A Taxy! to the Zircus, coming home to Dada

Taxy! to the Zircus
Taxy! to the Zircus

There’s a quote by Peter Greenaway  in Eupalinos Ugajin’s profile. It reads:

The human imagination is surely the most amazing thing in the universe. We do not want virtual reality we want virtual unreality. We cannot replicate reality – why are we wasting our time trying?

It’ a quote that sums-up Eupa’s work perfectly. Whether working individually or collaboratively, there is always something about Eupa’s art that stretches the imagination, often with a sense of fun  and a sprinkling of the wonderfully absurd.

Taxy! to the Zircus
Taxy! to the Zircus

Taxy! to the Zircus, now open at MetaLES demonstrates this in full; it’s a piece that challenges (defies?) description, taking one deep into the realm of Dada, and quite delightfully so, complete with a touch of Terry Gilliam to boot! It is also an installation that really does deserve the label “interactive art” – you are as much a part of the works on display as the works themselves.

Taxy! to the Zircus
Taxy! to the Zircus

Nothing should be ignored during explorations, and almost all the pieces on offer require your involvement via click-to-sit, be it dancing on a horn-spiked platform tethered to a spinning top, floating around in a sphere, bouncing on a trampoline, trying a new form of fencing with a hair dryer and paint brush (something I’d actually like to see taken-up as an Olympic sport!) or – in the greatest of circus traditions – being fired out of a canon (and hopefully through a target framed by a cow), and more besides.

Movement between the main platforms is achieved via teleport  boxes, some of which are indicated by a Gilliam / Pythonesque pointing finger.  Some elements of the work have a walkway connecting them, although speed and accuracy of walking across it is advised! Because there is a risk of falling involved in several of the pieces – and the fact they can only be reached via teleport boxes or flying – a set of wings can be obtained from the landing point; just turn on the tap / faucet (naturally!) to pour yourself a set!

Quite how one defines Taxy! to the Zircus is difficult; there are clear surrealist elements, the aforementioned twist of Dadism and, given the encouragement to experience some of the activities from the very first-person perspective of Mouselook, perhaps even a hint of phenomenology  – or at least, phenomenological reflexion.

Taxy! to the Zircus
Taxy! to the Zircus

But perhaps definition isn’t required here; just your participation, and the sense of liberation through the lighthearted presentation of the absurd. So go, share, enjoy – Be. Taxy! will be open through until the end of December, and knowing Eupa, there may well be additions and tweaks during that time.

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Taxy! to the Zircus
Taxy! to the Zircus
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The Trace: a fond adieu

The Trace, The Trace; Inara Pey, November 2014, on FlickrThe Trace, The Trace (Flickr)

I last wrote about The Trace, Kylie Jaxxon’s homestead region, back in April 2014. At that time, it put me in mind of a beautiful watercolour, wonderfully composed and offering visitors a visual delight.

Since then, the clock has turned onwards, the seasons have changed, and now – for a short while longer, at least – The Trace offers a visitors the splendour of autumn and, with pumpkins scattered near the orchard cafe, a herald of a winter to come. I say “for a while longer”, because Kylie recently announced that The Trace will be closing – hopefully only for a while – as she focuses (rightly) on matters of health. The region will be closing its doors on Wednesday, November 5th, so if you have been planning on paying it a visit, now is the time to do so.

The Trace, The Trace; Inara Pey, November 2014, on FlickrThe Trace, The Trace (Flickr)

When I last visited The Trace, it resembled a low-lying coastal region which put me in mind of New England or England’s Norfolk (offshore islands not withstanding!). The region still has something of a coastal feel to it, but this one perhaps in more northern latitudes, sitting as it does within a ring of rugged hills and snow-capped peaks, open to a distant sea on one side, where it’s easy to imagine the occasional fishing boat sailing into the bay, seeking shelter when the weather turns grim.

The arrival point sits atop a rocky bluff in the north-east of the region, overlooking the bay on one side with the region spread below it on the other. Here sit a couple of railway carriages, sans their bogies (but still sitting on lengths of railway line), but joined together to form a cosy little waiting room, where we’re informed that trains to The Trace are on time, even if those going anywhere else are delayed – which is very fortunate, as this is a place you’ll definitely want to tarry over. For those (like me) from England, road signs on the walls give the place a familiar (and in the case of Baker Street, Old Kent Road and Lambeth Walk, a musical) feel.

The Trace, The Trace; Inara Pey, November 2014, on FlickrThe Trace, The Trace (Flickr)

Below the bluff as a wonderful autumn pastoral scene, mixing open fields with cart tracks lined by dry-stone walls, a little cafe and apple stand at the Oakville Orchards, an old barn, a little summer-house built over the water, a church off in the distance, and more besides, also wrapped in the colours of autumn as meteorites blaze across the evening sky. As always with Kylie’s designs, places to sit can be found scattered through the region, and I’ve little doubt they are appreciated by visitors; the tranquility experienced here really des encourage one to stay.

Hopefully, if all goes well, The Trace may return to Second Life in the future; but in the meantime, I commended those who haven’t already visited it to use the short time that’s left to do so. to Kylie, I can only say this (in addition to all the very best wishes and hopes in her fight back against illness): thank you so much for sharing you creations with us, and for the joy you’ve given to so many through your work, your photography and writing – and for your support.

The Trace, The Trace; Inara Pey, November 2014, on FlickrThe Trace, The Trace (Flickr)

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