VIDEOPLACE – Myron Krueger


Myron Krueger is one of the pioneers of virtual reality and interactive art.


While earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Krueger worked on a number of early interactive computer artworks. In 1969, he collaborated with Dan Sandin, Jerry Erdman and Richard Venezky on a computer controlled environment called “glowflow,”


a computer-controlled light sound environment that responded to the people within it. Krueger went on to develop Metaplay,

Source: Söke Dinkla – Pioniere Interaktiver Kunst.
Von 1970 bis heute: Myron Krueger, Jeffrey Shaw, David Rokeby, Lynn Hershman, Grahame Weinbren, Ken Feingold.
ZKM Edition, Cantz: Ostfildern 1997, 272 Seiten, zahlr. Abb.
ISBN: 3 89322 923 X

an integration of visuals, sounds, and responsive techniques into a single framework. In this, the computer was used to create a unique real-time relationship between the participants in the gallery and the artist in another building. In 1971, his “Psychic space” used a sensory floor to perceive the participants’ movements around the environment. A later project, “Videoplace,” was funded by the National Endowment for the arts and a two-way exhibit was shown at the Milwaukee Art Museum in 1975.


Videoplace” has been exhibited widely in both art and science contexts in the United States and Canada, and it was also shown in Japan. It was included in the SIGGRAPH Art Show in 1985 and 1990. “Videoplace” was also the featured exhibit at SIGCHI (Computer-Human Interaction Conference) in 1985 and 1989, and at the 1990 Ars Electronica Festival. Instead of taking the virtual reality track of head-mounted display and data glove (which would come later in the 1980s), he investigated projections onto walls.

Krueger later used the hardware from Videoplace for another piece, Small Planet. In this work, participants are able to fly over a small, computer-generated, 3D planet. Flying is done by holding one’s arms out, like a child pretending to fly, and leaning left or right and moving up or down.

He envisioned the art of interactivity, as opposed to art that happens to be interactive. That is, the idea that exploring the space of interactions between humans and computers was interesting. The focus was on the possibilities of interaction itself, rather than on an art project, which happens to have some response to the user. Though his work was somewhat unheralded in mainstream VR thinking for many years as it moved down a path that culminated in the “goggles ‘n gloves” archetype, his legacy has experienced greater interest as more recent technological approaches (such as CAVE and Powerwall implementations) move toward the unencumbered interaction approaches championed by Krueger.

(from Wikipedia)

Myron Krueger’s Critter

Myron Krueger presents his “Critter” and creativity machine at a technology and art conference at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta, in early 1986.

Myron Krueger – Videoplace, Responsive Environment, 1972-1990s

Myron Krueger is one of the original pioneers of virtual reality and interactive art. Beginning in 1969, Krueger developed the prototypes for what would eventually be called Virtual Reality.

Myron Kreuger – Video Place – 1989

Videoplace (1985)

Thought this might be timely with all the buzz about Microsoft’s “Kinect.” Here’s some much earlier computer vision and interaction work done by Myron Krueger at the University of Connecticut’s Artificial Reality Lab. Of course it’s comparatively crude, but keep in mind this was built on technology from a quarter century ago!

In the mid-1970s, Myron Krueger established an artificial reality laboratory called the Videoplace. His idea with the Videoplace was the creation of an artificial reality that surrounded the users, and responded to their movements and actions, without being encumbered by the use of goggles or gloves. The work done in the lab would form the basis of his much cited 1983 book Artificial Reality. The Videoplace (or VIDEOPLACE as Krueger would have it), was the culmination of several iterations of artificial reality systems: GLOWFLOW, METAPLAY, and PSYCHIC SPACE; each offering improvements over the previous installation until VIDEOPLACE was a full blown artificial reality lab at the University of Connecticut.

The Videoplace used projectors, video cameras, special purpose hardware, and onscreen silhouettes of the users to place the users within an interactive environment. Users in separate rooms in the lab were able to interact with one another through this technology. The movements of the users recorded on video were analyzed and transferred to the silhouette representations of the users in the Artificial Reality environment. By the users being able to visually see the results of their actions on screen, through the use of the crude but effective colored silhouettes, the users had a sense of presence while interacting with onscreen objects and other users even though there was no direct tactile feedback available. The sense of presence was enough that users pulled away when their silhouettes intersected with those of other users. (from Wikipedia)