Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Memespelunk - Second Life through Juria Yoshikawa's eyes - Expect the unexpected

The first time I experienced Juria Yoshikawa's (aka Lance Shield) work, I was spell-bound... my earliest interactive art experience in the metaverse. It was the "I'm Not Here" immersive light installation at the Gaping Lotus Experience art space back in May of this year. The colors were clean and bright, like easter eggs.

Sadly, the art in the next three photographs exists only in Juria's inventory. We can't have it all ^.^

By combining these colors with light, motion, audio and animations, Juria created a space you wanted to step into and stay in.

Over the many weeks that followed, Juria's new art popped up everywhere... as often as 4 and 5 times a month. I would run to inhabit it.

Then - on July 14th - Juria took a giant leap forward. We were treated to Blink - Two Rooms and an Island - an enormous installation featuring Juria's art combined with AldoManutio Abruzzo's (RL = Dennis Moser) blissful soundscape. I don't mind telling you, plain and simple, that I was blown away. Upon arrival, we were handed gowns of light and animations... and sent off to play. We became, in fact, pixelated paint splashed onto Juria and AldoManutio's audiovisual canvas, wiggling and squiggling about in our dream states.

Fortunately, Evo Szuyuan (aka Brigit Lichtenegger) documented the opening of that show with this video:

Since then, Juria has created numerous installations - large and small - throughout the grid, but it wasn't until the island of Memespelunk came into being that Juria's art began to have some permanence. I am laughing as I type these words. I don't really believe that the word permanence exists in Juria's vocabulary :P.

I am jazzed with the way Lance, the real life Tokyo-based multimedia artist and designer who operates Juria-the-avatar, describes her: "She inevitably chooses scales larger than conventional gallery work because she is interested in people experiencing the work in a physical way - flying through them, riding on them and socializing within the art. To Juria, virtual art is about freeing oneself up to create in ways she finds impossible in real life."

Still... it isn't that Juria is impermanent. It just happens that her art has a very short life span. At least in any state. Here is one typical example... last week Juria alerted me to this:

I love Tron. Um, I love spermatozoa. I sorta love water ballet. Where am I going with this? Let's just say that an experiment went astray and an exuberance of joyful display is had for one and all. The spermatozoa are jumping and the spirit of Tron is in their hearts. Be happy. You won't get pregnant. (Statistical data: 87% of sl av's are male including the girl avs.) Splash!

A few hours later, I received another notecard:

From consumer research and the opinions of my loyal viewers, I have decided to change the name of my latest work to "Headless Spermatozoa Impregnated with the Spirit of Tron (a Water Ballet circa 1982)". Yes the sperm are HEADLESS and IMPREGNATED. Don't ask me how this could happen but it has. It has also been noted that my earlier statistic that 82% of sl avs are male was pure fabrication.

Before one more thing happened, I decided I'd better make my way over there, and this is what I found:

The tune that plays while the sperm cavort playfully in this pool is rather catchy... and happy.

I went back tonight to see what it all looked like in Windlight... and Juria had been tweaking again. Teleport directly from here.

Now the pool filled with headless, pregnant sperm had been invaded by ovum. No further explanation...

... and that is just the way it is if you - like me - are going to follow Juria's art.