About four years ago I created an anonymous virtual artist named Bryn Oh with the intention of seeing whether a digital character could be accepted and succeed outside its virtual world and in the land of flesh and blood artists. Would people scoff at the idea or would it capture their imagination? Since that time Bryn's work has been shown at Nuit Blanche,
the World Expo in Shanghai (Madrid Pavilion), with IBM, in movies such as "My
avatar and me" and in projects with people such as Cannes winning
director Peter Greenaway (Big Bang) and artist Stelarc.
Bryn was also a Web3D
Conference presenter in Paris, France as well as profiled on RAI
TV in Italy and Art21.
Bryn has had the good fortune to exhibit in various Universities worldwide and has also been added to the syllabus of others. Currently Bryn is the subject of three thesis works and has recently received
a New Media grant from the Canadian government. The government
grant is to produce a 30 minute machinima
(Bryn Oh is actually even mentioned in this wikipedia definition under 'sound in machinima') and to create an
exhibit in a museum or gallery which would then incorporate Second Life. In September, Bryn
was written about in Vogue
magazine (Italy) while also exhibiting Second Life artwork at a museum in Rome (Museo
in Commune) .
I generally just create narratives that reflect on things in my life and I have discovered that many people share an empathy towards these works. The success of Bryn has been very surprising and rewarding for me.
I am not going to pretend that I am changing the world, but I do truly believe that I am working in a new artistic medium or frontier. It may be my fanciful imagination but perhaps one day Bryn and others could be written about in those same art history books I read while in art school. I think all artists dream of being fortunate enough to stumble upon something new as it is happening. There were the Cubists, Surrealists, Minimalists and hopefully one day there will be the Immersivists. That is what I dream of when creating 3D environments.
A painting is a static 2D slice of time but a virtual world can be a painting you enter and explore with few constraints. It has duration, sound, movement, Interaction and is shared by hundreds of thousands from all over the world. You chose where to go in the environment rather than follow a scripted camera. In the video above it comes across as a movie, but in the actual space you can walk down the road or off into the snow. You can explore buildings or look under a bed to find a hidden music box or note. You are not a passive observer but rather an active participant in a virtual artwork. There are many believers in its potential as an art medium.
What We Need & What You Get
The land I work on in the virtual world is strangely expensive, and up until recently I had a wonderful patron who supported me with the region (Immersiva) which was my studio. As an artist I can not afford to pay for this. It is $300 a month and just not something I can do.
Recently I was awarded a grant by the Canadian government to pursue a project in the virtual world. It involves using virtual reality headsets that a gallery or museum visitor would put on to explore my virtual world. I have been formulating ideas to have wind fans or a spray triggered to release a scent in the air in order to help create a deeper immersion for the viewer. So for example if you walked up to a lilac tree in my virtual environment it would trigger a subtle spray in the real life gallery that would release the scent of lilac. Or if they were walking through a field of grass gently blowing in the wind, there would also be hidden fans to create a breeze for the visitor thus helping to create that elusive immersion. My goal is to try to get the visitor to forget for a moment the real world and almost feel like they are in my virtual one.
The loss of my virtual land Immersiva means that I have nowhere to build my grant project nor exhibit my large narrative builds for residents of the virtual world. Right now I am applying to galleries to have my work shown, but they plan a year in advance. So long story short, I need to get Immersiva back so that there will be a virtual space for gallery visitors to actually go to, and I need a space to work on large scale narratives.
What I need is tier payment for 18 months which would cover the exhibition obligations and provide a space to build and exhibit in.
Other Ways You Can Help
(Unleash the DIWO! -- 'Do It With Others' by asking folks to get the word out and make some noise about your campaign. Don't forget to remind them about the share tools!)