Sunday, November 27, 2016

Machinima - Scissors


     A girl drops her scissors onto the grass when startled during a lightning storm. The scissors land in the soil, one blade piercing it, creating an almost religious symbol or icon which draws forth an Emperor Moth to perch upon it. From there other insects are slowly drawn to the mysterious artifact and begin to worship the symbol and its moth. Soon they begin to fight amongst themselves. The girl looks down upon the tiny world at her feet and is dismayed to see what her scissors have caused. A seemingly innocent tool taken and then distorted into something quite different. After seeing how they have changed, she ponders for a while, then eradicates them. A girl transformed into a Goddess for a little world of insects.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Machinima - Anna's Many Murders


Anna was a quiet girl
who through eyelashes
watched the world

And though she appeared
to be quite meek
inside she harboured
a darker streak 


That is the opening words to Anna's Many Murders which exhibited on Originalia sim. 

Anna visits the Therapist
This was the story of Anna, but she also made an appearance in the story called Imogen and the pigeons.  In a hidden scene the
Therapist/The rapist is seen with a note stating he was getting a new patient named Anna who he had added to the list of names on his monarch board behind him in this photo.  (The patients were given monarchs to take care of).  The note states that Anna might be "Anti social".   Anna doesn't really like authority figures as the therapist discovered.

The therapists calm
was visibly curtailed
when it dawned upon him
that he'd soon be impaled.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Machinima - Obedience

     This was a promo machinima for a hybrid art exhibition which exhibited at both the J├╝disches Museum in Berlin and in the virtual environment of Second Life (LEA). The virtual space was created by Bryn Oh and Jo Ellsmere and showed on monitors within the Museum allowing the guests to navigate the 3D space. The Museum installation was the creation of Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway.

I created a retelling of the Biblical story of Abraham and his son Isaac.  Essentially, God wishes to test Abrahams faith by asking him to take his only son Isaac up upon a mountain to sacrifice him to God.  Abraham takes Isaac up the mountain and is prevented from sacrificing Isaac at the last moment by an Angel.

I was not brought up in a religious home so for much of my life I have been an outside observer of those who practice religion.  I am not against any religion, and generally would say I am curious to watch the ceremonies and stories told.  When I was asked to create something for this museum project I decided to retell this story in a modern fashion.  To essentially look at the story as if it happened today and was seen by someone like me, and then perhaps explained to the police.

So for example, in my story, Abraham is told by God to sacrifice/murder his son by a voice through the TV set late at night.  He tells Isaac that they are going on an adventure so, excitedly, Isaac packs a backpack with things they need as well as two snickers chocolate bars, one for him and the other for his Dad.  They eventually climb an apartment building stairwell to the roof rather than a mountain and upon the top he forces a gun barrel into his sons mouth.  He pulls the trigger but an Angel places her finger between the hammer of the gun and the bullet.  This mirrors the early pictures of Abraham using his finger, like a pacifier, in the mouth of Isaac as a baby.  One of the strongest and earliest bonds between a father and son.

In my version I wondered if Isaac could see the angel or if she were invisible.  I wondered what the moments would be like after God was satisfied with Abrahams obedience towards him and  the gun was prevented to fire.  Would Abraham collapse in relief?  How would Isaac see his Dad knowing that he would have pulled the trigger and killed him?  I wanted to show in the scenes an ugly frantic struggle for survival rather than the gentle scenes usually depicted in religious work.

I also created an "after" scene which showed Isaac cowering away from his father in terror peeking through his fingers.  The Angel stands behind Abraham so it becomes unclear whether Isaac is afraid of his Father or the Angel behind him.

In my research for the story I came across some interesting things describing God in his chambers and the various angels around him completely covered in eyes and watching all... which I then converted to camera lenses.  It was an interesting parallel to the cameras watching us all the time in our everyday lives.  There were the kings who, for all eternity, chant about how wonderful God is.  To an outside observer, well, God seems a bit insecure :)  What I also found interesting was that there are a few variations of translations, and they are pretty huge differences.  In some God says "Abraham, take your son, your only son Isaac and sacrifice...." in other translations it is a question "Abraham would you take your son....."  To me this is a huge and interesting difference.  It is either a command or a question.. and if it is a question then perhaps God doesn't want Abraham to blindly be obedient but rather to think.

I was really happy with the conversation and discourse this work created with most visitors.
People generally talked and debated in a very civil way.  It was encouraging.  I did, however, get a fair amount of angry mail too haha.  But that was to be expected.



