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Archive Reference


Collaborative  interdisciplinary interactive and virtual healing Environment

Tomorrow's Realities, Siggraph 95

JoAnn Gillerman Director and Professor

Diverse group of Collaborators: The Experimental Media Class at California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA

Theme: Universal concepts, multicultural wold view, political social ethical aesthetic concerns ranging from racism (Basic Black) to virtual spirituality (Kundalini & Baseball).

Computer Graphics | Visual Proceedings - a publication of ACM SIGGTRAPH. 1993 p.196

Electro-Healing by JoAnn Gillerman 1993
complete artiicle



JoAnn Gillerman

California College of Arts and Crafts

(Published: ACM/Siggraph Visual Proceedings 1993, International Distribution)

Electro-Healing is a collaborative interdisciplinary interactive and virtual healing environment. It deals with communication and new technologies. As a group, we decided to work with universal concepts that could accommodate a changing multi-cultural world view, as well as deal with political, social, ethical, and aesthetic concerns. The collaborators of the installation represent a diverse group of people of varied ages and ethnic backgrounds from at least four different countries and cultures from around the world. The text is multi-lingual.

Healing, our common ground, has been translated loosely and covers a broad spectrum of ideas. It has been personally interpreted by the individual contributors of each of the eight different individual segments comprising the entire interactive installation. Theses segments range in scope and include: "Basic Black" — a game commenting on racism that is designed for white people who have not experienced the relentless humiliation and insults that many back people experience on a daily basis; "Kundalini and Baseball"—and interactive experience of virtual spirituality and transcendence through seven chakra energy centers as the stimulated Kundalini Serpent rises up and is finally released through the thousand-petal lotus of Bindu; "Aura Massage"—healing and channeling through Barbie Dolls; message therapy; healing powers of music and water; and others.

The interactivity of the audience is of primary concern and an important factor around which the environment was designed and without which the installation does not function.  The individual segments are accessed through virtually touching any one of the eight "active trigger points" that appear as icons surrounding a circular mandala image on the main display screen. Each section allows a moving video image from laser disk to accompany and superimpose with the computer graphics onto the display screens.

The  process used to determine the final design of the event included many group discussions and considerations. We decided on "healing" as a concept to which we all could relate in some form. Background, political/social biases, and personal statements could be expressed through this concept.  We went on many field trips to see relevant media-based works including performances, installations, and exhibits to provide a broader perspective and more "enlightened" input for our technical and aesthetic concerns. We also invited several visiting artist who use interactive technologies and virtual reality into our class for discussion and viewed their work. After participating, watching, discussing, and examining many different interactive works over a semester's time, we collectively decided to carefully consider the quality and method of interaction.  We wanted to get the interaction off of the computer keyboard or mouse, opting for a more natural interface of real space and movement through time.

To this end, the Experimental Media Class at the California College of Art and Crafts has designed and produced the Electro-Healing Installation— a virtual environment that we believe is cross-cultural, deals with some relevant political and social issues in a refreshing way, and is technologically unique and friendly for its participants.

Contact: JoAnn Gillerman


Heidi Arnesen: "Aura Message" (channeling with Barbie Dolls)

JoAnn Gillerman, Director of Installation, Professor:Experimental Media Class, CA: "Kunalini and Baseball"

Susanne Hewitt: "Eye"

Beth Katz, Shem Slobin: "Drums"

Jayson Lamb, Leila Godowsky" "Taboos"

Barbara Lee Federle, Renate Buchgraber, Jeffery Darby: "Hand"

James Redd, David Pounds: "Basic Black"

Jonas Thorvaldsson: "Time"

Rob Terry: provided custom software used in the installation

Special Thanks To: Sara Roberts and Don Day

California College of Arts and Crafts

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