No Matter is an installation of imaginary objects made both in Second Life and in physical space.
No Matter reflects the tension between the SL virtual economy and real economics by:
(1) commissioning 25 builders and artists to produce 40 imaginary objects in Second Life space;
(2) paying them in Linden dollars at an equivalent scale of $1.50 to $12.00 per object;
(3) extracting the objects from Second Life — a closed system where 3D models cannot be exported;
(4) reconstructing these objects as 3D paper replicas in physical space.
No Matter is a mixed reality installation that examines the subtle tensions between virtual and real economies trafficking "imaginary objects" in from simulated space to physical space.
The centerpiece for No Matter is a series of 30 paper-based sculptures inspired by popular culture, mythology, and literature. These 3D paper replicas represent shared cultural objects such as The Holy Grail, Yellow Submarine, The Trojan Horse, and The Time Machine and were built through the online community called Second Life.
The production process used to materialize these "imaginary objects" illustrates the symbiotic relationships in both virtual and reality-based worlds. Each sculpture begins as a virtual commission that is paid for in Linden Dollars, money exclusive to the Second Life community. The digital models are then translated by avatar builders from within the closed system of Second Life then physically transformed into handcrafted sculptures by the artist. This portion of the installation resembles a real life trophy room of ontological treasures. The paper sculptures are displayed on plinths of faux-wood to heighten the experience of simulation. The digital information for each object is captured and extracted as digital plunder before being transformed into their final sculptural form.
No Matter delivers a multi-level installation that combines sculptural form and new media in ways that place the viewer at the very crossroads of art, simulacra, and imagination.
The installation extends further into the Second Life space, where avatars interact with the surrogate sculptures. The No Matter website unites the virtual and actual worlds which displays economic relations and value studies available. Viewers may survey this database and review the descriptions for the 30 sculptures with detailed profiles for the avatar builders. A cost/time analysis for constructing each sculpture in Second Life is also listed, revealing various wage disparities amongst the virtual staff. This information-rich component of No Matter inserts a real-world dimension into an otherwise abstract enterprise. Viewers are invited to observe multiple facets of No Matter’s evolution and orbit around its core ideas, computer codes, and real-world fabrication.
Both the physical and simulated installations of No Matter premièred simultaniously on February 7th, 2008 at both Ars Virtua Gallery (in Second Life) and at Huret & Spector Gallery (Emerson College, Boston) in the Turbulence.org sponsored exhibition Mixed Realities.
|Big Dumb Object|
|Book of Love|
|Brain in a Vat|
|Can of Worms|
|Cone of Obliscence|
|Infinite Improbability Drive|
|Perpetual Motion Machine|
|Picture of Dorian Gray|
|Pot of Gold|
|Tree that Fell in the Forest|
|Wheel of Fate|