Thursday, June 14, 2018

Telephone Jesus

" I am quite a fan of your art, I would like you to know, and I support you by purchasing your objects formerly used in your exhibits, but,  now I am at your land again and I see Jesus hanging in the crucified position from one of your telegraph lines.  Please tell me that you had a good reason for that.  I am so disappointed.  I have spoken to my husband who said that I should file a report with Linden Labs because it is an act obscene to religions"

     I received this message today and thought I might explain the telephone Jesus that was present in my work entitled "Hand".  I also would like to mention that I am not writing this post out of concern for this message I received, but instead because this person reminded me how much I liked that little part of Hand, and now I feel like revisiting it.  I am actually kind of curious to see if Linden Lab would agree with them and delete the object from the database.  I guess we will see.  I wont go into detail about the entire story as I have done so in blog posts earlier, rather I will just explain that one symbolic figure.
The cell phone and telephone jesus
     If you look at the picture above in the top right is a stone Jesus sculpture attached to a telephone pole.  The telephone pole's basic shape is that of a cross.  It symbolizes, to me, communication and technology.   The combination symbolizes our societies new Gods.  That of technology, twitters, Facebooks and celebrity.  We worship brands to the extent that reality show hosts can now become presidents due to the surface they project in 30 minute episodes or two line tweets.  We trust and worship the internet and our televisions and now they shape the world.  In many ways I feel like the world has become desensitized to some horrors and there is a lack of empathy in many people.  Unfortunately I don't have a great photo of Telephone Jesus without Flutter and her mannequin hand in the way,  but maybe you can see better if I describe what to look for.  In the top right you can see that Jesus's head tilts down and should you follow his gaze you will discover his eyes rest upon a glowing cell phone on the sidewalk.  If you look at the mannequin hand being held by Flutter it is the blue thing at the tip of the pinky finger and led to by the crack in the sidewalk.  Jesus himself looks down to the discarded cell phone and
Duck lipped selfie
upon the screen is a girl taking a "selfie" but it is unclear what the selfie is of.   In this virtual world narrative should you actually click the cell phone you would have been teleported to a new scene.  That scene is the moment where the selfie was taken.  It is of a girl who is taking a "duck lipped" selfie.. a style popularized by, I am fairly certain, kim kardashian.  And with a shocking lack of empathy she is doing it in front of the burning twin towers.  Why do so few artists tackle the twin towers?  This girl is not just taking a duck lipped selfie in front of the towers but has captured the "falling man" which you can see
The falling man
as a tiny dot to the top right of her head in the middle of the building.
   I became obsessed with the falling man while creating this portion of Hand.  He was captured in various footage and never identified.  He chose to jump rather than die from the flames.  In all the footage he falls without struggle, almost gracefully to his own death.  Did he work at the building or was it his first time there delivering a package or perhaps he was attending a meeting?  How did he begin his day and what were his thoughts while he fell?  I know this might sound strange but it was quite emotional for me when I was building him.  I studied what footage I could find for hours and imagined whether there was a mother, wife or daughter who had seen this image and recognized him, and the ensuing torment they would feel.  For loved ones I can imagine that a photo like this creates an endless sorrow in that it is not the empty shell of a body after death nor the moments before a tragedy where they are unaware of what is in their future.. but a moment when they are suspended in terror, a time when you would want to comfort them yet cannot, and they spend eternity frozen in this moment.  All you can do is imagine what they felt, while being helpless to do anything for the one you love. 
     Sadly this type of selfie is not so unlikely.  There are various trends of posted selfies at accident scenes, at funerals in front of open caskets in front of burning homes and so forth.  Essentially the quest to post shocking things that will garner "likes" where the phone and linked social media overpowers our ability to feel empathy for other human beings.  All this was found by few as you needed to click the phone to actually be teleported to this secret area.   Anyway, person who is disappointed in me, this is what Telephone Jesus symbolized.  My goal as an artist has never been to make cute things but to challenge and create dialogue.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Catching feathers

