Vuk Cosic is one of the three members of the ASCII Art Ensemble, the others being Walter van der Cruijsen and Luka Frelih. ´They met in Amsterdam to materialise an idea that was floating in meetings at various European Internet conferences and festivals during the last three years. The big goal was to come up with a net based moving ASCII. Those projects resemble material in which images are not based on individual pixels (which would be the usual way to present material in formats such as QuickTime movies or JPEG images on-line), instead the grey values of the images are represented by individual letters from the ASCII alphabet of the computer. On the whole ASCII art usually is being seen as a thing of the past, when monitors and computers where too weak and slow. Based on these format changes Vuk Cosic developed his contribution for the SYNREAL project.
Synworld | In your work as a net.artist, the concept of ASCII art has been pushed into various directions, like moving image work based on individual ASCII frames. How does that reflect on your work for the SYNREAL level?
Vuk Cosic | The project consists of a 3D Cyrillic ASCII. There's a level of work where we are totally inventing ways of representing 3D objects in ASCII or "ASCII" mode, with the intention to cheat as little as possible. So far we have done work with texture mapping that is not truly satisfying, but hopefully there'll be progress shortly. As far as my previous ASCII work goes, this piece is going to contain several of those elements - most probably the moving ASCII image and the ASCII audio will be included.
Synworld | Using ASCII within the 3D environment seems to go into a different direction than today’s game developers. Whereas the usual development goes towards perfect real-time renderings of polygons and textures, you seem to step back towards the earlier ages of new media art. But using text characters rather than images also has different implications.
Vuk Cosic | Sure, additionally to the aesthetic implications, I have been embedding my SYNREAL level in the history of writing and visual representation. It is important to consider the history of visual poetry and typographic work, and it is my desire to implement those vector-based fonts within what the Unreal Level does.
Synworld | There is no fear that such beautiful references will drown in the shoot-up environment of Unreal?
Vuk Cosic | Regarding the actual scenario, I am sure that I will not pretend to unplug the guns, but will instead try to create some poetic objects that will grow or multiply when you shoot them.
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