Still from "Styles and Customs of the 2020s," 2017, Virtual reality, variable duration, By Kim Laughton, based on text from DIS creative brief by Marvin Jordan, A Scatter X DIS Collaboration, Supported by the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art xxx
Still from “Styles and Customs of the 2020s,” 2017, Virtual reality, variable duration, By Jakob Steensen, based on text from DIS creative brief by Tue Greenfort with Julia Moritz, Chus Martinez, and Timur Si-Qin, A Scatter X DIS Collaboration, Supported by the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art
By M. Thomas / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The first virtual reality artwork of the Hillman Photography Initiative will be launched Thursday evening in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Architecture, Oakland. “Styles and Customs of the 2020s” is a collaboration of New York-based artist collective DIS and artist studio Scatter.
Visitors will don an immersive headset to experience one of four works, each 3-4 minutes long, which will be distributed randomly.
The launch event begins at 7 p.m. in the museum theater with commentary by members of DIS and Scatter, and by Chad Keller, historic preservation professor, who will create 3-D models of the hall through laser scanning. The talks are free, but reservations are suggested due to limited space.
The museum’s monthly Third Thursday follows at 8 p.m. and will offer the first opportunity to see the piece. The night continues until 11 p.m. with Mr. Keller’s laser- scanning demos, glow-in-the-dark dancing with DJ duo Tracksploitation, drawing with light sessions with artist Lori Hepner and open galleries. Advance admission is $10, $8 for members, $5 for students. At the door, it’s $15, $10 for members and students.
The artwork is structured around a journey from cave paintings animated by the flicker of firelight to imagined dystopian futures created by the most contemporary of artforms. Scenes range from “isolation bubbles of sensory-canceling technology ... to killer drones clad in artisanal Tuscan leather,” the museum press release says.
Its location in the museum provokes another layer of discussion. The illusory three-dimensional constructed VR world unfolds within a hall filled with plaster casts of actual building facades from various times and places assembled in their own fanciful realm. Perceptions of space and the visitors’ own relationship to their surround are challenged.
The piece morphed out of an internet dialogue initiated by DIS and elaborated by the larger web “supercommunity.” Bringing the work to fruition involved numbers of participants comparable to some film projects, including four collaborating artists, 17 writers, a technical director/lead developer, a 3-D assistant, a producer and a narrator.
It is the second of four programs of LIGHTIME, a project of the Hillman Photography Initiative that has pushed boundaries of photography definition and product since it was established in 2013. For this series, artists were asked to consider the question: “How do new photographic technologies shape the virtual realm?”
LIGHTIME began with workshops and tours given by University of New Mexico professor Andrea Polli, an artist who designed the light work “Energy Flow” for the Rachel Carson Bridge.
“Styles and Customs” will continue through Sept. 4. Pittsburgh artists will complete the LIGHTIME series with a work by cinematographer Bradford Young debuting in the summer and by video installation artist Alisha B. Wormsley in the fall. Information: www.cmoa.org/lightime.
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