Specialist
                            ARTS Lab
                            University of New Mexico
                          • Erik Roberts
                            ... Hi Hue, so helpful to have these glimpses of how you think about designing / producing for the dome - these are wonderful analogies and your idea that
                            Message 13 of 15 , Aug 31, 2006
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                              > .. getting back in touch
                              > with the pre-frame imagination...

                              > domes as magical cauldrons... or as the outer
                              > extension of our craniums...

                              > spaces which, in a way, predate the frame..

                              > the campfire... and the dream

                              > .. I look up into my empty dome and in a very visceral
                              > way I "feel" the underside of the top of my skull filling
                              > with the ideas

                              Hi Hue, so helpful to have these glimpses of how you think
                              about designing / producing for the dome - these are
                              wonderful analogies and your idea that painting, theatre,
                              photography, and cinema have taught us to see and think
                              within the box frame is brilliant - can I please quote you?
                              This raises very interesting theoretical issues, doesn't
                              it, as well as pointing to a uniquely intimate way of
                              working that you, Pip, Don and others are pioneering -
                              almost like listening to the dome and letting it tell you
                              what it wants. Using this "visceral" approach of yours
                              there is every likelihood that people who see your work
                              will feel that connection you have with the medium and be
                              transported just as you want them to be - does this make
                              sense? It's all about empathy, (with the medium's form -
                              it's distinctive nature) is that what you are saying?

                              It's interesting because what you are hinting at is that
                              the planetarium theatre is like a giant "brain-womb" and
                              full-dome experience can engage / evoke ancestral memories
                              - affinities with nature we have forgotten that we have???
                              Could you correct me here, or say a little more - you have
                              me most intrigued... (also, the analogy between the dome
                              and the brain suggests that it would make a natural subject
                              for a full-dome show - sure to be some funding somewhere.
                              Has it already been done? The prelude to Astronaut suggest
                              how exciting it could be.) I'm sure it would help everyone
                              to understand how the creative mind conceives, immersively
                              speaking, for this fertile new medium.

                              Thanks, Hue.

                              cameraderie
                            • Hue Walker Bumgarner-Kirby
                              can I please quote you? ... I d be honored... thanks erik pioneering - almost like listening to the dome and letting it tell you what it wants. Using this
                              Message 14 of 15 , Sep 1, 2006
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                                "can I please quote you?"... I'd be honored... thanks erik

                                "pioneering - almost like listening to the dome and letting it tell you what
                                it wants. Using this "visceral" approach of yours there is every likelihood
                                that people who see your work will feel that connection you have with the
                                medium and be transported just as you want them to be - does this make
                                sense? It's all about empathy, "

                                absolutely... I always start with an idea... but the dome very quickly takes
                                over and leads the project in and through... suggesting, surprising,
                                refusing, rolling around to a different view... (paper and canvas do the
                                same thing...;-)

                                and my only hope is that the viewers will connect on a visceral level and
                                find their own stories within the images I present...

                                "brain-womb"... I really like that...

                                in fact... as I was walking to work this morning, I passed a garden I have
                                been walking by for 20 years... and admiring... she has something I've never
                                seen before this year... Hyacinth Beans... lovely, fragrant, stunningly
                                beautiful vines covered with deep purple maroon pods and tendrils, and tiny
                                violet pea flowers... as I walked on, I was imagining a dome piece... dark
                                and dream-like, shimmering subtle colors, lots of transparency, glass-like
                                surfaces... (think diatoms... gems... smoke tendrils)... a stylized human,
                                head and hands, semi transparent, shimmering... the hands cup a Hyacinth
                                bean tendril, sniffing the flowers, observing the pods, the shapes and
                                colors and scents... and the brain, now visible thru the transparent skin,
                                begins to collect the information...

                                we then show, both thru brain activity (shimmering colors indicating degree
                                of activity in the proper brain areas) and images (within the brain?
                                surrounding the person? slipping over corresponding areas of the dome?)...

                                the idea being to present the interior experience of encounter, association
                                and memory... how when one encounters something like this plant, with it's
                                scent and colors and shapes, and all the associations these can present in a
                                human mind, there is a sequence set off in the brain... certain areas become
                                active in certain orders as we experience the encounter.... areas to do with
                                color, scent and shape recognition... memories, emotions, curiosity,
                                learning....

