Saturday, November 3, 2012

Further Along the Path

Further Along the Path - Main Display


Dates: May, June, and July of 2012 (Now closed)
Pictures Credits: Deoridhe Quandry

Further Along the Path: Is a sequel to "The Path," a collaborative project brought together last year. In the words of Bryn Oh, it "is an immersive project based around the exquisite corpse concept sometimes used by the Surrealists.  Essentially, each artist adds to a composition in sequence." Windlight is central to the displays, and a notice in the beginning area encourages people to view it via the Firestorm viewer so the Windlight changes can be seamless. The teleport between different displays is the telephone in each scene, but a notecard containing links can be gotten at the beginning area.

Glyph Graves: Fade

Glyph Graves says, "My art in SL is currently focused on the interplay between form, structure, texture and transformation wich underpins much of my work. As well as the normal digital tools of graphic and 3D modeling programs, I also freely make use of Linden Scripting Language as both my chisel and my paintbrush. I'm always pleasantly surprised at the depth and the dimensionality that's available for art in Second Life and in virtual media per se." More of his work can be found on the UWA Winthrop Sim.

The best description I can give for Further Along the Path is "Difficult to Capture in Pictures", and Graves sets the bar for this going out of the gate. In a display that was less about the textures and more about the scripted changes and movement, he tells the story of someone asleep who is made out of all of the plants and earthworms in the area. While I wasn't texturally blown away (though I did like the smooth glow of some of the flowers), nor did I find the images powerful in and of themselves, there was a magic to how they moved together - to the joy in watching things move from one place to another through space. That simply isn't something I can capture in images, and I'm afraid the textures suffer most recorded in a static form. This is also where I felt all the disadvantages of having a lower-end computer; movements were jerky on my screen rather than fluid, I'm sure simply because of my capabilities. I would love to see a recording of this at speed and I hope someone has captured it.

paramparamm Papp 5

paramparamm Papp says, "I have been in Second Life since early 2007, when I first heard about it in a television documentary on virtual worlds. Like many artists I found the the platform promising. It was pretty clear that this world offered a whole new set of boundaries for us to push.

My past projects include builds for Relay for Life and BURN events with the biggest (in size) being the main auditorium for the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conferences of 2011 and 2012. More recently I have been working with MadPea Productions on the game/hunt called Sanity Falls. Also working on the constantly evolving Lollygagger Lane when I can."

Papp's world is dual, with a dark blue curve above that moves rings through a murky amount of space, and below a brilliantly light section with figures oozing in and out of bits of golden light along the bottom. I found it really dreamy and soothing, though a bit confusing - it took a while for the full import of the figures to stand out for me. They will show up again and again throughout the different worlds, often with different textures and lighting on them, forming one of the few cohesive themes between dreamscapes besides the ringing telephone.

Further Along the Path - Alpha Auer 4

In her own words, Alpha Auer "is the founder and CEO of the avatar fashion establishment alpha.tribe, which she co-operates with 4 fashion designer alts - Grapho Fullstop, Amina Diavolo, Alpho Fullstop and Xiamara Ugajin. She is also the builder of the (now no longer existent) Second Life island Syncretia, and was a co-blogger of the famed NPIRL blog, between 2008 and 2009. She collaborates with MosMax Hax and Selavy Oh in the ongoing artwork LPDT2, now at the New Genres Grid on the opensim and is the builder of the island alpha.tribe". More information can be found on one of her websites, which has a CV among other information.

Alpha's section is almost monochromatic except for the faintest hints of gold, which make it ripe for altering with windlight for different effects. The brilliant gold bodies disappearing in the previous section of the dream reappear, this time in shades of gray - some of them a dull charcoal while others are covered in the words which ring the entire display, some in English and others in what is called "an asemic language". The words also are on the gilding of the central shapes - you can see above where it appears almost like ribbons, but where the textures are not bent by the prims they are put on that they are words. The story picture is of people being petrified, and the risk of being petrified oneself by remaining in this place too long - however for a petrified place, I found it surprisingly peaceful and fluid. The whispers - oh yes there is sound - and the slow movements of the words entranced me, and this is one of the sections where I took a second batch of pictures in my more usual style. The overall point, though - that remaining the same for too long can lead to petrification - is a good one (though I would argue if one changes too much one can lose connection with any form of stability as well).    

Further Along the Path - Bryn Oh

Bryn Oh says, "My interest in virtual worlds began with an attempt to create an artist unaligned with a RL identity. Bryn Oh is an art project to determine if an anonymous digital character can succeed in the real world of flesh and blood artists. I see what we do in virtual worlds as a new medium with the capability to create unique forms of art." She has her own Sim and Blogs regularly.

