Broken Rainbow Cloudy Night took place in the night sky of Second Life 300 meters above the Brooklyn Is Watching sim in mid 2008. As the name suggests, it was a cloudy night and I purposely set up the installation at the level in the sky where the clouds form the thickest. I had become curious about what kind of space and visual experience could be possible using lines at 90 degrees alternating in color and translucency.
As with many of my virtual works, I wanted an experience where patterns both visual and audio revealed themselves as the avatar viewer moved (in this case flew) through the work. Broken Rainbow was created incrementally, as it developed I layered new 3D shapes (prims), scripts that determined motion and random color, the outer contained pattern, animation and interactive soundscape.
While I have never been much of a painter, I believe this piece developed much like an abstract painting in multiple x,y,z planes.
I was trying to push the intensity of color and glowing light to almost uncomfortable levels using primary colors on a black night sky. And by using a native Second Life glow effect compounded by transparency, I wanted to at times overwhelm the viewer and at others fade out to negative space. One surprise was the way the layers of zig-zag patterns acidly burned through each, largely depending on how the viewer positioned herself. I was interested in how color and light could alternate between solid and transparent, flattening the viewing plane and then dropping away to reveal space beyond.
Unlike most of my works in Second Life which I have backed up in my avatar’s inventory, due to an unfortunate event this video is all that remains of the piece. So in a way, the work only exists today in a machinima state. With the video, I intended to place the viewer in the position of my avatar to replicate as much as possible the experience of being present within the light installation. This was done by moving through the piece and capturing the immersive quality of the experience, viewing the forms and light affects in a variety of positions, and triggering the audio as a soundscape effected by the avatar’s motion. It was important for this video to show the avatar’s body in relation to the art work to understand the ephemeral yet architectural quality of the piece.
As both the creator and spectator of Broken Rainbow, I often felt that I was creating a new kind of painting that had the potential of taking on any number of compositions. Then it occurred to me that the kinetic quality bordered on filmmaking, creating frame upon frame of continuous, non-narrative experience. Yet precursor to both the 2D painterly quality and the machinima was the installation and this notion that this was a virtual space that one could explore and be present inside. I believe one’s perspective of the piece depends a great deal on each each viewer’s level of interaction and one’s preconceptions of the piece. Because of these contradictions, showing the work as machinima raises questions about what we’re looking at and how we think about art.
Myself being a female Asian avatar named Juria Yoshikawa in sl certainly means to me that I get to play with identity quite a lot. What started out as an experiment of creating a virtual female artist to interact with the virtual art world and its community turned into a subtle lesson in gender issues and how that plays into making the work and communicating about the work. While most people know that there’s a guy behind Juria, there’s a general tendency to ignore the rl artist identity to focus on what the avatar is trying to do. So my relations with other avatars in sl is influenced by the persona of Juria. As Juria is actually an important part of the artwork itself, either in performance or installation creation as a performative action, how she looks, dresses and acts is very important to me and is reflected throughout my work.
Probably the main way that sl reduces restrictions is the fact that the sl artist can create and extend the environment itself to not resemble a 3D rendered reality of real life at all nor the game itself. Possibly even more important is that sl has the critical mass of all the artist community working together, collaborating and even competing with one another. This can be clearly seen at the Brooklyn is Watching sim, a cross reality sl and rl gallery that has attracted some interesting collaborations in the past few years. If anything the openendedness or the lack of restrictions is what sl has going for it the most. Depending on what culture you’re from, a lack of structure can actually present a challenge.
The interest in sl art has increased, so much that rl art events are growing up around sl art culture as with this Best of Year 1 event for Brooklyn is Watching at the rl gallery Jack the Pelican Presents in Brooklyn, NY.
Broken Rainbow Cloudy Night
Broken R a i n b o w Cloudy Night Netfilmmakers’ 17.edition: “ Real-Un-Real: Imagery from the Virtual”, 08/24/2009 Presentation by: Juria Yoshikawa (sl) /Lance Shields (rl)
I don’t really consider myself a machinima maker. But then what am I?
Broken Rainbow Cloudy Night took place in the night sky of Second Life 300 meters above the Brooklyn Is Watching sim in mid 2008.
I wanted an experience where patterns both visual and audio revealed themselves as the avatar viewer moved (in this case flew) through the work.
<ul><li>Broken Rainbow was created incrementally, layer upon layer of: </li></ul><ul><li>3D prims </li></ul><ul><li>Scripts </li></ul><ul><li>Patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Animation </li></ul><ul><li>Sounds </li></ul>
Immersion in color & light Tags: uncomfortable saturation, burning affects of glow, solid vs. transparent
Video capture Tags: what remains, the avatar’s body, immersiveness and being there
VS. Who makes the video? Made by me Made by another cinematographer
Painting, Film and Space Tags: new kind of painting, towards filmmaking, virtual space to explore, contradictions and questions