Saturday, 18 February 2012

I Fell In Love One Afternoon...

I fell in love one afternoon
And wrote your name on a white balloon…
The Rabbicon Story, Bryn Oh

With the help of endowments from a number of patrons including British filmmaker Peter Greenaway, and a grant from the Canadian government, Bryn Oh is in the process of re-creating all three chapters of the ‘Rabbicorn Story’ on a resurrected ‘Immersiva’ region.
‘Immersiva’ is Bryn Oh’s Second Life studio. She will be using it for the purpose of creating a movie and real life exhibit of the Rabbicorn story.
(click to enlarge images)

For those unfamiliar with the story, the three individual machinima can be found here:
·        The Daughter of Gears (Part 1)
·        The Rabbicorn Story (Part 2)
·        Standby (Part 3)
The Rabbicorn story is a narrative expressed in poetry, images, speech and text. Byrn clearly understands her story, what she wants to say (via her characters) and how she wants to say it.

For me, Bryn’s work always has a feeling of desolation and abandonment. There is darkness there, a definite but undefined sadness.
When I look at the individual sculptures I sense the pain that many of us carry inside of ourselves – an emotional pain we attempt not to impose upon others because we intuitively understand that they themselves have a similar and equivalent pain.

We can never be quite sure of the type or degree of pain that our neighbour harbours; we can be only sure that such a pain surely exists.
How many of us in our quietest, most personal and most insecure moments feel as Munch’s ‘The Scream’?
Byrn’s work, for me, often expresses the as yet incomplete process of the “mechanicalisation” of the human spirit. By that I mean that we appear as a civilisation to be increasingly implementing processes which tend to robotise thinking and feeling – and in fact, in some cases. making them entirely redundant. We seem intent on having our human interactions and friend selections overseen by a series of computer algorithms and programming sub-procedures.

The phrase “Human Resource,” for example, is now a literal truth. Surprisingly this term has not yet captured and sanitised by the guardians of political correctness because, within this ubiquitous term comprising two innocuous words, lies a deep literal truth about how the corporate world views its employees – a “resource” which just happens to also be a human being, as opposed to a desk or chair or any other item of stationary. Within the methodologies and terminologies of the corporate world, the difference between a human resource and, say, a hole punch resource is largely one of functionality and expenditure.
Ironically, the term “human resource” has grown to be one of the most dehumanising words of the Western world.

Now, in some senses the most interesting thing about the above statements is that we have no idea if Bryn knowingly endowed her installation with these qualities or not. That is, those are my ideas and reflections that arose from interacting with Bryn’s work. They may or may not have been in Bryn’s mind as she was creating. Furthermore, short of actually asking her, we have no way of knowing.
We have touched on this subject before on this blog, when we explored the Innsmouth region. We noted then that once an artist releases their work to the wider public they relinquish control over the “meaning” of the work. Although the artists’ fans, academics and art dealers will always consider the artist to hold the “definitive meaning” behind the work, the simple fact is that anyone can project whatever meaning they wish onto the work. This may be a deliberate and conscious act or entirely involuntary and unconscious but, regardless, it is now wholly outside the control of the artist.

The result of this is that the artist will likely discover interpretations of their work that they had never previously considered. Some of these interpretations the artist will find interesting and instructive – others she may well find to be bizarre and bewildering!
In my experience most artists find this process of re-interpretation of their work to be at worse mildly entertaining and, at its very best, enlightening.

We have previously attempted to examine the dynamics at play when we considered the ‘Daytime Dreams’ region. There is a “union”, we suggested, between the subject and object of consciousness – the seer with the thing seen – which sometimes results in the generation of a third element - the creation of an entirely new idea or concept; one quite independent of the original artist, albeit obviously inspired and ignited by their work.
All aesthetic considerations aside, it might be that the primary importance of artistic installations such as The Rabbicorn Story is their ability to gently prod us into thinking for ourselves, to subtly nudge us into feeling emotion.
Regular readers of this humble blog will know that I am not overly optimistic about the long-term viability of our civilisation in its current form. Many different civilisations, nations and cultures have arisen, peaked and fallen over the last 4000 years. I have seen no evidence why our civilisation should prove any different.
However, this viewpoint is not rooted in the logic of “immanentizing the eschaton”; it isn’t something I actively *wish* or pray for; it isn’t motivated by any political or religious ideology. Rather it is a belief based on the observation that those who have not learnt the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them
But, even with this belief, I am most certainly optimistic about the future prospects of Life itself, and of the resilience and fortitude of DNA to star-seed distant corners of the cosmos. I just happen not be too species-concentric about it.
Entwined in the weft and warp of this admittedly gloomy forecast for the short and medium term is in fact a positive, hopeful and life-affirmative message. It establishes the idea that in the long term at least, élan vital, so-called by Henri Bergson in 1907, will prevail; that the process of evolution is fundementally creative and progressive.
And, again, I believe I can detect similar sentiments in Bryn’s Rabbicorn Story. I see ingrained in the narrative, in the textures and prims the idea of the vanquishing of dark forces; of prevailing against the odds.
As we advance through each stage of the tale, we come to realise that running parallel with the emotional-mechanical-artificiality of the human condition - represented by the gears, the cogs and other motorised components - there is actually a sense of the triumph of the spirit, a reunion with natural humanity, a reclaiming of human resources for ourselves.
In summary, what finally emerges from one afternoon at Bryn Oh’s installation, is Love...

Pixie xx

All ideas, concepts and artwork relating to the 'Rabbicorn Story' and  Immersiva  belong to Bryn Oh.
Photography in this post of Bryn Oh's original work is by Pixie Rain.
The opinions expressed in this post are Pixie Rain's alone and are not intended to represent Bryn Oh.
Bryn Oh and Pixie Rain are real avatars in a Virtual World on a lonely planet orbiting a really rather ordinary G-Type star. How cool is that!

1 comment:

  1. All we need is LOVE, LOVE, LOVE is all we need ...

    Originally I have imaginated notes made with hearts, but sadly they can't appear here :(

    Agnostic Peace & Love Klute