In Toronto in 1983 I exhibited “Displaced Perspective” which was the worlds first artwork that used a Head Mounted Display (HMD) as the display medium. This groundbreaking work transported viewers viewpoint to a spot 4 meters away that looked back at themselves wearing the HMD and created a kind of altered perception as it was like removing your eye and moving it to look back at yourself. This sensation of “remote vision” was amplified as a second perspective, recorded previously from the same camera location, was also played simultaneously with the live camera feed to immerse the viewer within the videospace and redefine their awareness of what was real or recorded.

How it works

I used 2 eyepieces out of 2 video camera, extended the cables and mounted them in a HMD I created

Challenges I ran into

It was the worlds first HMD artwork

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

To create this work I created a HMD out of 2 camera eyepieces and a custom build enclosure which was counterbalanced by a movable arm and counterweight. The piece was extremely successful and I later went on developing HMD technology with a company I founded in 1987 called HorizonScan Inc. that was the first to incorporate panoramic imagery inside a VR environment. In these early VR days I worked with some of the worlds leading innovators and developed and patented numerous innovations that today have become mainstream but which 25 years ago were the stuff of science fiction. I worked with with Jaron Lanier at VPL Research and in 1990 at SIGGRAPH in Dallas we announced “Videosphere” the worlds first panoramic imaging VR system which later evolved into QTVR and Google “Streetview”.

What I learned

Perspective is all in the eyes of the beholder

What's next for Displaced Perspective

Currently I am looking for an opportunity to exhibit the original “Displaced Perspective” artwork that I have adapted with modern optics and a new HMD based work called “Perspective” which uses numerous HMD’s simultaneously to allow a large number of people the ability to immerse themselves within the work. “Perspective” takes the camera view from ground level to one that is 7 meters up and looking straight down at the audience who all are wearing HMD units. Viewers see themselves as tiny “ant like creatures” and get an intense kinesthetic body feedback sensation due to the live feedback they receive from the camera. When they move their arms or walk in a certain direction, they see the small image of their body from above move in perfect synchrony with their body motion, which powerfully projects their sensation of presence into the video image.

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