This in reference to a Second Life project that I’m working on with a team from University, Clicks & Links (Second Places) and various others. This is a textual visualisation aid of what it would be like to visit this place, though I’m going to write it as if it were real, not second life. I’ve not written a “story” for quite a while, so this should be interesting….
I arrived. Suddenly and surely; all at the same time. I was definitely in “a different place”. All I could see was sky, like filming the desert with a fish-eye lens, sky and clouds rolling away forever and then into nothing. I looked down. There it was. Down. It was all down. I was on a tiny platform in the sky. Like a diving board into the abyss. Should I jump? I took a look over the edge.
It was far off, and obscured by clouds, but I could definitely make out an eye looking back at me through the clouding hundreds of feet below. Its a strange feeling when you arrive somewhere and straight away you are being watched. “Fortune favors the brave” or so they say. Despite my lack of bravery I have a love of proverbs; so I set off down toward this starring eye. Is it Sauron? Have I been transported to Middle Earth?
As I got closer it became more clear. The eye didn’t come from Tolkien’s prose and neither was it alone. Hundreds of eyes were peering at me through the clouds, each one blinking to itself with an air of smugness. Continuing closer and I could see that the eyes were the strange surface of a planet-like sphere floating bizarrely above the ground. A strange asteroid that stopped inches short of disaster. Only what kind of asteroid’s surface is covered in eyes? After a while the creepy blinking became almost inviting.
Although obviously human in form, each eye had its own strange character, an uneasy strangeness of colour and angles. Up close I caught a glimpse at the pupil of these organic forms it was obvious this was not a natural thing; I caught sight of artifacts and objects underneath the surface of this eye-planet. Bright lights. Words maybe. I could have seen a person but I wasn’t sure.
Joseph Galen is a moniker for my solo recording project.
It’s done. I’m going to finally admit that its done. It’s like coming out of a tunnel, but the tunnel was always in my mind, and has been about 2 years long. I’m talking about the recording of my album, which is going to be titled For Triangles. The whole thing has been a massive learning experience, ranging from developing my song writing, music production skills & muscianship right through to just being able to comprehend when something is ‘finished’.
The recording has been quite a journey, taking me through 4 different houses, 5 guitars, 3 keyboards, 25 ups, 72 downs, 1052 words, 3 sound cards, 2 computers, 2 microphones, approximately 312 eggs and about 752 days off.
But I’m nearly there now and with it comes a certain apprehension. It is the knowing that I’ll have to free my songs and let them live their own existences. No longer can I be the over-protective father that I have been up until now.
In July I wrote this on my music website, with the firm intention that it would be finished by August. Even having realised how over protective I was being, I couldn’t stop, so it’s taken until now to actually approach finishing.
Anyhow. It’s great. I’m proud, satisfied, excited and looking forward to sharing the songs with anyone and everyone. It also means that I can re-open my mind for other creative business, which is no bad thing. Since my final University year started I’ve spent virtually all my time finishing the record and writing my dissertation. Next to no time has been spent actually working on my artistic practise, and I’ve missed it.
After various discussions, one with my tutor Jane Brake and one with superfly superstar Sam Jeffers, I’ve begun trying to further formalise my understanding of the implications of data. Specifically the data that generated by my digital artworks. Most of my practise so far has been fairly ‘happy go lucky’ in a lot of ways. Mostly I’ve been interested in creating things purely for the sake of creating them – and I’m more than happy to stand by that point of view. Even if one’s creative output doesn’t broach a political subject, or doesn’t directly evoke an intense emotionally reponse in the audience, it does not intrinsically diminish its value. However, what I’ve finally realised, is that better understanding of some of the constructs that I’m working with – the Web, the network effect, data, and people – will allow me to produce “better” work. At the very least, it can’t hurt!