2010 Istanbul, Turkey
Collaborator: Jeffrey Shaw, Cédric Maridet (sound)
Hardware: Huib Nelissen
Software: Adolf Matthias
Production: ALiVE/ACIM, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, EPIDEMIC, Paris
PLACE - Turkey (YER-Türkiye) takes participants on an embodied journey through a virtual landscape of panoramic photographic scenes and cinematic events. It utilizes the interaction paradigm first developed in PLACE - a user's manual (1995), which is a motorised platform from which viewers can rotate a projected 3-D image within an immersive 9 m diameter, 360-degree screen to explore panoramas sceneries.
In a constellation of cultural abundance, PLACE - Turkey's imagery comprises forty-nine important heritage locations, incorporating over one hundred panoramic photographs and ten documentary video performances. The stereoscopic panoramic images include photos of sites and monuments such as Ephesus, Topkapi Palace, Ani, Lake Van, Hagia Sophia, Ishak Pasha Palace, Termessos, Didyma, Cappadocia, Aphrodisias, Abdal Musa Mausoleum, Hosap Kalesi and Sanliurfa. The 360-degree videos include a performance by dervish dancers, storytelling by a meddah, a rehearsal by the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra, a boat ride across the Bosphorus and an interview with the director of the Topkapi Palace. The visitor participates in this psycho-geography of situations and occurrences as an acute observer, freely exploring an emergent prospect of Turkey’s richly diverse tangible and intangible heritage.
Speaking into a microphone mounted on the interface, the visitor can also release prescribed texts, which were written by the nomadic poet Aşık Veysel, into this virtual world. The words leave traces of the visitor’s movements, making them into a three-dimensional poem. This visual landscape of scenes and events is conjoined with musical compositions selected specially from the archive of Kalan Music, one of the most important archives of ethnographic music in Turkey.