I will be away for a week or so on a writing retreat in a cottage on a lake. This is due to an evil slave driver named Georg Jannick who is having me write a chapter on Immersion for a book. Hiding on a remote lake is the only way I will get this done. I think he wanted the rough draft last week. Anyway, while I am gone there will be an opening reception for a potentially exciting event. Below is the press release that Jay Newt has created, and within that release is a picture of us looking like a failed comic book superteam. My superpower is standing for long periods of time without going into "away" mode.
Brooklyn is Watching is a gallery which actively tries to promote SL art. They display work on monitors and each week have a podcast critique of work that has been placed there. Its an interesting event because as artists we place our work there to hear what we hope to be constructive intelligent criticism. But in many ways we listen to the panel to see if they are able to critique us. Are they prepared? have they done any homework? are they merely trying to be entertaining or do they seriously have an understanding of virtual art. Its a new dialogue and the critique is not coming from an old traditional method, but rather from a new perspective almost every week.
The above machinima is of my build for BIW. It is called Willow and tells the story of two robots who hide from salvagers. It is an another experiment in Immersiva, and hopefully those of you who go will find yourself captivated and drawn into this narrative environment. As with any competition there will always be differing views as to who should have been chosen. Everyone has their favorites and they get grumpy when they are not chosen. Personally I am very happy with the final five. DanCoyote Antonelli is one of the first successful artists in second life and is the father of Hyperformalism. Glyph Graves can create organisms and sculpture but also produces new and unique scripts. Selavy Oh is another Hyperformalist and one of my favorite artists in second life. She creates beautiful uncluttered creations which hide elaborate scriptwork. Nebulosus Severine's work is fairly new to me but that which I have seen have been of the finest quality. I look forward to following her work in the future.
Not only will BIW have an event in Brooklyn to showcase sl art in rl, but they will also be at the Second Life convention promoting us there as well. There are those who can see that virtual art may be the next big movement in art history. Brooklyn is Watching is one of those and should be commended for the effort they are making to promote the new frontier in art creation.
Press Contact: Jay Van Buren
“Brooklyn is Watching Best of Year 1: The Final Five”
at Jack The Pelican Presents
Exhibition: Brooklyn Is Watching, Best of Year 1: The Final Five
Artists: Dancoyote Antonelli, Bryn Oh, Nebulosis Severine, Selavy Oh and Glyph Graves
Opening: Friday, August 7, 7–9pm Eastern
Panel discussion: August 15, 6pm
Lecture: August 16, 6pm
Dates:August 7¬–23, 2009
Address:487 Driggs Avenue at N. 9th, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
SL Location: East of Odyssey
Virtual art comes to Brooklyn. Inside the gallery are five monitors, each featuring a virtual copy of the real space occupied by a different virtual artwork. These are “The Final Five,” created for this context by the nominated and elected best of the hundreds of virtual artists who have exhibited in year 1 of Brooklyn is Watching.
The Artists are: Dancoyote Antonelli, Glyph Graves, Bryn Oh, Selavy Oh, and Nebulosus Severine —a diverse bunch, representing very different points of view of what it means to make virtual art. Visitors to this exhibition will have a chance to interact with the works and to vote for the best of the best.
Is virtual art for real? What is the nature of the medium? How do you talk about it? What are its conceptual and social-critical opportunities and limits? These are just some of the questions that Brooklyn Is Watching has been actively asking for the last year and a half.
Brooklyn is Watching is a mixed-reality project created by artist Jay Van Buren, and fleshed out by a rotating crew of collaborators. The stage is based in Second Life. Artists place artworks there to be seen by visitors to the Real Life venue Jack the Pelican Presents gallery—and to have their works discussed by international critics, curators and artists (including Tyler Coburn of Rhizome, and Barbara London of MoMA) in a weekly podcast and blog at BrooklynIsWatching.com. The project has been widely discussed and written up in such publications as the New York Times Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail.
Nomination and initial voting, open to the public, narrowed the field to the “30 best”. From there selection to the Final Five was done by an expert panel that included SL art heavyweights: AM Radio, Amy Freelunch, AngryBeth Shortbread, Bettina Tizzy and Sage Duncan.
The final five in front of the virtual gallery. High Rez images available upon request.
The artists have employed a variety of strategies for making virtual art that relates to the virtual version of the real life space:
Nebulosus Severine envelopes the virtual gallery in a luminous fortress-of-solitude-like structure — that is a meditation on the nature of the self.
