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15.11.2008 18:12
#18
Some images and commentary
(This might be the clearest exposition I've been able make re: the Second Life installation. The commentary is just that, a kind of epistemological description. The world of the show, the true world or virtual or dream or real world, comes through, I think. And from this perhaps to the show itself, where everything moves, and contemplation is more difficult, close to impossible at times, and hopefully rewarding.)
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Images and Commentary




Movie October 26, 2008 
High quality (250 MB, 10 min)
Middle quality (70 MB, 10 min)

Movie November 28, 2008 
High quality (210 MB, 6 min)
Middle quality (64 MB, 6 min)

Movie December 29, 2008 
High quality (165 MB, 6 min)
Middle quality (78 MB, 6 min)




(This might be the clearest exposition I've been able make re: the Second 
Life installation. The commentary is just that, a kind of epistemological 
description. The world of the show, the true world or virtual or dream or 
real world, comes through, I think. And from this perhaps to the show 
itself, where everything moves, and contemplation is more difficult, close 
to impossible at times, and hopefully rewarding.)

Go to http://www.alansondheim.org/ 
and search for the mur jpg series.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur01.jpg

Julu write in the sky of Second Life; in the skysphere, the writing, the 
digital itself, is endlessly duplicated. The simulacrum of distance leads 
to the vanishing point of writing, literally unadulterated space. This 
could be any future in which dimensionality leads to dimensional collapse.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur02.jpg

A similar image; it's clear, through a consideration of the difference 
between the two, that the opticality is the result of an intersection of a 
disk with a sphere; unlike the sphere, the center of the disk is striated.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur03.jpg

Julu as hermaphroditic writer hirself, endlessly duplicated; the wryting 
(of the body) swings out as wrything.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur04.jpg

The writing gathers thickly into tiled kanji; each stroke extends in width 
as well as length. A second illusion: that of pipes among Julu and hir 
processes. This first set of images is variants among a basic configura- 
tion.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur05.jpg

The sphere/disk contraption is populated by Julu, torso, cone, an image of 
myself as fundamental structure (on one hand) but vulnerable to swarm (on 
the other). Of course the cone falls through the bottom of the image, 
lands nowhere, just something teetering as if it provided an axis (it does 
not).

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur06.jpg

Color differentiates sphere from disk, and sphere becomes oddly heraldic - 
a shield or boiler interior, documentation of the metaphoric.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur07.jpg

A second view; oddly in this one, it's possible to see the broken remnant 
of another disk to the right of the first; it too circulates, almost 
entirely outside of the sphere. By now this series is exhausting itself 
and it is getting close to the time when one moves on to the promise or 
premise of new directions.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur08.jpg

One disk seen through another. The texture map between two images of 
Yamantaka is based on skin around the vocal cords; one sees through speech 
to hungry ghosts, murmurs almost gathered into words, the inchoate lost in 
itself. I'd call this image beautiful, but that worries.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur09.jpg

Exterior shot of sphere (foreground), major intersecting disk with parti- 
cle emission from the center (the phonemic) and other ascendent disks, 
implying that the series, like Brancusi's column, might continue forever. 
In this case, in the absent of gravity, mountainous height is easily in 
reach - without, however, any indication of the sublime. The sublime is no 
longer that which disappears, but its ghost is at the end of teleportation 
- everything portends an inconceivable clarity miles up in a sky which is 
just as airless below sea level as it is anywhere else. The disks revolve 
at varying speeds, and appear to revolve forever; the energy driving them 
comes from the reading/writing of servers and local machines, one might 
say by a circuitous route.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur10.jpg

Looking down the same chain from above; the disks radiate two types of 
particles, two physics only partially responding to the simulacrum of 
weather. The disks are deliberately off-kilter; everything in the instal- 
lation wobbles, as if about to break loose - in spite of being totally 
determined by a relatively obdurate database.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur11.jpg

Archaeology of older objects held in stationary positions in the sky. 
These objects do not move; they exist as extensions of the land coordin- 
ates, although close to a fictitious kilometer up. The shapes are 
'troubled,' as if from half-dreams or hypnagogic images. Everything around 
them moves, but they are a form of written history. The history extends 
back no more than five months, but it is present in quick-time fast-for- 
ward process. Think of it! Moving around, among, inscription, as if 
inscription were part and parcel of the world and (avatar, human) body 
itself (it is).

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur12.jpg

Another view of the previous using the light palette of the Hudson River 
School or Illuminists. The object are situated against embers; wheels are 
visible, as are landscape elements by other artists in the distance.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur13.jpg

Collusion of spaces and times: Static objects, disks, mutoscopes, emis- 
sions,, all under the watch of Julu Twine, who had a role in their 
creation. The communality of objects is evident; everything is in groups, 
regular or irregular, symmetrical or apparently scattered - Wolfram's 
cellular automata, via Rudy Rucker, come to mind.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur14.jpg

Beneath the gallery installation, a view within the water, looking towards 
the sea-bed. The image is complex and moving at furious speed; many of 
these objects have hurtled from the surface in relation to the presence of 
an avatar (proximity switching) - others remains as denizens of the ocean. 
Things appear as part-objects as they rise above the floor of the gallery 
or sink into the ocean surface. This is possibly the most successful of 
the scapes, carrying the weight of the true world, dream and real and 
virtual, inscriptive and inert, within it.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur15.jpg

We are back in the sky (perhaps there have been inadvertent teleports); 
the archaeology is now visible from below.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur16.jpg

And from the side. This mapping reveals tiling strategies; as in the sky- 
sphere, I'm photographically present on a rectangular object (which is out 
of place; it's one of the architectural building-blocks of the now decon- 
structed museum), a problematic punctum mirroring the skysphere cone.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur17.jpg

