Daniel Keefe: La Guitarrista Gitana

  • ©2002, Daniel F. Keefe



    La Guitarrista Gitana


Creation Year:



    virtual environment


Artist Statement:

    For the last two years, I have been working in and continuing to develop a new way of creating in virtual reality. CavePainting is a 3D analog to traditional 2D painting. The software, created at Brown University, runs in a four-wall immersive virtual reality system called a “cave.” Creating in CavePainting is a new way of working and thinking. While a painter often steps back from his work or a sculptor steps around his work or even holds it in his hand, a CavePainter stands up and walks through his work, grabs and rotates it in his hand, shrinks or enlarges it on a whim, and finally manipulates color variations and stroke size, shape, and placement to create a visual representation for complex forms.

    Many of these operations have no counterpart in the physical world, thus they allow interactions and make possible the creation of a form that would otherwise not exist. For example, paint strokes would not be able to float or co-inhabit the same volume in the physical world. The computer interface in the CavePainting system is composed entirely of physical props.

    When I paint, I hold a real paintbrush that has a six degree-of-freedom positional tracker attached to it. To change attributes of the virtual paint strokes I create, I dip the real brush into real buckets that “contain” different types of virtual strokes. These real, physical interactions compliment the dramatic 3D virtual form that can be generated with the system. The result is a virtual reality medium that is strikingly immediate, fluid, and responsive to the artist.

    The interface and the space of the cave lend themselves to creating fluid, full-body, gestural strokes. In fact, watching a CavePainter at work can be almost like watching a dance performance. As such, I consider the process of creating a CavePainting as much a part of the final result as the finished 3D painting itself.

    La Guitarrista Gitana is an interactive virtual environment that combines my desire to show a completed CavePainting work with the desire to illustrate and allow an observer to explore this unique 3D painting process.


All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: