Archive for January, 2008

hyperformalism

skydancers second spring

Already a while ago I joined the group impossible in real life which keeps me posted on all sorts of interesting new projects. It was thanks to this group that I heard about the new performance of DanCoyote Antonelli’s ZeroG SkyDancers third production called ‘Second Spring’. In the information about the show: ‘Second Spring is a completely live story performance. SkyDancers perform in-flight choreography without the benefit of animations or gestures of any kind following cues given in real time on a private im channel. DanCoyote “calls” the show to keep time with the score written and performed by ZeroOne Paz’. I already heard both names, dancoyote and skydancers, before and decided I wanted to see it. I had already seen some of DC’s work and of all things I saw I was in fact most impressed by his ambitions and the fact that he has developed a whole new theory about his sl art, called hyperformalism. In his artist statement DC writes the following about this hyperformalism:

‘In 2003, building on earlier constructs, I coined ‘hyperformalism’ to provide theoretical rationale for art work being performed with digital and network tools. Hyperformalism is a synthetic term that describes formalist abstraction in hyper medium. Formalist abstraction refers to such concerns as the non-anthropomorphic exploration of line, shape, color and spatial displacement. Hyper medium describes characteristics not available in the physical medium, such as ersatz gravity and micro and macro scale, as well as network transportability, which is analogous to hyper text in its nonlinearity. Two years ago I was invited by a curator to exhibit work in the virtual world of second life, and I translated my proxy, DanCoyote, into an avatar to continue my work in hyperformalism within the virtual world’.

In the information given in sl about his art he writes about his ambitions: ‘I fully intend to show the SL art in the MOMA [Museum of Modern Art], Whitney, Tate and Guggenheim. My favorite quote is from Rubaiyat Shatner, curator of SL gallery Ars Virtua and member of RL art group Ars Electronica, who said that he learned from my show that there is NO virtual reality, it is all real.”

Having read that I asked DC about these ambitions and if and how things are progressing. His answer: ‘my intent is to cross the border from sl to rl’. Yes, exactly the thing I had been wondering about for a while now. The bridge from rl to sl has been crossed by many already and some decided to return halfway and emptyhanded, but my question is how we can go back and forth and actually bring stuff from sl into rl! How? Showing these works on screen for instance would not do justice to it. I think. However, on the other hand, when I see and experience these works while being in sl I am behind a screen myself. So why do I say that? Why do I think showing them on a screen would not do them justice? Is that because when I’m in sl I am actually being interactive? With my avi, with my fellow avi’s, with the artworks? DC’s art exhibition at NMC is not called full immersion for nothing. Think of the work of edo autopoiesis (see previous post) for instance, can’t be performed in RL, there is no place where I could fly above the clouds in a small vessel to listen to an orchestra of windmills. In fact, there is no second life wind outside second life which is an important ingredient of the work. I can however experience it in sl. But if, let’s follow DC’s ambitions here for a moment, the MOMA would like to show it, how in the world should that be done? I go around sl asking those things to artists and everybody is thinking about it and investigating it. I also asked DC. Here is an excerpt of his answer: ‘my work looks like objects, but it is not. Every work I do is the embodiment of a conceptual framing. A so called “interactive” work installation is not about the sensors or about the hardware at all, it is about the experience, the conceptual bent of the application. In SL the hardware is moot. And more fluency and subtle research into reactivity and interactivity is possible. What I am saying is that in RL it takes an army of people to do what one programmer can do in SL. How does one get it in a RL museum? By bringing the viewer to sl, by acknowleging telepresence as real’.

Well, since the whole thing dazzles me I can only say for now that I can’t wait to see which rl institution will pick it up and start crossing that bridge.

About the skydancers, DC makes a clear distinction between the work he does with the skydancers and his fine art. Both are branches of the hyperformal tree but the skydancers are more casual and more accessable. It’s hyperformal theater. Above pic may give an impression of the skydancers performance. And if you want to see more about hyperformalism and the skydancers you can look here, it’s a nice and very clear short film.

 

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tai chi

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Hmm, I don’t know…my neighbour olando and I seem to be developing a new interest in synchronized things these days…figure skating first and now group tai chi! Don’t look too close at the third pic or you’ll see how ridiculously cross-eyed I’m looking…man, this is complicated stuff!

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rezday!

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Today is my one year anniversary in SL. And well, as it turns out my sl is just as sad a life as my rl. Which by the way is not true. What is true is that my sl does indeed show some striking resemblance with my rl. People come…people go…people come back…people stay away…being succesfull takes both talent and hard work…you fall in love…you fall out of love…but all and all to me its still intruiging enough to hang out there. In the above pics a small collage of one year vi in sl. See how charming my newbie me looked? Hanging out in the welcome area…not knowing what to do…and immediately tackled by some italian. As you can see by the hair I had not yet really figured out the best way to look at myself en face and en profil. I actually took a camera controls class! Very helpful indeed! So having figured that out I kept on being followed around by this Italian guy who, how appropriate, decided to dye his hair violet. And well, as one would expect from a true Italian I ended up in his arms. And as one expects from a true Italian, he then disappeared from the face of the earth. In the meantime I already got myself acquainted with the rich fashion world of sl. At first I thought all clothing available was tacky you-might-as-well-go-nude stuff. But after being lectured by one famous fashion blogger I learned there really is a lot of variety in sl fashion. So to start my new shopping hobby I needed money. So I got myself a job at Jade’s Jazz Lounge. Such a nice place to party, to hang out, be jazzy, be drunk, be romantic. Besides all the great people I met at Jade’s I also met Mr ‘two different shoes’ Drumheller. Another cute character with a well practised disappearing act. After a few months of getting to know sl I decided it was time for something new. My own land to build something. That something became DEPOT. I had some nice exhibitions there, busy openings and actually sold quite some works. But as I always say about DEPOT, there is nothing revolutionary about that. New and revolutionary are words that can only be used for, well..sl in general I guess and art made in sl, the so called slart. For me there is still a lot to be seen without a doubt but in my annual report above some works that really impressed me. And one of those artists taught me what an enchanting experience voice chat can be. And then! There was the conflux festival! Walkie talkie walks in 0031. Read earlier blogposts about that :-) One night I took Overig shopping for some animations, he needed a better walk…we did not succeed…he thought the walks made him move like an ape…haha…Anyway, it was a busy year…and right in the end I found out about the Odyssey Land. I’m looking forward to the things that will be happening there the coming year. And romance? What about it? At the moment my best shot will be with the cute snowman that was following me around in one of the japanese shopping area’s!

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