The building process began on the LEA sandbox, high in the sky at the end of 2011. I had just finished a film on Haveit Neox's LEA6 installation and the idea of entrenched perceptions that I had woven into the machinima was something I wanted to explore more fully. A few weeks after completing the initial piece, "Chained to Our Perceptions", I was invited to participate in the LEA Endowment project on LEA12. There were many sides of the theme to be explored. Deciding on nine interconnected galleries, I continued with the work. With no real plan, the rooms were filled as ideas arrived -- following the theme that as individuals, countries and a species we are indeed walking on thin ice.
Where did the original inspiration come from? I cannot pinpoint any moment or event that contributed to it. The assumption that it was wandering around in my brain cells for some time could easily be valid. I wrote the poem for Haveit's film in three minutes, typing as fast as the thoughts came. Maybe I pulled the idea from the grand group consciousness; maybe it was a message.
What can your art say about you?
That question brings a smile. Honestly, I don't need it to say anything about me. If it does, the notion that I create continuously in some form or another is most likely the top message point. Creating unlocks hidden material -- for me anyway. I find the process of bringing ideas into reality reveals information and feelings I am either avoiding or have put aside. Often after I finish a project, I sit back amazed. "Do I really think that?" Sometimes the answer is, "yes".
Which is the focus of your work?
My current focus is machinima, but I love to build. I often create sets for the films I make; installations are a natural extension. My favorite part of building is creating and manipulating textures. My favorite part of film making is editing.
Why are art galleries that appear in your video suggest themes such as "End of the World" or "The Last Rose" and who made the images, photos and creations exhibited in these galleries?
Both works you mention were made for the On Thin Ice installation. "Party at the End of the World" became the film for the entry gallery. I had visited Risk City previously and arranged with the owner-builder (SuzeLaRousse Milo) for filming rights, something machinima makers must do to comply with the Linden Labs Terms of Service. Risk City is vast and varied with many areas that suggest symbolic meanings; my job was to choose ones that fit the OTI installation's theme. The bizarre Balance outfit hales from AD Creations (Aliza Karu); I knew it would be perfect the minute I tried it on. Friends dressed up as headless dolls courtesy of DOLLCOCO (cocoro Lemon), abandoning themselves to the revelry of the last days of earth.
"The Last Rose" was my creation.
Perfume. One word that brings back memories. The University of Western Australia had announced the theme for February. While I loved the challenge, it was perplexing. Then I thought about On Thin Ice and how the idea of perfume might fit into that work. What if we no longer had flowers? What if they had disappeared in the wake of technology and cement cities? "The Last Rose" was born.
How do you work? Do you receive help from someone? Do you accept opinions of friends?
I work alone and without a plan, sometimes aided by comments and critiques from my fellow machinimia makers. Most often a project starts with an idea, a general theme. A poem can become part of the inspiration; a phrase overheard can become the first step on the journey. When I begin filming or building, there is only the idea. I don't worry that there is no clear path; I let the moment be my guide. Part way through the process, clarity reigns. So far, anyway. I have often joked that I get some of my best ideas in the bathtub. Actually, that is the truth.
Do you have new projects?
Never one to get off the merry-go-round of creativity, I have begun a new installation project called "Where Do You Go When You Dream?". Here is the theme of the work in progress.
Between the dusky fall of sun and the twilight of breaking dawn magic reigns. We enter a land of shadowed dreams. Time moves sideways here; colors turn to muted shades of taupe and grays. Outside the world sleeps; inside the dreamers explore their longings and fears. Which will be the story of the evening? What mysteries will they find the answers to?The installation mixes original diorama styled works with poetry and machinima to create a world of exploration and discovery.
Will it have a home? Only time will tell.
What is the message that your video suggest to people?
Is the medium the message? Perhaps. Something beautiful to watch is the goal -- a brief glimpse of our virtual world, oftentimes a reflection of our corporeal one. Along the way a message may appear, but I am most often asking questions -- either overtly or implied. My goal isn't to influence, it is to open a gateway to contemplation. Viewers need not see what I see. Whatever they perceive is in part their vision. My work was only a conduit.
Do you think that, somehow, all people are connected to each other? how?
Absolutely! And if my work suggests that premise in some way, I am pleased. We are connected on so many levels. In concrete ways our policies, politics and economies are very much intertwined. In more metaphysical ways, we are at the core -- one.
How do you think your art contributes to people's lives?
I hope that it causes them to pause in their often busy days and think about what truly matters. The world spins so fast these days. We each have our own beliefs, our own goals. Understanding that helps us relate more completely with those in our lives. Being true to ourselves, in my mind, is the greatest gift we can give to others.
Can you explain the idea that "as nations, individual species and each day we are walking on thin ice"?
I am not a political person, so this installation was never meant to suggest there is only one way, one answer. It simply asks questions. Where have we been? Where are we going? Does the path lead to a sustainable future? Are all people equal? Can all people be treated equally? Can we break out of our solitary existences? Can we bring balance to our lives without unbalancing others? Can we embrace inaction and expect the world to move in the direction we desire?
Can we hear the quiet?
Each person has their own answers. Building this installation helped me find mine.
Why the ice was the chosen element? Is there any relation with the theory that in future the world will live a new ice age?
Ice was chosen for its precarious nature. Seemingly substantial, it can have underlying flaws.When enough pressure is exerted, a critical mass being reached, it is no longer stable. No futuristic predictions were intended.