Fusing art and technology, Char Davies has achieved international recognition for her work in virtual reality. Integrating real-time stereoscopic 3-D computer graphics, 3-D localized sound and user interaction based on breath and balance, the immersive environments Osmose (1995) and Ephemre (1998) are world-renowned for their artistic sensibility, technical innovation, and powerful effect on participants.
Davies has dealt with the themes of nature, psyche, and perception in her work for more than 25 years. She studied liberal arts (visual art, philosophy, religion, anthropology and biology) at Bennington College, Vermont from 1973 to 1975, and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, in 1978. Over the following decade, she worked with many different media, including painting, documentary filmmaking and animation, developing a distinctive symbolic language and aesthetic.
In the mid 80's, Davies began to explore the virtual space of 3D computer technology as a means of furthering her artistic intentions: in late 1987, she temporarily set aside her artistic endeavors to become a founding director of Softimage, building it into the world's leading developer of 3-D animation software, used for special effects in many Hollywood films including Jurassic Park and The Matrix. Davies was on the Softimage Board of Directors and head of its Visual Research group for a ten-year period. She left Softimage at the end of 1997 to found her own art and technology research company, Immersence, Inc.
Davies is based in Montreal and San Francisco: in addition to her artistic and technological research in virtual environments, Davies cares for 400 acres of land in rural Quebec, the "real" environment that is the source of inspiration for much of her work. More information can be found at Immersence.
Osmose (1995) is an immersive interactive virtual-realty environment installation with 3D computer graphics and interactive 3D sound, a head-mounted display and real-time motion tracking based on breathing and balance. Osmose is a space for exploring the perceptual interplay between self and world, i.e. a place for facilitating awareness of one's own self as consciousness embodied in enveloping space.
“...By changing space, by leaving the space of one's usual sensibilities, one enters into communication with a space that is psychically innovating. For we do not change place, we change our nature.” -- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, 1964