Reconfiguring the Rose: An Exploration of the Use of Virtual Space by Artists Collaboratively Creating Digital Stained Glass

Reconfiguring the Rose: An Exploration of the Use of Virtual Space by Artists Collaboratively Creating Digital Stained Glass

Lynne Hall (University of Sunderland, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-020-2.ch006
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This chapter discusses artists’ use of virtual space to collaboratively create a digital stained-glass rose window. It explores the use of virtual space to provide a working environment for artists, the Wombrose workspace, using the design metaphor provided by the rose window to create a collaborative space. This space focused at supporting practice-based artists in a democratic and effective negotiation process with the aim of developing a potentially monumental artwork to be installed as a digital projection in a real architectural space.
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Contemporary stained-glass artists have embraced the net, although more for promotion (British Society of Master Glass Painters, 2007), networking (Gateway to Glass, 2007; H-Stained-glass Network, 2007), and archival (Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA), 2007) purposes than creation of work. However, virtual space and the use of computing technology offer considerable potential for stained-glass artists. Screen-based technology is particularly suited to the development of stained glass, resulting in on-screen images more closely reminiscent of glass than any other medium can allow. With the relative lack of potential opportunities for stained-glass artists to create real installations, technology offers artists an alternative approach to displaying their art. Thus, rather than the installation of actual glass, it provides the possibility to create large-scale projections, provided as digital images or acetates (for external spaces) projected onto real-world architectural or physical surfaces (see Figure 11).

Figure 11.

The Curator with the projected installation in the Cinema of the Digital Media Centre, University of Sunderland

Rose windows, such as those of Chartres, were created by large teams of stained-glass artists, involved in both design and production (Cowen, 1979; Favier, 1990). Attempting to produce contemporary artworks of similar scale also requires a team-based approach. However, few artists are geographically colocated. Even in academic establishments and studios, where groups of glass artists do congregate, there are rarely sufficient artists for the creation of a window as sophisticated as those produced in medieval times. The net offers considerable potential to provide a workspace for stained-glass artists to collaboratively work together to create a significant stained-glass installation.

This chapter discusses the design and development of a digital rose window, “In the Womb of the Rose,” see Figure 1. This was developed for full-scale digital projection, as in Figure 11, and both the artwork and its individual components are also displayed as virtual designs online. “In the Womb of the Rose” was developed in the Wombrose project, which explored whether a collective of artists working independently, over distance, and communicating and collaborating in virtual space, could create a significant monumental artwork. The project investigated whether such collaboration could result in a successful, online, artistic community with a shared commitment to a designated goal.

Figure 1.

In the Womb of the Rose

Section 2 places the Wombrose project in context and practice, outlining the interconnected disciplines that underpin the project. Section 3 outlines the artists’ virtual working space. Section 4 discusses participants’ experiences of creating a collaborative rose window using the Wombrose workspace. Section 5 discusses the feedback received from viewers of the artwork. Finally, we discuss key findings and briefly outline our future intentions for the Wombrose project.


Placing The Wombrose In Context And Practice

Our aims in reconfiguring the rose were to create a monumental artwork, designed and developed collaboratively by artists working in a virtual work space. The Wombrose project aimed to benefit artists, stained-glass practitioners, researchers, and other interested parties by connecting art, knowledge, and practice, as outlined in Figure 2.

Figure 2.

The context of the Wombrose project

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Alan Dix
Map, mazes, myths, magic, and mathematics, computation, cognition, community, and the constructed environment, all reveal something of our internal... Sample PDF
Paths and Patches: Patterns of Geognosy and Gnosis
Chapter 2
Jon Kerridge
This chapter concerns the question of how people navigate through a space in which other people are also present. Issues addressed include how the... Sample PDF
Let's Meander Through a Measured Space
Chapter 3
Matthew Leach
The Speckled Computing project is a large multisite research project based in Scotland, UK. The aim of the project is to investigate, prototype, and... Sample PDF
Navigating a Speckled World: Interacting with Wireless Sensor Networks
Chapter 4
John Willy Bakke
Workplaces are key loci for expressing and studying organizational identity, even in distributed work. In organization studies, there is a growing... Sample PDF
Contested Terrain: Place, Work, and Organizational Identities
Chapter 5
Anne Sofie Laegran
The chapter is based on a study of Internet cafés in Norway, and interrogates the way space and place is produced in interconnections between people... Sample PDF
Technosocial Space: Connecting People and Places
Chapter 6
Lynne Hall
This chapter discusses artists’ use of virtual space to collaboratively create a digital stained-glass rose window. It explores the use of virtual... Sample PDF
Reconfiguring the Rose: An Exploration of the Use of Virtual Space by Artists Collaboratively Creating Digital Stained Glass
Chapter 7
Elin K. Jacob
In distinguishing between space and place, one approach is to contrast the physicality of space with the sociality of place: space directs attention... Sample PDF
Context, Boundedness, and Structure: The Apprehension of Place in the Development of Information Environments
Chapter 8
Richard Coyne
The widespread use of mobile telephony prompts a reevaluation of the role of the aural sense in spatial understanding. There are clear correlations... Sample PDF
Voice and Space: Agency of the Acousmêtre in Spatial Design
Chapter 9
Susan Turner
This chapter considers the role of sound, and more specifically, listening, in creating a sense of presence (of “being there”) in “places” recreated... Sample PDF
Listening, Corporeality, Place and Presence
Chapter 10
Stephen Boyd Davis
The chapter is concerned with the relationship between the planar space of graphic representations and the world space that they represent. To... Sample PDF
Representing Space: The Pictorial Imperative
Chapter 11
Fiona Carroll
The art of the visual-narrative is not a new phenomenon. Artists and designers have been using images to tell stories for thousands of years. From... Sample PDF
The Spatial Development of the Visual-Narrative from Prehistoric Cave Paintings to Computer Games
Chapter 12
Shaleph O’Neill
The Situationists defined the increasingly spectacularized society (The Society of the Spectacle ) as the alienation of the individual by an... Sample PDF
The Interactive Spectacle and the Digital Situationist
Chapter 13
Shaun Lawson
People use spatial language in everyday face-to-face conversation, and we also now use such language during everyday computer-mediated interactions.... Sample PDF
Spatial Language in Computer Mediated Communication
Chapter 14
Phil Turner
Recent years have witnessed a number of initiatives to develop technology (“memory prosthetics”) to enhance and extend human memory. Typical of... Sample PDF
Space, Place, and Memory Prosthetics
Chapter 15
Julian Warner
This chapter is concerned with exposing the material basis for the concepts of the syntagm and paradigm from linguistics, and the message and... Sample PDF
Materializing Communication Concepts: Linearity and Surface in Linguistics and Information Theory
Chapter 16
Sándor Darányi, Péter Wittek
Current methods of automatic indexing, automatic classification, and information retrieval treat index and query terms, that is, vocabulary units in... Sample PDF
On Information, Meaning, Space and Geometry
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