Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Following the Path

Well-known Second LIfe artist Bryn Oh, in conjunction with the Linden Endowment for the Arts, invited seven other artists to collaborate on a piece entitled The Path. As Miss Oh describes it in a notecard:

The Path is an immersive project based around the exquisite corpse concept sometimes used by the Surrealists. Essentially, each chosen artist adds to a composition in sequence. Eight artists were invited to stand upon one of eight different coloured boxes I had set up. Once all had chosen a box to stand on, a chart was rezzed which listed the order of colours which would dictate the sequence of artists to compose scenes for the narrative.

So if red was first on the chart, then the artist standing on the red cube would begin the narrative. If blue were next then the artist on the blue cube would continue the story.The artist who goes first composes a short start to a story. They then pass on this segment to the artist who is next on he list. That artist would then write up a continuation of the narrative and pass it on to the third artist. This would continue until reaching the eighth and final artist. This was the random order.

1-Bryn Oh

2-Colin Fizgig

3-Marcus Inkpen

4-Desdemona Enfield / Douglas Story

5-Maya Paris

6-Claudia222 Jewell

7-Scottius Polke

8-Rose Borchovski

I would like to thank the artists involved for the positive atmosphere they created and the professionalism shown. It was a great pleasure working with them.

I hope you enjoy our work.

Bryn Oh

The exhibit starts in a dark room with information about the exhibit (the above notecard), information about the artists, and an instruction to click on the head of a Salvador Dali-look-alike to teleport from one area of the exhibit to the next.

Be sure to keep sounds on - the ambient sounds and occasional narrative provide both atmosphere and context in the exhibit.

The first part - by Bryn Oh - starts in a room of pure white, save for a black doorway. "Hmm, should I step through there?" Throwing caution to the wind, I cross the portal.

The Path exhibit 001

This is the room of the Inventor. Walk around and examine the objects - I marvel at the exquisite detail that Miss Oh puts in her work. Butterflies flap their wings and have moving gears to propel themselves. Everything has a Steampunk feel to it, and many of the objects as well as people have gears and cogs creating motion.

The Path exhibit 002

Hidden in the room are nooks with objects that, when clicked, open an external browser directing the viewer to YouTube videos, one, named "Cerulean," is a side story to the main narrative in the exhibit; the other is a machinima of "Anna's Many Murders," an earlier piece by Miss Oh.

Next (Colin Fizgig's section) we find the Inventor in a room with many windows, portals to other worlds. Find the one he took...

The Path exhibit 005

...to arrive at the next destination (by Markus Inkpen), a room with many doors, and two unsavory-looking characters that provide some needed advice to the Inventor.

The Path exhibit 006

Desdemona Enfield and Douglas Story continue the theme of the key. Follow the key through the door... and find your way out!

The Path exhibit 008

The surreal scene below is the next stop (by Maya Paris), filled with menacing creatures of eyes and webs.

The Path exhibit 010

The next stop (by Claudia222 Jewell) is a watery one. Where is the pathway out?

The Path exhibit 014

Now (in Scottius Polke's section) you appear to be miniaturized - or is it simply that everyone in this world is a giant? The Inventor's head looms over you as you try to find your way out.

The Path exhibit 015

The last stop (by Rose Borchovski) is another surreal space, filled with eyeballs and keys. "There is only one way back," someone - or something - whispers. "Choose wisely."

The Path exhibit 018

The Path is a delightful way to spend an hour or more. Click, listen, contemplate the detail in the different rooms.

The exhibit, which opened Oct. 14, runs for three months. It is well worth the time to see it.

For more detail about the exhibit, and lovely photographs, see this entry by the incomparable Inara Pey.

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