[-empyre-] Adam Nash Intro

Greetings All,
Great to be involved with this month's -empyre- and I'm looking forward to stimulating discussion of web-based 3D, with artists whose work I have long admired, and with those whose work I have enjoyed discovering through Web3DArt2003.

I am interested in Web3D in two distinct areas:
- (In multi-user form) as a live performance medium.
- As a sculptaural medium. The spelling is intentional and explained below.

As A Live Performance Medium:
I'm interested in non-representational avatars as live performance devices within multi-user spaces. Currently I use a slightly modified version of VNet, much like Melinda does, to realise this. I am attempting to develop a performative vocabulary for 3D MU space that uses the qualities and properties of the space itself, rather than attempting to mimic or replicate physical space. (For this reason, I eschew the use of the term "Virtual Reality" which happily has more or less fallen out of fashionable use anyway. Likewise, I find the term 'avatar' problematic, both because it has quickly come to imply a direct representation of the user and also because of its dodgy etymology. I struggle, however, with suitable replacement terms). Currently I am working on a major performance project called "Scorched Happiness", based on Toccata and Fugue for the Foreigner by Julia Kristeva - a project that will really attempt to test these notions of building a vocabulary for non-representational live performance in an MU space by attempting to perform Kristeva's highly intelligent and emotive work about foreignness. Details are available at http://www.yamanakanash.net/scorched_happiness/index.html

My piece in Web3DArt, Memory Plains Returning, http://www.yamanakanash.net/3dmusic/mprintro.html is more or less a sketch out of the above ideas, using a personal exploration of memory as the conceptual performative impulse. As a composer I am very much drawn to the spatialised sound capabilities of the 3D space working in concert with the visual sense, and I see this interplay as an integral part of the experience.

Along with two other performers, John McCormick and Kema T. Ekpei, I will be presenting a live MU verson of Memory Plains Returning at Folly Gallery (and online of course) towards the end of this month.

As a Sculptaural Medium:
In a far more personal way, I am deeply attracted to 3D space as a sculptural medium with built in spatial sound. Sculptural + Aural = "Sculptaural". I am thinking of sculpture in the sense of Moholy-Nagy when he said "The organization of light and shadow effects produce a new enrichment of visions," Moholy-Nagy eliminated shapes reminiscent of nature and sought to explore the relationships of light, colour, tone and non-objective form. I find sonicised 3D space to be a wonderful medium in which to explore these notions within the new context of the internet.

Two pioneers who have really influenced me are joining in this month's discussion: Melinda Rackham and Steve Guynup. So, I'm really looking forward to this forum, and hearing everyone's views.

If you're not bored enough already by my ramblings, below is a short rundown of how and why I got involved with web-based 3D in the first place...

Warm Regards,

Performing professionally since the age of 13 in many media, I have been constantly searching for a performance arena that would allow a performative vocabulary equal to the multi-sensual experience that is life in our world. In 1997 VRML seemed the best contender yet. At that time I was composer and performer with The Men Who Knew Too Much (www.tmwktm.com), an internationally recognised group of live precision absurdists who had long before moved outside (literally) to large public spaces to present large scale architectonic, cross-media works. It was natural that cyberspace would beckon as the biggest public space of them all, and thus Virtual Humanoids was conceived as a live and online performance piece. It premiered at the brand new Melbourne Planetarium in 2000, using a combination of live performers and their avatar counterparts performing in a wildly surreal virtual architectural space. The show was very popular, but I quickly became dissatisfied with the process of trying to force representations of the physical world into the 3D space, which struck me as having its own unique properties that would be very interesting to explore. Once Virtual Humanoids was wrapped up after a show at GammaSpace gallery, Melbourne in 2001 and a season at Digital Summer in Manchester UK in 2002, I struck out on my own to explore the 3D space on its own terms.

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