Visual Sensory Convergence

Thomas Tucker (Virginia Tech/US), Tohm Judson (US), Laura Vitale (Virginia Tech /US), Daniel Monzel (Virginia Tech /US), David Franusich (ICAT/US), Lucas Freeman (Virginia Tech/US), Huy Ngo (Virginia Tech/US), Hannah Comstock (Virginia Tech/US), Phat Ngo (Virginia Tech/US), Phil Nelson (VUW, NZ), Joseph Kubalak (Virginia Tech/US), Jesse Bibel (Virginia Tech/US), Meaghan Dee (Virginia Tech /US) and Andrea Dietrich (Virginia Tech/US)

Project Description

What are the boundaries of virtual reality? Are there ways we can have real experiences, engage all our senses, or actually feel transported to another world? Virtual Sensory Convergence is an exploration of our reality, through virtual reality. This project takes an immersive virtual reality experience and extends that world outwards with behind-the-scenes theatrical and puppetry elements. Suddenly, an almost isolating technology experience is transformed into a world where participants can interact with the world around them, touch things that respond, smell things, communicate through interactive sound, experience and be a part of the world. This project, currently under development, presents a virtual ecosphere with its own living entities. Each creature is created as a physical prop, has VIVE tracking, and puppeteered by a live performer. This experience is designed for one person at a time, to encourage unhindered curiosity, interactivity, and imagination.

Project Credits/Acknowledgements

Victoria University of Wellington (VUW),  Institute For Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).

School of Visual Arts, Virginia Tech (VT).

Artist Bios

Thomas Tucker (US): Thomas Tucker received his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he was a Joan Mitchell MFA grant recipient. He has been evolving complex drawings into animation/kinetic sculptural pieces using 3D software and sound design for over a decade. 

Daniel Monzel (US): Daniel Monzel graduated from Virginia Tech with degrees in Creative Technologies, Mathematics, and Computer Science. This combination of skills allows him to combine problem solving logic with a vivid imagination to achieve unique 3D art. He paints his brush through Story Telling, Modeling, Animation, Rendering, Game Design, and Teaching. 

David Franusich (US): David Franusich is a transdisciplinary artist, designer, and image maker. He works at the intersection of the physical and the digital, exploring materiality through immersive environments, new media sculpture, projected video, and sound. David holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Technologies from Virginia Tech. 

Laura Vitale (US): Laura Vitale is a designer who recently graduated with her MFA in Costume Design and Technology from Virginia Tech. Laura has additional experience in puppetry, circus arts, interactive art installations, festival production, graphic design, and other technologies. 

Meaghan A. Dee (US), Bio: Meaghan Dee is both a practicing graphic designer and an educator. She is an Associate Professor and serves as Chair for the Graphic Design program at Virginia Tech and as Co-Chair of the AIGA Design Educators Community. She received her BFA from University of Illinois, with a focus in Graphic Design, and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a focus in Visual Communication Design.