Maya Paris-An Artist of vision

October 13, 2010

Maya Paris is an artist who takes a concept and brings it to her audience with a playful and skilled hand. Her installations comprehensively use the tools available to creators in Second Life to form a cohesive and memorable creative experience. In her work we begin to realize the broad possibilities of the medium we have at our disposal. Maya includes: custom textures, custom sound art and music, custom avatar skins, custom particle effects and entire sets of interactive attachments and fashion designs that the avatar wears. These elements are all in addition to the interactive environments she builds. When all of these parts come together like the components of a theatrical production, the experience is nothing less than: Maya.

Right now Maya has two new major installations on exhibit. The first one, "Now you see me", is included in the Caerleon Exhibit Ambiguity of Identity. For the second installation Maya was invited to install for Burn 2 and has installed a work called "Piezo". Both works tackle their themes with a combination of solid design principles coupled with the visionary ideas of a fine artist. I think her work is a great example of the overlaps of art and design and we have talked a bit about those ideas in the past. I won't divide my viewing of her work in those two categories systematically because I think it would do her work a great injustice. But, I would like to draw out some visual parallels of how her work reads in connection to the history of excellent design.

In particular, when I look at her work, I see design elements that one can relate to modernist design. I enjoy seeing hints of one designer from this time period: George Nelson. The strongest connection to George Nelson in these two installations is seen in her Ambiguity of Identity installation, "Now you see me." 


"Now you see me" by Maya Paris

Marshmallow Couch by George Nelson


 Also, I think these two people in Kalle Gustaffson's photo shoot just came from Maya's exhibit which is why they look so cool in their black and white. The thing is, they had to do something to replace the ID bird outfits and that is the best they could come up with.

Here in "Piezo", you can see an overhead shot of the installation. To me, I recall the iconic design of the “Atomic Clock” again by George Nelson. (The clock design origins remain a bit of a mystery but he is credited to it.)  The extended spikes with the dance balls on the end are a visual hint of that clean look.

The concept of her installation "Piezo" is really interesting.  You can research through the links Maya provides in her HUD.  The piece embraces some forward thinking scientific ideas relating to energy. But even though the exhibit draws off the scientific concept as a muse, it is not trying to be scientific in and of itself. As for the combination of science and design, Stanley Abercrombie quotes George Nelson in his book “The Design of Modern Design” as having said:

There have been proposals to 'improve' design by converting it into a kind of science. Those with even a smattering of recent history will remember that the same attempts were made in psychology and sociology. I suspect that such efforts are not so much to improve, but rather to get a free ride on the enormous prestige science enjoys. Design is not science and it never will be."

Abercrombie, Stanley (1995). George Nelson: The Design of Modern Design. MIT Press

Maya's art is beyond the installation itself. It is the art of possibilities. I have to smile and just enjoy how she brings out in equal measures the pleasure, complexity and richness of our digital lives. She transforms our very avatars with her vision and lets us have a piece of it as we go. Her work is both well conceptualized and realized and downright fun. The time she takes crafting her work is apparent and I respect that. I suggest any artist or visitor who has become “bored” with Second Life take a trip to see her installations as soon as possible to lift the haze off their stale digital eyes and get a glimpse of what it means to have a vision. 


On Coriolis by Oberon Onmura

September 15, 2010

My visual art, sound art and interactive work primarily are created and exhibited in the Virtual World of Second Life. I have created and viewed art there for about 3 years. One of the artists who I have collaborated with and whose work I closely follow is Oberon Onmura. Oberon goes strictly by his avatar name when creating, presenting and documenting his work. Although his dark yet friendly futuristic avatar remains a bit of a mystery, I do know a few things about Oberon from his own open ...

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Innovation-The HOT word on the street

September 13, 2010

Many of the projects which I am involved with at the moment focus on a key idea: innovation.  I was recently invited to do a digital performance for a festival in Milan.  This will be upcoming in October.  I don't have an exact date/time for my slot.  The festival focuses on many areas of business, design and technology.  They are also incorporating art in their presentations and workshops. 

My vision for the performance is to use 3 or 4 songs which I have collaborated with Ulf Skogsbergh o...

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