to begin is an adaptation and literary response to Samuel Beckett's final novel, How It Is. Designed specifically for Brown University's 3D immersive CAVE, to begin implicates a two-person viewing audience in the intimacies of mutual torture and possible solipsism.
A sample of to begin can be viewed below, including crawling through the mud, the torture of Pim, and the final darkness (with voice work by John Cayley and Robert Coover). Because of the difficulties with capturing video footage within the CAVE itself, this sample was recorded using the CAVE Writing desktop previewer.
Brown University's CAVE is an 8' x 8' x 8' cube with projection screens on the front, left, and right walls as well as the floor. The CAVE achieves its 3D effect by combining stereo projection, head tracking, and special glasses that isolate left-eye and right-eye images to their respective eye. These visual properties, as well as a surround sound audio system, make the CAVE an idiosyncratic and highly immersive artistic medium in and of itself.
Proprietary software (Cave Writing) has been developed to allow artists to compose pieces for the CAVE. to begin was written specifically for the Brown's CAVE in 2009 and continues to be exhibited in the University's Granoff Center for the Creative Arts.
Borrowing text from Beckett's How It Is, a minimalistic novelization of the human propensity to torment ourselves and others, to begin also incorporates my own writing in response, allowing me to argue with Beckett whether existence amounts to more than "me alone in the dark the mud".
In addition to scripting original text with Beckett's and coding all of the piece's visual elements using Cave Writing software, I also provided sound design for to begin.