Meredith Tromble and Dawn Sumner on Collaborative Art-Science Research in CAVES

“Of CAVEs and Curiosity: Imaging and Imagination in Collaborative Research”
In the KeckCAVES visualization facility at UC Davis, one can walk into a snowflake or fly over a landslide. Images from around space and time flicker into existence as researchers interact with their data in three dimensions. Among the sights to be seen are ancient microbes, chaotic attractors, and the surface of Mars; and, now, the beginnings of a vortex of dreams, a virtual installation built from the inner lives of researchers studying the outer world. “Take Me To Your Dream (Dream Vortex),” a virtual installation in-progress by artist/writer Meredith Tromble, geobiologist Dawn Sumner, and willing CAVES researchers, is intended as a creative stimulus for anyone at work in the CAVES. And it is the springboard for a discussion of imaging and collaboration in art and science, including Sumner’s experiences on the Curiosity Mars mission.
Jim Crutchfield and I participate virtually in it, Jordan van Aalsberg is making the software language happen. This is all part of our ongoing experiments in designing a new infrastructure for making immersive 3D interactive environments. See us at MakerFaire in May 2013.