Assorted Demo Scenes: The Future of Virtual Space
— Galo Canizares/office ca
Assorted Demo Scenes is an ongoing research project on the paradigm of the demo scene as a new form of knowledge. As software continues to be ever updated, the demo and tutorial have become the de-facto form of learning new tools and exhibiting their potentials. At times we have witnessed the demo become the final artifact and be mined for qualities that can be reframed as novel architectural effects: physics simulations lead to new methods of aggregation and composition, fluid dynamics generate provocative particle-based formalisms, advanced texture mapping asks us to think about resolution/alignment/materiality in different ways, virtual walkthroughs suggest alternate forms of subjectivity. In this way, the demo has become the new site for what used to be known as "paper architecture."
The videos and images above are stills from a web-based physics simulation. Framed as a demo of the Three.JS 3D scripting library, the scenes showcase the potential of advanced rendering and simulation tools for web browsers. But they also illustrate how 3D space in these environments operates: objects have relative coordinate systems (shown as red, green, and blue lines), physics simulations require a redundant “rigid body” envelope (shown as green wireframes), and cameras require a specific frustum of vision to be declared (shown as a trapezoidal volume). The images reveal the hidden layers of virtual Euclidean space as they currently manifest in 3D modeling, gaming, and visual effects environments. This project asks: what can these hidden mathematical layers offer architecture with regard to the construction of virtual space, and how can an emphasis on 2D, 3D, and 4D vectors compliment ongoing discourses of imaging as a representation technique.