Elastic 3D Space is an international research project, based at Concordia University in Montreal, exploring stereoscopy, 3D video and encompassing virtual and augmented reality. Growing over the last two years, with projects in the UK and Australia, Elastic 3D Space explores the potential future for stereoscopy (the technology behind VR and 3D cinema) through projected and electronic screen based methods. The research has a particular emphasis on content creation and an artist-led methodology, but embraces many methodologies and disciplines. Outputs have and will include art projects ranging from installations and artist books to digital VR tools and user studies for VR content creation.
Elastic 3D Space refers to the illusion of depth that stereographic 3D content creates, the ‘popping out’ of objects from the screen in glasses-based stereoscopy, and the potential that arises when the audience is not seated but can move around the space in front of the screen. The amount of popping is elastic: it stretches as people move closer and further away from the screen as the audience is untethered from the cinema seat, and are free to participate in the experience of watching stereographic 3D content.
Elastic 3D Space is exploring how the languages of 3D film/cinema/games/art apply to virtual reality both as single and multiple participant experiences. It is taking lessons learned from 3D cinema and applying them to VR, as well as looking at how VR can be applied/augmented to the physical world, to architectural spaces.
The project is building on previous funding successes by the key researchers including a SSHRC Research Creation grant (2009-2013), along with CINQ (2011-2013) funding from the Quebec government and MITACS for an industry partnership with Janro Imaging. Following these, the researchers worked together on the Arts Council England funded Illuminate 2015 event in Bath, UK, an outdoor projection festival that allowed for an experimental approach to immersive 3D in a public space.
In October 3rd – 4th, 2015 the first Elastic 3D Space international symposium took place, drawing together the themes within the project, and following a successful Social Sciences Humanities Research Connections grant (January 2016), an international colloquium and workshop event was held at Concordia University in February 24-27, 2016. A number of projects are now forming as a result of the growing collaboration which is funded by a three year SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, 2016-2019.
Anthony Head and Leila Sujir, April 2016.