     A few months ago Anejka Cerise commissioned me to build something for the Sparta region. 
A build with a poem and machinima for their sim.  I looked through my catalogue of characters and timelines to decide which to write about and add more depth to.  The last few were Lady Carmagnolle from the abandoned amusement park in the Rabbicorn story,  26 tines which was a laboratory for machines and then Tilt-a-Whirl which showed Juniper and Flutter together.  The character I chose to create a work around is one who I wrote a history for, but had not really spent a lot of time on in the past.  In my mind I know his connections to everything over the last ten years or so, but I know that it is not obvious to those who follow the story.  The main character for Catching feathers is the Scientist who built the Rabbicorn and various other machines in my stories.  He is just known as "the scientist" in my mind and I never do give him a proper name.  In fact he is in the much larger story I am writing and even there i skirt around his name.   He works for the government creating functional robots for everything from industry to the military.
     In the Rabbicorn story he built, secretly on the side, a machine that could love... and that machine was the Rabbicorn.  His "love" upgrade was later purchased by Kumiko's parents for Mr Zippers in the Singularity of Kumiko.  After creating the Rabbicorn he determined that he would have to hide it or give it away as he knew that once it was discovered, and due to its AI advancement the Rabbicorn would be confiscated and taken apart to study, so he gave the Rabbicorn to a stranger who then gifted it to his son on his birthday.  He is also the lead scientist who has gone home for the night and left the two characters alone to meet in 26 tines.  All the machines in the displays in 26 tines are created by this same man whose life revolves around building for the government which leaves him feeling empty and unfulfilled.  In each of these connections his background was not really displayed so in this poem machinima I have talked about about his life.  Essentially he is an accomplished man with few social graces.  He is not exciting or witty nor adventurous and well traveled.  He is a simple man who goes through life watching others seem to fit in perfectly while he is hardly even seen on the sidelines.  He wants someone to share his life with and in the end his abilities allow him to build rather than meet someone to love.  He wants to create his own "angel" from the dance floor and goes so far as to build her wings.  To finish these wings he must lure and catch little birds who he must then pluck resulting in their death.
      It is the dichotomy of taking life to create one for himself.. or rather a half life.  He is not meant to be a perfect character who we sympathize with completely, but one who does some good things and some bad.. as do we all.  Is he just lonely or instead creepy?  many of my characters are built this way to encourage discussion.  It asks the questions such as can we build our perfect partner or does a perfect partner require the intangibles and annoying bits too.  It is wrong to create a girl such as he has decided to do.. to give up essentially or is it merely human progression.  A type of evolution of the mind where we leave the body behind in a similar way the hermit crab discards its shell.

Catching feathers will open on Sparta empire region Monday 4th June 2018, 12.30 pm slt /21hrs central Europe  With special thanks to Chris Komashko for the sound design and music in the machinima.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Spartan%20Empire/238/238/24

Sunday, May 6, 2018

New Bronze Sculpture "The long-legged Maskitt"

Long-legged Maskitt
     About six months ago I was approached by Art Blue to create twenty bronze sculptures from a work I had created called the "Long-legged Maskitt".  Fourteen of these sculptures would be given as awards to artists at the Santorini Biennial in Greece (opening in November 2018) while I would keep one for myself, and the other five would be put up for sale.  I made these five available for a few days first to my patrons list who had purchased the original bronze work called "The Dancer".                                                                                                                                                      
The Dancer
All five sold and some were a bit upset they didn't get a opportunity to buy one so I have begun the process of creating five more.  The Long-legged Maskitt is available for $500 USD + shipping and stands six inches tall.  Payment will be through paypal and they all should be completed within a month.  If you are interested in purchasing one then please contact me at brynohhh@gmail.com 

