Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oberon Onmura knocks me over and blows me away

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

Blame the summer heat, my haste in recent months, or simply my incomprehension and obtuseness, but I didn't appreciate what others saw in Oberon Onmura's Second Life® work. I was also quite unhappy with Oberon a few months ago when the New York artist left a large gray scripted building plop atop the works of others on the Brooklyn is Watching gallery floor, thereby inhibiting my ability to enjoy everyone else's pieces. While this was not good form, it did have the effect of branding the name "Oberon Onmura" on my brain. It was going to take a lot to turn me around.

And a lot has happened: Two striking and, I feel, important highly kinetic and interactive installations.

The first appears to have been assembled in a flash. Plaza or "Uneven Floor" is rezzed for just a short while on the new Brooklyn is Watching floor (teleport directly from here). Oberon describes it thusly: "A quick piece converted from the 'Storm Cells' scripts, It's a plaza where the pavers rise and fall, and change color from white to gray to black. Also, they randomly rez chairs which are physical objects that often fall or get disrupted by the changing design of the plaza."

The Tunguska Event (teleport directly from here) simply bowled me over. Oberon has harnessed Second Life's winds and physics to portray his vision of a powerful explosion that occurred near Russia's Tunguska River on June 30, 1908.

To get the overhead effect, sit on one of the red "cushions" at the arrival area or on one of the four corners of the installation, and then hit "escape" a couple of times to enable Oberon's special viewer. It helps to maximize your draw distance and particle effects, too

It is believed that an air burst caused by a large meteoroid or comet fragment about 5–10 kilometres (3–6 miles) above the Earth's surface, estimated to have the energy equivalent of 1,000 times the Hiroshima bomb, knocked over approximately 80 million trees spanning 2,150 square kilometres (830 square miles).

Curated by Zachh Cale, who will perform a piano piece he has composed especially for the public opening at 2pm SLT, Sunday, September 20th, the installation was sponsored by Project Z Gallery.


HomerTheBrave said...

Yay Oberon!

Corcosman said...

I'm glad that first impression did not inhibit taking another look at Oberon's work. He really is a good guy, encouraging and helpful to fellow artists. And BIW does get chaotic sometimes. I pulled one of my pieces because it had been covered by a megaprim thing. (Not made by any of the BIW regulars.) That was fine because I knew in a few days, or a week at most, the space would look different.