Second Life: BRYN OH stasera al MiC


Stasera al MiC alle 22.00 ora italiana (1.00 pm slt) ci sarà l’inaugurazione dell’installazione “Family Unit” della grande artista canadese Bryn Oh, annunciata con sorprendente tempismo dalla rivista VOGUE di questo mese, in edicola, in un articolo dedicato a Second Life che parla anche di noi, scritto da Simona Lamonaca che ringraziamo.
Per l’occasione abbiamo pensato di pubblicare, in tre puntate, a partire da oggi, un’intervista all’artista realizzata da Cristina Cilli, in occasione del Digital Cafè di Più Libri nella scorsa edizione.
Stasera Bryn Oh sarà con noi col suo storico avatar per accompagnarci nel percorso della sua commovente creazione, che occuperà per circa un mese una parte dell’isola dei Musei di Roma Capitale.
SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/MiC/203/156/40

La Melanconia della Tecnologia: intervista a Bryn Oh
di Cristina Cilli
(Parte Prima)
E’ con grande piacere che in occasione dell’installazione al MiC “Family Unit” di Bryn Oh, mi accingo a rieditare una intervista che abbiamo fatto all’ultima edizione del Digital Café di Più Libri, curata da Marina Bellini, lo scorso dicembre.
In quell’occasione mostrammo un Machinima di uno dei primi lavori di Bryn: 26 Tines, storia tenera e malinconica, di una creatura e del suo scienziato.
La cifra che chiamerò “tecnologia meditativa”, è sempre stata presente nei lavori realizzati da Bryn Oh, nei mondi virtuali. Così come l’interattività che permette sia una esperienza rilassante nell’esplorare l’installazione, così come la sensazione di pericolo imminente o appena passato. Una riflessione costate, insomma, in chiave altamente poetica, di come si svolgono le relazione umane nell’epoca del digitale, senza dimenticare la realtà quotidiana, vissuta nella prima vita e nel passato. Relazioni, quelle con le tecnologie, che hanno differenti valenze: spesso Bryn usa le sue installazioni come appunti di un sogno melanconico che nella vita diurna, in genere, non è dato mostrare. Per questo le sue installazioni sono immerse nel buio della notte, come a dire che esistono una luce e uno spazio propri dell’immersione dentro se stessi: così come sono immerse – le sue opere – in quella vaga nebbia che ci accoglie nella zona tra il sonno e la veglia, quando i ricordi del sogno sfuggono alla luce del giorno, ma lascia, apparentemente vaghe, tracce di sé nella memoria. Tracce che Bryn sollecita nella circolarità di percorso e di visione, anche tra arte antica e contemporanea, in cui l’artista pone le proprie installazioni.

L’intervista è divisa in tre parti per facilitarne la lettura on line ed è in inglese. Ritengo importante darla al lettore così come è avvenuta, per non tradirne il sapore originale. Poi, ai tempi di internet, ci si destreggia con i traduttori. Buona lettura.

1. Let’s begin to speak about your visual poetic style in SL. If I should choose some keywords for your art work, since the very first beginning, let’s say “26 Tines” I would: loneliness, silence, black. Why so?

In my first life I am a fairly happy person I think, but like most people I have little pockets of sadness.  I would never want to burden my family or friends with some of the things I dwell on and in some cases it would really hurt them emotionally if I were to do so.  They might feel responsible in some way and I don’t want anyone to feel that way.   Being anonymous in a virtual world allows me to say things I otherwise would not.  My family and friends will never know Bryn Oh is me so its essentially a nice big diary with a lock on it.

The darkness in much of my work though, is a bit different.  Aesthetically I am considered to be Steampunk.  Steampunk art is traditionally a mix of Victorian sensibilities mixed with modern alternate technology.  When I make Steampunk, I like it to be a bit dim.  In addition, I love the dark works of artists like Georges de la Tour.  Technically though, darkness on a monitor allows the viewer to focus more on contrasting light areas.  It is a compositional tool which allows me to pull the eye from one area to another.  The artwork 26 tines is called a “cam build”.  The avatar arrives to the work and comes across a small door.  Their avatar is too big to go into the door so they must disengage their view or camera and enter the hole without their “body”.  The machinima or movie you refer to follows a scripted camera so it become more like a movie.  But in the virtual world the viewer experiences it as an unscripted open ended environment  and must discover ways to enter and explore it.  I am not sure if you will show that machinima on tv but the part after the radio where the camera goes down the narrow tunnel, the viewer must find that tunnel in Second Life and go down it.  Many never do.  My works are often about the excitement in finding hidden things, like turning over a rock to find a giant centipede to look at.  I spoke to an American artist the other day and he stated that he didn’t want to do “work” to see my art.  He wanted it laid before him like some kind of King, expecting me to be pleased that he has even taken the time to look at it.  I believe the opposite whereby doing the work and finding hidden parts that you know others have not found is what makes the artwork special.  When people find something hidden and intimate they have separated themselves from the average person who only know the surface of the artwork.  Finding the layers is the true interaction.

2. You are a oil painter in RL. Which differences in feelings, thoughts and action are involved in expressing your art  in two different kind of art? There are similarities between them?

The same basic principles of colour, form, line and composition apply to the virtual world as a medium, but with a few differences one must consider.
In the Galleria Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples there is a work by Mattia Preti called Banchetto di Assalonne.
It is a fine example of using composition to circulate the viewers eye within the painting.  From above you see two men with knives ready to murder the man at the table, the angle of the blades lead the viewers eye to the focal point which is the man about to be murdered.  The angles of the bodies around him create an oval frame which keeps the eye circling around the subject.  If your eye leaves this area it will meet secondary figures outside the oval who are all pointing or looking at the subject which again brings the viewer back to the focal point.  Even the pillar to the top right is shaped like an upside down U to propel the eye back to the other subjects should, God forbid, your eye wander over there.  You can control where the viewer looks because the human eye tends to follow along lines and contours rather than against them.  It is a subconscious trait and also applies to the eye path of figures who
are depicted as looking at something.  As humans we want to see what they are looking at so we follow their gaze.

Preti controls where he wants you to look.  The image is static so he knows exactly how you will view his work.  In a virtual world composition, you never know from which angle the viewer enters your composition.  In Second Life you can disengage your view or perspective so that you need not look from the vantage point of  “eyes”.  Because of this every angle must have a strong composition if possible.  It is a very enjoyable challenge.

Fine prima parte intervista. Continua…