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Interactive digital book extends Brunel University art exhibition into virtual spaces


An interactive digital book which extends a physical art exhibition at Brunel University, London, into virtual space is now available for free download from the iBookstore.

Suspense, a collaboration between artist Jayne Wilton, Beldam Gallery Curator George Mogg and Digital Technologist Malcolm Zammit from Brunel’s School of Arts, was inspired by an exhibition of Wilton’s work, curated by Mogg, which was held at the University’s Beldam Gallery between January and March 2013. The iBook, created by Zammit, explores a different way of presenting the body of work exhibited: using emerging multimedia technology, the original viewing experience is not only preserved but also augmented, at the same time making it accessible to new audiences.

The iBook features a 360̊ panorama of the original exhibition that enables viewers either to explore the space themselves by ‘walking’ from sculpture to print to etching, zooming in and out and swiveling around the gallery, or to be guided through automatically. Both options can be accompanied by music created by Professor Peter Wiegold especially for the exhibition. Viewers can also see an ‘ant’s eye view’ of one of the exhibits, exploring it from a perspective, which would be rather dificult to gain in person.

Wilton was approached in 2010 by particle physicist Professor Peter Hobson from the School of Engineering and Design at Brunel, who suggested a collaboration to explore new technological outcomes for her practice. A successful bid to The Leverhulme Trust funded a residency for Wilton at Brunel University in 2012. The work she produced during this residency was the result of a series of collaborative projects at the University with, among others, Peter Hobson and fellow particle physicist Akram Khan, composer Peter Wiegold, poet Benjamin Zephaniah and novelist Will Self.

Wilton's work is an investigation of the breath as a fundamental unit of exchange between people and their environments. Using a host of innovative scientific techniques, such as Schlieren imaging, rapid prototype printing and digital holography, universal breathing gestures such as the sigh, the laugh and the gasp were translated into an intriguing and surprising series of images and objects.

Suspense can be viewed using iBooks 3.0 or later on an iPad. iOS 5.1 or later is required. A help menu system is available at key points throughout the iBook, giving users clear guidance on how to navigate the book and offering the full range of available options.



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