Posts tagged dancoyote antonelli

brooklyn is watching!

In popcha stands a tower. A tower from which visitors to the Jack the Pelican Presents gallery in Williamsburg, New York can watch all that is happening on the popcha land. I found out about this project because Juria Yoshikawa sent out invitations to go see the work he made for Brooklyn is watching, called Neon Graffiti Party, and to my surprise I found a lot more works there by other wellknown names such as Dancoyote Antonelli and Strawberry Holiday. The owners of the land call the project a ‘hybrid RL / SL art project’. What to make of it? I don’t know yet, in the tower lives an eye, an eye that visitors can use to look around but I have not yet seen the eye in action so far. Besides that, the land appears to be a bit messy at he moment. What I do like though is that it is another way of making known what is going on in sl artwise without the immediate need for reviewing or criticizing in the most traditional sense. The sign next to the entrance says it like this:

‘and you will be watched, thought about, and commented upon…whatever…leave ‘something’ ‘here’ and it will be chronicaled on our blog and talked about on the brooklyn is watching podcast or….possibly….ignored….or possibly….mocked.’

So even though the tower seemed somewhat deserted when I looked up I can only applaud a rl gallery making a serious attempt in showing sl and its artists and thus trying to monitor these developments.

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more spots & dots


So, last week I went to the performance seeing spots, being dots by Juria Yoshikawa and Nnoiz Papp. Allthough visitors were asked to participate in the performance I didn’t do so because I couldn’t be there for the whole performance. I realize that because of that I have not experienced the work as I should have but at least I saw half of it. The first time I saw work by Juria was in june 2007 when he was ‘doing’ the white cube gallery with his work called 4. For this work, being a collaboration between Juria and four composers, he gave each composer a number (being 1, 2, 3 or 4) and asked them to create soundscapes based on that number. Juria himself ‘took on the challenge of using the art space itself as the raw material of the sculpture. As with light, sound, motion and time – the art space is material for the creator‘ as he wrote it on his website. The whole work/exhibition lasted for 4 weeks and every week Juria changed the gallery completely. In all four episodes Juria integrated us in the work, using all aforementioned ingredients. In the first week for instance: ‘Each panel contains a unique voice audio sample and visual text that is activated when viewers walk through each panel‘. This was one of the first sl art works I experienced, and can be considered an eye opener to me. In most of Juria’s works I have seen since, I recognized the same ingredients. His use of colours, sound, movement and the integration of the visitors in the work. All and all I can say that to me Juria has a pretty distinct signature to his work. However, lately I have been wondering if it would be possible to actually develop one’s work in sl. What I mean by that is that a lot of, what we now consider, great artists have earned that status because of the radical changes they made in their own work and in arthistory in general, no? So here I witness sl artists at work and I consider this kind of art, a radical movement in itself. Juria describes it as follows:

‘Rather than bringing in rl artwork, I am compelled to use mainly the elements that make up Second Life itself. Typically, my virtual artwork mixes kinetic objects, animated texture, text, ambient noise and av animations. I inevitably choose scales larger than conventional gallery work since I’m interested in people experiencing the work in a physical way – flying through them, riding on them and socializing within the art. To me virtual art is about freeing oneself up to create in ways impossible in real life.’

New materials, new techniques, a new way of experiencing art. It’s all new. But will the possibilities be endless? Or will we end up with more of the same? In sl that is. I hope not. In light of these thoughts I was very happy with the invite for the new performance and, allthough not everyone may agree, with the things that happened afterwards. The day after I was asked if I thought Juria and Nnoiz’s performance was too much like Dancoyote Antonelli’s ZeroGskydancers show. I had to think about that for a while. Since there were indeed similarities, there also were essential differences. Whereas the skydancers performance was a more ‘classic’ style show with an audience, in the spots & dots performance the audience was in fact part of it. Whereas the skydancers were moving according to a well prepared choreography based on a storyline, the spots & dots were of a more improvised character. Where in fact the instructions were shouted by Juria in general chat, in the skydancers performance this was, very theaterlike, done behind the scenes. I don’t think that I have been looking at a case of plagiarism. To me that would sound like one photographer telling the other he is being a copycat because he also uses a camera. Or a painter telling the same to another painter because he is using canvas and a brush. But I’m not sure. Hence my questions about development in sl art. I guess my real question is, what is in fact the newness. Is it the genre (a term used by Juria) in total, or do we already have to look at the differences in language (a term used by DC). Whichever one it turns out to be, the fact is that as in RL, artists are also being inspired by other artists. And sl art is, even if to us it feels like a big thing, still a small niche. I for one am really curious to find out how long we will be able to experience newness in sl. The more detailed discussion on the works by Juria and Dancoyote Antonelli can be read here. A video made by Evo Szuyuan on the performance can be seen here.

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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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