Tag: san jose

Revamping Moon v Earth

My artwork occupies the space between the digital and analog as I generate physical expressions of the virtual. In the last several years, most of my work with transforming data into sculptures and installations.

But sometimes I return to narratives themselves. It’s not so much a lack of focus but rather a continual inquiry into technology and its social expression. Imaginary narratives seem particularly relevant these days with the subjectivity of truth magnifying an already polarized political discourse.

I recently finished revamping a project called Moon v Earth, originally presented in 2012 at the Adler Planetary Museum. This augmented reality artwork installation depicts a future narrative where a moon colony run by elites declares its independence from Earth. It is now on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose.

Here are a few augments from the 2012 exhibition that made it in the 2018 show. My favorite was this pair of newspapers, which showed two different ‘truths’. At the time, “fake news” meant nothing and the idea of seeding false stories into online outlets wasn’t a remarkable.

The last augment — the ridiculous wooden catapult about to launch rocks at Earth — refers to the Robert Heinlein novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. This inspired the my project many years ago. In his plot line, the moon was a penal colony much like Australia 200 years ago and features an AI as one of the three heads of the revolution. The independence-seekers achieved victory by hurled asteroids at Earth as their most effective weapon.

I created this absurd 3D model in the imaginary world of Second Life as an amateur 3D assemblage. It was quick and dirty, like much digital artwork and as we see nowadays, like the fragility of truth.

The turn of Moon v Earth, at least the 2018 version is that the augments aren’t virtual at all, but instead are constructed as physical augments hanging from fishing line or hot-glued against a cardboard backing. At first, I tried working with AR technology, but soon discovered its compromises: a device-dependence and a distance between the viewer and the experience. Instead, the physical objects shows the fragile and fragmentary nature of the work in cheap cardboard facades and flimsy hanging structures distributed throughout the venue.

NextNewGames is at the San Jose ICA until September 16th, 2018

Day 17: Into the Streets, Into the Museum

This was the big presentation day for Gift Horse.

We assembled our volunteer crew in the morning and they donned togas for the Green Prix parade.
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We already knew that the horse would clear the doorway, but others were concerned. Reality replicated itself and we got outside South Hall just fine.

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We look like we are exerting ourselves a lot here, but it was easy to push with all of our crew.

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And thanks to Danny Lulu for his excellent photography!
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Some of the students from a local high school came out to help.

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After 2 hours or so, we made it the San Jose Museum of Art. Clap! Clap!
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In the next 3 hours, we quickly disassembled and reassembled the horse in the gallery space for the Retro-Tech exhibition.

At 4pm, we did a quick ceremony, where we presented the horse to Russ, one of the trustees of the museum.

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He accepted the gift, but whoa! Look at all the viruses spilling out!

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Now they’re on the floor as part of the “artwork” that makes up the horse.
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And a final shot of the horse, in its fully glory.
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