“As Neidich describes it, subjective reality, both experienced and remembered, is no longer (the reality) of the object but of the neutron, and at this… level no things as such appear, only fragmented attributes, surges of brain activity… merely quanta of electrochemical energy, discharging along columns and limbs of cortical tissue.”
From "Polanski and Perception:
The Psychology of Seeing and the Cinema of Roman Polanski."
Photo: original Manuela Bernasconi, montage Felix BQ.
Sit and meditate. I know it's a bit blasé, form and age, but that's the benefit of the action I feel like placing on my working table today, as well as yesterday, and perhaps tomorrow. But then again I still think I know myself better than algorithms do (*terribly sorry to contradict Yuval here), and what I know is that I'll keep trying. Moving. Providing for a substance of life somehow, somewhere. The mediums change, adapt, increase in breath.
For the last several months I've been immersing: technically and virtually practical. Thanks to collaboration with Ruse Laboratories I've had a chance to grasp VR (although I prefer to use the term virtual immersion), as a process and not only a technical solution with the urge for more. In fact, although I have a feeling of having become a consumer of technology rather than an artist right now, forfeiting dynamics to a digital process, there is much to place on the line: there is a spiritual call of an intensity that I have not experienced before.
Perhaps it has to do, finally, with disenchantment. The disillusion of life and those I thought becoming part of projects and stabbings in the back to get ahead in the game. But what game? It's never been so personal as it is today. And it all goes back to when I was a kid.
Summers back in the eighties were long. So long, year after year I kept forgetting there was something called school waiting at the other end of the season. I rode on horseback all day, climbed trees, plucked holes the antique anthill flush, a day's adventure, I was never bored. Thing seemed to simply happen. Today these memories appear in fragments, scents, like a cherry map of secrets all the way to the entrails of adulthood.
Memory is the file rouge of Ubi. Sit. Loci. A VR project spawned from a 7 chapter tv series development, flushed from a short film never produced, and a short story that at least got translated into Italian. Ubi. Sit. Loci. is also a part of Carnal Creative Universe. Part of this neuralic compositum of information, as I diffidently entitled work at the time, was adapted to "Il Sogno", a beautiful short film shot in the Capriasca Val Colla in 2015. Now we're about to dive back in. Now we have VR.
I keep thinking memories in order to construct my future present. Life has departed so magnificently distant to my own personal story, that it seems to have grown into a different sphere of attenuating feats. And this must be the way for all: our formative years format our hard drive: our nature being in our DNA, mixed into the cauldron of expectations, ingested social dreams, the goal of a lifetime.
Through the many books read into immersive virtual reality history, two authors stroke a giant chord. The first was Michael Heim with his early "Methaphysics of Virtual Reality." Heim provided the ontological emancipation from technical jargon from the start, and followed with his doubly extraordinary "Virtual Realism", taking us all the way to the psychological extravagance of UFO's. It was Heim's address to "the incident" symposium held in Fribourg back in 1995's edition of the Belluard Festival, that ignited our current activity towards a recovering 2019 ruse edition.
William Gibson's "Neuromancer" was the hammer on the nail kind of feeling to blast open all of what I had imagined into story. A piercing delirium of undecorated genius packed into a few hundred pages that changed the way we perceived our future. And this was written in 1984, to add to complex associative turns. Gibson coined terms such as cyberspace, laid foundation for cyberpunk worlds to emerge, and some might say the Matrix trilogy owes its soul to it.
Over the last few years I'd been developing projects as if my life depended on it (*in fact it does), but few got beyond the writing table. I know these projects have brilliant fibre, but where I have failed is in adapting out of a structural fossilization in production dynamics.
With VR the scenario is dramatically unlevelled and main activity is concentrated into limited landscapes: entertainment or gaming, a continuation of film, or academic research / institutions. But it is art that will bring about its real used beyond the technicalities. Art is about the process of creation, not the outcome. The product of our work, however beautiful it might be, as much as it may appeal the emotions and blush of our senses, is only the product. What happens during creation, during process, is what changes the texture of reality.
A big chuck of my recent life was invested into developing an Australian artistic co-production entitled "The Name of a Thing" I worked with Jacob Logos from Adelaide. The project focused on the Kaurna’s “language” re-appropriation seen through an artistic prism. Taking a conceptual approach towards a hands on artistic scenario gave us the possibility of playing without particular form. This is how immersive experiences, as a medium, for the project comes into being. During development for “The Name of a Thing” most discussions veered towards the liminal aspect of “language”. Liminality is used quite a lot today as the threshold between worlds (real and virtual). What interested us more is the anthropological aspect of it, and how this applies to time, ritual, process, and ultimately the understanding of life (reality experienced).
A limit appears upon us now.
As I come to understand the deeper consequences of our globalised present, I find myself in the mirror of my young self living the adventure of life. I cannot fathom a creative environment without putting a part of one's self on the deck. My thinning hands call for a break. Winter is down now. The world's axis a crossing of arrogant blunder. A call for meditation endures.
Below: a short test walk on Z Cam for HMD. In the neighbourhood: