Michael Takeo Magruder
With Drew Baker, Erik Fleming and David Steele
United-Kingdom / United States of America
Visions of Our Communal Dreams is a new media art installation blending virtual, physical and networked environments that explores issues of hybridity, embodiment and collective creativity in the Digital Age. The artwork is comprised of two public spaces – one virtual and one physical – that are inherently connected in order to create a series of mixed-reality contexts, situations and experiences.
The installation’s virtual component consists of a fantastical landscape constructed using the open source 3D application server OpenSimulator. This synthetic, ‘living’ metaverse is defined by the creative aspirations of its avatar inhabitants and is intrinsically linked to a changing selection of physical gallery spaces. Real-time interactions and exchanges flow between the virtual and physical realms through various site-specific portals ranging from immersive architectural projections to arrangements of small painterly artefacts. These gateways are realised through telematic interfaces that allow residents from both discrete locations to gaze upon each other and their surroundings, thus creating uncanny connections and dialogues between the worlds.
Visions of Our Communal Dreams is not merely a self-contained artistic experience, but rather, is part of a wider conversation and journey that seeks to consider a future vision of work and play made possible through the creative use of avatars and virtual worlds.