An odd image in the process of configuration/construction: the heart of 
Nikuko (Alan Dojoji), a female figure without the attachments that will 
dwarf her and appear less than a second later. She has just landed as the 
database approximately reconstructs her previous position - hence her 
awkward stance. Unlike Julu Twine, she is responsible and in charge of the 
exhibition; she can place objects where she wants, alter the video and 
sounds, and do other basic tasks (including banning avatars) which are 
impossible for the other. She's necessary for building, but with the 
attachments, it's almost impossible to see around her. So she drops 
objects and begins them; they're finished by Julu Twine, who comes in lean 
as caretaker, designer, and artist. This image almost never appears by the 
way, so fast are the clothes (object attachments, in this case large 
partially-visible objects and particle generators) placed on the armature; 
it was a database error that allowed me to snap the image.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur18.jpg

Mapped sky disks in irregular positions. These are the lower disks just 
above the exhibition space. The pink texture is that of an avatar body; 
without modification it might form the basis for Julu's hermaphroditic 
morphing. Note the skin textures between the kalaidoscopic sky writing 
images; these are from vocal cords and (male) groin.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur19.jpg

Stacked and wobbled upper disks with mapped sky writing. This indicates 
the general architectural strategy of disk alignment - almost, but not 
quite, synchronous wheels or gears. Sometimes the disk fall or disappear, 
as if part of a natural world (I have no accounting for this).

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur20.jpg

Another view of the same; in this one Julu Twine appears as inscriber and 
the particle emissions from the disk centers are clear. These emissions 
use the same configuration as the particle writers of both Julu Twine and 
Nikuko; they stand in for smokers on the deeper beds of the ocean near 
tectonic rifts. Out in the light of dusk, they do nothing but revolve, 
inert, useless, magnificent, sublime perhaps but only from the periphery, 
a kind of neural distance as fantastic as anything else here.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur21.jpg

Yet another view, with the skysphere, still carrying its yellow tinting 
below (this was later changed to neutral grey). The horizon itself has air 
above featureless cloud.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur22.jpg

Nighttime illumination of disks; in the distance, Nikuko (Alan Dojoji) can 
be seen. She controls the disk images and permissions, as mentioned above. 
Particles and her full regalia are visible.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur23.jpg

Looking up from the installation space. Architectural flats are visible on 
the periphery. Another video is visible in the center of a horizontal 
disk. It's close to noon. The edges of fast-moving transparent objects are 
visible.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur24.jpg

In this image, there are four or five intersecting disks, all linked, all 
slated to disappear (without a trace, i.e. they're not 'returned from off 
world') shortly. The disks carry very complex video texturing; the result 
is the kind of jumble that fascinates me, a tangled somewhat spherical 
landscape (but not quite spherical, not quite landscape) that doesn't 
resolve. Another texture of Yamantaka, one that doesn't map video, is 
visible on part of one of the disks. The scene is dusk again.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur25.jpg

A similar shot as the previous; in this one, the spherical shape is broken 
and distorted, and an architectural flat can be seen moving at high speed 
in the upper portion of the image.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur26.jpg

A general dusk view with complex video texturing near the entrance to the 
installation. This gets close to the appearance of jumble (fourth stage in 
Wolfram's categories, the gnarly, through Rucker); this is an almost 
impossible space to negotiate. Note that the disks themselves intersect 
and distort one another. In this view, objects coalesce, disappear, frag- 
ment, erupt, and so forth; it's impossible to unite them - it's also 
impossible to separate them. Clarity disappears in favor of the amphi- 
bolic.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur27.jpg

A general view of the teetering wheels in the installation; many of these 
will disappear within twenty minutes or so. Most of the wheels have 
corrupted surfaces; Julu avoids the purely symmetric and its effect. Real 
crystals are rarely perfect and are paralleled here by occlusions and 
distortions of all sorts.

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur28.jpg

This is an earlier view of the entrance before more complex elements were 
added and/or transformed. Note the roughly spherical objects; these are 
forced skyward by avatar presence. As mentioned in another text, they may 
be forced indefinitely upward, but seem to eventually return to their 
original position, almost resting on the ground (as if they were resting 
on the ground).

http://www.alansondheim.org/mur29.jpg

The final image in the series, taken from beyond and slightly below the 
sea wall bordering the Odyssey land tract and exhibition space. The cone 
on the left, texture-mapped with an image of a penis, teleports to the 
sky-sphere and moves, piston-like (and bad metaphorically) in and out of a 
well. The black skein-object to the right aligns with the ring- and moss- 
objects, all of which are partly invisible, membranes or skeins somewhat 
demarcating territory. Think of everything here moving at very high speed, 
Julu buffeted about by objects beneath her as well as those visible in the 
image. It should be noted that a few objects shuttle slowly back and forth 
and others slowly revolve, as if in court dances; these aren't grounds but 
mutual interferences with the fast-forward ones. Cones and disks wobble, 
Yamantaka carrying prayer-wheels carrying Yamantaka, hungry ghosts resid- 
ing just beyond the screen. All screens are dream-screens and all dreams 
are screens. Julu Twine looks on; the position of her arms indicates she 
is trying to remain upright, focused, on nothing and everything at all.


(I hope this elucidation indicates that the images from the installation 
aren't random, that the installation coheres within and without the 
pseudo-random, that reason and reasoning are problematic in the face or 
alterity of negotiation (which does not necessarily imply a strategy 
within the symbolic), and that there is meaning in the madness, madness in 
the meaning, and that the world is gnarly, distorted, always already 
incomplete, and somewhat beautiful and deadly.)


 
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