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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Future Imperfect: The Art Of Gem Preiz - Persia Bravin Reporting...

Image by Gem Preiz

On board a spaceship circling a far distant planet, the Captain stares out of the window of the craft at the unfamiliar landscape beneath him. Soaring watchtowers hewn from jagged rocks thrust high into the alien atmosphere overlooking abandoned landing platforms and bathed by the light of the ships solar panels, he pensively writes into a logbook. The opening page reveals that the year is 2115 and he has blasted away from a dystopian Earth: a planet that is dying, desolate and ravaged by mankind. His logbook reveals his deepest fears, his human frailties and an overwhelming acceptance that life as he knew it might never be the same again.

This dark glimpse of what life could be like in a not so distant future has been brought to present times within Second Life at ‘Wrecks’ – an exhibition at LEA 26 created by SL artist, Gem Preiz. Wrecks takes the viewer on a journey – both emotionally and visually – through a series of logbook entries written on the exhibit’s starry walls and via the colossal pictures of alien landscapes and structures that Gem produces outside of SL using Mandelbulb 3D, a generator of 3D fractal objects and to complete the out of this world experience, Gem has included a haunting soundtrack that wouldn’t be out of place accompanying a movie such as The Martian or Gravity.

Image by Gem Preiz


“The background of ‘Wrecks’ is a pessimistic future of our planet,” admits Gem. “But I felt it would be interesting to give a human and individual dimension to it, by creating a parallel between the risk of giving up efforts to maintain our planet, and the runaway life of a man who doesn’t want to face his own responsibility and future. Wrecks takes place in 100 years’ time and the fifteen fractal artworks tell of a journey into space along with texts extracted from a logbook and personal mails written by the captain of a spaceship which leaves the Earth. Overall, it gives a vision of the future of our planet, which matches the destiny of the narrator. More futuristic, not very funny, but… holding hope.”

The foreboding atmosphere at Wrecks is almost tangible: from the moment you enter the exhibit through the doors of the Orpheus craft, you are immersed in the life of the Captain and became compelled to discover the outcome of his narrative. But it’s the fractal images that really capture your attention due to their size, intricacy and beauty. “I cut my fractals into plates that I stitch carefully so that the edges are almost invisible,” Gem explains. “It enables me to bring 15 or 20 times more information inworld than with a single texture. The images are much more precise, and when you zoom, you get additional details instead of getting a blurred image. That increases a lot the immersive feeling.”

Image by Gem Preiz


Visiting Wrecks leaves a long lasting impression on the viewer, and despite his shortcomings, you can’t help but hope for a better destiny for the Captain – and planet Earth. As for his own future, Gem says that he has plans for further artwork and exhibitions in SL that might include “an extended range of digital images: not only fractals. I am also curious about the new technology coming, with virtual reality masks, to see how I could use it.” If you visit Wrecks, be sure to see Gem’s other exhibition entitled ‘Vestiges’ too, because there is no one better in SL art right now than Gem Preiz for showing us how the choices we make can affect our present – and our future.

Wrecks and Vestiges run until the end of June


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