Myron Krueger

Small Planet

We all know that the earth is round and that anyone who ever thought otherwise was ignorant. But in fact, we have no first-hand experience that tells us that this is true. We simply take the scientists' word for it.

To make being on a sphere palpable, this environment shrinks the world to a scale that can be circumnavigated very quickly. Participants stand in front of a large projection screen depicting a realistic three-dimensional terrain. The projection screen is a portal into that world. Participants are able to move through that terrain by pretending to fly exactly as a child would by holding their hands out from their sides and leaning in the direction they want to go. In addition, they can control their altitude by raising or lowering their hands. When they lower their hands, they descend to the surface. When they raise their hands, they ascend-up to the level of the mountain tops. If they keep their hands elevated, they soar up into space and see for the first time that the terrain that they were exploring is really the surface of a planet.

Flying around this world is very satisfying by itself, because the means of navigation is so intuitive. Since this is a planet, if participants continue flying in one direction long enough, they will come back to the place they started from. We have constructed the world to make it interesting to explore. At times, participants will see a spherical object with a cape trailing behind it flying near them. The sphere is controlled by another participant in another identical installation.


Software/Hardware : Katrin Hinrichsen

Myron Krueger was the first artist to focus on interactive computer art as a composable medium. In the process, he invented many of the basic concepts of virtual reality. He pioneered the development of unencumbered, full-body participation in computer-created telecommunication experiences and coined the term "Artificial Reality" in 1973 to describe the ultimate expression of this concept.

Dr. Krueger earned a BA in liberal arts from Dartmouth College and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin. His 1974 doctoral dissertation defined human-machine interaction as an art form. It was later published as Artificial Reality (Addison-Wesley, 1983), and significantly updated as Artificial Reality II (Addison-Wesley, 1991).

Since 1969, Dr. Krueger has created interactive environments in which the computer perceives the visitors' movements through sensory floors and video cameras and responds though electronic sounds and environmental scale displays. His VIDEOPLACE exhibit places visitors in a computer-generated graphic world, inhabited by other human participants and graphic creatures, in which the laws of cause and effect can be composed from moment to moment.

Dr. Krueger's work has been funded by both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Science Foundation. In 1990, he received the first Golden NICA from Prix Ars Electronica for interactive computer art. He has also received awards from the scientific community for his work.

Dr. Krueger's work has been widely shown throughout the world at art museumsand galleries and scientific conferences. It has been noted in many publications including Art News, Newsweek, Stern, Insight, LIFE, OMNI, the New York Times, Investment Business Daily, and the Wall Street Journal. VIDEOPLACE has also been the focus of reports on CNN, CBS Evening News, Nightwatch, Beyond 2000, and Smithsonian World.