Turbulence Commission: No Matter by Scott Kildall and Victoria Scott (Part of the Mixed Realities exhibition, on view until April 15, 2008) - NO MATTER is an interactive installation that activates the transformation of imaginary objects through the Second Life virtual economy into physical space. Second Life builders construct replicas of famous buildings, luxury goods and custom-designed objects, first reproducing, then inverting the notion of value itself. With zero cost for gathering resources, production of goods and transport of finished product, these items proliferate widely and quickly. In the real world, consumer items and imaginary objects serve as forms of emotional attachment — projection screens for desire, fear and love. These idealized forms seem real but when actualized in Second Life, they simultaneously disappoint and fascinate.
Likewise, humans have long sought escape from the physical world through both stories and invention, creating “imaginary objects”, which embody the tension between the ideal and the real. These shared cultural artifacts surface in mythology (Holy Grail, Trojan Horse), literature (Tell-Tale Heart), film (Maltese Falcon), thought experiments (Schrodinger’s Cat) and impossible inventions (Time Machine). Second Life, an online social environment, offers similar possibilities of the imaginary. With 3D-simulated space combined with a virtual currency and social interaction, this is a fully functioning economy of the immaterial.
NO MATTER reflects this tension between the imaginary and real economics by (1) commissioning 25 builders and artists to produce 40 cultural artifacts in Second Life space; (2) paying them in Linden dollars at an equivalent scale of $1.50 to $12.00 per object; (3) extracting the objects from Second Life — a closed system where 3D models cannot be exported; (4) inviting volunteers to reconstruct these as 3D paper replicas in physical space and paying them the equivalent wages in Linden dollars.
NO MATTER is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Mixed Realities exhibition. It was made possible with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Teleport to the Ars Virtua Gallery in Second Life.
Scott Kildall is cross-disciplinary artist working with video, installation, prints, sculpture and performance. He gathers material from the public realm as the crux of his artwork. Through this method, he uncovers relationships between human memory and social media technology. He has a B.A. in Political Philosophy from Brown University. In 2006, he received a M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago through the Art & Technology Studies Department. He has exhibited in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Helsinki, Ireland, Spain and Romania. In the fall of 2006, he finished a conceptual art residency called The Future of Idea Art at The Banff Centre for the Arts. He followed this with a six-month fellowship at the Kala Art Institute focusing on remembrance in simulated worlds. He also works with Second Front — the first performance art group in Second Life. He currently resides in San Francisco.
Victoria Scott is a visual artist who works with electronic media, sculpture and social relations, both materially and as conceptual metaphor. For over a decade she has researched and created large-scale installations, objects, digital prints and audio works. Her ongoing projects include the material depiction of personal simulations and psychological spaces within online environments and real life. She is also developing a series of batteries that are charged by emotional energy and microorganisms. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Victoria graduated from the New Media/Photo Electric Arts Dept., at The Ontario College of Art & Design. In 2003, she was awarded the full Trustees Scholarship to attend at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago within the Art and Technology Department. Scott completed her MFA in 2005. She has exhibited in Sweden, Mexico City, Toronto, Berlin, Boston, Miami and Chicago and is the recipient of grants from both the Canada and Ontario Arts Councils.