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William Blake and the Study of Virtual Space: Adapting "The Crystal Cabinet" to a New Medium

In re-envisioning virtual reality, we look beyond the simplistic recreation of the physical world and grow to understand it in a Mallarinéan-Blakean fashion, as a program that executes orders upon the senses. From this vantage point, the work of William Blake is a uniquely powerful departure point for the exploration of virtual space. Compared with the conventional works that seek to mirror reality or employ the virtual in support of video game narratives, his work forms a beachhead of compelling insight for a new and undiscovered medium. Within the Virtual Crystal Cabinet, Blakean textuality engages our new computer-driven reality. Poetic text, images, and architectural elements are blended through graphic design techniques, filmic conventions and theories of human computer interaction.
January 2005

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