Frachitectures/Murmuration (E/M/D/L)

Frachitectures/Murmuration (E/M/D/L)

Frachitectures (2015)

Artists: Spatial Media Research Group (D. Charitos, I.Theona, C.Rizopoulos, P.Papageorgopoulou) and A. St-Onge

Performed at the Satosphere (SAT, Montreal) during and after the Immersion IX Symposium for the EMDL project  (

Frachitectures was a part of the Murmuration piece, created by: Dimitris Charitos, Luke Christison, Phil Mayer, Cameron Micallef, Lee Nutbean, Alexandre St-Onge, Mike Phillips, Olivier Rhéaume, Haris Rizopoulos, Ben Stern, Iouliani Theona, Penny Papageorgopoulou…

Organizations involved in the creation of Murmuration: Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media (UoA NTLab), Athens / i-DAT (Institute of Digital Art and Technology), Plymouth

Murmuration is an interactive performative immersive installation involving multiple members of the audience in interacting with and manipulating audio-visual objects, in a virtual environment projected onto the SAT FullDome environment, thus directing the way the experience evolves while being actively immersed int it. the Murmuration experience is about playful interaction with digital particle swarms and real-time manipulation of virtual/physical audio-visual objects.

Murmuration [muttering of low, indistinct, whispers / abnormal heart sounds / mass cloud like flocking] is a series of trans-scalar and recursive transitions from the imaginary to infinity: i∞. Constructed from bio-imaging technologies and modeled fractured architectures, the low-poly-aesthetic of Murmuration navigates its audience through playful interaction with particle swarms of digital detritus and real-time manipulation of virtual/physical audio-visual objects and the environmental experiences afforded by their continuously transforming arrangement. Algorithms of repulsion and attraction maintain the cohesion of nano/molecular landscapes harvested by atomic force. Bio-forms, like artificial organs, and boney architectures, temporarily seem to come to life, create cavities and cavernous voids, conjuring uncanny atmospheres of elation, intrigue and awe.

EMDL project website:    

Virtual Museum

Virtual Museum

In collaboration with the Virtual Reality Group of the Department of Informatics & Telecommunications of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens under the direction of Prof. C. Halatsis.

[Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology, EPET]
(1999 – 2001) Analysis, design and development of an immersive and a desktop virtual reality system as well as an on-line database, for presenting the content of 10 museums, under the title “Virtual Museum” (duration 30 months)

The aim of the project was the design and development of an immersive virtual environment (VE) that would function as a context within which the digitized content of 10 existing museums would be exhibited. The visitors of these museums would be able to interactively navigate through this virtual museum system, view the exhibits and interact with them. The project included the processes of exhibit digitisation, architectural design and exhibit presentation of ten museums with exhibits that varied from archaeological to geological and from hygiene to forensic. Through this project, the potential of a VE system as a context for exhibiting the content of a museum in a remote location was investigated, since it may afford a larger number of people the possibility of experiencing museum collections without having to be physically present at the exhibition space.

Furthermore, a second version (web-based) of the digital museum environment was created, featuring fewer representational and navigation capabilities, in order to be accessible through the web. This virtual environment could be used for educational, research and cultural purposes. Additionally, an administrative platform was developed in order to allow system administrators and museum curators to add and remove exhibits from the virtual museum.



Spatial Media Research Group

(D. Charitos, I. Theona, C. Rizopoulos, P. Papageorgopoulou)

In the exhibition: (OUT)-TOPIAS: Performance and Public /outdoor Space, at  Benaki Museum during 22/09/2016 – 20/11/2016

Curated by Thanos Vovolis and Geert Vermeer

“Polispective” is an interactive audiovisual installation in the form of a virtual environment. It investigates a hybrid type of space, in which abstract synthetic spatial elements are interwoven with urban physical environmental imagery for creating an audiovisual spatial experience. Each member of the audience can playfully interact with and manipulate the aforementioned elements, thus altering the three-dimensional solid form of the digital artifacts. Furthermore, the installation supports interaction between two or more members of the audience, hence fostering some form of social interaction amongst them, while they are transforming the audiovisual composition. This collaborative process may culminate in a synchronization of the audience members’ movements, thus diminishing the distance between the two environmental contexts of the installation; the digital and the physical. Therefore, audience members assume the role of performers, pushing the boundaries between the creators and the audience, virtual and physical space, the spatial context of the exhibition space and the urban environment, eventually becoming engaged in a hybrid spatial artistic experience.