   What is the Maskitt?  So as many of you know who follow this blog, my work is one long story which began around eleven years ago with Condos in Heaven.  That was essentially my first large scale narrative build but there were a few before that like Willow, Vessels Dream and Angler Girl which were little works fleshing out characters and where I was getting the idea that second life as a virtual space would be a perfect medium for me to essentially create paintings with duration and interaction.   I think of my first true immersive chapter as being the Rabbicorn story shown at IBM.  Each of my characters live in the same world that I have created and over the years I have, and still continue to, tell stories which add layers to the characters and world.  Many of the characters will overlap at different times or make brief appearances in other stories.  Some of the characters have stories which I keep mysterious and obscured until it is time to explain who they are and how they connect to others.  Of the new single scene poems currently on Immersiva you will see Lady Carmagnolle who stands on the stage
Long-legged Maskitt
with her rocks, she lives in the abandoned theme part where the Rabbicorn and Daughter of Gears eventually find themselves.  In 26 tines the girl robot who connects to the robot boy in the jar at night when the Scientists have gone home for dinner and sleep, are actually machines in the same laboratory by the same Scientist who built the Rabbicorn.   That  scientist is about to show up again in a new build to open in a few weeks time. 
Long-legged Maskitt
Tilt-a-whirl shows the relationship between Flutter and Juniper,  two characters from Hand and Imogen and the pigeons.  So there are little spidery strings and webs connecting all the characters together and the Maskitt is also one such character.  I should also mention that one of the themes for this world my characters inhabit is one where the human race with the help of a singularity AI are inventing new technologies faster than they can determine if they should even be introduced.  New creatures are being genetically manufactured while others become extinct such as the bees and rabbits.  Some of these extinct creatures are what helped Kumiko decide
Maskitt in world
to stay within her coma induced state rather than rejoin the "real" world in the Singularity of Kumiko.  The Maskitt is a creature that is a mix of greyhound and a giraffe that stands a few stories tall.  Its head is covered with a filtration mask and it was introduced to purify the air in polluted industrial regions.  They wander like a herd and inhale the pollutants while giving off fresh air.    Here is a picture of one in world.  Anyway so if you are interested in purchasing the Long-legged Maskitt please don't wait too long to message me!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

I made a skybox and altspaceVR call for proposals and bronze sculpture.

     Have a few pieces of news,  I will be taking part in the Scenes and Screens Festival in AltspaceVR
and you should too if you want to showcase your work or are just passionate about VR and immersive spaces.  I will have machinima there as well as a talk on immersion in art with earlier mediums and their struggles to now with VR and virtual spaces. They are looking for things like installations, machinima, performances and papers.  Check out the link to see the list. 
     In other news I have made a skybox for marketplace.  I was thinking the other day how, over time, https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Bryn-Box-Npirl/14392708
I have seen second life slowly change to resemble "real" life on the grid.  Things go in cycles and currently we are in one that likes to mimic the real world.  For example, I was thinking how, about five years ago,  I had a group of five or so friends.  I was the weird white moth with wings and horns.  Another friend was a toaster that would occasionally shoot out toast when he got excited.  One was a Faerie and another person i know was a volkswagon Beetle and he or she, I never knew, would only
communicate with the car horn.  One beep was yes and two beeps was no.  People were weird and artworks were quite unexpected and strange.  When I go to things now I often find 95% are human and the artwork is displayed in a representation of a gallery as 2D on walls.  Currently people seem to strive to recreate reality.  Recreations of real world places or lovely forests etc.  I am not against these things, but I would love to see more NPIRL or things that are not possible in real life.  We don't need to follow the rules of real life in the virtual space.  So with this as inspiration I made a skybox.  The skybox is fairly minimal and what makes it unique is you
and your friends can walk up any surface.  Walk up walls or over the ceiling, you can set up however you wish.  So if you are interested here is the link. 

There is a notecard to read explaining how it works, some nice windlights to use as well as advanced lighting directions if you can use those.  All proceeds, as usual, go into paying tier.  This first one is 30x30 but it was suggested to me to make one that is 16x30 for smaller parcels so I am almost done a long and narrow one too.

And remember how I said I had big news a while ago?.. well I did but I was waiting for things to fall in place before announcing them.  Actually maybe I did mention the new bronze sculptures for the Santorini Biennial.  There are 20 being made as awards and I will have five to sell.  Anyway the final test has been done and the bronze was able to be cast properly so now they are being  made.  I will do a new post when I have some images to share.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Linden world - historical and Ready Player One

     I saw on New world notes today this video showing the early build for what we now call Second
Old map of SL
Life.  I am posting this because in a few hours I am off to see Ready Player One whose Oasis is a bit like Second Life.  Or it is in the book anyway, which I strongly suggest you read because the book is wonderful while the movie may not be.  I read one review where the journalist said they were pleased much of the nerdiness was removed in the main characters.  This was perhaps my greatest fear as I loved the idea of the protagonists being overweight, acne scarred, glasses wearing, socially inept heroes as they are in the book.  I have long suspected that I am a nerd, though my mom says I am not.  My mom would tell me if I was a nerd right?  Anyway, I have not seen the movie as I said, so hopefully it is fine.
     Below is the demo for Second Life and it kind of has some interesting things in it that they removed.  Terraforming using grenades? snakes that eat birds and grow?!!  I always kind of dreamed about making an ecosystem in SL but was so daunted by the scripting that I just kind of gave up on the idea.  Yet the played with the idea in the demo world.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tilt-a-Whirl


