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Research Labs

AlloSphere Research Facility

Professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin

www.allosphere.ucsb.edu

The AlloSphere instrument and software infrastructure is based on 33 years of Professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin’s research and creative practice in orchestral composition, ensemble-style performance, and media systems development. Designed as a precise instrument that becomes the composition/performance platform for immersive multimodal media works that intersect the arts with complex scientific systems, the AlloSphere http://www.allosphere.ucsb.edu is a 3-story tall audio and visual immersive instrument and laboratory that allows one to literally step inside a representation of experimental and theoretical data. Approximately 20 researchers can be immersed in their data, creating and performing new immersive art works, and analyzing and synthesizing new scientific data sets for evolving their art content, as well as making new scientific discoveries. Researchers enter a near-to-anechoic chamber containing a custom-built close-to-spherical screen, ten meters in diameter. The sphere environment integrates visual, sonic, sensory, and interactive components, 26 immersive projectors connected to a 14-compute rendering cluster, 54.1channels of sound, with multi-user interactivity.

AlloSphere

Composer JoAnn Kuchera-Morin on the bridge of the AlloSphere, next to the screen display of the compositional/computation keyboard on which she performs quantum mechanics.

Scientifically, the AlloSphere is an instrument for gaining insight and developing bodily intuition about environments into which the body cannot venture—abstract higher-dimensional information spaces, the worlds of the very small or very large, and the realms of the very fast or very slow. Artistically, it is an instrument for the creation and performance of avant-garde new works and the development of new modes and genres of expression and forms of immersion-based entertainment.

We can now scale this hardware platform as well as the open source AlloSystem software infrastructure to any size, even to small mobile devices, and we are bringing this technology out to our communities in order to unite and collaborate, intersecting high art and complex science through creative technologies. This will facilitate all of our communities in the maker space and also help with new educational paradigms for everyone.

Below is an installation at our Museum of Exploration and Innovation, that brought our quantum synthesizer to people from the ages of 2 to 92. This was a 6-month installation. The immersive, interactive media instrument now exists in our Media Arts and Technology Laboratory, AlloPortal, in room 2809. AlloPortal is an extension of the AlloSphere and runs on the AlloSystem software. We are currently integrating AlloSystem into the Vive.

AlloSphere

AlloPortal, room 2809, Elings Hall

Specific areas of research that we focus on but are not limited to:

  1. Immersive Interactive Arts Research and Practice
  2. Materials research
  3. Physics research
  4. Bio-generative research

These specific areas above tie directly into the California NanoSystems Institute.

JoAnn Kuchera-Morin earned a Ph.D. in composition from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester in 1984.