Psyberspace Temple on Mars

Enter a psyberspace temple on Mars. Play the magenta twangers, making your own space sound rhythms. Resolve the problems of the millennium as posed by an email list, Talk2000. Lookout Mars is an individual journey, with lift, sound, and spin for your imagination. It could take a millennium to complete. Get visionary juices flowing magenta intense.

Why psyberspace? The word psyberspace emphasizes psyche space rather than cyber or machine space.

On a single day, celebrating the new millennium between the year 2000 and 2001, this web project sets up a virtual reality. The start page for that day says:

Last year for Lookout, we started on earth and developed goals for the next millennium and 1000 years. This year for Lookout 2001, we build on those goals by exploring space travel. For example, what is involved in the idea of building on Mars? Will we simply spread out, taking our problems along? Or could we make a fresh start with solutions? Let's take this moment of change to enter a psyberspace temple of contemplation. Enter the flower and envision Mars.

The start page shows the goals for thought, art, interactivity, innovation, and accessibility. The project must fit the rest of the web site. The first three links jump to site roots in the future, the past, and transition. The next two links branch. In the left brain direction, you engage journal thoughts and excerpts from an actual email list, Talk2000, where a controversy starts over the idea of building a spiritual center on Mars. In the right brain direction, you enter a virtual example of such a center with a view of Mars where you can creatively play a virtual instrument, change the lighting color, and contemplate.

Is there time for contemplation on the web? Why not contemplation? The artistic content should be valuable indefinitely. As a project it has several paths and should serve several revisits without being exhausted. It is designed as a space to revisit during a millennium. Possibly to be enriched with other related sites during that time.

I took the photos for the fly's eye spherical QTVR movie background in a pepper tree grove at Shoreline park. It took 102 photos in all - 20 around the horizon, two rows above, two rows below and two finishing caps straight up and down. With help from Apple and other beta testers of QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) 5, I stitched the photos together into six cubic faces for the new spherical QTVR viewer. In Photoshop I added surfaces of Mars and various life forms flying and growing in bright colors. The interactivity is QTVR navigation and Flash movie clips. One clip is a button that toggles the color of the movie. Another clip is buttons that serve as a musical instrument.

A QTVR movie is a wondrous space. It is like being in at least six paintings at once. The range of views is as great as the differences between north and south, up and down, in and out. Since the opposites flow liquidly into each other they fall into context and must work together. It is a place to find balance, solutions, and managing of complexity.

The frontier for art is through novelty and technique but needs engagement through the medium for a depth of experience. The question is not does it deliver? Or how does it deliver? But what - is there artistic content? In the future, this project will open to input from users.

This project innovates in using QuickTime 5, now available as public preview, that will be released about the time Prix Ars opens. Caroling is featured on the Apple site, see

Technical requirements for viewing: everyone is welcome

A visitor with any access to the web crosses the threshold to the site. All will find value related to the theme. However, how you come in determines what content is available. There are many choices.

Check the availability of QT and Flash on platforms other than PC or Macintosh. Of course you need a sound system to hear the sounds.


Bio. Intro. Prix Ars Electronica Index