                                hiho... it was an interesting walk... glad I didn't encounter too much
                                traffic in the next couple of crossings while I was away in dome land!...;-)

                                yes... I'd love to see a "brain" -"dome" correlation...;-)

                                --
                                Hue Walker Bumgarner-Kirby
                                Multi Media Development Specialist
                                ARTS Lab
                                University of New Mexico
                              • Erik Roberts
                                ... This is how (I m sure) most of the great directors - Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Orson Wells, Andrei Tarkovsky, Fellini (et al) worked - allowing the
                                Message 15 of 15 , Sep 1, 2006
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                                  > absolutely... I always start with an idea... but the dome very
                                  > quickly takes over and leads the project in and through...
                                  > suggesting, surprising, refusing, rolling around to a different
                                  > view... (paper and canvas do the same thing...;-)

                                  This is how (I'm sure) most of the great directors - Sergei Eisenstein,
                                  Dziga Vertov, Orson Wells, Andrei Tarkovsky, Fellini (et al) worked -
                                  allowing the medium to dictate its own terms (rather than the cookie-
                                  cutter feature film production process of script to screen in the
                                  quickest possible time. The concept has to grow organically, as it were,
                                  if it's going to "entrain" (is that the right word?) the audience -
                                  entrancement is not "falling asleep" or a state of involuntary hypnosis
                                  but a state of being gripped by the enigmatic - it is a state of feeling
                                  most alive - wouldn't you agree? Like when you saw those vines.

                                  > as I walked on, I was imagining a dome piece... dark
                                  > and dream-like,

                                  The darkness (artificial night) corresponds to that primordial state
                                  you referred to in your previous post...

                                  > shimmering subtle colors, lots of transparency, glass-like
                                  > surfaces... (think diatoms... gems... smoke tendrils)...

                                  this translucency would work well as a method of shifting (gradually)
                                  between inner and outer p.o.v.... because that is the central problem -
                                  how to represent / depict two coexistent realities on the dome at the
                                  same time... it this correct?

                                  > a stylized human, head and hands, semi transparent, shimmering...
                                  > the hands cup a Hyacinth bean tendril, sniffing the flowers, observing
                                  > the pods, the shapes and colors and scents... and the brain, now
                                  > visible thru the transparent skin, begins to collect the information...

                                  Wow! The entire psycho-biological phenomenon of an ordinary event.
                                  This is what full-dome was invented for (as well as astronomy, of
                                  course, although, having said that, if it's true that we are all stardust,
                                  everything is astronomy-related - what is the human brian but the
                                  crowning achievement of the universe?)

                                  > we then show, both thru brain activity (shimmering colors indicating
                                  > degree of activity in the proper brain areas) and images (within the
                                  > brain? surrounding the person? slipping over corresponding areas
                                  > of the dome?)...

                                  There is a lot of good research data on brain behaviour during sleeping
                                  and dreaming - perhaps this could come into the story somehow - you
                                  could actually see the changing brain patterns over the 90 minute sleep
                                  cycle. The "plot" could be either a walk down the street or "a day in
                                  the life of a brain"... or you could do two short pieces - the brain
                                  awake and the brain asleep - like bookends.

                                  > the idea being to present the interior experience of encounter,
                                  > association and memory... how when one encounters something like this
                                  > plant, with it's scent and colors and shapes, and all the associations
                                  > these can present in a human mind, there is a sequence set off in the
                                  > brain... certain areas become active in certain orders as we
                                  > experience the encounter.... areas to do with color, scent and shape
                                  > recognition... memories, emotions, curiosity, learning....

                                  Apologies in advance if I wander off-topic... I guess I want to just say
                                  here that such an important topic requires us to ask - what does the
                                  average person want to know about themselves - about how their brain
                                  works - if this theme was handled well enough it could "fast-track"
                                  human potential in people who are predisposed to a deeper understanding
                                  of how life works. I'm thinking that if you got it right, Hue, it could
                                  be very enlightening - it would give people a new perception of
                                  themselves - like "Passport" did for me when I first saw it. You've hit
                                  on a full-dome subject that is screaming out to be done - even if it was
                                  only 5 - 10 minutes duration.

                                  Thank you for a stimulating reply.

                                  This link was recently sent to the iota forum - it is a well-written
                                  paper on "live cinema" and may have relevance to full-dome
                                  practitioners.
                                  http://www.rupture-online.net/04citaoic01.htm

                                  cameraderie
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