Bryn's display was very difficult to photograph without an avatar because it quite literally would disappear without someone being there! I have a set of pictures of myself, but I really struggled to get comprehensive pictures. In the end it was so much more experiential than photographable. I ended up not doing this section justice, and by the time i made it back the sim had transferred to another purpose, so I apologize for the lack. One thing this does bring up is the stark difference between experiential events in Second Life, and static events which can be more easily recorded. I often struggle with how to manage capturing something which is more easily experienced, and which loses it's power in the static representation of it, but I still don't have any easy answers. 

Further Along the Path - Oberon Onmura 9

In his own words, Oberon Onmura "has been making art in Second Life for over four years. In that time, his unique approach to exploring the capabilities of physical objects has attracted international attention of blog sites, Second Life and “real life” galleries and publications. Oberon cites as his primary influences American minimalist art of the 1960s and 70s for its precision of form, Stephen Wolfram’s 'A New Kind of Science' for its analysis of complex systems, and Indian classical music for its manifestation of unseen physical reality in art. He has recently become interested in the use of scripted agents (i.e. bots) as artmaking material."

I get the feeling there was an ultimate conclusion reached by finding the "right" of the three paths - but unfortunately, although trying to go up all three stairs multiple times, nothing happened.I'm not quite sure what I missed, but I'm rather sad I missed it! The setting was fairly complex, with a lot of the same 'world building around you' qualities as Bryn's section of the Path, in this case paths to walk along. Other elements of all of the different dreams also appear - both those we've seen before, and those yet to come. This aspect of the themes along the path will become more and more powerful as we move toward the last stop on the path.

Further Along the Path - Eupalinos Ugajin 3

Eupalinos Ugajin has a flickr and a document, introducing himself in the latter as:
"When I say I play Second Life people often hastily reply: but it is not REAL!
My answer is: as real as all the tools/objects humanity made.
(If I had to define it...) Real is what might happen when you sit in front of a tree or anything we did not invent #
The usual Virtual vs. Real opposition does not hold water."
This seemed to be the most scattered of the sections, with things going in every direction and no real pointers one way or another. I have to admit I found that frustrating; while I liked little subsections of the different elements, I found the whole more disconcerting and difficult to grasp than compelling. I ended up finding the way out by panning my camera through things - and this brings up a really mixed sense within me - on the one hand, I'm deeply grateful that I can pan. Like earlier, the ability to move around despite not being sure what to do is hugely valuable. On the other hand, I wonder if there are things I missed because I simply gave up looking for the teleporter and panned my camera. One advantage of restricting the mobility of viewers is that one can drive those visitors through a predetermined path; one of the disadvantages is that a frustrated visitor may leave instead of trying to find a hidden path. I don't have any easy solutions - just some noticing and thoughts.

Further Along the Path - Ux Hax and Romy Nayar 2

Ux Hax graduated with a degree in Cinematography Sciences, and is a Musician and Programer.
She participated in the second Congress of  Social Networks and Metaverses (Ibiza).  romy Nayar is the Master of Museology at the Louvre and an Oil Artist. They are both Spanish, but live in Paris. They have a shared blog, as well as a creative Sim in world.

With dual worlds, one above and below the surface, this was one of my favorite sections, and I actually did another photoshoot there (Rainbow in the Light). Like most of the scenes, this one was difficult to photograph. Not only was the movement and particles an integral part of it, it also lived on multiple levels, from high in the sky where the sun smiled down to under the waves where the dreamer floats among the remains of a bedroom. Almost everything moved a little - from the woman bicycling around the island to a man falling backwards toward the water, endlessly repeating a few seconds. You could also pick up a wearable chair to bob around and through, which was a lot of fun to photograph with. I especially loved the branches which reoccurred, up into the sky, across the surface, and down under the waves. I was really struck by the world created, in all of it's dull glory.

Further Along the Path - Ub Yifu 8

Ub Yifu says, "Using Second Life since may 2007, I came here because i wanted to create 3D objects. I started building in sanbox as everybody does. I first started reproducing some famous paintings in prims from (Matisse, Magritte, Picasso, Dali, Degas)." Ub Yifu has a Gallery in world.

The final section literally began at the bottom - and if you obeyed the signs and followed the fish, you ended up at the top near to waking. One enormous figure held the world while a second, flying over, seemed almost as if he was about to swoop down. Little planets and images floated out of everywhere, sending echos back through the different worlds traveled through on the Path. I ended up returning to this place twice, the first time getting confused despite the signs. Once I found the top, I was amazed by the overwhelmingly huge figures waiting for me, and the endlessly swirling fish.  

( More pictures here. )

Further Along the Path - Theme (Man Asleep in a Bed)

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