This is what
she looks like.

Alice Sat Here
Ricco/Maresca Gallery

This is what
she remembers.

This is what she is

VirtuAlice's key component was a wireless telerobotic webcam mounted on a chauffeured motorized chair with a tiny monitor which directed the driver.Users on the web or passersby could control its movement. Passersby used touch pads for control which were attached to the storefront window surrounding a monitor that had a camera sewn into a card which fed back to the participants their image, superimposing it on the image of the interior space. Sobell and Emily Hartzell, her principle collaborator, described the piece as "a passage between physical and cyber space".

This is what she means

VirtuAlice is a passage
between physical 
and cyber space. 
We converge from 
and street-side, 
explore parallel spaces 
separated by glass, 
and peer through
the membrane 
at each other's 
We control aspects 
of each other's 
environment and perform 
a collaborative dance 
in between. We
wonder with Alice 
at the keyhole to Webland, 
"What good are our heads
without our shoulders?" 


This diagram describes the anatomy of Alice Sat Here, an installation by Nina Sobell and Emily Hartzell (ParkBench) at the CODE Show, curated by Roz Dimon, at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery Oct-Dec, 1995. Created at New York University Center for Advanced Technology in collaboration with David Bacon, Fred Hansen, Kimberly Neuhaus, and Toto Paxia.


New York University, NYU Center for Advanced Technology, Professor Ken Perlin, Cynthia Allen,, MicroTouch Systems Inc., Joe Arcidiacono, Theo Crimona, Art Johnson, George Kondogianis, David Max, Daniele Russo, Randall Rustin, Eliza Schwarz, Professor Naoko Tanese, Professor Richard Wallace


In March 1997 we redesigned Alice, as VirtuAlice, and presented her at CHI97 (Computer-Human Interaction Conference) and Interfaces97. This redesign of hardware and software was done by Digital Image Design. Thanks to Roel Hammerschlag, Hai Ng, Juey Ong, and Brad Paley.

Back to ParkBench