San Francisco State University
Stephen Wilson is a San Francisco author/artist who explores the cultural implications of new technologies. His interactive installations have been shown internationally at galleries and SIGGRAPH, CHI, NCGA, Ars Electronica, and V2 art shows. His computer mediated art works probe issues such as telecommunications; artificial intelligence and robotics; hypermedia and the structure of information; synthetic voice; and environmental sensing. In 1993 he won the Prize of Distinction in Ars Electronica's international competitions for interactive art. He is an international co-editor of Leonardo, an international journal of Art & Science and is Professor of Conceptual Design and Computer Art at San Francisco State University. He has published extensively including Introducing the Freud Wars (2003).
Excursions in Emotional Hyperspace was an installation created for the art show presented as part of the CADRE, National Computer Graphics Association meetings at San Jose State University in 1989. Visitors were able to interact with 4 computer simulated personalities (physcially manifested in manequins), each of which had a unique perspective on a common fictional life situation. One mannequin was angry, another sad, another hopeful and the last resigned about the same set of events. Each mannequin used computer speech and music to reflect about its perspective and to comment on the perspectives offered by the others. Each talked about its view and punctuated its speech with a unique musical "voice" created by a MIDI synthesizer. Visitors could cause each mannequin to talk by walking up to it. The stories got deeper if the visitor stayed near. Walking away stopped the story. Walking to another mannequin would cause the new one to comment on the last thing said by the previous mannequin. It would then pick up its own story. The mannequins seemed to be listening to each other and tracking the conversation. They seemed intent to introject their own perspective on what had just been said. The four all together constituted a computer mediated, emotional space that the viewer could navigate by movement among the four mannequins. The event explored: 1. The mapping of emotional and narrative space to physical space. 2. The possibilities of interaction with artificial characters.