- Art, Science, Technology:A New Step in St. Petersburg
The 20th international Educational Informatics and Sustainable Development Problems conference took place in St. Petersburg and Minsk, Belarus, on 13-14 April, 2001. The conference was dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's space flight and to the 60th anniversary of the St. Petersburg State University of Air/Space Structural Devices (known in Russia under the abbreviation GUAP). The conference called together more than 600 participants from St. Petersburg, Minsk, Arkhangelsk and other cities and towns.
Among the conference subjects, relationships between art and computer technologies occupied a prominent place, with a special section devoted to such relationships, held by GUAP and the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. They presented reports examining problems such as teaching possibilities in music education, copyright protection for musical works placed on web sites, graphic modeling of sight-and-hearing synaesthesia in music (with reference to Joseph Schillinger's ideas concerning this problem), and discussion of various aspects of the multi-media virtual guide of St. Petersburg at the time of Pushkin, being prepared by GUAP in collaboration with the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House).
These reports were followed by a large-scale concert of electronic music, given by the Hotoyama Itiro Electronics, Acoustics and Music School Studio (affiliated with the Conservatory) and the new computer music studio organized at the St. Petersburg State College [End Page 454] of Music. One of the central events at the conference was the presentation of the Cybervelo project by specialists and students of GUAP. The technical basis of this project is a real bicycle connected to electronic devices that give the "cyclist" a wide range of possibilities for traveling in the virtual world (demonstrated on a monitor display), e.g. across the environs of a French château, along the streets of virtual New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc., or even flying over virtual mountains. Shortly after the conference, one could observe the humorous (but very symptomatic) sight of an ordinary television set in the Cybervelo-equipped lecture hall, standing switched off.