Meeting the artists of Caerleon

”You’re in for a wonderful experience.” That’s what the artist Pixel Sideways told me as soon as I’d met her on the island of Caerleon. As usual, I don’t remember why I went, or what expectations I had, but she was right: It turned out to be a really wonderful experience.

I met her on top of a huge artwork, a collaboration between all the resident artists where the theme was ”Man of the future”. She IMed Georg Janick, the mac daddy of the island, so he could give me the full picture. The way he described Caerleon, it reminded me of communism that actually works: ”A handful of core members are on the council that makes decisions collectively. It’s a non-commercial project – no money are being exchanged here. It’s an educational and social experiment, and also a social one. The idea is to use the potential of the new virtual worlds technology in order to do art.”

While he was talking, I was zooming around (as I always do) to get the best angle for a picture, and then discovered he was some sort of replicant, or at least only half human, as he had his brains wired up, and parts of his body looked like machines. Fascinating.

He asked me if I wanted a quick tour. We started at Feathers Boas’s gallery, but as I already knew her work, we went straight on to the next: Nonnatus’ underwater artificial life experiment, involving swimming animals living in predator and prey relations – and they reproduce. I put on headphones to take in the fascinating soundscape down there.

”Nonnatus had to go out of town once, away from the internet, and his organisms escaped and took over the island. It was hilarious.”

Georg said Bryn Oh was online, which gave me a feeling of pure pleasure as I already was a huge fan of her work: Steampunk clocks and statues, to name a few examples. In person, she turned out to be an extremely modest and generous person. Georg had to say goodbye, and I went with Pixel to Bryn’s part of the island.

She rezzed some of her work, and said they were parts of a story. ”So I leave little notes around. The notes tell the story of my character for the viewer to figure out. Kind of little mysteries.”

Bryn then lead us down one of the most fantastic builds I’ve seen in SL: A tunnel leading to underwater rooms that remind you of Captain Nemo’s submarine. In her livingroom I found a little note with part of her story, starting: ”Let’s all keep fighting the invading machines …” Bryn said it’s about robots invading the earth, ”and I fight them. But I fall in love with a robot. I will keep adding notes over time – I love reading books where you puzzle the story together little by little.”

She likes to hide things in her sculptures that costs 1L$ so she’ll know if someone found them. ”I like the idea of someone finding them and become excited, but I usually hide them well.” After a lot of effort and help, I was able to find a little fly in one of her clocks.

Through a secret door we came to a chamber where three of the walls were made of glass, giving an excellent view to the underwater life surrounding her home. ”In here is where I think up my ideas. My jellyfish room.” This is when I teleported Cat, a gal who knows a top quality build when she sees one, even if she only can stick two prims together – which is more than I can.

I’m not sure if Bryn saw me admiring the steamclock, but suddenly she asked: ”Would you like this clock? Free, of course.” I tried to say it was too genereous; she replied by saying she liked to give things away. Pixels said Bryn was a wonderful artist – ”and super fast too, profilic and fun. You’d never know she was a mortician in RL.” Bryn laughed, and gave Cat a steamclock too.

We went back up, where Bryn rezzed a few more sculptures and told us about them. One of them was based on an idea she tried to realize in FL by oil paint five years ago. ”But the medium and the messages were too far from each other. In SL, I was actually able to build the idea, which was really fun.” The sculpture was a shelterball to be used in case of an atomic attack.

Suzanne, who was the first to show me Bryn’s work at the Crescent Moon, came online, and I teleported her straight away. She admitted she were not just interested in her work, but a big fan. ”We’re drooling groupies,” I said. Pixels agreed, and Bryn told us to stop it: ”I’ll become a diva and unbearable to live with. Where’s my limo? And I only want white roses in my apartment.” So I gave her a white rose from my inventory.

Bryn then went on to show us a rocket dog, a monkey with a typewriter, a boxing scene, and lots of other great things. What more to say? If you ever have the chance to see an exhibition of her work, or come visit her place on Caerleon, you’re in for a treat.

Bryn and Cat logged off, while Suzanne and me let Pixels show and tell us about the huge, collaborative build where I first met her. ”The overall theme is humans and technology, and in particular, the virtual world and how we will evolove and what we may be like in 100 years from this moment in time,” she explained. All the artists have built their own part of this human being. Pixels’ contribution was the sex drive, ”hence the ’free orgasm’ animation and the urgency to ’buy sex now’ coming out of the genitalias,” she giggled.

At the very top of the statue is the opposite of her contribution: The ultimate evolution where the body is no longer needed. ”We begin and end as energy, a spark that comes into being, and a spark that fades into the universe,” Pixels said poetically as we were spinning around above the head of the 22nd century man. After that, it was time to get home and to bed.

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~ by theresecarfagno on April 8, 2008.

6 Responses to “Meeting the artists of Caerleon”

  1. Wow! That last pic is incredible. What a great place that was, thanks for taking me…

  2. Hm, maybe I should post it on Flickr too?
    Always a pleasure to have you on the team, Cat ;-)

  3. Truely a beautiful Sim to visit. I had the pleasure of talking to Bryn myself and she amazed me in the same way.

  4. I guess that’s just the effect she has on people :-D

  5. Oh my, when can Echo and I go there? I know I will get lost in Bryn’s Things. And all evening I have been coming across pictures and comments that remind me of the book(s) ‘Griffin and Sabine.’ Bryn sounds like the type of artist who creates wonderful worlds such as that! (Gathering white roses) – Phi

  6. So glad you liked it, Phi. Let’s hook up one day and go there together. I know too you’ll get lost in Bryn’s work.

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