Designing at the intersection of art and technology: A visual effects facility in Dallas, Texas
Key, Brian R.
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A fantastical experience of space for the subculture of digital artists is an expression of meaning for those who create realistic imagery from imagination, and that meaning can be manifested through phenomena. Art and Technology contrast and contradict one another, but at the intersection of the two lies an ideal coexistence. Architecture has always married art with technology, and within the phenomenon of that duality, perception is culturally subjective. Phenomenology is defined as a system based on the analysis of phenomena as intuitive essences of intentional character. [Webster's Dictionary]. Every single deliberate (designed) significant occurrence that is perceptible by the senses has a quality, which is understood intuitively. Space, according to phenomenology, is not abstract, but is perceived as space of lived experience. [Leach, 1997] Phenomenology, questions of perception, encourages us to experience architecture by walking through it, touching it, listening to it. [Holl, 1997] So through perception, people can enter an emotional dimension that suggests a "psychological space". [Holl, 1997] The intersection of art and technology, being intrinsically embedded in architecture, works for any group of users, but this relationship is especially important for a specific user group: the computer artists who use technology as a tool to create their craft. With this tool, they create an alternate reality that otherwise would only exist in one's imagination. They have special needs to facilitate their special skills, not the least of which is a need to dwell in an environment that reflects their state of being. ABSTRACT Artists in the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) field use a combination of art and technology to do things they previously could not do with traditional means. [Cotta Vaz 1996] They have a different prerequisite and a different medium to work with, and they therefore should have a facility that reflects the dynamics of their craft. The building will be a medium-sized (100-125 users) Visual Effects Facility in Dallas, Texas. The visual effects industry thrives on the intersection of art and technology. Traditional artists and animators are drawn to a field where they are limited only by their imaginations. [Cotta Vaz 1996] The visual effects house of today deals largely in Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) to create their magical vision, thus combining the imaginative with the rational and technical from an idea's conception to its final presentation. [Sony Imageworks 1998] They create works for people; they visually craft the scenes with the goal of making an audience feel, hear, see, and touch on a psychological level. CG artists practice in phenomenology. Dallas, Texas, is a feasible and sustainable location for a visual effects facility, and even though it would not be considered the hotbed of the industry, it is a good choice for many reasons. The Metroplex has a large number of gaming companies and some film studios to support a visual effects facility in this area. There are also several animation and FX houses in the area. Dallas has a varied and rich mixture of Art and Technology. It will benefit from and breathe life into a visual effects facility.