500 word Project Proposal text with Links to Relevant blog posts and pages:
Over the last year I have been exploring what is really meant by a Virtual Gallery while learning how to make virtual reality immersive environments of my own using Unreal Engine and the HTC Vive
What is the function of a Virtual Gallery? – blog post of essay wrote for publication at the Spaces of Uncertainty Summer Academy in Stuttgart.
Walkthrough of the Virtual Gallery shown to the public at the Re: over-layingExposition #SpacesofUncertaintyDundee at the VRC.
For my degree show I made Being-in-the-Gallery, a Mixed Reality artwork, which was the result of a year-long practice-led research project. This piece combined my love of figurative sculpture with my desire to explore embodied aestoverlayinga virtual gallery space over a physical one, and a digital copy of a sculpture over the physical original I was able to explore questions like the loss of the Aura of the artwork through digital reproduction. In this work I created a disconnect between the senses, the participant was touching the original while viewing the copy, challenging their sense of which was more really.
I want to continue to explore questions surrounding the curatorial implications of virtual galleries, including authenticity and the loss of the Aura in the Philosophical context of Phenomenology and the writing of Walter Benjamin. Recreating film-based artworks from the REWIND collection will give me the opportunity to continue to explore these questions on artworks made by established artists. Initially we are considering reworking 3 works by David Hall. At least one of these we intend to exhibit in a gallery as a location-based mixed reality piece. We have discussed the possibility for inclusion of the work in the NEoN Digital arts festival in November.
I also intend to continue making my own artworks as a continuation of an exploration into relational aesthetics and the often over-looked sense of touch. As the Heiddegarian scholar Paul Crowther points out sculpture must be considered in terms or touch and mobility, as well as vision. It is my intention to make more virtual and mixed reality works that play with the notion of the participant with the object as well as the relation of one object to another within immersive installations, as well as conducting further research into the aesthetics of touch. Given that my degree show piece was extremely well received by the Philosophy department at all levels it is my intention to make another work for the Hermeneutics of Practice Symposium in September/October (dates still to be confirmed).
I am also in discussion with the curator of the Black Watch museum about making a mixed reality immersive environment. I want to explore the use of this medium to not only make static works focused on a ‘felt aesthetics’, a Quiet Understanding, but also to explore virtual and mixed reality as a medium for storytelling, again in the context of Philosophers like Benjamin but I would also like to expand my research to more modern scholars like Deleuze. In which case I intend to maintain ties with the Philosophy department and to continue attending their seminar series and taking an active part in the Art and Philosophy Forum.