Collaborative Social VR Worldmaking, 2018
Artist Participated: Mengyu Chen, Alexis Crawshaw, Cindy Kang, Ehsan Sayyad, Enrica Costello, Gustavo Rincon, Jing Yan, Tim Wood, Weidi Zhang, Yin Yu, Zhenyu Yang, Nathan Weitzner, Anshul Pendse, Aaron Anderson, You-Jin Kim, Greg Reardon, Mert Toka
“Future: Invisible: Tripping: Machine:” proposes an open, tolerant, combinatorial, and creative stance toward encounters with the unknown.
To begin with, two notions are brought together: <future tripping> and <invisible machine>.
From their collision, two new notions are generated: <future invisible> and <tripping machine>.
The first, <Future Invisible>, alludes to an ancient saying by the sophist Isocrates (to whom much of the model of paideia is credited):
“Μηδενὶ συμφορὰν ὀνειδίσῃς· κοινὴ γὰρ ἡ τύχη καὶ τὸ μέλλον ἀόρατον.”
“Taunt no one’s misfortune; for to all fortune is common and the future invisible.”
The second, <Tripping Machine>, alludes to Paul Klee’s painting <Twittering Machine>, and to the impinging of the artificial on nature. But, whereas tripping might be construed as negative, the impulse here is to choose to see that-which-trips as providing an opportunity to solve, not forget, the problems that arise when worlds collide.
<Twittering Machine>, in turn, directs attention to Paul Klee’s “Pedagogical Sketchbook,” which contains a wealth of ideas for how to make anything, including worlds, by balancing and reconciling forces inherent in the field of their encounter.
These two notions, one ancient, one modern, collide/collude with worldmaking and VR and transvergence and all the ideas we are exploring in the present and are anticipating for our future.
Other combinations are possible. All are welcome. Writing “future: invisible: tripping: machine:” explodes all the components, making all available for recombination, pointing to the openness to these other combinatorial possibilities, and to any that arise as the work/world progresses.
Notably, “tripping” now leans into “twittering” — a notion of travel is maintained, but the fear of falling/failing is replaced by hopeful birdsong.
Embodiment follows: these words are not idle, they are enacted. They become instructions to a form of worldmaking that takes its cues from the rainforest or the coral reef or the living city. A group of transvergent worldmakers build in parallel, with no initial plan other than the establishment of a sustainable ecosystem within which diversity can thrive. Intentions collide and are resolved as opportunities. Step by step, one teetering/twittering trip at a time, beauty emerges from ever-unfolding balance.
Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science and Technology, May 2018
MAT 2018 End of Year Show, June 2018
Immerse(d), Live House Hollywood, November 2018