School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, York University
Contact: Mark-David Hosale & Graham Wakefield
The Eversive Ecologies Cluster is a York-based research cluster dedicated to developing new technologies and artworks of unprecedented responsive complexity and somatic awareness that create a seamless continuum between virtual reality and the world we inhabit.
The environments that surround us have a profound influence on shaping human potentials for access and interaction with the world we inhabit, with the virtual information spaces, and with each other. From our vantage point at the beginning of the 21st century, the world we inhabit is becoming increasingly intertwined with digital systems and embedded technologies, such as ubiquitous wireless internet, multi-modal sensors, surveillance apparatus, and computer-controlled systems. Moreover we are on the cusp of an age of mixed realities in which virtual spaces of information blend spatially with our real environments, through audio-visually and somatically aware ambient sensing and immersive display; together forming an eversive disruption that turns the world we inhabit inside out. Today, end-user technology is about to pivot toward augmented visual experiences incorporated with our audio-visual and somatic experience to create a transparent natural human integration with technology that will become a disruptive and enabling transformation for society on par with the personal computer revolution of the 1980s and the Internet revolution of the 1990s. We can no longer usefully separate the three-dimensional physical space in which we live, breathe and experience our lives; the virtual space that is omnipresent through the interactive computational media that surround us; and the networked space whose topology connects people, places and things as independent spaces. These organic and synthetic spaces are becoming so deeply interwoven as to constitute a new ecology. A diversity of industries are already investing heavily in each of these areas, yet acknowledge the necessity of new creative technologies, techniques, genres, and aesthetic practices to carry this work forward into the next generation of information technology.