Virtual Reality Aesthetic Programming Interface


Bell came up with the idea for the The Virtual Reality Aesthetic Programming Interface or VRAPI in 1996 and presented a poster about it at the Creativity & Cognition symposium in that year.

Looking back on it in 2003 Bell wrote:


"It has not been implemented as I have not been able to gain access to appropriate immersive VR kit and without the prospect of it ever happening I felt uninspired to continue with development work. I also found that changes in the educational environment (more students to manage, new units to develop material for) meant that I had less and less time available for research.

On revisiting the proposal after eight years I find one important aspect of the VRAPI that I did not discuss. It was implicit in the images used to illustrate the proposal, but so closely incorporated in my vision of the piece that I did not mention it. This was the intention to make the act of programming more physical, closer to the act of sculpture or construction. When engaged in the VRAPI a participant would be moving about, 'lifting' shapes (representing data and program elements) into place, moving through and around shapes. The haptics, proprioception and kinesthetics; senses of touch and of the body moving and interacting with the interface, would make an essential contribution to the potential aesthetic experience.

Another important aspect of the work I did not mention would be that by experiment and investigation of the environment it would be found that organic shapes and forms were not organic, that behaviours were driven by very simple rules, in the final analysis that much of the 'sense of place' would be constructed through the imagination of the participant as they try to make sense of the VRAPI." ( 20th November 2003)

Bell is currently (2019) looking to realise an immersive interactive graphic artwork as he first envisaged in the mid 1980's when he applied for the artist in residence post at UKC. To do so he is planning to use contemporary animation and game authoring systems.




  VRAPI Poster

Paper that accompanied the poster.