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Cracks in the glass : the emergence of a new image typology from the spatio-temporal schisms of the ‘filmic’ Virtual Reality panorama

By Christopher A. Brisbin


Virtual Reality Panoramas have fascinated me for some time; their interactive nature affording a spectatorial engagement not evident within other forms of painting or digital imagery. This interactivity is not generally linear as is evident in animation or film, nor is the engagement with the image reduced to the physical or visual border of the image, as its limit is never visible to the viewer in its entirety. Further, the time taken to interact and navigate across the Virtual Reality panorama’s surface is not reflected or recorded within the observed image. The procedural construction of the Virtual Reality panorama creates an a-temporal image event that denies the durée of its own index and creation. This is particularly evident in the cinematic experiments conducted by Jeffrey Shaw in the 1990s that ‘spatialised’ time and image through the fusion of the formal typology of the Panorama together with the cinematic moving-image, creating a new kind of image technology. The incorporation of the space enclosed by the panorama’s drum, into the conception and execution of the cinematic event, reveals an interesting conceptual paradox. Space and time infinitely and autonomously repeat upon each other as the linear trajectory of the singular cinematic shot is interrupted by a ‘time schism’ on the surface of the panorama. This paper explores what this conceptual paradox means to the evolution of emerging image-technologies and how Shaw’s ‘mixed-reality’ installation reveals a wholly new image typology that presents techniques and concepts though which to record, interrogate, and represent time and space in Architecture

Year: 2007
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