Mission and objectives¶
The Metalab is at the heart of the Society for Arts and Technology’s mission to encourage the emergence of new generations of technological artists, to support them and to help generate a new economy which recognizes and values their work. It is a living and open research space where users and communities interact with creators, researchers, designers and developers. Relying on dynamic exchanges between art, technology and society, the SAT | Metalab is a window on emerging digital culture and innovation in a changing society. It is also a space for exploring and sharing competence in many other industries that require the integration of rich digital content (audio, visual and data) and where new models of interaction and data processing are appropriate, notably in medical and scientific imaging, engineering, design and architecture.
The research team¶
Established in 2003 with public and private funding, the Metalab’s research team totals over 30 members: associate researchers, student-researchers and developer-researchers. The associate researchers, mostly professors, and student-researchers are drawn from the University of Montreal, Concordia University, McGill University, l'École de technologie supérieure in Montreal, University of Laval in Quebec City and the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in Paris. The other associate researchers work as independent artists. About a dozen developer-researchers are directly connected to the SAT as the permanent core of the research team. As a group, these researchers provide the necessary expertise required to fulfill the SAT’s research objectives. They carry out projects resulting from collaborations with artists in residence or partnerships with organizations such as engineering firms, city administrations and the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center.
The research program¶
SAT[Metalab] - 2011-2013
The SAT's past research, all of the needs expressed by artists and partners, the opportunities offered by ongoing technological advance and the participative approach fostered at the SAT have inspired the development of the Metalab’s research program around three main axes:
Axis A – Immersive Environments¶
The projects of Axis A deal specifically with challenges related to immersive and interactive systems. One of the objectives is to build immersive environments from video capture or image synthesis. Another objective is to reexamine the environments of previous immersive and interactive works, whether distributed on a network or not. The projects of this axis enable the enhancement of artistic creations intended for the various immersive and interactive systems at the SAT. In addition, they promote the emergence of works as original in their structure as in their subject matter and contribute to the international deployment of a new network of creation and distribution. The Immersive Environments axis includes the following projects:
A1 - Audio spatialization
A2 - Video spatialization
A3 - Spherical audio-video capture
A4 - Spherical stereoscopy
A5 - Distributed environments
Axis B – Intelligent Interaction¶
The projects on axis B address the complications of interaction with intelligent objects and spaces. They offer tangible interfaces as well as online systems that facilitate the creation of rich and meaningful experiences. One of the main objectives of axis B is to create the tools that are essential to the development of the projects from Axes A and C. Notable among these tools is a system for routing and sequencing of data streams and a media asset manager that can be replicated on different computers. The “Intelligent Interaction” axis includes the following projects:
B1 - Interfaces : Objects and environments
B2 - OSC Router-sequencer
B3 - Asset manager
Axis C – Networked Experiences¶
The projects of Axis C address the complications of networking, collaboration/interaction at a distance and mixed reality where the transition from the physical to the virtual or augmented is fluid. The objective is to offer a platform for rapid prototyping of shared 3D worlds that enable immersive telepresence and interactivity. The result of this research and development translates to a wide variety of works that explore a new online space of representation and experience. This axis of development will produce applications with utility beyond the artistic sphere, in medicine, pedagogy, engineering and communication. The “Networked Experiences” axis includes the following projects:
C1 - Posture Platform for immersive telepresence
C2 - Augmented reality : Audio graffiti : Invisible.
C3 - SPIN Framework