A ride into the universe of Gem Preiz

Gem Preiz: Ride the universe
Gem Preiz: Ride the Universe

Earlier in January I wrote about Gem Preiz’s remarkable exhibition of his fractal art, which can be seen at A Cathedral Dreamer, both in Second Life at LEA6 and in the Metropolis OpenSim grid, with elements of the exhibition also on displayed at his own gallery in SL, together with more of his work.

Now we have a new opportunity to appreciate and enjoy his creations at a new exhibition just opened at Angel Manor – and it is one you do not want to miss. Seriously.

Ride the Universe  is a joint undertaking by Gem and Angel Manor’s art curator, Kylie Sabra. It features both more of Gem’s fabulous fractal art and a unique way of really appreciating it to the fullest.

Gem Preiz: Ride the universe
Gem Preiz: Ride the Universe

The initial part of the installation appears straightforward enough: a traditional gallery environment with images of Gem’s art mounted on the walls which, which, together with the floor and ceiling, have been coloured black resemble deep space. Planet-like spheres hang overhead and coloured “stars” glow throughout the room, adding to the ambience of the setting. However, towards the far end of this space is a catalogue of Gem’s work, and just beyond that. a large rose, which is the secret sauce of this exhibition.

Sitting on the rose (double-tap ESC to set your camera correctly) will initiate a remarkable tour designed by Kylie Sabra. After a short pause following seating, the rose will carry you through a series of cubes, each of which presents a piece of Gem’s art, allowing you to experience it from the inside, so to speak. This is actually best experienced while in Mouselook, which greatly enhances the feeling of being a part of the art as you travel through it.

Gem Preiz: Ride the universe
Gem Preiz: Ride the Universe

If you do use Mouselook, try to avoid any excessive mouse movement and keep things focused towards the centre of your screen in order to really enhance the immersive feel to the ride. If you opt to remain in third-person view, again, try to avoid camera movement or chatting to maintain focus – and don’t forget to double-tap ESC should your camera show signs of skewing.

The ride within the exhibition is one of those experiences that, with a little tweaking here and there, would be ideal for the Oculus Rift, allowing the visitor to gain a full sense of immersion in each of the pieces – and quite possibly enjoy the 3D aspects of the paintings to a far greater degree. But even without a headset, this is not something to be missed, whether or not you’re into fractals.

When discussing Gem’s art with Honour McMillan, I mentioned how I’d love to be able to roam within his creations, if only they could be created in 3D within Second Life. Well, this exhibition offers an excellent means of experiencing what such explorations might be like.

Highly recommended, and kudos to Gem and Kylie.

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