walk-through installation by PleaseWakeMeUp Idler and Sherpa Voyager
brings attention to the human side of the Iraq war and some of the
motivations that gave rise to it. In one of the rooms faces turn to
follow you, and floating texts appear from them with comments.
Detail from the installation. Click it for an expanded
The notecard that is dispensed at
several locations in the installation admonishes the viewer to walk
through and not to use the camera controls to see what is there.
This is important to the experience, as the interactive effects that
occur are scripted to the proximity of your avatar to each
The 1000 prim cube is made of eight sections of 125 prims each.
Click the image for a different and larger view of this room.
Reinhardt meets Thorstein Veblen
More than just propaganda,
the installation brings together an unusual mix of art history and economic
thought. In a room bearing the inscription "Conspicuous Consumption"
on a wall there is a small white object made of 1000 prims. The motto comes from
Veblen's 1899 classic, The
Theory of the Leisure Class, which also gave rise to such notions as
"keeping up with the Joneses."
The cube itself evokes a 3D virtual Ad Reinhardt painting and,
whether intentional or not, has a beauty to it that makes one question whether
the 1000 prims were indeed wasteful or were in fact well used. At the very least
they are used well in illustrating the artists' point. This brings it
conceptually close to Reinhardt as well as visually.
Die for Art
In a side room is a sculpture that looks
like a cross between a rusty oil drum and a section of oil pipeline.
Titled The Price of Oil, you can have it for free. According to the
notecard (click the i)
all you have to do is die for it. Not your human typist, your Second Life
avatar. Make arrangements with the artist to have it delivered to your heir
after your death.
Is the suggestion of suicide for art akin to a
suicide bomber's belief that death will bring benefits in the afterlife? Or
that dying to benefit someone else is a noble act? Or is it that our desire
for oil to power our SUV's is suicidal?
There are many possibilities of interpretation,
and that makes this a particularly interesting work of art. When the metaphor
evoked by a work reverberates within the viewer and applies itself to many
facets of life, the phrase used is metaphoric power. This virtual object has
it. As a work of conceptual art, the acts required to acquire it raise thought
provoking psychological and philosophical questions.
Does your avatar have a life? Would you end it
for art? Can you have your cake and eat it? This well conceived and executed
installation may seem didactic to some, naive to others, and dangerous to
those who believe that preventing terrorism is the real reason the USA is in
Whatever your persuasion, this is an exhibition
you should see. And If you want to know more about the history behind the 21st
century, I highly recommend that you read Peter Dale Scott's book, The
Road to 9/11.
this exhibition has ended