31 July 2011

Selavy Oh and Kolor Fall at Split Screen

Starting today (31 July) and continuing until the end of August, Split Screen is hosting Random Walk by Selavy Oh, and Inverted Paths by Kolor Fall (Patrick Faith).

In her blog, Selavy describes Random Walk as "a continuously changing algorithmic installation belonging to a series of permutative spatiotemporal works." It is constantly transforming: occasionally I've gone to look at though it had disappeared because it had moved rather high up, and other times one practically lands inside it. You can affect the evolution of the installation by flying through it. "Sitting" on one of the elements takes your camera around the build.

I should mention, it's best to see Selavy's piece using SL's own Viewer 2.7 (and above). V2.7 has a new feature for lighting and shadows that really brings out the color in Random Walk; Phoenix, Firestorm and other TVPs don't have it yet. (This is probably the only time I've ever recommended anything V2.) Unfortunately, the lighting and shadows feature also kills antialiasing, so be prepared for jagged edges.  The colors do show in the other viewers, just not as well. I recommend playing with different windlights and day settings. (Click photos to enlarge.)

Random Walk (dawn)

Random Walk (night, using Viewer 2.7)
Inverted Paths, Kolor told me in conversation, "is about space/time differentials and path theory." His recent work "uses one geometry for positive time ... flips that geometry for negative time ... and the 'movement/life' is the tension between paths [...] between the two space/time spaces." This work too continuously changes and interacts with the visitor's very presence. As you walk through it, paths form behind you. You can "sit" on one of the cubes rolling in the air, and as you dance, curling paths form beneath you. The construction also interacts with itself, as pyramids sometimes flip in relation to the paths. As Kolor's comments hint, mathematics underlie Inverted Paths  -- it's fun, but more than that too.

Inverted Paths (noon)

Inverted Paths (sunset)
In a striking case of artistic serendipity, there are several commonalities between Random Walk and Inverted Paths -- as should be obvious from their related titles. But that similarity arose through the artists' similar ideas, not through conversation (as best as I know): Kolor built most of his installation on his own sim, placed it at Split Screen just a few days before opening, and only gave me a title a couple days later, having no idea what Selavy called her work. More than that, as you can see from my quotations from each artist, both works have a mathematical basis focused on the space-time relationship.

The serendipity doesn't stop there: Miso's Time as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones continues on display at the sky platform. Although focused on her experiences of time and space while on a meditative stroll rather than math, at play in her piece are similar issues of time, space, and the path one creates by following it.

Get to all three installations from the starting point here.

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