(VR)Ography is a dual part project that examines, documents and archives two ‘living’ aspects of the virtual world. The two parts focused upon within this project are the representation of the human form and the representation of the natural world.
Within virtual worlds, the representation of nature is often ignored or side-lined. This is often due to the representation of nature being of little consequence to the mechanics of play, or they utilised merely as set dressing that is only briefly in play. Within ‘Herbarium Simulacrum’ I have embarked upon a botanical documentative journey into the virtual and the real, collecting digital and physical samples from each realm. I have combined the two, highlighting the nature and beauty of both worlds. The addition of the real within this project serves to tie the virtual into the reality it is derived from.
(VR)Ography is a dual part project that examines, documents and archives two ‘living’ aspects of the virtual world. The two parts focused upon within this project are the representation of the human form and the representation of the natural world.
Within virtual worlds, the human form is often misrepresented or represented poorly, this is usually due to the uncanny valley effect, or the lack of development into the scripting and AI of the background NPC. Within ‘People of the Virtual World’ I have explored the virtual environment and documented the human representations that resided within. By embarking upon this project, I have explored the humanity of the virtual, documenting through portraiture the non-player characters that populate the digital world. Along with the portraits I have constructed excerpts of text that create an emotional tie to the viewer and the NPCs depicted, thus humanising the simulation.
‘Invisible Walls’ is a project of two parts, culminating in two sets of images focus on the abandoned environment within and the restrictive nature of the virtual game space.
The project will be split into two halves, the first is a set of black and white images that are derived from the virtual and displayed via the analogue. The images focus on the ‘neglected environment’ which, within the virtual world acts as a decorative barrier to the user. Employing visual cues from the real and imagined, these scenes incorporate destruction, decay and neglect to visually fool the user into believing they are within the world they have entered. However, these scenes are non-interactive and merely serve as window dressing, creating the illusion of a wider world. These places serve as the edge lands and non-places within the chosen virtual world.
The second set serves as an exploratory piece set within the virtual. This part of the project also documents the restricted areas that are imposed upon the user within virtual environments, however it is via the use of the topographical format that the imagery is delivered. With the ability to be near limitless in scope, many virtual environments are restrained in terms of their size and employ visual trickery to give the impression that they are larger and more detailed than they really are. This part of the project documents these false doorways and entrances formed into a coherent topographic photographic collection compiled of 100 individual images.
‘The Uncanny Valley of the Dead' is a short photographic project created with the purpose of exploring the ideas between the virtual world and the real aiming to connect viewers on an emotional level with human representations. This is done through virtual means to highlight the disconnect that is apparent between the user and the death of the avatar within the virtual world. The use of the uncanny valley hypothesis highlights the disconnection that has grown in our culture between the theatrical display of horrific scenes and imagery shown through the media and our emotional connection to it. It is this that is the basis upon which the project is built.
This project is intended to make the users of these programs consider the actions they partake in, and for those who do not, it serves to highlight the disconnection of emotional reaction through media.
‘The Descent’ and ‘The Calm Before the Storm’ is a two-channel video piece that represents the aspects and emotions I have decided to focus on from the Orpheus myth.
My interpretation is centred around the feeling of apprehension that one might experience in a journey to another world, or an ‘underworld’. I represented this in modern way using analogy and a contemporary viewpoint. I represented this by using a lift as a vehicle for the analogy of descent. Along with this I created a virtual scene that represented an aeroplane waiting on a runway, the virtual nature of this scene represents the otherworldly nature of an ‘underworld’ as it quite literally is another world.
The passage of time is incredibly important within this work in order to create a feeling of tension, at 10 minutes long we see a shift in the lighting and tone of the lift and a transition from early evening to night within the airport scene. The audio gradually increases over the course of the piece which, along with the extended duration and subtly shifting colours enables feelings of fear and dread to emerge from the viewer.
[VR]OGRAPHY - A PHONEY WAR - 01-12-2017
“Always trust computer games.” - Ridley Pearson
The conceptual base of this project is to explore the ideas between the virtual world and the real, to highlight the ever-blurring lines between video games and war. As technology advances, the realism in videogames becomes ever more true to life and at the same time real life conflicts are resolved using more video game like processes. Along with this, I am exploring ideas of propaganda and the possible deceit in photography initiated by the artist. I hope to have accomplished this by forming a project around these ideas on war journalism and more specifically war photography and video games as simulacrums for war.
The work consists of a series of virtual images transformed via analogue techniques with the intention to showcase a fictional conflict that has been brought into reality via its presentation. My images are born from fictitious origins and presented in a way that takes them from that and into reality.
The basic premise for this project on landscape was to recreate a typical set of snapshots that one might take throughout their travels, however rather than just shooting landscapes I wanted to use my memories from a digital world. The plan was to search through an archive of screen shots I had taken while immersed in a certain digital world many years ago, and to pick out the most suitable images. Once I had the images I wanted I would then bring them into the physical world by rephotographing them using analogue methods.
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