DanCoyote Antonelli (aka DC Spensley) explodes the metaphor of the virtual gallery by using the building blocks of that illusion as raw material for a dynamic, rhythmic, abstract sculpture stretching up into the sky.
Selavy Oh exploits the intrinsically flexible nature of virtual space by creating an interactive maze of nested, shifting Jack the Pelicans in which she has curated a show within a show featuring artists not selected by the judges.
Bryn Oh has turned the gallery into a ruin of glowing technological fragments infested with digital flora, inviting the viewer into her own idiosyncratic fantasy narrative.
Glyph Graves uses the gallery to show how art is a reflection of its physical and social environment by creating a work that changes based on the number of people viewing it.
In addition to the exhibit of the final five works, the opening night will feature a mixed reality installation by filmmakers Bianca Ahmadi and Juan Rubio. Jack the Pelican Presents will also host a panel discussion and lecture on the topic of digital and virtual art. The panel discussion will be held on August 15th at 6:00 PM and features Lori Landay, Stacey Fox and Pavig Lok. The lecture by Jerry Paffendorf will be on August 16th at 6:00 PM.
For more information, please contact Jay van Buren at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-220-2344 and visit our blog at Brooklyniswatching.com.
Jack the Pelican Presents is a trendsetting Williamsburg gallery specializing in contemporary art.
Second Life® is the most popular online virtual world. Peak concurrent users just topped 88,000 and over 700,000 people regularly log in. Over 120 million real dollars changed hands inside Second Life® in the first quarter of 2009, some of it spent on virtual art.
Popcha! BIW’s premier sponsor provides hosting for the website, the original build of the BIW space, and the scripting for the project’s avatar, Monet Destiny.
Popcha! is a boutique media technology agency focused on making virtual worlds work for its clients. As one of Second Life’s ® first Gold Solution Providers, Popcha! has been been singled out as a highly qualified provider who has demonstrated a high level of client satisfaction and has developed successful projects on behalf of businesses, governments, educational institutions, and other business organizations in Second Life.
The University of Kansas Department of Visual Art is providing the SL sim for the 30 Best Show and the main Brooklyn Is Watching space is now being hosted on the department’s Impermanence research sim.
Located in Lawrence, Kansas, The University of Kansas is a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and is a Research 1 University. The Department of Visual Art is comprised of 30 full time professors who teach painting, sculpture, printmaking, new media, ceramics, textiles, metals and art education, and has impressive studio space.
Odyssey is providing the SIM for the Final Five show.
Odyssey is a simulator in the virtual world of Second Life® (SL) dedicated to contemporary art and performance. Providing services for artists and arts organizations, the aim is to experiment and work on art in a virtual 3D context and to explore the specific conditions under which art in a virtual world takes place. Odyssey artists and performers explore and experiment with this medium as a tool for art production and art environment. It is less a matter of importing existing art forms – they are interested in pushing the SL medium in new directions and exploring its full potential in a professional manner and to develop new forms out of the context of art history and in a critical view on the SL medium.
Tekserve provided us with the computer that visitors use at the gallery.
Tekserve is a privately held company with over 200 employees, operating in New York City and serving clients worldwide. Tekserve was founded in 1987 by David Lerner and Dick Demenus to provide service for customers needing Apple computer repairs at reasonable prices. Having met that need, they were encouraged to expand the business to offer Macintosh sales and consulting services as well.
VOOS is providing seating for the gallery.
VOOS was founded on the exciting philosophy of exploring the rich creative pool of New York City Furniture Designers. A hybrid of store, showroom, and a meeting point for local designers and design-lovers, VOOS is an address where locally made unique furniture: always fresh and sizzling with energy, is celebrated with a bi-monthly renewed inventory, an ever-expanding designer list, and fun events to keep the design community connected and happy!
Brooklyn Brewery is our exclusive beer sponsor.
Brooklyn Brewery is the first successful commercial brewery in New York City since Schaefer and Rheingold closed their doors in 1976. Today, The Brooklyn Brewery is among America’s top 40 breweries, and Brooklyn Lager is among the top draft beers in New York City.
Brooklyn is Watching Collaborators Past and Present: Stacey Fox, Beth Harris, Boris Kizelshteyn, Norene Leddy, Jenna Spevack, Amy Wilson, Steven Zucker
Special thanks to Dekka Raymaker for his help creating the virtual Jack the Pelican Presents, and to Penumbra Carter and Sage Duncan for their work on Machinima for the Exhibition. Thanks to Catherine Garnier for installation design and video editing.
Brooklyn is Watching 2009 Interns: Kristen Galvin, Elena Lauren Levis, Nicole Sansone, Walter Scott.