VideoSpace was created on the basis of three projects: Javornik (2001), R III (2002) and VSA (2003). These are autonomous artistic projects (that have been exhibited also separately), which should be conceived through the viewpoint of video-integrated media and conceptual art. Each of the three projects and of course their relationships (alliance) in VideoSpace are realised through multiple artistic media: as video tape, video installation and web site, in some cases also as an interactive CD-ROM (Javornik), traditional paintings acrylic on canvas (R III) and corporate identity (VSA). VideoSpace is realized on different levels, too: first as a conceptual diagram, than as an interactive CD-ROM with a virtual three-dimensional hyperspace and as a reduction of the CD-ROM version into the language of VRML three-dimensional net reality.
Three autonomous projects in the VideoSpace are connected to each other by
the conceptual horizon that defines each of them and all of them in relation
to each other. This is a triade of irreducable cosmic substances: the matter,
the human and the language. With this triade we are able to overcome some of
the crucial contemporary philosophical biases embodied in critical movements
- as for example formalism (that functiones only in the field of language and
to some extent in the field of matter), psychologism (with the human expressivness
through language), historical materialism and neomarksisms
- of course
in the theoretical form enabled by the metalinguistics of Mikhail Bakhtin and
the archaeology of Michael Foucault. In the three projects all three substances
are intertwined on the artistically specific level: the language is considered
from the point of view of literary sciences and intertextuality, the human through
the theories and practices of body art and performance, the matter through Bakhtin's
and Foucault's theories of the materiality of discourse.
Language is in the focus of the project R III, which is actually a transposition
of Shakespeare's history play King Richard the Third into the medium of videotape.
Today King Richard the Third is perceived mainly as a discoursive field that
transgresses the mere problematics of literary intertextuality and extends into
the field of material effects that interfere with human life in the form of
politics. Javornik explores the borders of body art, which despite its apparently
transparent aim turns out to be not as non-problematic as it may seam. Activation
of unplesant conotations of artistic discourses and institutions shatters the
very institution of artistic abuse of the body. The VSA project is focused on
the materiality, it searches for the contact with the matter in its pure form.
However, this contact is not non-problematic but instead it appears wraped into
a Kafka-like maze of discourses and institutions.
In VideoSpace we followed the logic of the triade language, human, matter and
we added the spatial dimension. This move is suggested in the theoretical shift
enabled by the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and Michael Foucault. Foucalt somewhere
clearely states that the shift of the philosophical research from the problematics
of time onto the problematics of space relations is necessary. The teritorialization
of the discourse has replaced the deconstrictionist or Lacanian burgeoning of
the discourse from the rapture in time. Since we are dealing with computer media,
we evolved our concept mainly from the model of the hypertext, that is, by means
of links spreading through the internet, and from the model of video games,
that contribute the three dimensional graphics - some kind of hyperspace -,
which appears before our eyes in real time.
On the level of conceptual diagram we added to the three projects also the
context of the video game Tomb Raider, which makes use of the third person gaze,
attached to the model of our double, the avatar. The space with which Lara Croft
communicates and interacts is mainly a representation of the real space. In
the CD-ROM version, when we have faced the concrete dilema about what the virtual
space should look like in order to enable the coexistence and mutual functioning
of the three projects, the shift of the player's interest from the avatar to
the space itself was necessary. That is because the avatar implies the connection
of the tactile qualities of the space details with the user, who relates to
the virtual space thorugh the experinece of his/her own physical body in the
real space. The meaning of the avatar in the video game is that it as a perfect
double of the user takes over his/her complete interest and thereby it disqualifies
the spatial features of the game (eg. video game Tekken). Since the triangual
relatiogram of the world is developed on the conceptual level and since it addresses
the user completely on the conceptual level, too (and not on the level of physical
experience), the avatar as the strongest carier of identification becomes unnecessary
and even disturbing, since the user strolls in the conceptual space with the
aim to discover the space and not to experience it as his home. By absence of
the experimental manipulability of the space features the empirical distance
is evolved between the user and the virtual space, the consequence of which
is the shift into the conceptual understanding.
The virtual space of VideoSpace is founded in three elements: the three dimensional
objects, the two dimensional textures and the interested gaze which explores
the space. Each of the elements is developed through its crucial perceptive
aspect: three dimensional objects mimics the three dimensional objects from
the real space (eg. the house), textures are not mimetically applied to the
objects they cover (eg. The texture of wall bricks is not applied to the object
of the house), instead they claim the two-dimensionality, whereas the interested
gaze is focuesd into the space itself and it does not disclose its carrier,
the avatar. The three dimensional objects and the two dimensional textures are
thereby functional in their specific roles and not in the common role of an
illusion of the real world. This is in part possible because the three dimensional
objects carry enough information about the references to the real world by their
three dimensional form alone and would be therefore reduntantly codified if
they would mimic real world also on the level of textures.
The textures are utterly flat, two-dimensional when they carry pornographic
images. In fact, the meaning or the story of any image takes place in the ponit
of its suspense, the macule. This is the point, which is not directly, or onefoldedly
interpreted; it is the point of the submersion of the viewer into the image.
A pornographical picture has no such point since it discloses everything. It
has no suspense; its first meaning is at the same time also its last and all
the meanings in between. It shows to the gaze what the gaze is looking for and
the finding of which should never occur in order for the search of the interested
gaze to be possible.
Each of the three elements of the VideoSpace (objects, textures, interested
view) could not exist without the other two and every two of them without the
third could not form the logic of the virtual space. The segmentation of the
virtual space into the crucial perceptive functions of the elements that form
it has been the foundation for the understanding, conceptualizing and designing
the form and the way of codification of each of them. Hence, here we have a
conceptual virtual space, the task of which is not to mimic the real world at
the resolution as high as possible (as are the trends in contemporary video
games), but rather to evolve an environment into which the triangular relatiogram
of the world can be placed and developed by the means of the three projects
Javornik, R III and VSA.
The VRML version of the VideoSpace (http://black.fri.uni-lj.si/videospace/) is reduced to a platform in the black infinite space and the conceptual triad of the relatiogram language, human, matter juxtaposed with the triad of the projects Javornik, R III and VSA. The space in the virtual reality of the VRML code is functionally reduced to the minimal possible information in order not to overload the internet data transfer. The platform in the black space is manipulated by means of the possible movements in the virtual space: the translation with the functions of zoom in and zoom out, and the rotation of the object (the platform). Each of these manipulations creates a travelling in the space, whereas through travelling different points of view and interest are created and discovered. Thereby the user gradually approaches the relatiogram: he/she can grasp it from a distance by zooming out or proceed from one mapped identity point to another. Each of the identity points is linked to the web pages of the project in concern. Thus the spatially mapped relatiogram is transferred to a parallel level of separate pages by the instantaneous action of the web links. The linked pages may be considered flat in comparison to the three dimensional translations in the virtual reality of the VRML VideoSpace. This is one way of exiting and re-entering the virtual space of VideoSpace; the other is the disclosure of the symbol of the relatiogram, which is the Star of David. It is the point of leakage of the virtual space into the real world space of a specific social context that cannot be perceived as a neutral appendix but instead it modifies the self-contained structure of the virtual reality and makes it dependent on and a part of the social network of discourses.