Networked_Performance

Live Stage: @ [secondlife Second Life + Los Angeles]

Garrett Lynch’s Between Saying and Doing is part of @, an exhibition by Ars Virtua — presented by the New Media Caucus — being held at locations in real life (Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles, CA*) and Seventh Eye (Second Life) from February 26 – 28, 2009. The opening is on February 26 at 9:30 pm (PST).

Location, place, position, @.

The work in this exhibition examines the nature of space, place and the observer, the interplay between the observer and the observed, and the way in which location and “placeness” define or conscribe experience.

The work in @ occupies three unique vantage points: the material/ physical, the digital/ virtual, and the hybrid, where physical and virtual overlap or intersect. As a dual exhibition occurring simultaneously in both “real life” — in a physical exhibition space — and the virtual world of Second Life — in a digital but yet no less “real” exhibition space—the very presentation of the work underscores both the advantages and the limitations of these vantage points.

Visitors to the physical space at the Southern California Institute of Architecture will have a “privileged” view that includes both the physical space and the virtual space. Through real-time camera projection, visitors will be able to see the artwork in the virtual space as well as avatar visitors to the virtual gallery, and observe their interactions with the work and with one another but will not be able to interact with avatar visitors or engage with the Second Life- based works, many of which are highly participatory in nature. Yet even the placement of the works in the SL gallery space is constructed as a composition precisely for this privileged view, emphasizing the idea of “real” or “First Life’s” weightier nature vis-a-vis the digital/ simulacra.

Meanwhile, avatar visitors to the Second Life space will be able to “see” into the SCI-Arc space but cannot interact with it. The dramatic altering of scale that takes place when moving the physical/ material into Second Life makes this representation of the gallery space into a terrarium-like form, emphasizing the ongoing exchange of roles between observer and observed. And while Second Life participants can “see” the RL gallery space, they too are unable to fully experience the work they see there. For them, the “terrarium space” is the simulation, a shell of representation that cannot be fully engaged.

Many of the pieces showcased in @ touch both spaces. For example, many of the video pieces selected for the exhibition document Second Life experiences, often impossible to replicate in Real Life. Meanwhile, many of the pieces in the Second Life gallery reference, recontextualize or otherwise make use of Real Life experiences, or have Real Life concerns as a conceptual underpinning.

Ultimately, @ challenges all its viewers in both worlds to examine closely the intricate nature of “place” and the shifting balance of power between observer and observed. It suggests that we are all simultaneously limited and empowered by the spaces we choose to occupy.

Other Artists:

Ian Trout creates a construction within the space of the gallery that is reminiscent of the fanciful forts and play spaces of youth. He creates a secret private space for the visitor to the gallery space and provides an interesting taunt to the audience trapped on the other side of the window in Second Life.

Douglas Story & Desdemona Enfield create an object that embodies the tension between man made and the natural as an immersive backdrop for the privileged view. The wavelike motion and the path that lead up to it create an invitation to engage that cannot be realized from the gallery space.

Misprint Thursday’s feather field creates a luxurious field of grass to run between the toes of your avatar, the sheer delight of observing the overlapping patterns on someone in the field is only outdone by the joy of moving through it.

Joseph DeLappe’s Ghandi walked through second life for 16 days and has seen so much and been so many places. Here the ‘man’ becomes the art that ’embodies’ the experiences of this extended performance.

Oberon Onmura creates, destroys, and re-creates a megalithic tower or beacon which hints visually at the works of Donald Judd. The work creates a rhythm for the space that is pleasing to watch from afar but possible to participate in from up close.

Micha Cárdenas with code by Bennet Goble recounts the conversation and sense of creation of community within the 15 day durational performance of Becoming Dragon. The work is both intimate and precious where the objects are just the detrious of the performance, yet they embed the memories, conversations and feelings that transpired in the space and place of the original performance.

Mencius Watts and Taggert Alsop’s Flickr Gettr v.5 engages not only the visiting avatar as collaborator but also and interacts with the avatar and the collaborative web by reaching into SL and then back out to Flickr to produce a visual interpretation of the single suggested phrase.

Brad Kligerman & Jamil Mehdaou manage to fold the idea of telepresence into the synthetic world by using a robotic work force on Sizigia Island to collect images and store them in a database which is then recomposed into the visual collage seen both in SL and in the gallery space.

@ was curated by James Morgan, Leslie Raymond, E. Marie Robertson, and Vagner M. Whitehead; with Analog Interactivity — a virtual performance by Second Front — curated by xtine burrough; and live cinema by Be Johnny and Potter-Belmar Labs. This exhibition is made possible with the gracious support of Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and Side Street Projects.

*SCI-Arc is located a short cab ride (3 miles) from the Convention Center, near Little Tokyo. The exhibits and panels are in the SCI-Arc’s W.M. Keck Lecture Hall, located near the center of the building. SCI-Arc is located at 960 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA. The building entrance and parking lot are located at 350 Merrick St, between 4th Street and Traction Avenue. Driving instructions.

If you cannot join us in Los Angeles, please join us in Second Life at the mirror/concurrent exhibition, by following the link.


Feb 25, 15:21
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