HyperlinkSpace.com is part VR web comic, part interactive choose your own adventure, part postVR art. Explore neighboring worlds with liberated hyperlinks, no longer links between words on a page, but space travel, opening doors between places. Making this site has got me thinking a lot about postVR art’s new implications for capital “a” Art. One example is how postVR changes the connotations for site specific work, whose access is limited by physical proximity to a geographic space. PostVR is a bridge spanning the gap between a thing and a place.
Thing vs space was a fundamental dichotomy, a central question, in art back in 1979 too, when Rosalind Krauss wrote “Sculpture in the Expanded Field.” Artists had taken to dethroning, or at least deplinthing, sculpture. Chisels were exchanged for bulldozers and shovels, and as Krauss put it, “As the 1960s began to lengthen into the 1970s and “sculpture” began to be piles of thread waste on the floor, or sawed redwood timbers rolled into the gallery, or tons of earth excavated from the desert, or stockades of logs surrounded by firepits, the word sculpture became harder to pronounce.” But these works, teetering somewhere between thing and space still had the anchor, some would even say the validity, of scarcity. The thing/space had to be pilgrimaged too, it could not come to you. So what does it mean when a space can meet you where you are, when it can be inflated around you at will? Frankly I have no idea yet. We’ll have to wait and see.
The biggest grievance I have with the site right now is the inability to remain in fullscreen VR mode when jumping from space to space. Yes I know I could use a frame; but a frame would make the spaces less shareable because individual spaces would not have unique urls. While I wait on that my next steps are to get some tracking cookies working to 1: let the site know where you’ve been so it can generate a map; and 2: allow users to have a persistent inventory from space to space.
W, A, S and D rotate the view for those without a headset (with a bit of Q and E if you get really off kilter) and arrow keys move through space. For the best experience view in the VR-specific FireFox Nightly build with your VR headset, but it works as a flat-site too (at least in Chrome and Firefox, haven’t seen it run in Safari or IE). There isn’t a mobile version mostly because I have only been coding for 6 weeks and I have no idea how to do that yet.
But enough tutorial, go explore HyperlinkSpace and send me tales of your journeys!