"The Machine" @ LEA6 with Lilia Artis

Lilia Artis and I were quite surprised back in spring when Jayjay Zinfanwe and Bryn Oh announced that we would be among the artists chosen to exhibit in the 2013 round of the LEA Full Sim Art Series. And here it is: 'The Machine' @ LEA6 - a collaborative work by Lilia Artis and Moeuhane Sandalwood:

“We have solved all our problems. Thanks to our ingenuity.
    We have cured all illnesses. Thanks to our technical savvy.
    We have cheated death. Thanks to our code.
    We invented the machine.
    The only thing left to do:
    Keep the machine running that keeps us running.”
We had a lot of time to develop our project - but due to real life only a very short to actually build it in the end. And because we didn't have a sim available to build it, we had to do it in parts - level by level. For that it appears to have turned out quite well - and was well recieved among visitors and bloggers.
Time flies, and in just one week the whole thing will disappear again. So if you haven't seen it yet - here is the Slurl!
We do not have much time to document the piece anymore either. Fortunately Lilia's good friend and famed SL-artist Haveit Neox stepped up and made this wonderful machinima-teaser about the Show. I also took a few pictures for my Flickr-page.

 History told backwards

The story of 'The Machine' is quite complex. Our intent was to present the history of a society in a far away future. We decided to tell the story of that society backwards. Which means the visitor takes up the role of an archaeologist or ethnologist. On his or her journey down through the 4 levels he or she discovers more and more of the history of the mysterious society.
Our installation is basically a game of search and discovery. Like if you were an archaeologist discovering the city of Troy. The visitor is basically part of one big historic novel.
The artistic twist in our 'Troy' is the paradox that the 'futuristic' people don't care at all about their past, yet integrated their whole history fully into their 'machine'.
We worked with colors and lights to underline that paradox.

We painted the present and the early past of that society in bright colors. It could depict their view of this fantastic future - or maybe be a lure for the people to give up their lives, bodies and free will to technology.
In the lower levels - the darkness and shadows underline the problematic nature of their 'progress'.
We gave the world this monumental feeling. Every level is grand and vast. It should represent the complexity of this society, the enormous amount of achievement through technology - and also, subsequently the enormous amount of (sociological) failure.
Because in the end the visitor will discover that the 'perfection' of that people was achieved at a very high price. They ruined the environment - and took the free will of the people. Their 'perfect' society - that is depicted on the top level in such delicate and ethereal colors - in fact bases on a fascist regime.

What exactly is 'perfection'?

Here's the original text from our notecard:  The creatures have created a perfectly functioning world. They live in the ever present. As a sound community. With joined minds and spirits. Interconnected. Completely. They run the machine – and are run by the machine. They are the machine. The peak of innovation. The end of evolution. Their creation.
They are a society without memory. Their history a mere shadow. Because there is no need to remember. Why remember what is of no value. They are perfect.
   What if a society sets progress through technology as their top priority? Perfection above everything else?
   In 'The Machine' by Lilia Artis and Moeuhane Sandalwood visitors are greeted by a possible result of that strife for perfection. An ethereal world that comes alive through the extensive power of the joined minds of its inhabitants.
   The visitors are subsequently invited to pull out their inner archeologist and ethnologist. And go on an exploratory trip down through several sublevels of history. To unearth the secret behind that seemingly perfect world.

   Because: What we see on the top floor is just a blink of an eye. It is a depiction of the everyday life of a people in a distant future.
   Even though that population on the top level does not seem to care about their past, it still remains integrated into their 'machine' – hidden in the lower levels. The encumbrance of the past might one day reappear to haunt them. It might just become a burden on their next generation – once it breaks through the floors of time.
   How to visit the installation: On every 'generation’s' level there is a spot where a former generation found its way to the new level. Sometimes it’s a bit hidden, because nobody used it anymore for decades or even centuries. Look for stairs, elevators, holes in the ground, etc.

Blogger's oppinions on 'The Machine'

What others have written about it:
Quan Lavender: Sneak Preview: The Machine
Ziki Questi: The Machine
Inara Pey: Inside the Machine
Asmita Duranjaya: A Dystopia: Lilia Artis' and Moe Sandalwood's LEA Installation 'The Machine'
BukTomBlog: The Machine
Echt Virtuell: LEA Full Sim Art Series für November
Linden Endowment for the Arts: LEA Full Sim Art Series (Nov)

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