Avatar Nonnatus Korhonen and real bees hover over the honey in Nuerone Schism's hand
It must be said... Australia continues to trailblaze ahead of most first-world nations in its funding and fostering of novel programs that explore the arts in the virtual realm. The Australia Council for the Arts has just announced the winners of its collaborative massive multi-user virtual environment (MMUVE) arts project, MMUVE IT!, and this is the second consecutive year that a NPIRLer wins.
Our own Nonnatus Korhonen (aka Andrew Burrell), together with Nuerone Schism (aka Trish Adams), are the recipients of the Council's AU$30,000 grant, which they will use to collaborate on Mellifera, a mixed-realities artwork exploring cognitive processes and body movement, and their relationship to virtual environments in both Second Life® and the recently launched Australian virtual platform, Vastpark.
Last year's winner was Babelswarm - an interactive sculpture based on the mythical Tower of Babel - conceived and created by NPIRLer Adam Ramona (aka Adam Nash), Mashup Islander (aka Christopher Dodds), and Justin Clemens, (teleport directly from here).
Andrew Burrell (Nonnatus Korhonen) is a Sydney-based visual artist and writer, best known to us as the man who created the mysterious and elusive birds at the Garden of NPIRL Delights...
This photo by Kean Kelly
... as well as Oracle, an installation that investigates perception and interpretation of language and representation of form (teleport directly from here).
Brisbane-based arts/science practitioner and researcher Trish Adams (Nuerone Schism) has a Doctorate in Visual Arts, and her thesis explored the impact on expressions and representations of corporeality of experimental techniques in biomedical engineering and involved a cross-disciplinary collaboration with a biomedical scientist at The University of Queensland.
The artists will collaborate with Professor Mandyam Srinivasan, head of visual and sensory neuroscience at the University of Queensland's Brain Institute - where Trish Adams is currently an artist in residence - to create artifically intelligent bee-like creatures that will be native to their virtual environment. Said Andrew,"They'll feed and have predators like ordinary creatures, but their behaviour will be determined by the rules of the environment."
Professor Srinivasan was the recipient of the 2007 Premier of Queensland Smart State Fellowship Award for his leading research into cognition and navigation systems in small brains such as the honey bee.