Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grant from the Canadian Government

     I have some really wonderful news to share.  I just received this in the mail....

"On behalf of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), I am pleased to inform you that you have been awarded a
Media Artists Emerging Program grant towards Standby in the amount of $10,000."

People tend to resist virtual art the same way they resisted calling photography and film art forms upon their arrival.  The Daguerreotype was seen as a toy, yet now we have famed photographers ranging from Ansel Adams to Annie Leibovitz.  When I talk about virtual art and identity to gallery curators I often come away with the same feeling.  That they are now in their 50's, they have spent their life studying art forms to be an expert in a variety of areas.  And that they don't want to start over with a new medium.  It's quite understandable and I am not suggesting they all think that way, just the ones I have spoken to.  I don't bring up Bryn Oh to them in an attempt to sway their views, I merely ask in order to find out their initial base reaction, so I can build up an understanding of the perspectives I am dealing with.
     So a jury of peers reviewed my application which was based on my ghost artist Bryn Oh, and my story of the Rabbicorn.  I spent a great deal of time expressing my opinion that some of the virtual art we are creating now will inevitably go down in history books.  In fact Bryn Oh is on the syllabus to three Universities that I am aware of.   I competed against "traditional" art applications and won.  This idea is quite exciting to me as it turns into a form of legitimization of the medium.  Not that the artists working here need people to tell them what we are doing is art and important.  We already know that.  But now the next time I apply for a big event the organizers will see that a large art organization has faith in me and my medium.  You see at the top there is a logo they have supplied .  Its a magic logo.  When I now talk about virtual art to a curator, rather than them say "hmm isn't virtual worlds where dragons have virtual sex with vampires?", I will now attach that logo and they will instead say "hmm please tell me more about your ideas".

My grant is made up of two areas to accomplish.  The first is to create a 30 minute movie for the Daughter of Gears, the Rabbicorn story and Standby into one piece.  This final piece will be used to send around to movie companies to see if they are interested.  The second part is to create a show in a RL gallery as Bryn Oh whereby I create a virtual environment for the guest to enter and explore.  It would also be based around the story of Standby.  I am hoping to use kinect and virtual reality headsets (which are quite tiny now) as part of this exhibit.  So if there are any kinect programmers in the Toronto area please contact me as I will need to find a way to have them compatible.  I have seen them work together in videos but programming is not my thing.  Anyway, I am excited and just wanted to share the news on my blog.
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