Tilt-a-Whirl
  
     I have created a new single scene poem on Immersiva called Tilt-a-Whirl.  It is pretty much a
nostalgic memory of being young at a fairground or Carnival.   If you have been following my shaky instagram video of the creatures I have been making for the Carousel.. well they are now here in world.   Some of the creatures such as the Seahorse and Horseshoe Crab had hollow areas which are now filled with whirling gears and they have poses too. 
Bullrush Dragon
Octobot
This one to the left is a Bullrush Dragon.  I have never made a dragon before and was thinking what kind to make for the Carousel.  I couldn't really decide so instead I imagined my own dragon.  If you have ever seen a large stand of bullrushes also known as Cattails then imagine one of those Bullrushes to instead be the tail of a dragon used as a lure to bring the red winged blackbirds to land.  I always seem to see those kinds of blackbirds on them and they have the most beautiful bird call btw.  I can't wait to hear them this spring.  Anyway, as I was saying my long agile dragon would eat these lovely little
birds.  These are not the giant Disney dragons that burn down castles but bird catching reclusive creatures.

Horseshoe Crab
People say I am obsessed with rabbits.  Ok I am.   But I am also obsessed with Octopi.  Not Octo Pie which might be delicious but the actual octopus.  Did you know the octopus can change the pigment on its skin to camouflage itself against rocks and things?  Also its cloud of ink it sprays when trying to escape will dull the senses of things chasing it.. and then with its massive propulsion to dart away.. then turning invisible against some rocks or things.. well that's the coolest creature ever.  Also apparently they are smarter
Seahorse and Glasswing Butterfly
than dogs and quite playful.

I knew an old country Irishman named Nigel once when I was a kid, and he refused to believe that Seahorses existed.  He was convinced everyone was playing a joke on him.   "Horses with wings living under water?"   

Unicorn



hiding under the Tilt-a-Whirl
After I made this sad Unicorn on a ball I thought perhaps it might be nice as a bronze sculpture in rl.  I actually have big news for a very limited set of bronze sculptures to be used for awards at a biennial in Santorini that I am making.  There will be five available for sale.. but right now i am trying to fix the very thin legs so that they can be cast in bronze.  So when it is for sure I will do another post and whoever is interested is welcome to buy one of the five.  But yes so kind of deciding what bronze to do after that in several months and was thinking this unicorn or could perhaps make the Rabbicorn or something.  If you would be
interested in one send me a message in world so I know there would be interest.  Actually maybe better to email me brynohhh@gmail.com  If people pre order i will do it sooner.

So in this new work you can find the machinima if you click the characters of Flutter and Juniper who are hiding under the Tilt-a-Whirl.  That will link you to the youtube and it is the same with the other two poem scenes for 26 Tines and Lady Carmagnolle.  Click the main characters and it will link to the machinima poem for them.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

performance work "51" at Blue Orange

      Hey so I am on Instagram if you are on too.  I have mostly been putting up real life pictures and shaky images of me taking pics of zbrush things I have made on my screen.  But here is where to find me https://www.instagram.com/bryn_oh/  I resisted instagram for a long time and other things like Snapchat or twitter because, I don't know, I just don't want to be obsessed with my phone.  My phone kind of became like a lover for a while.  We would play games together late at night, or I might find myself talking to someone only to hear my phone make a cute beep sound.  I would excuse myself to find out why it beeped.  "Oh hey baby whats up? what did you need?  oh someone liked my picture?.. thanks for telling me sweetie.. but I have to get back to this thing.  Oh now don't be like that I promise we will play Mekorama later tonight."  I remember having my phone on my leg and really feeling a warmth flow through me where it was touching.  It was like someone resting their hand on my leg in a familiar way.  After a bit I realized that it was actually quite hot, something to do with my phone battery I think.. but it also felt like love.  Anyway, so yeah I just have my blog, facebook, flickr and Snapchat now.   Well I do also have twitter but i don't use it.  It is so lame.

     So I have to record something I made at Blue Orange ... well months ago.  Blue Orange is a club for both art and music with lots of friendly people hanging out and chatting in a relaxed environment.  I always try to catalogue the various things I do in the virtual world on this blog, but sometimes I am quite slow to do so.  This is one such case.  So for blue orange I decided to make a type of performance work.  I only told Ini Inaka what would happen, and the rest was kept secret.  All we would say is for guests to get ready to take pictures as the performance would happen just once.   The Artwork was called 51.  Actually here is what I said to everyone who came.

