MAIA,JOHNNY,DEVON & DAD
Single-channel video installation, 2020
This single-channel video takes a critical view of virtual tours investigating the theme of presence. Exploring the trend in virtual tours, which attempt to bring us in contact with real artifacts, my work conversely finds a space to comment and investigate this by making a virtual artifact and filming a real tour of it. Using Kodon, a 3D sculpture and modelling program, allowed me to make a figurative sculpture in Virtual Reality. The film simultaneously deconstructs and tours the sculpture while my brother, an actual stone carver, constructs and deconstructs my sister’s love affair with a psychic.
My work reproduces some familiar visual and aural indicators of the virtual tour but, arranges them into new layered video installations of a virtual sculpture placed in a real gallery. In a comment on the impersonal nature of viewing art in virtual galleries, real characters from the tour’s narrative are brought into the gallery and become part of a multi-layered construct of the tour itself. In other words, my brother becomes both subject and object of a work of art. He is also a virtual tourist in real gallery observing a projection of a sculpture made in Virtual reality. Part of the inspiration for this project is inspired by an article by Peter Maxwell published in FRAME.com titled, “The rise of the virtual gallery tour: what works and what doesn’t (yet)”.
In the article, Maxwell says, “But for gallery-goers who are yet to log on, visiting these aforementioned virtual venues is likely to result in disappointment. That was certainly my experience. Clicking through to a page of thumbnails that simply link to hi-res artwork images doesn’t feel like an event”. Perhaps what my work attempts to find out is how do others shape our sense of an event. Additionally, what might the presence of others say or not say about the reality of our lived experience with virtual artworks?