But does that make the experience less “real”? I met people from around the world in a space that inspired the imagination and I took the time to create the movements and image of an avatar. Self-expression plus interaction, however digital, was present and was arguably less inhibited by the limits of physical space. Through the work of five artists, this notion of “immersive experiences that oscillate between real and virtual space” is explored in REVERSE gallery’s UNCANNY, a group show about 3D virtual environments (28 Frost St).
Alien ship could work as an antithesis to RandomAccessData in that the animation and accompanying sound was on some level soothing, but not quite. In line with the show’s namesake, Giselle Zatonyl’s work imitates reality enough to reach the point of the “uncanny valley,” effectively drawing a sense of unease. It reminded me of a Thailand seascape with jagged rock formations but in this digital rendition, there was something eerie about the sculptural entity that merged in and out of the water.
In a short conversation with Alfredo Salazar-Caro, I learned that Triptych AKA Miami Booty Bass revisits earlier motifs of power and mysticism and brings contemporary elements to it. The three animated portraits in triptych form is an homage to early Christian art and displays imagery like church steeples alongside USB drives. It’s a conversation between two different times of old world religious iconography and iconography now.
81 Points of View (Autoplay) by Sebastian Schmieg is perhaps a conversation between obsolete technology and modern devices. A “media-archaeological sculpture… where as media technology becomes smaller and eventually invisible… the sculpture’s mode of operation turns out to be the actual subject matter.” Indeed, the carousel slide projector took center stage here more than the projection, especially as the “transparent set-up” was missing on opening night. The reality of technical difficulties.
In UNCANNY, you veer between the realm of actual space and virtual space, time is stretched, and you encounter the kind of artistic geekery that I can’t help but find appealing.
UNCANNY is curated by Helena Acosta and is on view until tomorrow (Saturday 9/26). As part of the exhibition programming, Alfredo Salazar-Caro will be teaching an Intro to VR and Video Games workshop (9/26 and 9/27) at REVERSE (28 Frost St). REVERSE gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm or you can make an appointment by emailing email@example.com.