Hello everyone thank you for attending the event today
I hope you like the work I have put up around us, but the truth is that it is merely a decoy.  The actual artwork will begin after I say a few words in explanation.  I have made a work that follows the NPIRL movement or school of thought popular with Second Life artists several years ago.

Npirl stands for Not Possible in Real Life.

If you wish to learn more there is still a blog with articles on various works.  http://npirl.blogspot.ca/ The idea behind making a work that is NPIRL is to create something that is unique to this medium we use.  Something that can not be created in a traditional gallery or museum in "real life"  Currently, in Second life, art is often displayed in buildings that are textured to appear to be stone and mortar, they have stairs to walk up (despite our ability to fly) and generally are designed to look like real life gallery spaces.  The walls are lined with 2D pictures and 3D often is a stand alone work meant to look like a marble statue, again as we might see in a museum.

     Openings often have people in cocktail dresses and gentlemen in suits holding pretend wine glasses.   We mimic real life.   It is a form of role play.  And I do not mean this in a negative way,  It makes perfect sense that in creating a familiar, comfortable environment in a virtual space we surround ourselves in things we can associate with and understand. We are projecting onto each other and it is a natural psychological tool to help us navigate and feel grounded.  We seek out realism.

Virtual spaces are a new frontier,considered a new medium to the outside world.  It can be hard for people to imagine their way into it... but perhaps think of it this way.  What can this medium do that is unique to it alone?  For example we have duration in this virtual space, which oil paintings lack.  They are a snapshot in time.  We are open ended with the freedom to choose our direction, which cinema lacks.  Cinema tell us a story and force us to follow a camera.  If we see a doorway or drawer we wish to stop and open we can't.  Cinema doesn't allow this freedom.

However we are active participants in the virtual space, not passive observers.  We dont need to mimic real life, we can instead show them how it is done.  There is, naturally, room for all types of art in second life, my intention here is not to disparage other forms but to suggest an alternative, and hopefully create some interest in the concept of NPIRL or other directions.   For example my focus is on the powerful yet fragile ability to create immersion for the viewer in this medium.  And with VR it will only become more powerful.

There were the Surrealists, Impressionists, Cubists, Neo Classicist and perhaps one day the Immersivists.


My artwork is called 51

That is because you will have 51 seconds to take pictures of the event.  After the performance pick out a favorite image you have taken and it will be displayed here at Blue Orange.  Feel free to edit it down to an abstract pixel or show it as an untouched snapshot, it is all up to you.  Send me and ini inaka a single image with your name as the title and we will put it up for you.

This artwork begins with being mine, but ends with it being yours.  This will be  your show.

Prepare your camera

5
4
3
2
1


image by Dooz (dooozy)
view from above
So I should mention that the original space was set up with sculptures I have made, a bunch of
Image by Grady Echegaray
everyone beginning to fall
mosquitoes and a poem, and it looked like a formal "art opening".  The idea being that everyone was to get comfortable with their surroundings and they recognized the type of opening it was going to be.  However, when I counted down to "1" I then turned the entire build physical.  Physical means that each object of the creation, including the floors and walls, were changed from being a solid object in space to a new object that now followed the rules of gravity.  The entire structure began to collapse along with all the people inside.  The work I had built was 3000 feet above the ground and so everyone fell for almost a minute.  They fell for 51 seconds.. hence the name of the artwork.   Each visitor now had 51 seconds to compose and take photos of
everyone falling, once everyone hits the ground the performance is over and people then get to display the pictures they took during the fall within the gallery space.

That was my work entitled 51.











Image by Dooz


And below is a machinima taken by Nicolex Moonwall of the event.  Nicole had no idea what was going to happen so its kind of funny to watch.  If you see naked people it is because SL has this very embarrassing glitch which, in laggy places (there were 70 people there) has peoples clothes sometimes not rezzing for a while.  SL has had some entertaining glitches over the years and this is one.  Others included peoples hair being attached to their arses when they arrived .. bald with hair on bum great look.  I remember another where sometimes people arrived and would be the opposite sex for a while.  So your friend Sara or Jane might arrive to visit looking like a man squeezed into a dress.


Blue Orange , Project 3 , Bryn Oh and Ini . from Gumbo Productions on Vimeo.