Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Cube Project




One indicator of a struggling artist is to have a quick look at their painting palette.  In many cases you will find it covered with every imaginable colour under the rainbow in an attempt to fix whatever problem is ailing them.  It is their mistaken belief that the issue lies on the palette rather than in the artist.   When I studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design there was a Professor who used an exercise that has helped me greatly over the course of my artistic life.  In all other respects he was an arsehole, often telling struggling students they didn't belong in the College and that they should perhaps find employment cutting lawns or that their work was childlike at best.  You have to remember that top art Colleges are full of the countries best and promising students who are accustomed to being the finest and most praised from kindergarten, public school and high school only to discover they have suddenly entered a place where they are average at best and the praise is not as ready as it once was.   That is when they begin to dye their hair blue or wear capes and berets to try to stand out since their art no longer does anymore.  I often found my Professor drinking at the Beverly, our local artists pub on Queen Street, and we would banter endlessly.  He was a throwback Professor who was a practicing artist, which is not so much the case anymore, I actually really liked him.   What he would have us do was reduce our palette to a mere three colours.  For example just Burnt Sienna, Naples yellow and Cadmium Red.  When you do this you are forced to understand the range and properties of the colours you are using.   When you use a million colours you really know nothing about any of them.  The Cube Project is a virtual version of this principle.  We are turning away for a moment from the wonderful range of mesh or photoshopping beautiful textures to work instead on simple minimal compositions in black and white, over 20 regions.  The overall idea is to create a massive harmonious environment rather than follow the standard exhibition practice of each artist having a clearly defined separate space to exhibit.  And we must do this in a mere four days.  The exhibit will live until just September 1st.  The project itself is fairly unique in that 20 regions for two weeks would be $3000 us dollars, which is just not going to happen with your average rational person, so its scale is almost unmatched for a simply artistic endeavour.


The Cube Project is a collaborative artwork consisting of virtual artists Bryn Oh, Cajska Carlsson, Charlotte Bartlett, Dancoyote Antonelli, Giovanna Cerise,  Haveit Neox, Kicca Igaly, L1Aura Loire, London Junkers,  Maya Paris, Misprint Thursday, Nessuno Myoo, Oberon Onmura, PatriciaAnne Daviau, Pol Jarvinen, Rag Randt, Rowan Derryth, Sea Mizin, Secret Rage, Solkide Auer, Remington Aries, Solo Mornington,  Tony Resident, Werner Kurosawa and Xineohp Guisse.

The Cube Project uses a variety of windlights so Firestorm viewer is suggested.


11 comments:

Chestnut Rau said...

Is it really $3,000? LEA is not paying that amount. LL gives you the sims for free. So, the cash comes from where?

Claiming this installation costs $3,000 is insulting to those who actually pay real cash for tier.

Bryn Oh said...

So angry Chestnut. You misunderstand what I am saying. For something of this scale to happen normally it would cost $3000 US dollars to mount it at $300 per region for two weeks. Very few if any residents could put up that kind of money so it makes this project unlikely to ever happen except in a particular situation like this where the sims are indeed free. Please don't accuse me of imagined slights.

Chestnut Rau said...

Imgained slights. Well, not the first time I have been accused of that but my point is much less personal Bryn. I am not angry with you and if my comment appeared that I am, please accept my apologies.

LEA gets free tier on 20 sims -- all the time, every day for more than year if my memory serves. The opportunity you have is well beyond this imaginary $3,000 two week window, isn't it?

Am I angry about that? Well, kind of yes. As someone who put my personal cash into an art sim for a long time I have very mixed feelings about the gift LEA has been given.

I promised a dear friend I would keep my feelings about the LEA to myself. A promise I have now broken so again, my apologies. If you or anyone else wants to talk about the LEA and what it means -- both good and bad - for support of the Arts in Second Life, I am happy to have that discussion in private.

Bryn Oh said...

It would cost $3000 for someone to rent 20 regions for two weeks.. nothing imaginary about it. That is what was said in my post. I am not sure what it would cost to hire 9 professionals to work for years promoting the arts. I know what it cost Linden Labs and that was $0. We don't like working for free but we do it because we choose to. Would the Arts in second life be better without the 20 regions? Its debatable and the committee is not oblivious to the problems, best to ask the artists themselves. What you should do is contact the LEA with your issues to find out if there something that can be done. For example, propose the opportunity to pick first from the endowment applications if you feel Art Screamer is at a disadvantage. In fact, now that I think of it, I offered the rare opportunity of exposure for Art Screamers to be in the Santa Fe New Media Festival instead of the LEA, and it was rejected. We fought to get those regions for the artists from Linden Labs and their shareholders, they didn't just hand them to us as a gift, they have been used to support projects ranging from Education to Art. You have Zachh Cales ear so make some suggestions

Deoridhe said...

The point about limiting your palette is so interesting! In my high school art studio class our teacher started us on a five color palette and you had to earn additional colors over time. I was astonished about how broadly I could paint using just those colors and clever enough mixing. When I picked up painting again, I got just those colors again to start with.

Chestnut Rau said...

As I said Bryn, I am pleased to discuss this privately but I am not going to engage in a public debate. Thanks

Anonymous said...

@Deoridhe, @Bryn -
I wonder if that would work with fledgling writers as well. But for them, what if certain words and phrases were banned? Just as the artist is forced back to make do with fewer colors, the writer would be forced to find other words and phrases and terms.

Bryn Oh said...

I bet that would be a great exercise for writers Ahuva. Or perhaps to have them write for different age groups. I wonder.

Anonymous said...

I also had an art instructor like that, and interestingly, for a similar colour theory project, I got the comment 'What are you, blind?' He wasn't cool though, he was just an ass.

Ironically, my painting prof later on loved my work - and he had been a student of the original colour theory master, Josef Albers, at Cooper Union. So no, I wasn't blind after all :-D

Thanks for curating this project, it was very cool.

Anonymous said...

A return to the primary basic shape (in CG art and design): the cube. This is an interesting proposition, Bryn. I love the concept.

Sally Caves said...

Wonderful concept, Bryn. I loved this exhibit, and only wish it had been open longer. My reply to Ahuva18: "Just as the artist is forced back to make do with fewer colors, the writer would be forced to find other words..." This is what form poetry does. A sonnet forces you to fit words to a particular meter and rhyme scheme, and a fixed number of lines. So does a villanelle. And think of a poem where you were forbidden to use the word "the"! Or where you had to begin every line with the word "for." :)