[NetBehaviour] process of reverse excavation

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri Jun 20 03:56:05 CEST 2008

Reverse excavation and installation of materials for Second Life solo
exhibition, The Accidental Artist

It's difficult manipulating since the Nikuko avatar flies blind; it's
impossible to see around the body extrusions. Mouse-view only works so far
since nothing can be done except looking when it's open. Ctl-Alt-D, which
changes camera viewpoint, helps a bit, but not much. The prims are so many
and so complex, it seems that the world is close to overload; at one point
I had set most transparent, but the ray-tracing gets too complex for
slower machines. There will be three video streams, twelve sound sources
with ten-second samples, and a continuous source, as well as these
sculptures and other images on the wall. Sugar likens it to pinball. Even
with a small avatar body, moving about the gallery is difficult. Most of
the objects are impossible in physical space - or at least would require a
lot of Plexiglas support. Most of the images on or within the sculptures
are external body, some imitative of internal organs. The images are
distorted and have to be perceptually disentangled; they're either tiled
or awkwardly wrapped. The affair is a gaudy circus one. It's a stage for
performance (by Sandy Baldwin and myself) as well; moving about the space
in alien choreographies will be just as difficult for as as for the
spectators. I can easily imagine a dancespace filled, as this one is, but
with phantom or invisible objects; the avadancers would find themselves
and the rest of us among the absent ruins. Here however garishness is the
premise and the promise of the virtual; there's no reason for camouflage
in an airless space.

But it's difficult maneuvering in an eyeless space, literally flying or
walking blind, sometimes falling out of the gallery altogether, ending up
wedged and lawless. Occasionally a section of floorboard appears like a
vector; we (Nikuko and myself) might be headed in the right direction.
Camera angles, when the avatar stills hirself, through a series of
alternating rotations and translations, can approach just about anything
within ten meters or so; beyond that, chaos reigns. While these images are
somewhat hit or miss, they convey the sense of new physics, lost structure
and boundary within the space. Now Nikuko hirself is at rest, in a realm
as absent as the rest of us, until we log on together, momentarily, to
work on installing sound.

(Thanks to Sugar Seville and Sandy Baldwin for everything.)

http://www.alansondheim.org/ slshow jpgs - go to the webpage, click on
'Last Modified' twice to bring the most recent files to the surface; there
are 20 of them.


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