Todd Margolis

Virtual Reality Installations

"Virtual reality promises a kind of transcendence of the limits of physical reality."
-Frank Biocca, Taeyong Kim, Mark R. Levy: Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality Installations


by Todd Margolis

LOCKUP was an installation, performance and interactive narrative in Virtual Reality that explores the realm of possibilities open to us when we alter life courses through important decision making. Using a transgressive story line, the user is dispatched into a criminal world where their fate can be determined by the choices made throughout the piece.
LOCKUP Courtroom scene An immersive experience is achieved via physical interaction with virtual and real objects and an intellectual and emotional connection to the characters and plight of the user's survival. Two virtual performers in the CAVE? with the user interact as "good-cop/bad-cop" providing guidance and encouragement.

The artwork was originally designed to take advantage of the physical installation space by actually locking the user into the CAVE? Virtual Reality Theater behind metal bar doors. The user would be forced to wear an enhanced straitjacket that contains temperature, heart rate and vibration input and output sensors. There would be surveillance video cameras that watch the user and the audience and incorporate and recontextualize these images back into the artwork.

Special thanks to Dan Sandin, Dave Pape, Alan Millman and UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory to help make this work possible.


Linked Media


2D video capture


EVE5, EVL - Chicago, IL

Immedia1901, Ann Arbor, MI