New project: v r 2

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 3.13.46 PM

Hot on the heels of finishing off v r 1 I’ve been chipping away at its “sequel” v r 2. Basically the series is an excuse to push myself to trying out a few different things in Unity without necessarily having to come up with a totally cohesive game idea that’s at all independent of Unity itself. That is, it’s easier while learning about Unity to makes games that are in some sense “about” Unity (about 3D models, architecture, first person navigation, and so on).

At the same time, I’m so far using the series as a way to engage with artworks/artists from other media. So v r 1 was very much about working out how to incorporate some of what Gregor Schneider does into a digital/virtual setting. v r 2 continues engaging with Schneider to some extent, and specifically his exploration of the effect of unseen elements of architecture (e.g. walls that are behind other walls) or elements embedded in architecture (e.g. stones embedded invisibly inside walls). In fact that’s kind of the core philosophical concern of v r 2 – how do we feel about the “existence” of things we can’t see or engage with in a virtual space?

Along with that on a more straightforwardly aesthetic level, I’m looking at Donald Judd’s work 100 works in mill aluminum, an installation at the weird and wonderful art compound called the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. That work involves exactly what the title suggests, 100 sculptures made out of aluminum. They’re all kind of cubic volumes and all the same volume, but have variations in terms of the faces that compose them such that they’re all uniqe. They’re arranged in two beautiful old artillery sheds (48 in one and 52 in the other) and illuminated with natural light. So those are a kind of formal meditation on the multitude of forms a particular set of constraints can yield (a bit like Oulipo for metalwork).

So I’m using the idea of “unique cubes” to “hide” standard Unity assets (cubes, particle systems, textured planes, etc.) inside cubes arranged in a similar way to the Judd work. When I write all this out it sounds both incredibly simplistic and weird convoluted and involved to me. I wonder which it “actually is”.

At any rate, that’s what I’m up to. The screenshot leading this post is of my tests of what a nice set of “unique elements” representative of what comprises Unity projects might be. You can see a plane textured with the webcam input, a mesh of a horse, and so on. These things will be inside cubes ultimately, so enjoy seeing them while you can, bud.

21 May 2016
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