Elgiroeneleje

An exhibition that tries to oversee all the different forms in which artists are dealing with cyberspaces necessarily crosses the field of virtual reality (VR) and 3D stereoscopic displays.

VR has always been one of the big stories of the digital age; heavily over-hyped in the 1990s burdened with way too big expectations and soon many considered it also one of the big failures that never met the expectations.

But when we look at the billions of dollars that nowadays are being made with commercial computer games or the allegedly more than eight million people who participate in the multiuser game World of Warcraft, we have to admit that despite its different appearance VR has by far surpassed the early expectations.

In a similar way we could describe the artistic activities in this field. The first examples gave rise to big expectations but the necessary technology that was required to produce and to present such works remained very expensive and rare for a long time and only a few artists achieved to get beyond the excitement of experimenting with the potential of the technology.

The rise of the computer games suddenly made powerful real-time graphic engines very cheap and easily available and it brought also new software tools that are easy to learn and easy to use.

And so now high-end graphic performance is a matter of course of every PC and already 12 year old kids are creating their own virtual environments and computer games.

But the artistic potential of VR still has to be proven on a larger scale and besides some stunning visual experiences it is in particular the exploration of the narrative and filmic possibilities of VR and real-time animation which should get more attention.

There is the so called Machinima scene—people who are (mis-)using the software that is usually used to develop computer games for their own creation of short films and animations.

But the ties between the often more technology driven Machinima communities and the art world are still just a few.

In this context the work of Gabriel González Serrano is a very promising expectation. In a process of several years he developed his own vision of a virtual world in a working process that also became a deep and thorough confrontation with the clichés of digital art.

The reference to the visual languages that we know from computer games or science fiction movies are inevitable when somebody works with this technical tool—too strong are still the technical limitations and parameters—but what makes Elgiroeneleje remarkably different from the first moment on is the fact that its starting points are not the polygons and textures of the landscape but the presentation of a world that is centred all around the main character.

The world in which the character roams is a representation and an extension of his personal inner condition—"a Gyration of the Conscience" to use Gabriel González Serrano’s words: "The end of a therapeutic poem and the beginning of an ode to the Universe … I have tried, in a modest way, to testify to my own process as human being from my role of "creator". My personal evolution, my experiences, my learnings and changes as human being are always the reference against the artistic work.

So Elgiroeneleje shows my course as human being for the last years. And does not expect to investigate innovative theories, revolutionary artistic concepts, very sophisticated proposals or a meta-language closer to the contemporary cynicism than the real commitment with the artistic work. A commitment which does not exclude the emotions, feelings, or even the soul. Welcome to Elgiroeneleje.

LABcyberspaces
30
Mar
2007
30
Jun
2007

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