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Machinima - Rusted Gears

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.




Rusted Gears

I watched you leave me
a year ago this dawn
but I have rusted gears
so I can't move on.

I wanted to tell you
how I felt that day
I searched my software
for something to say

but you left me for
emotions true
now I will forever search
for someone like you.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Machinima - Standby

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.

 Standby is the culmination of three large works into one story.  Back in 2009 or so I was commissioned to create something for a region called Black Swan created by Starax/Light waves for
Black Swan
Rezzable.  It was an open request to make something, so I would spend some time there to try to absorb what the sim "felt" like and what might fit within it rather than clash.   The region had two giant figures embracing in the centre with a ring on the outside with various sculptures.  It felt to me as though it almost had a story to it, though in fact it didn't.  What I decided to do was to create a tower in the center that told a story as you climbed it.  It was full of traps and quite difficult but that was part of an idea I had which was that if you made something challenging to the viewer it would be more rewarding in the end than to just give the work to the viewer to stand back and observe from a distance.   I wanted them to be active participant to the artwork rather than a passive observer.  Black Swan was a beloved sim to many at that time in SL and I got a few nasty messages and even some demands to remove it from upset people.  I recall someone writing in a review at the time that they didn't want to "do work" to see art.  I remember reading that and deciding I would create for the virtual space, for the explorer types and not the snowflakes who brought the elitist art baggage from the real world into the virtual space, hoping the artist would bring them the art on a silver platter for them to observe at their leisure.  There are those who role play art and feel that real art must look like what we leave behind in real life.  The paintings or static sculpture that look like what you can find in real life.  Then there are those who understand the unique traits of the virtual space and realize the art created here can defy all the aesthetic and conceptual rules that exist in the "real" world.  In fact this spurred a successful group called NPIRL or Not Possible in Real Life
     At this time I had the idea to create a narrative which would be told in installments over many years.  In fact the new work "Hand" which should open in a few weeks is a continuation of this original story as has been every work with the exception of Virginia Alone.  Each story resides in the same world and act as layers to an overall narrative.  The work for Black Swan was called the Daughter of Gears and after the exhibition IBM requested to have it shown on their regions.  The following two installments, the Rabbicorn story and then Standy were at IBM.  I used this work to apply for a Government Grant at the Ontario Arts Council and it was the first of three successful art grants to be awarded to me thus far.  Standby is the title of the three stories combined into one machinima and it was my first extended machinima running at around 30 minutes long.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Machinima - Mayfly

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.


You might recognize this windlight from Firestorm,  I created it for this machinima.  Well I think most of you know by now that I find bugs fascinating,  they are like little robots to me all jerky and fast.  Many are stunningly beautiful and frail yet remarkably resilient.  After reading about the life cycle of the Mayfly I couldn't help but see it in a poetic way.  She spends her life in the darkness under the water yet for one day she is transformed.  She sprouts wings and flies up and away from the darkness to the sun and many other Mayflies.  Often she will be reborn from the larvae with no mouth because it is unnecessary, since she will only live hours.  This machinima, unfortunately, was created before I could do HD so it might be fairly low rez.


Mayfly

The mayfly lives under rock and stone
or dying plants left in decay
born an orphan she lives alone
and from the mud she rarely strays

She lives this life for several years
in water dark 'till fully grown
one day her body disappears
reborn, her mouth's both closed and sewn

On her back she sprouts some wings
In ecstacy flies to the sky
for just one day she spends with Kings
for night demands that she must die.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Machinima - Format

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.

   This machinima is called Format and again has a poem to go along with it.   The question asked within the poem is whether I might format or erase my mind if I could start anew.  So that would be forgetting all family, friends and loved ones but also forgetting all hurt and loss.  It is the idea that if a technology existed that could format our minds then what would that line be which kept us on one side or the other.  How much sorrow would one absorb and live with?  Might we move through life carrying sorrows with us, but also those few yet beautiful moments of joy which we could not bear to lose.

I built this entire set for the machinima and filmed it in one single uncut segment which begins and ends at the same spot.  It was tricky haha.   Anyway here it is.



Format

Would I format my mind
if I could come back new
with no hurt nor loss
but no memories of you.

Do I have enough love
to rust away,
could I delete it all
for a new first day?

I wish I could change
some of the things I've done,
take some steps
where I had taken none

but you are gone now
and I sit alone,
where an acorn fell
that is now fully grown

and I write you poems
in Garamond font,
because I am content to fade
as I have no wants.