Friday, July 16, 2010

Environmental Fluidity seeks to distinguish virtual world art

Wotthe Dickins
Friday 7/16/10

Wotthe Dickins welcomed visitors to the opening on Caerleon. The welcome area contains a bombardment of information about the exhibit, but don't be discouraged by that. You can ignore all the written words and still enjoy your adventure. If you would like to learn about the artists and their thoughts on Environmental Fluidity, the signs and notecards available throughout will provide opportunities to learn.

Pixels Sideways (self-titled "Project Procrastinator") described the exhibit, "The Environmental Fluidity Collaboration Project is one in a series of six collaborative projects demonstrating Georg Janick/Gary Zabel's Theses on the Art of Virtual Worlds in which he notes, 'Environmental Fluidity is one of six aesthetic-technological dimensions that collectively distinguish the art of virtual worlds from earlier forms of art.'"

The Cube Maze

"From concept to completion: how the environmental fluidity collaboration project evolved" contains a description of the artists' process to build the exhibit, beginning with, "It all starts with a...prim."

This innovative exhibit is huge and, depending on the experience you want, could take hours to navigate and play in. By the information station, there is a Handy EF Tour HUD. It is simple to use. If you are ready to move to the next area, click on the title and the SLurl appears in chat. This is advantageous if you think you're lost. You may want to make a few short visits instead of one long one. However, expect to be drawn into the "surprises around every corner and opportunities to become a collaborator," as Pixel Sideways says.


Here, you're an explorer and collaborator. Your movements have an effect on the exhibit, beginning in the first stop on the tour, Auraltopia.

At Auraltopia "Stuck in my head," you'll hear some familiar tunes, themes and words. This installation reflects Wotthe Dickins' statement, "In real life and virtual life exhibits, I have found that using humor is a powerful tool to engage the participant in a creative and intellectual way, and by using intuitive interaction I can make my pieces more accessible to a wider audience."


The Spin Cycle

Don't be alarmed at the dark, empty space; it is purposeful. "I-Composer" has cool music that continues only if you move around the black space. “Magnetone" has sounds and tones that change as you move around, seeming to move with you and change as you move in space.

Facade Town at Evotropolis

At Phantissima, you may elect to float down on a cloud or TP down to the park. The park has a continuous parade of snails (sans shells). I rode a snail into the “Spin Cycle,” which seems to be a neverending tunnel. When you arrive at the tree, if you click on it, a ball will appear for you to get in and roll down the “Spin Cycle" to Primatecture. Enjoy the ride. When you arrive, you may roll around in the ball for awhile. If you crash into something, you'll hear the sounds of shattering glass, but you’ll continue rolling until you stand up. The sculptures at Primatecture change over time, and if you "touch" them.

Tree Town in Evotropolis

The ground shifts continually under your feet at Terra Unfirma. The Cubes has an ice-sculpture-like maze with some ghostly beings floating inside and you're rewarded at the end with an egress, actually several. Alizarin Goldflake says of her build, "The semi-transparent textures move along the walls, overlapping and creating new patterns with each other. The color of the build also changes depending on the presence of an avatar. And the particles follow the SL wind, emerging in constantly changing relationship to each other."

You’ll move through several rooms, each with an attraction. In one, you sit at a dressing table and seem to see yourself in the mirror. Then, take the boat over the waterfall into Aquatica. You're the subject in the "Magic Show," but don't worry; your body will reappear.

Growing City at Evotropolis

"For Environmental Fluidity I conceived this ephemeric town that rezzes and changes. The concept came to me when remembering my old town expansing in the countryside," explains Artistide Despres. The city at Evotropolis cycled through growing and disintegrating. Suddenly, there were plants and trees with houses built in them. Just as suddenly, they disappeared and a new city began to appear, this one facades, like a stage set.

"Fluidity is a quality found at the elementary level material, but it also speaks of fluid to designate energies invisible. Ki, tree sap, ectoplasm spiritualists (a micro art form?). All this is that the expression of the Environmental Fluidity. Even thoughts and psyche have a fluid quality. The impermanence of Buddhists. Isn't the Environmental Fluidity the energy of life?" asks Lollito Larkham.

Fluidity Magic Show

Exquisite Corpse waits near the end for you to generate some random prims with the giant Priminator. There are simple instructions as you enter and your affects on the "corpse" will remain for about 12 hours.

The main collaborators are Alizarin Goldflake, Artistide Despres, Banrion Constantine, Lollito Larkham, PattiAnne Daviau and Wotthe Dickins. "Artistide and Wotthe in particular were instrumental in creating the majority of the amazing exhibits you are about to see. Skilled in both visual art and LSL and loads of other software, etc., their contributions to the EF project are significant," Pixels Sideways explains.

 Terra Unfirma

Thank you for reading and I hope you'll come and explore the exhibit. There are plenty more surprises not mentioned here. Perhaps, as Patriciaanne Daviau comments, "I am still pondering the meaning of Environmental Fluidity," you'll come out pondering your experience as well.

Se7en Wirsing
Press Pass Blogger

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