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Monday, March 14, 2011

MOVING Art Experience ~ In the Sweet Bye & Bye

Since I've been in Second Life, I have visited many art exhibits, but none of them moved me as much as the In The Sweet Bye & Bye, An Immersive Memoir exhibit I took in as part of the African-American Experience in Art series with i-Learning Workshops through The Aesthetic Technologies Lab, College of Fine Arts, Ohio University. I took in the exhibit this weekend, and it was, to borrow a word from the series title, an experience for me to walk into the space of the art installation and be taken back into time, into histories of my own existence and make me remember while working through the histories of the artist behind the project, Jacque Quijote (aka Philip Mallory Jones :: website).

In the Sweet Bye & Bye, according to a press release sent out on the project, "is an immersive memoir. It is a fusion of traditional and avant-garde genres that can only be realized in the synthetic world. It is designed to be "read" in three dimensions. The narrative threads and paths are discovered in the overlap of images and texts, and in the compositions of planes and angles that form/transform as the avatar point-of-view shifts. The narratives are on three levels - personal/family anecdote, communal lore, and allegory."

Artist/Creator behind In The Sweet Bye & Bye, Jacque Quijote

The text found throughout the project was written by Jones' mother, Dorothy Mallory Jones, poet and historian, with whom he has collaborated on several projects.

Quijote talking a bit about the project before the group entered the installation

In discussing his approach to the project and part of his research agenda, Quijote stated, "I am developing an approach to narrative composition and immersive experience that I term 'Generative Design'. Briefly, this is a vision of narrative composition in three dimensions, with variable sequence, and which is a unique visual/sound experience on each encounter and for each visitor."

Inside the installation

He continued: "Design of the immersive installation draws on inspiration and insight from diverse sources, including Charles Mingus' solo piano compositions, the design concepts of Luxor Temple, Romare Bearden's collages, and the nomad aesthetic of the Tuareg."

As a writer, I am always interested in learning ways in which people tell stories. What drew me to Quijote's project was the all-encompassing way that through text, through images, through sound, through movement we the viewers become a part of the stories that unfold. Most of us, when we think about stories, have in our mind a story with a beginning, a middle, and an ending, and as I returned to the exhibit with my daughter and one of her friends, the friend said, "I wish I knew where the beginning was." He loved the exhibit, but with that traditional storytelling mindset, he wanted the beginning.

Filthy Fluno came to check out the awesome project.

And what's so wonderful about Quijote's project is that it's not about what order you peruse the installation that determines your enjoyment of the project. The project is much like our memories, our own histories--they don't necessarily run chronologically. They come to us in snippets, in flashes or images, or in a few words. There is no right way to begin the experience, but by beginning somewhere and letting yourself wander through, you begin to cull together a narrative full of poetic, stirring stories of an African-American experience.

There is so much, so much more I could say, but none of it would compare to your own experience with In the Sweet Bye & Bye. The installation is slated to run through April, so you still have time to check it out. Just follow this [slurl].

For those of you interested in seeing and hearing Jacque Quijote talk about his project and other works, this Tuesday, March 15th, he will be a guest on Ambrosia LIVE! -- a show produced by Monarch Productions, a company whose goal is to make Second Life, Come to Life giving customers, clients, and businesses the platform and opportunity to showcase what they do in a real and tangible way.

On March 15th, you can hear the real and tangible ways in which Jacque Quijote develops his projects and more. The live show will run from 5 to 6 p.m. SLT, and you can grab your free ticket to the show by following this [slurl].

I definitely plan to be in the audience and hope to see you all there!


  1. Shon! We can't wait to have this artistic genius at the show.

    Here is the CORRECT URL for the Monarch Studios

    Home of Ambrosia LIVE!

    "Let's Talk About It!"

    Ambrosia Kamala


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