The Vitruvian World

Posted by | Tue Apr 1st 2008 4:31 p.m.


Turbulence Commission:
<a href=""><strong>The Vitruvian World</strong></a>
by <em>Michael Takeo Magruder</em>, <em>Drew Baker</em> and <em>David Steele</em>
Part of the <a href="">Mixed Realities</a> exhibition, on view until April 15, 2008

In the 1st century BC, Roman writer, architect and engineer Vitruvius codified specific building formulae based on the guiding principles of strength, utility and beauty. He believed that architecture was intrinsically linked to nature and was a human imitation of cosmic order. The most well-known interpretation of this postulate is the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci in which the male form is depicted in unity with the square and circle - representing material and spiritual existence respectively. <strong>The Vitruvian World</strong> is a multi-nodal and recursive artwork that embodies the principles of Vitruvius within this context. Existing in three distinct yet interconnected spaces, the work simultaneously embraces the virtual, the physical, and the network connecting them.

<strong><a href="">Teleport</a></strong> to The Vitruvian World in <a href="">Second Life</a>.


<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Michael Takeo Magruder</a></strong> is an American artist based in the UK working with New and Technological Media within Contemporary Arts practice. His artworks have been showcased in over 180 exhibitions and 30 countries, including venues such as the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, EAST International 2005, Georges Pompidou Center, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Trans-Media-Akademie Hellerau. His works are regular inclusions in international New Media festivals, such as Cybersonica, CYNETart, FILE, Filmwinter, SeNef, Siggraph, Split, VAD and WRO. His artistic practice has been funded directly by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Arts Council England, The National Endowment for the Arts, USA and numerous public galleries both within the UK and abroad. Michael is also recognized for his on-line arts practice and has been commissioned by leading portals for Internet Art such as and His current interests concern the simultaneous utilization and dissection of new technology as a means to explore the formal structures and conceptual paradigms of the digital realm. He seeks to create artworks in which there are no divisions between technologies, aesthetics, and concepts.

<strong>Drew Baker</strong> is a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King’s College London. One of the founding members of King's Visualisation Lab, he has worked in the field of archaeological 3D visualization and interpretation for over ten years. His specialization is in the area of 3D modeling - specifically interactive web-based environments and constructs. Drew’s primary interest in deploying 3D and advanced technologies within cultural practice is to transform spectators into active participants though the utilization of virtual worlds and artifacts. He is currently concluding a two year AHRC-funded project exploring the process of cognitive modeling in 3D environments and how visualization methodologies can be recorded and understood.

<strong>David Steele</strong> is a senior technical consultant based in Arlington, Virginia, USA working with advanced web technology and database architecture. He has been undertaking research and development in these fields since the middle nineties and was a pioneer in pairing cutting-edge clients to existing corporate infrastructures. David’s work has enabled a variety of high profile applications from global text messaging frameworks to re-entry systems for the space shuttle. He is currently interested in exploring the limits of what code can run in a browser in order to reduce server load and enhance the user experience. The ultimate goal is for users to forget that they are working in a browser as the web converges with native applications.

<strong>The Vitruvian World</strong> is a 2007 commission of <a href="" target="_new">New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.,</a> (aka Ether-Ore) for its <a href="" target="_new">Mixed Realities</a> exhibition. It was made possible with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Thanks to <strong>King's Visualisation Lab</strong>, Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London for their generous support.
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