She is the mistress of sad art, of robotic art, of mystery and melancholy, all in a virtual space, but when you talk with her, there's a bit of jocularity, of no-nonsense to Bryn Oh that's light and engaging. In conversation yesterday, the Canadian artist got to speaking about Second Life's building blocks. "I kind of like prims. It's fun to just use them. It's like Lego."
Bryn Oh, as captured by Bryn Oh
As the discussion progressed, we got on the topic of weather and how cold it can get up north. Like -30. It didn't occur to me to clarify this at the time, but I hope she was referring to Fahrenheit and not Celsius degrees. Brrr. "Snow was my very first toy, before Legos," she explained. What did she make? "Oh, snow homes, people, and often underground tunnels, which are nice and warm inside."
Years later, Bryn is still making tunnels and secret places that can only be negotiated via camming - that act of zooming and panning one's viewer (camera) down nooks and crevices. What they lead to is often the very heart of the matter, the answer, or partial answer to the question that the installation poses, for there is always a story, a conundrum, and a sequence of events in her art that need to be discovered to comprehend the whole. She is a virtual storyteller.
Vessel's Dream is such a creation. "They will only be able to go through a few rooms before they cannot continue with their avatar," advised Bryn. "At this point they must switch to holding down Ctrl and Alt (at the same time), and using the left mouse button. With all three held down, you can now change the angle and enter the tunnel. They then let go of the left mouse button, move it over a new target and hold it down again. Letting go, they can zoom forward using the scroll wheel. It's a bit like spiderman moving like this. Again they must click on things, as many parts of the build can be activated," she instructed.
Vessel's Dream has not yet been made public, but like all of Bryn's works, it appears to be an advancement over her last. Now her machinima is helping her to tell the stories, always aided by her Machine Poetry, which one discovers here and there, like messages in a bottle, lonely and cast away on old parchment paper: Histories of sentimental, often persecuted and ill-fated angels and robots.
Machinima by Bryn Oh
Here are just some of the blogposts we've done about Bryn and her work in Second Life:
- The Machine Poems and virtual sculpted storybook by Bryn Oh
- Attaining presence: 4Jetpacks4 and Bryn Oh
- Beautiful Mondays in the eyes of the Virtual Film Archive
- Bryn Oh chronicles the fall of the angels: A story in prims
- Crap Mariner's marathon video session: 31 videos in one day: Bryn Oh's steampunk alphabet
- Self-hypnosis and Bryn Oh's Steamgarden