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

Scalable City

Role: System Administrator

Scalable City creates an urban/suburban/rural environment via a data visualization pipeline. Each step in this pipeline builds upon the previous, amplifying exaggerations, artifacts and the patterns of algorithmic process. The results of this are experiences such as prints, video installations and interactive multi-user games and virtual environments.

Throughout these artworks, a variety of computer concept buzzwords take on physical form. Wallowing in them provides equal measures of delight and foreboding, creating a vision of cultured forms that we are rapidly creating. The project neither indicts nor embraces this future, but offers an extrapolation of its algorithmic tendencies, heightening one's awareness of the aesthetics of the underlying logic as it becomes the determinant of much of our cultured existence.

My role on Scalable City has been to provide next-generation technologies to support ongoing development and server capabilities beyond what traditional computing infrastructures can offer. This includes the following technologies: Mental Ray render farms, hybrid multicore computing technologies (IBM cell and x86 BladeCenters, IBM z10 mainframe, Sony cell computers, Intel multi core servers), stereoscopic virtual reality installations, motion capture, 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry, 3D recording and editing, 4K production and exhibition as well as advanced optical network administration.

Scalable City is a project by Sheldon Brown and the Experimental Game Lab at CRCA with support from IBM, Intel, NSF, Sony and Calit2.


Linked Media


Scalable City Trailer

From a Scalable City to a Scalable World


Out of the Box, SPIE Electronic Imaging, San Francisco, CA

TransISTor Workshop, Prague, Check Republic

FILE 2009, Oi Futura Cultural Center - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Digital Eyes, Barnsdall Gallery - Los Angeles, CA

Scalable City, gallery@calit2 - La Jolla, CA

FILE 2008, FIESP - Sao Paulo, Brazil

SIGGRAPH 2007, San Diego, CA

Streaming to 8 Megapixel Tiled Display, Waag Society - Amsterdam, Netherlands

SuperComputing 2007, Reno, NV