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No Spectators: VR recording at the Smithsonian

 





Led by Nora Atkinson and Sara Snyder at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, INSIGHT joined forces with Greg Downing of Hyperacuity, Raj Puran at Intel Corporation, and Jason Gholston at Sansar Studios  to create a VR experience as part of the Renwick Gallery’s 2018 exhibition No Spectators: the Art of Burning Man. The team used laser scanning, photo modeling and experimental 3D capture techniques to document works during installation of No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man as well as numerous outdoor sculptures sited throughout Washington D.C. as No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick.

David Best’s Temple was central to the SAAM exhibition, designed and built to fill the Renwick’s Grand Salon (see right). Created as sacred spaces of reflection and prayer, since 2000 Best has created many of these intricate wooden structures for Burning Man. During the week of Burning Man, the Temples are adorned by participants with memorials and inscriptions. At the Renwick this tradition continued, and found a special focus after Burning Man founder David Harvey’s death on April 28 02018.

Kevin Cain, a student of David Best at UC Berkeley three decades before No Spectators, led the INSIGHT work to mirror Best’s Temple in VR. Kevin worked with David Best’s oversight to build a 3D model of the temple, drawing on both laser scan data and the vector drawings used to mill the physical cut profiles that compose the installation (see right).

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David Best’s Temple fills the Grand Salon of the Renwick Gallery for No Spectators: the Art of Burning Man
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3D model from David Best’s Temple, from laser scan data gathered in situ
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3D models of site-specific installations, as seen in Sansar VR
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Nagana Brass Gown by Gelareh Alam with The Crown of Nagini by Caley Johnson ('Miss G'); view of the textured 3D model (left) and false color (right)
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3D model of David Best's Temple, as seen in Sansar VR
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Detail view of the 3D model from David Best’s Temple; this model is formed using the same curve information used to mill wood profiles for the physical installation
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3D Reconstruction detail for the entry within the Temple showing texture (top) and false color (bottom)
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View showing 2300+ cameras aligned throughout the Temple, clustered in the three focus zones: front entry, main altar and memorial altar
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Views of the 3D model for Cocoon Gown by Gelareh Alam with a headpiece by Sophia Constance
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Turntable views of the 3D model for Talking to God by Tiffa Novoa
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3D views of a bench in the Temple, from the side ‘memorial’ altar area
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