an exhibition by
Imagination is the voice that draws lines and arcs from and through the material and virtual, the human and the avatar.
The three pieces in this exhibition, Tides, Dignity and Gold, are an exploration spanning several decades of these intersections.
Guitar: Dale Marsh
Originally recorded as part of a video sculpture featuring footage shot on a sailboat in Key West, Florida. Designed as a meditative piece, the sculpture used a wood frame which was painted black holding three televisions in a vertical stack. Three unique (VHS) video feeds were manually synced with the soundtrack that were comprised of oceanic and atmospheric images. Due to the loss of my early work no images survive of this installation and for this reason began to classify video as a virtual form.
Tides was recorded using a four-track cassette recorder, a Roland Juno keyboard and acoustic guitar played by Dale Marsh. Dale was the teaching assistant in my expanded arts (what we called multi-media in the olden days) class and I was told many years later he had passed. In 2020 I transferred an old cassette recording of Tides and have restored it as best I could and dedicate it to his memory.
The virtual sculpture for Tides was first constructed in Second Life using commercial UV wraps called ‘sculpties’ combined with texture animation and simple revolver scripts. Like the material version of the work I wanted to create meditative piece that captured the gestalt of the ocean experience. This is the first time I used a painted image as the basis of a virtual work although in this instance the painting, Nauset, has no relationship to the original work.
Having moved away from Second Life into Opensim the sculpture has been remade on the DigiWorldz grid and displayed along with a stream of the remastered Tides soundtrack.
dignity - the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect
Dignity is one of the first explorations of what I have come to refer to as ‘hybrid’ art forms. Hybrid in this instance can be understood as an intersection of the virtual and material to create a unique variation on a theme. The immediacy and impermanence of these objects are directly related to the creation of mandalas.
When creating the piece I was working with three elements to visually express the idea of dignity. The visual component is based on an iris and more specifically a purple bearded iris, which is my favorite flower. The structure is a figure encased in an ever revolving cage; a restlessness of ever evolving but ultimately unchanging oppression.
It seems to me that the core of dignity is actually anger at injustice, whether that be on a personal, community or global level. There is an old teaching that says anger is like picking up a hot coal to hurl at someone else knowing full well the only person who will feel pain is yourself. When looking at an iris one day it occurred to me that this rage when not denied but observed and softened becomes a strength instead of a weakness, like the beard of the iris that glows golden in the sunlight. Transforming rage into dignity is the ultimate form of self-respect.
The music composed for this piece was written in June of 2017.
this first glimpse
As part of my exploration of creating hybrid forms of art that extend into virtual spaces I created a computer graphic that combines painting and photos. In this graphic I combined a detail image of the painting “Brilliance” with a photo of a drop cloth from painting studio using multiple layering and effects.
In 2018 I revised this piece by printing the graphic and adding it to painted paper. The piece was then photographed and brought back into the virtual environment as sculpture.
Music composed in 1992 using a Roland JV30 and remastered in 2020.