Deborah Cornell

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Virtual Reality environment

A collaboration of Deborah Cornell, Richard Cornell, and Boston University Scientific Visualization Lab

Surge is a collaborative multimedia work, a 3D digitally-generated interactive environment, that considers the effect of global warming on human culture, an exploration of the reciprocal influence of environmental change and human culture.

The work was informed by visits to Venice, Argentina, and other places where rising sea levels pose a distinct threat; the images of Surge encompass the world's oceans, threatened wildlife, human art and artifacts, and texts from Shakespeare, Borges, Schiller, and contemporary science writing.

The virtual environment of Surge was displayed on the Deep Vision Display Wall at the Scientific Visualization Lab at Boston University - a tiled 3D screen 16 x 20 feet, with rear projection by 24 interlaced computers and projectors. The viewer/participant was equipped with a navigation device similar to a Playstation controller and a pair of 3-D vision glasses. The sound environment comprised 8 speakers.