Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adam Nash (aka Adam Ramona) Selected Second Life Works 2007-2009

Adam Nash (aka Adam Ramona) just opened his first "solo retrospective" collection of selected Second Life Works dated 2007-2009. It’s a varied and random set of installations scattered high up on a flat suspended platform; his works comprising primarily of 2 main competent s, one being sound and the other movement – you see solid walls out colour, some more transparent, some moving, some not. These simple shapes hold an audio/ visual experience which draws you into a state of contemplation – I felt many times as if I was trying to unlock a puzzle of sorts. Adam’s work is engaging on a deep level, and its best experienced in person. Each installation has its own ‘personality’ if you will –and I found it to be truly captivating, and indeed before I had noticed, an hour or so had passed me by– I felt as if each individual experience pained a story in my mind and took me on a journey. As with all such moments in time, each of us with see it and feel it in our own way; and its meaning will of course vary to each of us – what is important here is that it evokes a response. Few Artists transcend, Adam is one of those, and he takes this creative platform of Second Life beyond the screen in front of you. Please go and see Adam’s work for yourself via this direct link and be sure to pick up the additional information made available about the background on both Adam and his work. Adam's "solo retrospective" was curated by the experienced White Lebed and hosted on sim generously donated by Kolor Fall.

Q1. Tell us in 7 words what best describes you in your virtual Life, and would that be the same for your real life?
I am an artist specialising in digital media, in particular realtime 3D virtual environments, but not exclusively. That is what I do in real life. Sorry that's longer than seven words. But I will type more words so that the answer becomes seven times seven equals forty nine words :)

Q2. What brought you to the Metaverse and how did you get here?'
Contentious question, since it is not clear that the metaverse exists.Certainly, there are several different proprietary multi-user virtual environments that do not communicate with each other. I first began working in realtime 3D virtual environments in 1996. At that time I was working with a performance art group called The Men Who Knew Too Much. We created what is now called a "mixed reality" show using VRML(virtual Reality Modeling Language) with an open source Java multi-user client. I have been working in various realtime 3D multi-user virtual environments since then. Second Life is useful because it has a large audience and therefore concepts can be developed over time and respond dynamically in a symbiotic feedback cycle between users and artists.

Q3. How do you see the future of a virtual universe? What is your ideal in terms of say technical and social development?
I remain deeply disappointed that VRML, and its current version called X3D, was not widely adopted. Because it is an open standard, certified by the International Standards Organisation, it would be possible to build a genuine, open, metaverse similar in philosophy and practice to the world wide web, where there is no single proprietary software that dominates and attempts to control the "market". I would like to see all of the great existing open technologies combined to form an open
metaverse, along with the development of open solutions for existing, and future, problems that face the construction of an open, evolving,metaverse.

Q4. If you could change anything to access the virtual world better what would you say or do?
Same as Q3 :) In specific relation to Second Life, I would like to see full access to the underlying sound engine, FMOD, a wonderful and powerful sound engine. It is an Australian production, used in many major games like World of Warcraft etc, but SL severely restricts access to its powerful features. I'm not sure why SL does that, but I suspect it's a combination of the fetishistic privileging of visuality
at the cost of all other considerations, and an undefined technical fear of digital sound. SL has some really crazy aspects to do with sound. For example it is incomprehensible to me why you would give auser UI access to the Doppler effect but not give a creator programatic access to something as basic as falloff.

Q5. Have you spent any time in a virtual world other than Second Life? If not, why not?
I have worked in many many virtual environments, including VRML/X3D, Pure Data GEM, Active Worlds, Blaxxun Contact, There, Second Life, PaperVision, Unreal, Neverwinter Nights, VastPark and Unity3D.

