When the Industrial Era began, it broke the connection between kinship and trust and began the perceptual shift of people as commodities to be used rather than human beings/resources. Datamining accelerates this process where people are dehumanized into aggregated sales data, market segments and things. I don't like this trend; it makes it that much easier to dismiss real human problems by abstracting them into some mental marketing model.
Commodity was done to point out the conflict between person as object and as human & to engage dialogue about the marketing/selling of artists. The dreams concealed in each part were very deep fears, wishes, hopes and yearnings of mine and I sold these intimate parts of myself in order to contribute to the UWA artist's prize pool. I really was astonished by the speed of the reaction to this piece.
2. For Your Viewing Pleasure
Involving the issues of art curatorship and accessibility as well as the problem of encouraging interaction with virtual art when people have been trained all their lives to be "hands off!" on artwork; the reality of a media culture where curators and institutions claim ignorance of their confederate role as perception & attention manipulators.
3. Prime Radiant/Chroma
Both pieces explored my love of the color palette & transparency of the pure light of a computer screen along with the problem of translating the CYMK [print] color model to RGB [screen] and mixing colors in light.
4. Daddy (for Sylvia)
This piece was a great break for me, as it was created in 3D from the memory of a painting I did at 16 and had forgotten. Plath's work touched me in deep places and has affected me my whole life. Daddy gathered many strong personal reactions from people.
5. Theatre of War
"War is entertainment" they say, and in these days of video-game-like rocket launches, remote Predator drones, breathless semi-pornographic weapons summaries on the mainstream media channels, it only seems more so; dehumanizing war and contributing to our alienation - it's easier to kill someone when they are just a blip on a screen and not a human being.
6. Time Considered As A Helix Of Semiprecious Stones
Another light-piece encouraging "slowing down" & working with overlapping transparencies mixing and blending RGB color and light, with a 9-track multi-directional soundtrack.
7. Down On The Data Farm
This issue had been concerning me for some time; I get very aggravated filling out soooo many forms for this blog, that blog, avatar, world, email, twitter, this & that - when I am painfully conscious of the reasoning and uses for this enforced data-cross-correlation (echo of Commodity) - so I had already been thinking (and talking about) these issues and started work on this piece at the beginning of July. I had only just completed it (and was still studying it to see if it needed trimming/additions) about 12 hours before the whole Google/Nymwars/PlusGate issue caught fire.
8. Big Winter
One of my most naked pieces, dealing with my feelings of isolation, depression, vulnerability and existential hopelessness. Big Winter is the main story subject of the upcoming film of the same title, which has been delayed by my illness (dammit!) although the 47-track soundtrack was completed in late Spring just before I got sick.
Inspired by the Occupy movement but continuing my examination of the curator/sponsor/patronage issues of art brought up in For Your Viewing Pleasure. #Occupy has become a deep and meaningful thing to me and this performance-work engaged the issues directly and with explosive reaction, bringing up issues surrounding the arts patronage of Linden Lab discussed in many blog postings and forums for 9 months and engendering heated dialogue among many.
10. A Reply From The Recalcitrant I, II, III
Writing pieces rebutting the perception that we who talk about the problems of Linden Lab hate SL and are the reason for its niche status. Meditations at length on how much we actually love SL/virtuality and wish it to succeed, even to the point of being unpaid (and mostly unappreciated) beta testers.
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Some other nice things happened for me:
My installation State of Mind was featured in a talk by Rik Panganiban (SL: Rik Riel), Community Manager at the Non-Profit Commons in his keynote speech "We Built This City: Creating a Better World" at the Second Life Community Convention (SLCC).
I got to take part in both Spring & Fall semester interaction with students from Cal State University at Long Beach in their Art110 - Introduction To The Visual Arts program as a Featured Artist.
I began investigating materials and contacting fabricators in preliminary consultations for bringing my Radiant Stallions into physical manifestation; also experimenting with materials for fabricating Lady With A Fan and Big Winter. and continuing my focus on creating/translating digital pieces into physical works.
Was invited to speak at the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable on the realities/challenges of creating art in virtual worlds.
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Other things... at the suggestion of Wizard Gynoid I began my Netpolitik blog, which engages the politics of the Information revolution - issues I have been involved with since 1993... started making machinima/videos, which was something I tried in the late 80s to mid-90s but is much, much easier now that I have a computer than can handle rendering in less than 27 hours at better than 320x240 and don't have to tiptoe and hold my breath hoping it doesn't crash 80% into the rendering or completely fill my hard disk.
Although I lost half a year, I am still satisfied with the work I've done and look forward to doing even more in 2012.
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