Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Tale of the Rabbicorn

In her latest exhibit, Bryn Oh tells the story of the Rabbicorn through both words and accompanying images. ("Images"? We need a new word. "Sculptures" isn't quite right, either. "Dioramas"? "Three-dimensional constructs"? At any rate, one sees stuff.) The Rabbicorn is a mechanical creature, part rabbit and part unicorn, made "From Tesla coils/And a music box/Parts of a gramophone/And fur from a fox."

Somehow, the creature has emotions, which are unleashed when she (don't ask how the Rabbicorn has gender) is given to a child as a birthday present.

The story is told in stages. At each stage, there is a piece of parchment paper, upon which is a segment of a poem, and a room that provides some visual accompaniment for the words.

The exhibit includes a machima of an earlier work in Miss Oh's Immersiva sim; this provides some back story for the tale of the Rabbicorn.

Not being blessed with the artistic mind, I must say that some of the exhibit baffles me. For example, the purpose of the shimmering lights (see the left side of the first picture) is far from clear. The story is cute and touching, though it contains more than a little echo of the mechanical-man-with-a-heart theme that runs from the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, to Pinnochio, to a number of Isaac Asimov's robot stories.

Still, the whole thing has a very Steampunk aesthetic, and is quite enjoyable. I don't know how long the exhibit will remain, so visit while you can.

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