Fools Paradise Links

Fool’s Paradise is a virtual world based on the “Proverbs of Hell” of English poet and artist William Blake. Intermedia data structures inform its visual and musical composition, developed in collaboration between artist Paul Hertz and composer Stephen Dembski. Visually, Fools Paradise riffs on English Romantic gardens and the changing aesthetics of VR, from the CAVE to game engines and goggles. The virtual world offers forty-eight interactive pavilions linked by a network of paths. Each pavilion interprets a proverb as a song composed by Stephen Dembski for soprano, flute, cello, and spoken voice, as a mask (by Mark Klink), and as calligraphy (by Koy Suntichotinun).

Online resources for Fools Paradise II:

Paper from the proceedings of the xCoAx Conference in Madrid, 2018:

Description of Fools Paradise at

Video screen capture, 2018:

Video short of Fools Paradise I, live musical performance and VR, 2004:

Flickr album covering the development of Fools Paradise:

Ignotheory generative system:

Dick Higgins’ essay on Intermedia:

William Blake, The Marriage of  Heaven and Hell, 1790.

Videos of visual music, a form of intermedia:

Center for Visual Music

Làslò Moholy Nagy, Light Space Modulator (1930):

Oskar Fischinger, An Optical Poem (1938):

Mary Ellen Bute, Synchromy Number 4: Escape (1938):

Norman McLaren, Begone, Dull Care (1949)

Jordan Belson, Allures (1961):

John Whitney, Arabesque (1975):

Vibeke Sorensen, NLoops (1989):

Jack Ox, VR visualization of “Im Januar am Nil,” music by Clarence Barlow:

Other resources

A blog from 2008 about intermedia, edited by Jack Ox and Paul Hertz:

Semiotic Temporal Units at the Laboratoire Musique et Informatique de Marseille:

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