In this isolated time, I have decided to carry out a small virtual exploration project. I will go to different places in the virtual world and look at how these places can creatively and narratively affect me. When I mean affect, I think of how this influence extends beyond the virtual boundary and the synthetic world and into the physical reality.

The project will have the following course:
– I visit and investigate a place and write a short log
– I put together variants of an avatar for the place and make poses.
– I visit the place again, take pictures and write a log
– I process the images in the lightroom on the computer
– I write a blog post with pictures
– I log if I can use the material in other ways: into performances, stories, new stories or something else. Or does the material, the impulse, appear elsewhere?

The first place I want to present is the art installation Chuänghu by the artist with the virtual name FionaFei. She describes the project and herself as following:

«Chuänghu is an architectural installation in the style of ink wash. It is a modern take of today’s urban environment, especially crowded areas filled with buildings and structures that are close together. In the meantime, it also provides a type of openness, where all the «walls» are see-through, acting as windows.

The space is meant to be explored, with poses set up in various elements of the installation. Visitors can sit on the windows and «swap» to pose in other areas within the space. It is my hope that visitors will take pictures, where each picture is a piece of art.

I am classically trained in oil painting and electronic media. Much of my early years were spent painting landscapes and portraits using oil paint on canvas. However, I developed a love for non-photorealism over the years as an artist.

In continuation with my love of non-photorealism, I now produce Chinese ink-brush art in Second Life and exhibit my work around the grid.»

I must admit that this is not the first work made by Fionaei, I have experienced. I have visited her gallery several times and will present it here on a later occasion.

A place is a place because we have a relationship with it. I visit the places with a desire to have a narrative relation to it. By that I mean that it triggers a creative relationship that I retell in a different form. What happens when I meet the place for the second time is a mixture of planning and spontaneity, I have planned what the avatars look like and their poses, but how and exactly where the pictures are taken, happens spontaneously.

This installation is refreshingly abstract in black and white structures. There is a possibility for poses in the installation itself, but I prefer to use my own. The abstract is also a challenge when taking a picture, because how should you focus? The avatar’s place in the abstract quickly becomes dominant in the images and it is difficult to create a clear perspective without the avatar being present. In a narrative, the place is important because it provides a landscape for the events which in turn affects how the story is remembered. As I see it, such an abstract landscape depends on an active presence of a character if the installation for it to come to life outside the installation. By that I mean that it is difficult to take pictures of it without the presence of the avatar. The artist himself says that the installation is meant to take pictures of avatars in interaction with the installation. But here I think the avatars become too dominant.

Of course, this does not mean that the installation is not worth visiting! A challenge is always an important element while being creative!