Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#5 MrPim Hax

I have a few things I would like to mention for this post so it may be a bit disjointed.  Hopefully the connections will be clear at the end.  There are many different types of intentions when an artwork is created.  Some work towards one result, while others have no interest in that element and strive for yet another.  One of my fascinations in art is how a work can be embodied with emotion in an almost magical manner when manipulated correctly.  In the last post the artist had members of her audience weeping as they connected to her artwork.  She did this by merely moving sand around.  When I oil paint I often make my own colours.  I don't mean mixing the colours on a palette but rather making the paint itself.  I do this for a few reasons, some being that store bought paint can contain fillers that are actually stained particles rather than proper pigments.  They are created for shelf life and uniform consistency etc.  When you make your own paint you not only have much more control over the quality but you also connect to your work in a deeper way.  It's like buying a tomato as opposed to growing them yourself.  The process become less abstract. So for example Carmine Red is a pigment made up of crushed red bug shells.  Proper Naples yellow is made from volcanic rock gathered from around Pompeii in Italy.  From Mount Vesuvius I believe.  Burnt/Raw Sienna/Umber is clay taken from a region in Italy.  Actually something important to know when buying a Sienna is to check the pigment content on the back.  Ok this is getting off topic but whatever.  The clay is becoming scarce and thus is driving up the cost per pound of pigment to manufacturers.  As a result many manufacturers are substituting the clay pigment known as PB7 or PBr7 (pigment brown 7) for a synthetic red iron oxide (PR101).  The new Sienna formulation is seriously inferior to the traditional one so make sure on the back of your paint tube it shows the appropriate pigment.  It is hard to find good sienna now but hopefully you can still find the good stuff.  When you buy Dammar varnish from an art store it comes in a bottle.  Its easy to imagine that the Dammar is created in some white sterile lab from synthetic components.  When I make it,  I have the resin shipped in.  It comes in a burlap bag with each chunk of resin being chipped off a tree in another country, I seem to recall mine comes from Singapore.  The sap from these trees are like pieces of crystal amber and in many cases they contain trapped bugs inside them.  After a few days of breaking them down into a thick liquid while submerged in mineral spirits, then filtering them over and over again to get out the bugs and bark, you have the clear liquid that you can buy in the store.  However there is now a new feeling when you look at your own Dammar solution.  Its no longer an abstract synthetic creation.  So then when I paint I am arranging pigments over a 2D surface and somehow at the end it may or may not draw forth an emotion from the viewer.  I just really find it compelling that you can imbue an emotion into an inanimate object (painting) by a specific arrangement of pastes, and an empathic viewer can pick up your emotion and absorb them unto themself.  And its all done with raw basic tools.
     When we look at Second Life as an art medium there are some factors which make it quite unique and powerful.  Things that separate it from other mediums.  One such thing is the way emotions are somehow highly amplified in the virtual world.  People fall in love with minds here in Second Life, whereas in RL it's often people falling in love with bodies first and then eventually with anothers mind.  I don't want to generalize but that seems to be a unique difference.  Connections are far more cerebral than physical.
     When I came across this build by MrPim it was clear to me that it contained emotion.  Much like the artist who arranges the paint that is made up of crushed bugs or volcanic rock we have the SL artist arranging prims that are composed of programming code.  Arranging them the right way draws forth an emotion, the wrong way produces nothing.  If I understand correctly, MrPims work was created as an emotional reaction to a SL relationship he had with another.  Not a physical relationship but rather a cerebral one.  My interpretation is that he is a reclusive person in SL, as he has said so himself.  He resides in his symbolic cage as we see at the beginning of the machinima, and he is released by a girl he meets in SL.  He bonds to her as lonely people often do, but over time she meets new people as is the way in SL.  She drifts away from him and he watches her go rather than fight to keep her.  She flies out to meet the new people and leaves with them unshackled.  It is a story told from his perspective and it is real emotion connected to how he saw the situation.  And because it was based off of a real experience the emotions were able to be transferred into the artwork, and that is what made it successful.
     So for example, if I were to decide as a snow bound Canadian to make an artwork based on the Lost Boys of Sudan trekking to Kenya while being bombed or attacked by Lions.  It would likely be a complete and utter failure.  I can't associate with that experience so how could I possibly portray what it would be like for them?  A work created on a subject you know and understand, that you are emotionally attached to has the best chance of striking a chord in the viewer.  It eventually comes down to whether the artist possesses the skill to translate their emotions into another format for others to absorb.  In this case MrPims work did so for me.

#5 from 2009 mushROOM by Scottius Polke

#5 from 2008 Light Waves Night Dreaming

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