Thursday, April 7, 2016
LEA 15: Metamorphose
I adore M. C. Escher. The way he bends what is possible due to the vagaries of art, the way he combines surrealism and realism, delights me. Together, Solkide and Sniper have done the unbelievable - the previously unimaginable - and taken one of Escher's surreal transformations into a three dimensional world one can walk within. "METAMORPHOSE" is a circular wonder of transformation and recreation as Escher's two dimensional world is expanded into the third dimension and made enormous.
HOW they do it is as amazing as what they chose to do - some pieces start as narrow, almost flat, only to broaden out gradually. The hive is all narrow lines but the bees start out fully formed only to flatten and widen, becoming the background for some fish. My absolute favorite moment is when the birds transform into a city, though, coming up off of the wall into an enormous, fully formed town one can walk around on. I don't have words to express the incoherent bliss of walking into a two dimensional image I've known most of my life and feeling it breath around me. Only in a place like Second Life is "METAMORPHOSE" possible!
Issues of derivative work comes up a lot online - whether it be fanfiction, images on a piece of swag, or questions of representation and authenticity. Part of the delight of "METAMORPHOSE" is that it is working within the contexts of something familiar; I grew up seeing Escher's prints and that flush of recognition is a part of the entire experience. This would still be wonderful but would lack some of the frisson without it being something I had poured over as a student, something I had tried to replicate without success. This adds immensely to the experience, though, and in my fantasies of Escher's reaction to the myriad reactions to his work this would delight him as much as me - to see something that depends so much on being drawn in two dimensions pulled into three!
I'm an enormous fan of well done derivative work, and this is one of the best I've seen. So much of our great work hinges on our familiarity with other versions, and that is the case here - though less than with other things, like retellings of fairy tales or new versions of Sherlock Holmes and King Arthur. Culture is a series of interwoven conversations, a telling and retelling of our own stories to each other as we try to give meaning to the chaos of life around us. "METAMORPHOSE" is one such story, a story of how the complexity of one life shifts inexorably into the complexity of another; of how sizes and environments seamlessly weave into each other. Bees become fish. Birds become a town. Buildings become just another piece on a cosmic chess board. Join me in walking the battlements and exploring what happens when the surreal is rendered for us all to enjoy!
( More pictures here. )
Windlight Settings: Sim Default
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping