LEA11: Quest for Virtual Haptic

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes —

Cyanotype portrait of Vaneeesa Blaylock / Agent Cyan. Shoulder-length photo with her gaze averted and one hand brushing her hair behind her ear

Agent Cyan (aka Vaneeesa Blaylock)

Agent Cyan

The Quest for a Virtual Haptic: Hello everyone, my name is Agent Cyan. I have a license to visualize. I’ll be your virtual tour guide for the next 20 days. We’re going on an “Art Hunt!” We’re going to visit 20 artist-created environments in 20 days. We’ll pay a visit to each of the current 20 Artists-in-Residence at the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) regions of Second Life.

A Virtual Haptic

Our mission is twofold:
1) See what the artists are thinking about.
2) Think about their work in terms of the Question here at LEA11 / Alice in Cornelland:

Can you create a virtual haptic?

Can you create visceral experience in virtual space? I don’t so much mean Force Feedback Gloves, Bodysuits, Vibrating Joysticks. But is it possible, be the “vibrations” mechanical or mental, to create a sense of touch in virtual space?

Artists like Douglas Story & Desdemona Enfield create works that move. Works that emit sound and light when your avatar body comes in contact with them. Artists like Bryn Oh create less “kinetic” environments, instead focusing on layer upon layer of texture. And just like RL if you have a significant experience with someone is there a deeper mental groove from that experience?

Agent Cyan at the entrance tower to a steampunk inspired Roman Villa

Utopia Parkway Station

SIM 1/20: LEA11

This first stop on our 20-day tour is LEA11 / Alice in Cornelland. And this is the quest for a virtual haptic. Ongoing projects at LEA11 include:

• Performances, workshops & special events
• Virtual Artists Alliance’s Haiku Speedbuild
Avatar Blogger Month!

June is Avatar Blogger Month. We are challenging Avatars who Blog, from all worlds, to do a post a day during June. We will feature their blogs on “Big Screen TV’s” at Utopia Parkway Station.

You’ll notice that the photos in this series are “crappy” old Cyanotypes. They’re more work to make than a modern print. And lower resolution. These prints offer “less” than modern prints. But sometimes,

Less is More

When architect Mies van der Rohe said that he was speaking about the “clean modernity” of his contemporary architecture. But “clean” can be “austere,” and Robert Venturi wisely riposted

Less is a Bore

Agent Cyan in shallow water and standing in front of a geodesic dome

Vaneeesa Blaylock / Company history dome. Feat. Laundromat & Disco!

“Less” Lets You Explore

At LEA11 we’re thinking not of austerity, but of a “less” that is the messiness of texture. The less of a “crappy” cyanotype. The less of a virtual environment that leaves enough gaps for personal experience to explore and intertwine with it. As we move deeper into our digital century Maker Culture, Analog Culture, and Body Modification Culture, all are on the rise. It is as though even in the Physical World they share our Alice in Cornelland quest to find touch. To rediscover visceral experience in a virtual (or physical) world.

Vaneeesa Blaylock / Agent Cyan stands atop the old wooden lighthouse on the NE corner of the LEA11 region of Second Life

The old wooden lighthouse at LEA11

R E L A T E D . M A T E R I A L S
Alice in Cornelland
June is Avatar Blogger Month
Agent Cyan / iRez
Agent Cyan / Instagram
Lindenarts Blog

click any image to see it larger
all images photographed on the LEA11 sim

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