I am reading about the waiting anticipation for the Oculus Rift on other blogs and I must say I have mixed feelings. I wonder where all this technology is taking us? Will it be further and further from the world of five senses and physical interaction as we become more and more immersed in a 3d virtual reality while sitting safely in our chairs (as per an excellent article on Science Clarified). Besides, if truth be told anything strapped to my head would be sure to give me a migraine!
However, here I am, back again- though a tad sporadic- exploring the virtual landscape and art venue and I must say that the metaverse still continues to hold a fascination. I am waiting for the release of Rand Miller and Cyan’s “Obduction”- from those creators of the brilliant and cerebral adventure of Myst (and mystery)- a rich, immersive story with a beginning and an end, like a proper storybook that you must eventually put down. Let’s face it. It’s been twenty years since the last installment of Myst V!
Can a virtual experience ever replace or be as fulfilling as actual physical participation, emotionally and spiritually? As someone who enjoys live theater and performances, and taking a camera bag out on meadow and moor, this is a question that still pops into mind as I admire the art, fantasy and whimsy of pixel worlds.
..which brings me to art and education; the two aspects that interest me most in the virtual scene- that and a rollicking good story of course!
There is something to be said for it all when you can visit the age of dinosaurs, an outer space park, or an historic period from long ago as I was to discover on some beautifully themed, imaginative sims.
Gravity and time constraints no longer exist ( at least in the pixels) as you fly through the solar system. On one world I was sucked into the time vortex and spit out into a landscape where a tyrannosaurus rex was attacking an oviraptor who was stealing eggs.
Last year in one of the many Linden Endowments for the Arts, I wandered through the wonderfully detailed Tudor halls of Love, Henry by Tahiti Rae, as a tragic love story unfolded in the letters of Anne and Henry.
and similar to a stage performance here is something by Haveat Neox that I found to be quite profound. (thanks to Huckleberry Hax for writing about it and Kate Bergdorf who provides a wonderful machinima with music). In the virtual world this is like immersive theater as you teleport into the artist’s canvas. I took the meaning of this art piece as Huckleberry Hax said, and from the note provided, that we create truth out of our own stories.
The sculpture is like a temple or shrine covered in what looks like news print, and the cavern inside it is lit up like a sacrificial pyre. Are our words and ideas burning here? Wading figures surround the structure like souls in limbo. My thoughts circled. I felt a sense of futility. What is truth? so many ideas spring from this visual composition.
And there is much more such as those displayed by Cica Ghost or Bryn Oh.
I spend a lot of my own creative dream-time with digital photography, writing- travel when ever possible- and more. My virtual journey is sometimes inconsistent. When I’m inworld I’m often on a mission, but never without a sense of adventure, discovery and humour. Virtual worlds are here to stay and I can only hope that they will not replace our human lives but rather enhance them intellectually and imaginatively
and please visit Meet the Windlight Fellows where I am honoured to be presenting my photography work at Windlight Gallery this month.