Rutopia 2

Virtual reality art attempting to break through the flatness of contemporary display surfaces into 4D sculptural forms of the ubiquitous tele-immersive network.

UIC OVCR Art and Humanities Award
UIC CADA Research Prize

ISEA 2008, Singapore
EVA 2006, London
IGRID 2005, San Jose
SPIE 2006, San Jose
VR SubFest, Buffalo

ISEA 2008
GRAPP 2007
SPIE 2006
Journal of the New Media Caucus

Rutopia 2 is a virtual reality art project built for the CAVE and the C-Wall VR systems. It explores the aesthetics of virtual art in relation to traditional Russian folk arts and crafts such as wood sculpture, toys and the decorative painting styles of Palekh, Khokhloma,and Dymkovo. Rutopia 2 aesthetics is based on the generalized outlines, principles of composition, bright colors and simplified shapes inspired by these styles.

The project describes a magic garden with interactive sculptural trees. It was conceived as a virtual environment linked to a matrix of several other unique virtual environments that together create a shared network community. A series of 3D modular sculptural trees, each consisting of dozens of rectangular screens, in the main environment serve as portals to the other linked environments. The animation of these dynamic tiled trees is an attempt to break through the static flatness of the contemporary tiled-display grids, architectural facades, and surfaces into the perpetually changing 3D sculptural forms of the ubiquitous public network.

The project was presented in the following networked tele-immersive virtual reality exhibitions SIGGRAPH 2007, San Diego; EVA 2006, London; IGRID 2005, San Jose; SPIE 2006, San Jose; VR SubFest, Buffalo.

Original sketch of the network interaction. The visitor teleports to the remote environment by looking through the window.
Selected original paintings from the storyboard.
Screenshots of the virtual environment in Rutopia 2. The Avatar is growing trees and visiting networked House world.
Rutopia 2 networked exhibition during the IGRID 2005 International conference on advanced scientific research in international and national global network systems Calit2, University of California, San Diego, CA, September 26-29, 2005. Live network connection with Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS, Moscow) via GLORIAD advanced global network. Photo with Mikhail Zhizhin (RAS) and Natasha Bulashova (GLORIAD).
Video documentation 2005