One of the innovative "bleeding-edge" technologies SESMI has been utilizing in its work is incorporating LIDAR scanning as a means of capturing visual material for the T2ERU project.

"LIDAR measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. . . . Lidar is popularly used as a technology used to make high resolution maps, with applications ingeomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry" [wikipedia]

(Trish Stone, artist from Qualcomm Institute collaborating with T2ERU students to create LIDAR scans)

These LIDAR scans appear as stereographic monochomatic point-cloud panoramas; to the casual eye (or eyes, rather, due to the stereography), the scans appear as pointillist sketches of performers in an environment. In the NextCAVE, the user can navigate around, through, and within these scans, passing through walls and bodies to reveal each surface as an ephemeral, permeable "cloud" that from some angles is photorealistic and from others is surreal, distorted, uncanny.

LIDAR scan by Trish Stone in collaboration with UCSD Students Heidi Kuan and Duy Nguyen

LIDAR scan by Trish Stone with Michael Trigilio and Gloomsday
  Alternate and detail views of T2ERU LIDAR data below:












In June 2013 SESMI hosted visiting faculty and students from University of New Mexico's ICAP program to experiment and collaborate on various performance and visualization works. Using T2ERU data as a starting-point, artists from the ICAP group devised a strategy by which they could "splice" data from one LIDAR set into another, fashioning all-together new experimental LIDAR datasets that upended the naturalistic representation into a wholly speculative other. What resulted were navigable point-clouds that defy definition, appearing variously as alien terrain, psychedelic objects, Hieronymus Bosch bodies trapped in Neuromancer datascapes.