"Exploring the asthetic potential of Alternative Nature flourishing on the Virtual Terraform" Charles Ostman

VR as an Art Medium - Synthetic Environments, Evolvable Entities

What appears to be the future for many is already the past for some, who are now unfolding it into the present

by Charles Ostman

Contact Charles Ostman

"Strategic Synergist" - Research, trend analysis and forecasting, technology development, author, lecturer

Enter the image portals to invoke animation graphics link - synthetic biobots, self organizing "organelle" systems, pseudomorphs and xenomorphs

Aesthtic Exploration of the Alternative Nature of the Virtual Terraform - "Evolvable Entities"

Spawning entities, flourishing on the virtual terraform - I don't "draw" art, I grow it.Driven by a fascination with structure, form, and the mechanics of interactive forces as they occur in nature, the goal is to create scenes which are the results of computational models based on these characteristics. Virtually all constructs observed in the nature of the "real world", such as the branching structures of trees, the construction of a leaf or flower, the distribution patterns of stars in a galaxy, pebbles on a beach, or even the wispy forms of a cloud, can be defined and replicated with a series of formulae and procedural algorithms.

"Organomorph" This image was created by the morphing together of two 3D raytraced "virtual world" images, utilizing an artificial life routine to drive the control points in the morphing engine. Both of the virtual world images themselves are renderings of 3D artificial lifeforms, which were subsequently morphed together with an artificial lifeform driven process, hence the title, "organomorph".

Once these processes have been defined and established as a procedural set of rules, these rules can be modified or "distorted". In other words, there is vastly more potential in creating a synthetic environment which actually contains the dynamic elements of an evolving "organism" or ecosystem, than merely "drawing" a picture of such an environment.

This is the real power of the computer, to be able to create structures and forms, as a process, utilizing interactive forces and influences, as they occur (or don't occur) in nature, to spawn the contents of a scene. It is in this way that "impossible" virtual worlds can be explored, ranging from chaotic events that defy the "ordinary" rules of nature, to the evolution of artificial life forms flourishing in synthetic environments.

There is a state of change at hand, the rate and complexity of which is an acceleration vector never before experienced in human history. The relationships between rapidly evolving technologies, ever exapnding volumes and complexities of of information resources, and socio-economic system substrates are going to reshape almost every aspect of life as it is currently understood to be. To study the nuances and implications of this synergistic codependancy is to become an adaptable entity, capable of evolving and utilizing the tools embedded in this interactive, bi-directional experiential knowledge conveyance system which will be referred to here as the "media matrix". Examine the details of this conceptual paradigm as a learning experience at the Multimedia Sudies Program, San Francisco State University, and as an ongoing media research and development program manifest in a variety of broadcast and published formats, and also via theInstitute for Global Futures (see below).

The Institute for Global Futures

The Institute for Global Futures is a strategic technologies research group which engages in trend analysis, technology development stream topology identification, and complex forecasting which examines synergistic thread linkages between various technologies and socio-economic systems. The activities of the institute include consulting services, strategic planning, reports, analysis, media programs, conferences, and strategic alliance building for a variety of global clients.

Complex new technologies are rapidly transforming markets, economies, and industries. The Institute for Global Futures was founded to promote the productive, sustainable, and strategic use of advanced leading edge technologies.

Molecular "Nanites", Leggos, myriad Self-Assembling, Self-Organizing Xenomrophic Entities flourishing in "NanoWorld"

Peer Into the Strange and Fantastic NanoWorlds of Charles Ostman. Come in and visit the 3D virtual nanoworlds that Charles Ostman has developed as part of his quest to model and visualize the myriad possibilities that the nanotech of the near future may offer. Molecular machines, self assembling "nano lego" components, nanobots and nanocritters, pseudo proteins, quasi viral components, "artificial" organisms, ubiquitous nano "foglettes" . . . . this may only be the beginning

Synthetic Neural Dendrites, QuasiViral Components, & other Cybernetic Enhancement BioEntities of the NanoWorld

Enter this world, and examine the contents of these renderings of nanoscale systems and bio-molecular "device" simulations which I have been creating as part of an ongoing project with Nanothinc, the Institute for Global Futures, and other interested organizations.

