di Sandro Pintus

Mediartech Special A journey into the world of possibilities

"Welcome to the world of possibilities". Florence, the city of art, became the international capital of digital Renaissance for a whole week when it hosted "Mediartech", a combination of media, art and technology, an explosive cocktail that will permit us to make a technological leap into the future. This first edition marks an important event that is bound to prosper in the years to come and whose incredibly high technological content is projected towards a multimedial and interactive future.

The Mediatech poster
Once inside the exhibition, we soon found ourselves in front of the huge GMM Virtual Point screen. This was an area of about thirty square metres where the visitor was able to play the part of the main protagonist by creating a reaction and sounds on the screen according to the way he moved his body; he could also select the background of his choice and, again with body movements, could create drawings. The famous virtual reality helmet was of course present with its stand packed with youngsters. The visor screen made it possible for visitors to take part in a hunting/shooting scene in a science-fiction environment where cruel monsters appeared from time to time and had to be eliminated physically/virtually with various weapons, like guns or laser cannons. However it should not be used for more than 20 minutes for the first time otherwise users are likely to feel dizzy at the end of the performance. This virtual reality helmet is now also on sale at the modest price of 2 million lire and can be linked to a 486 or superior home computer with at least 8 Mb ram. There was also a section on "Virtual Pilots" so that people could try out the joys of flying a Jumbo against a background that seemed to get more real every minute and a Medusa whose eyes could be looked into without risking being turned into stone. In fact crowds of visitors were queueing up in front of this life-size statue, invented by a German computer programmer and an Indian scientist at the Fabricator in Milan to be able to look into its eyes and see scenes of imaginary worlds.

See also: Internet today and tomorrow. Interview with Carlo Massarini The cultural events and the prizewinning works Interview with Maurizio Nichetti Interview with Francesco Paolantoni


FAN-Florence ART News
Silvia Messeri & Sandro Pintus

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