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Beyond Manzanar: Implementation

Room and Screen:

  • The room should be completely enclosed and dark and quiet - acoustically isolated from other sound sources.
  • The entrance should be on the side, so that light does not fall directly on the screen.
  • The walls should extend to the ceiling, so that no light leaks in.
  • If necessary to improve the acoustics, please baffle walls, e.g. with theater fabric.
Ideal room size:
  • Screen
    (Minimum size for life-sized image):

    3m high by 4m wide (9' by 12')

  • NOTE:
    Bottom edge of screen should be roughly 10cm (4 inches) from floor!

  • Room:
    3.5m high x 5m wide x 9m deep
    (12' high x 17' wide x 30' deep.)

Click here for larger version of room plan.

Hardware and software:

We will provide:
  • Beyond Manzanar code
  • VRML 3D browser code
  • Modified joystick as navigation device


We ask the venue to provide the following hardware & software:


  • Data projector capable of taking input from a PC.

  • Capable of projecting an image 3m high by 4m wide (9' by 12'.)
    Specs should indicate it can handle a screen size of 5 m diagonal (15' diagonal,) which is larger than the normal consumer grade.

  • Ceiling mounted with keystone distortion compensation to avoid a distorted image.

  • The large image size requires a projector of over 3500 ANSI lumens, which is brighter than the normal consumer grade, and a contrast ratio of 2000:1.


  • Large, active PC stereo speakers with good sound quality (good dynamic range).
    Ideal: 40 Watt, with frequency range 55 Hz – 20kHz

  • Ceiling or wall mounting brackets and cables as needed. Speakers should be mounted near and slightly in front of thethe joystick tripod, so that the sound can be kept as low as possible and still be heard well by the user.


  • Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 10 PC (does NOT run under Mac or Unix operating system!)

  • Mouse and keyboard (needed to boot program, but hidden during the exhibit.)

  • Note: all programs which may automatically pop up and take focus away from the joystick must be disabled! This includes the Windows Desktop cleaning assistant, screen saver, energy saver, virus scan auto-updates, and any other programs with automatic updates.


  • Simple wooden tripod built to our specifications. If tripod cannot be screwed to the floor, there must be a floorboard (roughly 1.2 meter square (4' square) to which the tripod is fixed. There must be a non-skid rug pad underneath the floorboard to keep it from shifting.

  • If possible, room filled with sandy gravel (not necessary, but desireable if doable).


Text and images 1998-2017 Tamiko Thiel and Zara Houshmand, all rights reserved.