Intersculpt ‘99, Sculpture for a virtual world

Sept 4th - Nov 7th ‘99 The Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

Intersculpt ‘99, the third Biennial Exhibition of Computer Generated Sculpture, continues a series originated by Ars Mathematica and The Computers and Sculpture Forum, and held at the Galerie Graphes in Paris, France, together with Silicon Gallery in Philadelphia since ‘95.

The Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati has offered one of its media galleries as a venue for the ‘99 exhibition, and we will be showing concurrently with City Hall in Paris, France; The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England; and the Matthew’s Center at Arizona State University. We hope a venue in New York will be added to the roster in the near future.

The theme of the CAC venue "Sculpture for a virtual world" will have five components:

1. "Virtual Intersculpt ‘99"

Presented over the internet and local installation in DAAP, a Multi user virtual reality environment in Active Worlds. This is a proprietary internet application which allows networked user interaction in 3 dimensional space. DAAP is a donated educational environment dedicated to the presentation of sculpture. Artists are being invited to submit computer generated model files for installation. This will be visited in the CAC via a PC workstation installed in the media gallery. Resources permitting, each visitor’s experience will be projected for general viewing in the gallery.

2. "Vrml Intersculpt ‘99"

Presented over the internet and local installation. Internet accessible links to exhibition pages installed at the remote venues cataloging vrml models of sculpture. Each of the exhibition sites will create links to selected models submitted for the exhibition. These will be bookmarked for the exhibition, and copied directly to a local PC workstation for viewing by gallery visitors. Resources permitting each viewing will be projected for general viewing.

3. Print and sculpture exhibition

There will be a curated exhibition of locally produced color prints of high resolution renderings, and selective Rapid Prototyping production of the submitted models for the virtual and vrml presentations. Utilizing 3 walls of the media gallery. These images and models will present the sculpture as originally conceived by each artist, before being converted to internet viable file form. Up to 60 prints and 30 models may be installed. These models will be made on site during the exhibition if possible.
The prints and models produced by us will be for exhibition purposes in this exhibition, and will become the property of the exhibitors for archival purposes only.

4. The First International Digital Sculpture Competition

Will be from Paris to coincide with Intersculpt ‘99. Winners will be selected by an international jury, and awards announced in Paris on October 8th. Prints and Rapid Prototype Models will be made in Cincinnati of the three top awardees’ submissions for exhibition in the Contemporary Art Center.

5. Multi - venue networked activities

During the week of the1st - 9th of October, we hope to have video links established connecting each of the exhibition sites, where visitors will have a real time view of the other facilities. During periods when the remote sites are open, we would be open to exchanging model and image files, collaborating on model design, and reproducing models in the gallery. Z Corporation have agreed to provide and staff their Z402 rapid prototyping machine in the gallery for the week.

On the 7th and 8th of October, we will be presented to a new technology symposium in the French Senate, when the winners of the First International Digital Sculpture Competition will be announced.

Deadline for all submissions, July 31st 1999

Delivery of artwork

Limit rendered image files, for inclusion in the print exhibition, to 1mb in jpg format Zip all files together, include a txt file with relevant exhibition information, title(s) and credits. FTP to Log in anonymously, go to the incoming directory, and upload there. Email me separately at to confirm your submission or provide url addresses for vrml files you wish to include in the exhibition.

Visiting Active Worlds

To view the environment I’m using for the virtual exhibition you need a Pentium based computer running Windows 95, 98, or NT. Download the Active worlds browser from, stay on line, install, and enter as a visitor. scroll down the worlds list window on the left of your browser and click on DAAP

Active Worlds

performance issues

The following is general advice for those of you wanting to assure your models success installing into AW.
These are addressed also in the copious Active Worlds online help files, which can be downloaded separately from their website at
Active worlds objects must be no larger than 30 meters in any dimension to be "bumpable." If they have more than 64 polygons, their bounding boxes become the bump surface.
Objects with bump perimeters over 1 meter above the surrounding surface cannot be stepped onto.
Color, surface, and transparency ( through one layer ) and bitmap textures can be applied. Bump, tile, Reflection and other process textures to not work in AW. U V coordinates must be assigned to bitmapped objects. Planar, cylindrical, spherical, box, and facet mapping work.
UV mapped surfaces can be designated to display text assigned in AW, or to display remotely addressed bitmaps assigned in AW.

Converting file types and Active Worlds

Active Worlds uses the Renderware 3D library, and has converters for COB, DXF and 3DS ( in dos only ), and MAX as a 3ds MAX plugin. It will also accept VRML2 files.
As I am using MAX to convert files, I can import Rhino 3DM, PRJ, WRL, WRZ and STL files directly. I've just got access to Alias Wavefront at school, and can accept OBJ files for conversion via DXF and 3DS MAX to RWX.
File types which do not carry assigned U V coordinate data will have to have mapping applied in MAX by me, and you will need to let me know how you want this done.
Active Worlds uses JPG bitmaps, which it converts to BMP format for use in the browser. I will Need 256 x 256 pixel JPG files of any bitmap texture assigned to your objects. I will need a rendering of your model in JPG form as a visual guide to inform the process.

Preparing models for conversion

Your models should be saved at the appropriate scale in meters, and centered over ground zero in your model environment, as you would like to see them oriented in AW.
RWX surfaces are normally one - sided. Build in capped solids, not planes, and unify normals. I can duplicate your object and flip normals on the copy to make an opaque back side, or you can do this yourself, please.
Reasonable download time dictates that model size be limited. Most AW models count their surfaces in the tens or hundreds. I’m asking you to limit your count per file to 6,000 or less ( models can be assembled in AW using more than one file ).