Q6. Your first "solo retrospective" show is about to launch, whichsignifies a closing of a chapter for you - where do you see yourself headed next?
Yes and it is a good chance for me to review what I have created as a solo artist (distinct from my collaborations that have produced farm more significant works,
such as Autoscopia http://autoscopia.net , BabelSwarm http://babelswarm.com and Ways To Wave http://waystowave.com ), and perhaps introduce my work to a broader range of Second Life users. Currently, and for the future, I am collaborating with John McCormick on SquareTangle http://squaretangle.com where we are working mainly in
Unity3D to create "mixed reality" events involving large portable domes, persistent virtual environments, presence activation and motion capture to create evolving, large scale performances that are true collaborations between artists, audience and virtual entities. John and I have been awarded a residency at the Ars Electronica FutureLab, where we will continue to develop the project in January, and then
return to Australia to present the show in live, virtual-only form in July, and then as a full "mixed reality extravaganza" in November. We will then tour the show, first in regional Australia and then internationally. I am also collaborating with John McCormick and Christopher Dodds to create Cloud Cabinet, http://www.squaretangle.com/cloud_cabinet.html a set of physical network-aware, user-activated audiovisual sculptures of glass, wood, aluminium, LED lights, sound system and electronics. The five units constantly communicate with each other to form a kind of meta-sculpture. At SquareTangle we are also devising ASX_e_Dancer, a
motion captured work for SL based on fluctuations in the stock market http://www.squaretangle.com/asx_e_dancer.html . I am also collaborating on the mounting of the ACVALab http://blog.acva.net.au a series of workshops to facilitate collaboration between professional Australian artists working in conventional forms, and Australian virtual artists working in digital forms. ACVA is also launching the
Australian Journal of Virtual Art to promote and disseminate a
critical dialogue around virtual art.

Q7. Your work with interactive sound installations has been ground breaking - what do you consider was the impetus behind your creativity?
The impetus for creativity in this field is suggested by the intrinsic qualities of realtime 3D environments, they can be seen as a "post-convergent" medium where notions of "sound" or "vision" or "network" gain new, fluid definitions, dynamically reconfiguring themselves constantly in response to the symbiotic feedback matrix in
which they all exist equally, without any one taking precedence over the other. Therefore, I don't consider my works to be "sound installations", they are simply "installations" :)

Q8. Which of your sound installation have you enjoyed creating the most and why?
All of them! Because they are awesome! Seriously, though, each work offers its own set of problems and contingencies that are absorbing to be immersed in as the creator. I love them all for all different reasons.

Q9. When you dream at night, do you ever dream about your virtual life?
Oh, I don't distinguish such a thing as virtual life. There is only life. Virtual environments are a part of life, they are not separate from it. Having said that though, I don't remember my dreams very much but they always seem to involve people, I think. On the other hand, I sleep very badly and not much, so I spend a lot of time in a kind of waking dream where I am devising my virtual artworks, definitely. I
try to avoid going near the computer until it is absolutely necessary, because they are like a vacuum sucking all creativity out of you, I find it far more rewarding to design my works inside my own head and I do indeed spend a lot of time in a dream like state immersed inside universe-sized virtual environments with limitless and unheard of qualities. I am constantly amazed that an infinity of universes can
weigh less than 2kg!

Q10. Does the prospect of creating in Second Life still give you a thrill?
The prospect of creating gives me a thrill. The concretisation of creation into a technical environment (SL or any other) is always a dull, repetitive, perfunctory process that would be difficult to describe as thrilling :)

Ok Adam now you have the opportunity to ask and answer yourself 3 of your own questions - knock yourself out, if can be about anything you would like to tell, share and so on ...
I only have one question, and I don't know the answer:
Q1. When presented with the means to egalitarian power, why do we as
people consistently surrender that power to libertarian capitalists?

Until next time on metanopsis!

Poid Mahovlich on Koinup
Poid Mahovlich - blog spot
Follow me on Twitter


Juanita Deharo said...

I also found a lot of time had passed without me noticing. Congratulations to Adam and to White. It is great to see some of those earlier works side by side with the later ones. And Poid - a sensitive lot of images and video which I enjoyed almost as much as the exhibition.

Jenn Forager said...

Nice account, Poid. Thanks for your thoughts and all the wonderful news.

Post a Comment