As described in the excerpt from a paper titled "Virtual Reality as an Art Medium", is both the theory and application of utilizing the computer as a computational engine to create synthetic environments and quasi-organic entities flourishing in these virtual realms, as an alternative form of nature (both at the nano and "macro" scale). In this context, the computer can "discover" asthetic content as well as functional models of such domains, not unlike the way a photographer may "discover", and capture the asthetics of nature as it occurs in the "real" world.

The included imgages are computer generated 3D renderings of theoretical nanocomponents, created by the author as a visualization of possible implementations of such molecular substructures and interactive symbiotic components. These are a few examples from a much larger collection of rendered, theoretical nanosubcomponent systems, consisting of various "species" types with specific interactive and symbiotic properties.

pioneer the realms of other worlds
as an "art experience"

Rendered Imagery from Synthetic Environments, Evolving Entities, Alternative Universes, as Fine Art - Acrylic Paint on Canvas

This is how I actually see the universe, and use a variety of technical tools and processes, combined with computational resources to allow "access" to other parallel universes. In the various shows and galleries I have appeared in, these images are usually presented either as numbered and signed dye sublimation prints, or as digitally applied archival quality acrylic paint on canvas. Peer into the workshop, and "virtual gallery" of Berkeley Designs for a glimpse of the foundry from which these various experiments in evolving artforms are spawned, and proliferate.

The world, as we currently know it to be, what it will become . . . , and beyond . . .Strategic Synergist - At the forefront of evolving technologies.

My ultimate focus is on the concept of nanotechnology representing the next great revolution, as an evolutionary threshold which will transform, but also test, the human civilization's capacity to adapt and evolve to this new realm. The substrate of socio-economic systems, valuation indices of commodities and currency systems, the status of industry base strata and their attendant distribution structures, which are already in a state of flux as this fabric is being drawn into the global connectivity grid, currently referred to as the internet, is only a precursory indicator of what the nanotechnology age is about to potentially create.

This entire genre' of development will evolve into an new socio-economic system substrate not conceivable by today's standards of reference. Various aspects of applied and theoretical nanotechnology, neural prosthesis and implantable interface devices, ubiqutous computing and process functionality domains as a virtual asset resource base accessable on the internet, the evolution of newly forming socio-economic substrate systems emminating from the "virtual terraform" . . . these are only a few of the key marker threshold points in an evolutionary event stream which are embedded into the existance matrices of the near future.

It is my personal belief that a series of choices, decision boundaries to be negotiated, will soon become self apparent to the society at large.

The hope is that a process resembling "reasoned thought" may be collectively applied, by which the trajectory of such developments can be manifest in the most mutually beneficial and benign implementations possible. This is the test, the "rights of passage" into and beyond the event horizon of the Next Millenium


The "Brain of Charles" . . .


The "Brain of Charles" - this "virtual brain" was created by the author by raytracing the volumetric data of a 3D scanned brain, which was subsequently surface mapped with a custom developed procedural texturing routine. The topology in the background is actually the result of a chunk of calcite which was also scanned in with the Cyberware 3D scanning system, and then also surface mapped with a procedural texturing routine. This entire scene, complete with the metallic probe entering the lower right corner of the "brain entity", was rendered as part of the scene art featured in the article written by the author for Mondo 2000 magazine, on the topic of current and near future mind-machine interface technology. For further exploration into this, and other such realms, and beyond, please visit the Get your own Mondo 2000 website (see below)

Enter the Entity . . . from the virtual beyond . . . I surrender my belief barrier, enraptured


Charles Ostman

about Charles Ostman
Nanotech Science Advisory Board

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Visit the far frontier . . . Get your own Mondo 2000



Resources And Insight . . . . . . for the Entrpreneurial Engineer Midnight Engineering



Where Art and Technology Come Together Fine art on various media, virtual and real "entities", environments, custom applications and technology development for the "discovery" of asthetic content . . . Berkeley Designs



Artificial Life flourishing on the Virtual Terraform . . . Enter online, see it "live" at SigGraph 97! Digital Biota Project



Contact . . . at the Contact Consortium Enter the portal to myriad virtual terraforms, worlds, universes, and the technologies and people who make them possible Contact Consortium



Special thanks to Bruce Damer and DigitalSpace Corp. Helping to pioneer the exploration and development of life on the virtual terraform . . . DigitalSpace