Todd Margolis

Augmented Reality

“We don’t necessarily have to think of immersion into the virtual and augmentation of the physical as the opposites... it all depends on how we understand the idea of addition: we may add additional information to our experience – or we may add an altogether different experience.”
-Lev Manovich

Augmented Reality

Becoming Transreal

Role: Virtual Media Specialist

What if you could become anything? What happens after species change surgery becomes a reality? Becoming Transreal speculates on a future in which the promises of bionanotechnology have become realized, and yet as capitalism has continued to fail, both the interiors of our bodies and the virtual world have become totally commodified. You can become anything, but to finance your whims of identity transformation, the same nanohormones that transform your body are also producing drugs for others. Becoming Transreal looks at transgender experience through a lens of slipstream science fiction poetry. Micha Cardenas and Elle Mehrmand performed using motion capture to interface with Second Life avatars and 3D stereoscopic imagery to immerse the audience in this transreal world.

As the Virtual Media Specialist for Becoming Transreal, my primary focus was to incorporate motion capture technologies into the mixed reality performance. Performers wore customized optical targets which captured their live physical movements in the theater to control the movements of their avatars in Second Life. This was accomplished using VICON cameras and software I setup and configured with a bridge written by Chris Head and a SL script to receive those movements written by Micha Cardenas. I also facilitated the installation and configuration of the stereoscopic 3D Second Life projection for the theater audience. For this installation passive polarizing filters and glasses were used.

Co-sponsored by The Center for Performance Studies, the UCLA Department of Theater, the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), the Department of Theater, the School of Theater, Film, and Television, LGBT Studies, the Center for the Study of Women and The Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance. Additional support provided by San Diego State University's Second Life Initiative, Aztlan Island.


Linked Media

becoming transreal: a mixed reality, biodigital performance

video by Tracy Cornish


Becoming Transreal: A mixed reality, biodigital performance, UCLA Freud Playhouse - Los Angeles, CA