Forgetting for the moment how we would technically realize a vision of computer information simply coexisting with our physical world, it’s fun to see the fantasy versions of this vision that people have created — many of which are available on YouTube and Vimeo.
One that is particularly nice from a technical/aesthetic perspective is a video entitled “What Matters to Me”, in which Christopher Harrell describes his ideas by pulling them out of the air and arranging them in front of him in space:
I especially like the way some of those ideas perch atop his fingers, until he is ready to wave them away.
Another work that seems to get at some of these ideas (although it isn’t nearly as elegant) is the augmented office scene from the recent computer game “Heavy Rain”:
Then there is the lovely video by Bruce Branit, in which a young man constructs an entire world out of the air, using only his hands, for the woman he loves:
Closer to current technical possibility — and a great example of street theatre — is the delightful demonstration system in which Marco Tempest turns a piece of cardboard into a magical interactive space:
Mr. Tempest only manages to turn that one piece of cardboard eccescopic, but this is clearly a step in the right direction.
What these visions all have in common is the idea that there is no “computer” — there is only us. Information appears not on some disembodied screen, but rather right here in the physical world we share.
But how can we do this for real — not just on pieces of cardboard, but everywhere?