My Space, which officially opens on Friday August 29th at 13:00 SLT (with a concert by Ultraviolet Ultra from 14:00 SLT), is the latest installation by Betty Tureaud and a part of the AIR round 7 offerings. I had the opportunity to pay the installation a visit at the start of the week, and I have to say it’s …. interesting.
There are of course Betty’s trademarked vivid colours throughout, and much of the piece is interactive; but quite what it is, is hard to define – other than having a strong element of fun about it and most likely being a place enjoyed when visiting with others.
At the landing point, you’re furnished with a set of simple instructions: grab a rocket hat, ride the flying saucers (or use the teleport squares), rise up through the various levels of the installation and then grab a parachute (a Cubey Terra e-chute), and ride back down.
The rocket hat isn’t actually vital to proceedings, although donning it will give you a foretaste of what is to come: touch it, and you’ll “launch” and start floating around and performing acrobatics against the bright background of your surroundings. To get up higher, you can either attempt to sit on one of the aforementioned rising flying saucers, or touch the green squares and teleport up between the various levels. Riding the flying saucers will set you dancing, while using the teleport squares is probably the easiest way of getting between the levels.
Most of the levels offer something to do, be it dancing, floating, swimming with jellyfish-like creatures, and so on, and each level also has a parachute dispenser for those wishing to get down to the landing point. Right at the top of the installation is what I believe to be the dance floor and stage for the opening concert, where one can dance on the floor area or up on one of the hovering flying saucers. The picture at the top of the piece shows the stage area, and hopefully also gives the scale of the place; you can just see two of us dancing on the saucers.
To get down, one can either fly or use the aforementioned free parachutes. Simply wear one of the latter, step off a level and type “pull” in chat as you fall to open the ‘chute. Steering is best done in Mouselook when looking down (via the mouse) and using the cursor keys. Dropping down through the centre hole in the dance floor will take you through the middle of the various cones which form each of the levels, although careful steering is required, as you can “land” on the walls of the cone, re-packing your parachute in the process, something which will leave you falling. Should this happen, just type “pull” again to open the ‘chute once more.
As noted at the start of this piece, defining My Space isn’t easy. The colours certainly give it a psychedelic feel, and the flying saucers, floating jellyfish, dancing on a rotating, spinning gold disk in defiance of gravity, certainly add to the “trippy” feeling one gets. This feeling is perhaps further enhanced when parachuting through the centre of the cones on your way back down (particularly if you aren’t showing your avatar when in Mouselook and you’re not wearing any mesh), when the colours can become somewhat entrancing as they drift and spiral by.
Overall, and as also noted, this is a piece that is perhaps best enjoyed with others. Betty has also indicated that she may well add to the piece throughout its run at LEA24, which will be until the conclusion of this round of AIR grants in December.
- My Space – LEA24 (Rated: General)