Thursday, April 7, 2011

When Less is More

A special exhibition of non-scripted entries
at the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge from the March round.
April 6-14, 2011

[N.B. This is being cross-posted on my personal blog. Apologies to those who follow both. - FreeWee ]
A very interesting phenomenon has been impressing both JayJay and me the last few months: We are seeing more and more really excellent submissions to UWA that are not scripted. In the beginning, the UWA Challenge included a Best Non-Scripted prize in order to acknowledge pieces that had artistic depth, but that were not animated or interactive. It was feared or assumed that scripted objects would tend to dominate the competitions, with the belief that active pieces would tend to obscure more subtle artistry from their sheer intensity. I'm not so sure that's ever been entirely the case as there have always been strong non-scripted entries, but in any case the non-scripted category is an opportunity to highlight pure visual design sans tricks.
At the end of the March round I did a quick tour of the 76 total entries and made a list of nine objects, any of which I thought could be prize-worthy. I really wanted to share these with the public, but as a competition judge I'm not able to comment on my favorites until after the judging and awards were announced. Unfortunately, that means most of the pieces I'm writing about would normally be removed already to make room for the April entries. I was talking to JayJay about this and he suggested we make a platform for these choices and leave them up for another week so you can see what we're talking about. So this mini post-challenge exhibition will be up from April 6-13. Look for the TP sign at the UWA gallery landing pad or just go directly here (SLURL). I hope you will return for a closer look at these great pieces.
Here's the list of favorites I came up with in no particular order. Tell me if you don't agree that each of these is worthy of being appreciated.
Gingered Alsop: Shattered

This evocative Hockneyed image is not Gingered's usual fare for UWA entries. I think its contrast with her other March entry is fairly stunning, but more than that it demonstrates her real talents as a thoughtful artist aside from being a creative scripter. This is exactly the counterpoint that the non-scripted prize is intended to highlight. "Shattered" received the joint first place award for March.
Gleman Jun: The fragility of the soul is not a defect …

Gleman is another artist known for his highly scripted pieces, often with particle pyrotechnics. This piece is a statement whose power lies in its simplicity and directness.This was the other joint first-place winner.
Dekka Raymaker: Garden of Eden

I've been intrigued by the work of the wonderfully imaginative Dekka for a long time. His work combines humor, satire, a certain steampunk flair, and a more than a little surrealism.
Daco Monday: Musico

As I've mentioned elsewhere, the best virtual art is often created by the best rl artists. Daco Monday is a good example. He uses the virtual medium to good effect with a keen eye to create art as he would in real life, but in ways not otherwise possible.
Haveit Neox: Marionette

Another example of aggressively creative surrealism, this piece has tremendous visual impact. It could have been created in rl, but the cost and energy required would be substantial. It could serve as an example of rapid prototyping for rl projects.
Corcosman Voom: The Rut

Corcosman is an interesting artist. He seems to have varying degrees of inspiration. His work is generally minimalistic, but he comes up with an occasional piece that is transcendentally expressive. As with his "Jump" piece from last year's challenge, this piece shows power and motion in the simple lines, much like a sumi-e painting.
Miso Susanowa: Olah

Miso has a beautiful sense of political satire. Her pieces are often highly scripted, but this entry is an elegant self-referential statement ofwhat it is: an artwork being offered up for judgment.
Silene Christen: Tribute to Goya

Silene's tribute is an interpretation of Goya's iconic The Third of May 1808, depicting a scene from the Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies. All the important elements of the original are there. It may not have as much impact if you don't know the original, but if you do, it retains much of the emotional power.
Yooma Mayo: Mantis Praying

Yooma impressed us last month with her infinitesimal gecko and more recently with her generous gift in appreciation for the world's support of his native Japan in this time of crisis. This month's entry is a similarly detailed example from the natural world, but this time on a relatively gargantuan scale.

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