The Virtual Building Company


Enterprise Applications for Virtual Worlds

IF 2012 - Imagine the Future at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan.

Metaverse Art by Giovanna Cerise, Nessuno Myoo and Noke Yuitza

Giovanna Cerise_Narcissus and Goldmund

The metaverse exhibition 'IF 2012 - Imagine the Future' at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan presented the work of three metaverse artists in what the gallery describe as "a creative partnership between the visual arts and literature". Shown on the Acdemia di Belle Arti di Brera sim in Second Life and on a large monitor in the physical gallery at Brera it was an interesting conjunction of the virtual and the physical which allowed gallery visitors to experience examples of current art practice in virtual worlds.

There is fine art and there is applied art and we are by now very familiar with applied art in virtual worlds, in the crafts of the virtual seamstress, the makers of watches and the architects of dream homes, but who makes fine art in virtual worlds and how is fine art presented in a virtual world ? The exhibition at Belle Arti di Brera invited the artist avatars Giovanna Cerise, Nessuno Myoo and Noke Yuitza to present work focussed on a work of literature and to create the work in a series of individual isolated megaprim spaces which allowed the artists to explore the possibilities of a space in which to make a total artwork. Wandering through these virtual artworks I sought comparison for these sculptures without mass, and paintings of light and realised that in their private theatres the works (opera) which these artists have created are not only influenced by literature but reminded me of the operatic stage.

Noke Yuitza - Tears in the Rain

The prelininary introduction is work by students from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, in Milan, where arriving at a volcano of particles we willingly jump into the middle of the unknown on a journey where Lorenzo De Liguoro leads us through his travelogue "Anatomy of a memory," inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince" , and Giulia De Marinis' tetris like piece "Sad little Italy".

Some artists presented a space without horizon, others had confining walls that were the blackness of inpenetrable night. There was murder and fine prim work and spaces without things, dithered textures and particles on a string, there were no words, no media, no repurposing and was in many ways a pure exhibition, pure in the way that we might view an exhibition as 'pure painting' where the work is constrained by the medium which in this case was prims, textures and particles.

There is little in the way of a language to describe the unique character of metaverse art in virtual worlds and consequently this might seem to be a medium without precedent and convention, perhaps akin to the earliest cave painting where the abscence of a precursor offered no clue as to the direction the art should take, contrast this with the earlier technological arts of photography and film which initially adopted it's mannerisms from painting and theatre.

Giovanna Cerise _ Narcissus and Goldmund

Giovanna Cerise in her work 'The Complete Opposite' (2012) takes inspiration from the Herman Hesse novel 'Narcissus and Goldmund' which Hesse subtitled 'Death and the Lover' and explored the different character of the scientist and the artist. Avatar Cerise remarking "We all struggle between passion and rationality." Her space at Belle Arti di Brera uses a transparent floor to the effect that ideas of Up and Down are merely nominal in her exploration of opposites. In this highly abstract work of phantom objects Cerise sets, soft curved textures in opposition to hard edged lines of blue, red and gold which streak in parrallel like jet trails across the sky on which we stand.

The world seems inverted, the gaze grasping at references to Up, clutching at the rising aquamarine dithered and textured quadrilaterals which suggest visial metaphors for buildings but whose visual form and texture disappear and reform as you cam around. Nothing is as it seems here and central to the work is a book, propped up a little, lying as if on altar, blindingly white to the point of being burned out from the light shining from within.

Cerise uses a futher two theatres in a continuation of 'Narcissus and Goldmund' which linked by proxy doors lead the viewer into other rooms, one where the softness of the scene is disconcerting, and in which washes of luminous blue and pastel yellow evoke a world of nowhere, a three dimensional scene without height or depth, breadth or length, lost in walls of blue until we find the golden section of a table, a surgeons device, precise and hard edged, and in a third room making a tryptich of the piece. In her third virtual theatre we are immersed in a cell like world where biological red flagellae whip around the visitor as they walk through transparent instersecting planes textured to suggest neurons hanging in the cytoplasm of a cell where brief pulses of particle bursts bubble to the surface as if in some the cerebral metabolism of the digestion of knowledge.

nessuno myoo - The Pit and the Pendulum

In another sphere avatar Nessuno Myoo pays tribute to Edgar Allen Poe the early master of the murder story. Myoo presents "The Pit and the Pendulum" an opera in a darkened room to the accompaniment of the ambient sounds of a creaking rope and the rasping breathing of a dying man. In Myoo's camera obscura the blackness of the night frames a grotesque tableau presented in a palette of antique sepia with smatterings of scarlet in it's depiction of a scene of horror.

At the peripphery a multitude of monocular prim eyes surround the scene, the observation is precise, the perspective an ironic twist on Pierro's small painting 'Flagellation of Christ' but where Myoo creates a scene of criss crossing filaments to suggest the chords of many possible visual perspectives, all of which of which are true as they come to focus on the macabre mis en scene of an evicerated avatar. The tableaux is as horrific as we would expect in a tribute to Poe but it is also beautiful theatre, the shattered body described by Myoo's forensic imagination in an evocative and detailed study of a prim bodied cyberbetic corpse at the scene of a crime.

nessuno myoo - The Pit and the Pendulum

The third artist Noke Yuitza interpreted the novel "Tears in the Rain" by the Spanish writer Rosa Montenero. Montenero's novel is set in a future dystopia and Yuitza has us arrive by teleport into a particle drizzle of soft rain. We stand on a transparent, reflectionless ground high above the city streets, while below us high rise boxes banked with neon lit windows crammed into their footprint of a vertiginous drop. Looking out to the horizon, our sky is a planosphere of roads, a futuristic street map textured onto the inner surface..

I recognise some of these names Zubaran, Serrano, Don Ramon de la Cruz - Spanish artists now given timeless recognition as Madrid street names. There are points of departure and arrival and the paths between as the gaze follows the metro like grid of streets and intersections before arriving at 'Nuevos Ministerios', it is 2109 and we are at the centre of a panopticon, a view of homes and persons, maps and locations. A flick of the mouse and our camera view slips through the transparent ground to the buildings below as we zoom further into this microcosm to the mask like face beneath. is this, an omnipresent all seeing controller at the centre of this bubble of a city in hyperspace or is it a mirror of ourselves? We Esc(ape) in a stroke, the screen view now centred in Yuitza's futuristic Bladerunner type world where a controllers desk invites us to 'Sit' and in the pose of a meditating bodhisatva as we contemplate our future as a technological humanity.

Noke Yuitza_Tears in the Rain

The metaverse 'IF 2012' exhibition is thought provoking in it's presentation of how art may be created in the metaverse, Myoo and Yuitza in differing ways utilize the entire space as a total artwork in which our familiar three dimensional perspective is seen to be no more than colour fields in a theatre of virtual space. Myoo in contrast sculpts and paints his prims in the best tradition and uses the simplest elements of darkness and sound to engage the viewer in his brilliant narrative.

These metaverse artworks also show some of the broad characteristics and immediate concerns of this art with examples of the total artwork or the tableau, Perhaps we can see tradition after all in Cerise's virtual stagings for opera, Myoo's perspective drawings a la Duchamp and Yuiza's films of Ridley Scott but importantly there is no repurposing, only inspiration and virtual craft. A comparison can also be made with the aspirations of some physical world artists who in their ambition to create the gesamtkunstwerk utilise large museum spaces, but the metaverse artists modernity is to present a conceptual sensibility which leverages a medium characterised by lightness and ephemerality and which requires comparitively few resources.

Imagine the Future @ Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan,

June 30 - July 31 2012

author : arklo novelli, Liverpool 2012