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Inhabiting Digital Spaces

Date: 24 April 2015
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA, Room 228A, School of Anatomy Physiology and Human Biology
Speaker: Dr Josh Harle

For the last few years, Josh Harle has been trying to make sense of the world: critically investigating contemporary forms of spatial representation from online maps to first-person shooters, and developing his own.

In this talk Harle will give an overview of his recent practice, demonstrating a variety of 3D virtual environments and 'rebel online maps' as background to an introduction to photogrammetry and his current residency project.  

The Trafalgar St Tunnel is Harle's in-progress 3D reconstruction, using photogrammetry tools to generate geometry from 3500 images of a graffiti tunnel over two points in time. The focus of the project is to extend the use of photogrammetry from clinical, abstract “fly-through” visualisations, to something that acknowledges the scale, atmosphere, and context of the site itself.  Harle's approach to composing the tunnel is anchored in Michel de Certeau's spatial theory of “space as practiced place”, read through a (lifelong) study of compelling fictional videogame environments.  

Some key features of the reconstruction –  ambient lighting and sounds, recorded tours, and a newly introduced time-lapse feature – will be demonstrated and discussed in a wider context of artificial life and modes of temporality in digital environments.  

The tunnel is a precursor for extending the project to remote rock art sites.


Josh Harle is a multidisciplinary researcher and media artist, with a background in computer vision, philosophy, and fine arts. His research investigates the virtual spaces generated by emerging technologies, our encounters with the world through them, and their social consequences.

Harle’s practice explores the contemporary use of digital technologies to map and make sense of the world. His works take various established and emerging mapping technologies – laser scanning, photogrammetry, geolocation tracking – and re-appropriates them as expressive mediums, altering their outcomes to introduce an affective element which is normally absent.

Josh Harle is currently working with the advanced visualisation lab iVEC, and the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management supported by an Australia Council ECAP grant.