 “Polispective” acts as a window to discover the hidden cityscape of Athens, as it is being re-interpreted within the abstract immaterial spatiality of a virtual environment. The window in question assumes the form of a projection through which the audience is able to manipulate aspects of the audiovisual composition by means of their bodily movement within physical space. The visual composition comprises of multiple perspectives of the Athenian cityscape that often escape notice by the citizens during their everyday routine. Photographs of the “ridge” formed by consecutive rooftops, neighbourhood alleys and building perspectives that often go unnoticed by citizens wrap around the digital artifacts, resulting in a composition wherein each artifact hosts multiple perspectives of the cityscape. These artifacts are then held together by a skeletal type structure onto a larger scale composition. Embodied interaction of the audience participants manipulates this skeletal structure, ultimately resulting in a continuous deconstruction/ reconstruction of the overall visual composition. This interaction also formulates the auditory environment of the installation. Each visual element emits a certain sound. As a member of the audience interacts with the virtual environment, changes in the morphology of a visual object also affect certain parameters of the sound that it emits, thus resulting in an engaging continuously evolving audiovisual hybrid spatial experience. The audio composition partly comprises of urban environmental sounds; however, when the installation is inactive, it emits rural environmental sounds, highlighting the contrast between the tranquility of the rural landscape and the intensity of city life.

Lego VR Submersion 1.0

Lego VR Submersion 1.0

Dimitris Charitos, Coti K. (1999)

“Lego_submersion v1.0” was an experiment for investigating the use of virtual environments (VEs) as a medium for creating audiovisual installations. For the purpose of comparing the processes of designing such an installation in real and in virtual space, “Lego_submersion v1.0” utilises the same musical pieces (Coti K., 1999) and aspects of the visual content (stills from the video tapes) displayed within “Lego Kit box”.

This VE installation has been developed for a desktop VR system and uses a 6 degree-of-freedom navigational input device. A series of content-objects function as landmarks (Charitos, 1998) or audiovisual content emitters within this installation. Each object emits one of the sound channels of a musical piece and on its surfaces an image is appropriately texture-mapped. The image, which is mapped on the surface of each object, conceptually corresponds to the sound emitted from this object. These objects are organised into 4 domains (Charitos, 1998). Each domain corresponds to one of the 4 musical pieces and one of the 4 different thematic sets of imagery (nature, city, house, body), presented in “Lego Kit box”. A non-realistic kind of transparency effect has been achieved on the surfaces of these objects by making use of single-sided polygons and by texture mapping the interiors of these objects.

Each of the 4 domains consists of a different universe (WorldUp, 1996). Each universe is spatially established by a spherical border (which is the furthest limit of user navigation) and a series of twisted structures, which create the context where the objects, displaying the audiovisual content, are arranged. Adopting VEs’ characteristic of spatial non-contiguity, these 4 domains are not related within an overall, continuous, three-dimensional spatial context. A visitor can only move among them by means of teleportation via appropriately designed portals.

Following use of “Lego_submersion v1.0” by a small number of visitors, it is suggested that this VE has not provided as strong or effective a spatial experience as the real environment installation. This is attributed to the limited visual output provided by the desktop VE system, the lack of 3D sound localisation hardware and the fact that the auditory display device was merely a set of headphones. Despite these technical limitations however, the intention of positioning the constituent elements of the musical pieces within an environment is clearly satisfied within this VE installation. In order to achieve this effect, the threshold distance from each object at which the sound begun to be audible, was appropriately adjusted. As a result, visitors can substantially differentiate between the sounds emitted by each object, as they move amongst them.

Additionally, visitors were given the impression that they had more active involvement in the way that the overall experience evolved. This was attributed to the fact that the sounds were interactively triggered by user navigation among the content-objects. This positive impact however, brought forward the need for appropriately designing the sound segments in an interactively evolving musical piece, bearing in mind the random manner in which these segments may be triggered.

Charitos, D. 1998. The architectural aspect of designing space in virtual enviroments. PhD thesis submitted to the Department of Architecture and Building Science. University of Strathclyde. Glasgow. UK.
Coti K. 1999. Lego (CD). Athens: Studio 2 Recordings.
World UpTM User’s Guide. 1996. Mill Valley, CA: Sense8 Corporation.