SPOKEN Eugene Soh/Stephen Black open notebook

September 24, 2014 6:30 am. Tonight's the night! In twelve hours we go live. Last night we did testing and things were near perfect. Eugene raced through the gallery: I walked around slowly. Eugene could fly; I had trouble with stairs. He taught me how to stand on his shoulders. We were like two kids running around, two kids holding wine glasses. And then he had to go. No notice, just  wrote that he had to go get his brother at the airport. Poof! Gone. I suddenly felt alone, almost lonely.
screen capture gallery of virtual world
Reality, September 23, 9:47 PM
Miscellaneous notes. -Yesterday I could hear Eugene and his four year old nephew in the gallery. So perfect to hear a child's voice in the gallery. -The level of detail increased, but the download size has remained small. -Ai Weiwei and Jeff Koons... additions by Eugene. Haven't spoken to them yet...I guess I will have to do that. blacksteps monthly views Set 2 August 23 Need to research Beyond Manzanar and other virtual reality artworks... https://www.design2marketinc.com/bus/02/manzanar/

Panelists for  a discussion on Manzanar:

Tamiko Thiel, Japanese American new media artist and engineer interested in investigating new forms of narrative structure and in developing socially and culturally meaningful uses of virtual reality.

Zara Houshmand, Iranian American writer, theater director, and multimedia artist whose work focuses on cross-cultural issues. She was involved in pioneering the development of virtual reality on the Internet.

August 11 SPOKEN is evolving... The starting point, the virtual gallery, now supports a "lab" featuring text pieces from twenty writers. Equally important, SPOKEN is developing depth as well as an accessible internal logic. This logic may be based on the fact that SPOKEN has no grand statement to make; the interaction is the statement. I often find myself comparing SPOKEN to having a good conversation with a stranger. Good conversations are not planned.(Origin of CONVERSE Middle English, to live (with), from Anglo-French converser, from Latin conversari First Known Use: 1520) When conversing, the topics may change rapidly.Starting with a simple greeting or a bland comment about the weather, a conversation has the ability to easily jump from topic to topic.Emotions and memories can appear without warning. Time is irrelevant: "yesterday", " couple of years ago", "...during the next World Cup","When she learns to drive" "when he retired" etc. etc. the many expressions related to time. Conversations are spontaneous.Hopefully every one who visits SPOKEN will have a different experience based on the unpredictable events and association made possible by combining a virtual environment with art and creative writing... August 6
Phenomenon something (such as an interesting fact or event) that can be observed and studied and that typically is unusual or difficult to understand or explain fully

: someone or something that is very impressive or popular especially because of an unusual ability or quality

plural phenomena :  an observable fact or event
plural phenomena
a :  an object or aspect known through the senses rather than by thought or intuition
b :  a temporal or spatiotemporal object of sensory experience as distinguished from a noumenon
c :  a fact or event of scientific interest susceptible to scientific description and explanation
1. a :  a rare or significant fact or event
b plural phenomenons :  an exceptional, unusual, or abnormal person, thing, or occurrence
Eugene, I have been describing SPOKEN as a phenomenon because it is an unusual occurrence. And, it sounds good. Overview mindmap The chart is not finalized, but is pretty close...
Eugene, on August 3, notes on the ebook catalogue: COVER   SPOKEN a phenomenon of virtual reality, art and creative writing Eugene Soh Stephen Black Curated by Helium gallery.sg September 17, 2014-February 14, 2015   TABLE OF CONTENTS   Introduction by Alps Bethneck   Bios of ES, SB and Helium   History of gallery.sg -The Web Art Show   Artworks with Artist Information + Musical Portraits   About SPOKEN -Mindmap/Graph   Curatorial and VR aspects   Music of SPOKEN Results of Writers Lab   Eugene, am collecting notes about the history of gallery.sg From the Straits Times article of Tuesday, April 29, 2014 by Huang Lijie -Gallery.sg was an extension of the Web Art Movement project which you began in January 2014. Web Art Movement began with two steps. First, you one word domain names that ended with .sg, such as slave.sg. , yellow.sg , good.sg etc. (Free one year adoption of the domain name) gallery.sg was one of these names. Then in April 2-14, you used multiplayer game technology to build a virtual gallery. Inside of that virtual gallery were the works of 15 artists, artists who had acquired one of the .sg domains. Cost about $10,000 to build and took three months to make. "primarily an experiment to push the boundaries of technology in art rather than fulfill e-commerce functions. Gallery.sg was mentioned in Singapore’s main local paper, The Straits Times, on the 29th of April, 2014. Proud day for the project! It was a huge article about the growing trend of art sales on the Internet. Gallery.sg is the only mentioned site that does not actually sell art. “Although unique, the presence of Gallery.sg under-scores the varied, exciting landscape of art galleries in the digital age and it points to how two models of galleries, online and offline, sometimes conflate.” E-mail: [email protected], Phone: +65 9025 6421 With support from the National Arts Council, Gallery.sg will open next month on 19th April 2014 on www.gallery.sg. It will feature 15 artists from the Web Art Movement Singapore in its inaugural show, The Web Art Show. “This is essentially an experiment but one with endless possibilities for the future.There are many ways in which state museums, commercial galleries, not-for-profits, artists, and industry professionals could possibly use this platform. Not in the least to reduce the cost of logistics and travel but also to extend their reach to audiences who may not be able to physically attend exhibitions for economic reasons, health concerns, or even weather conditions.” Said local artist and Web Art Movement founder, Eugene Soh. Eugene, this reminds me of us a bit. But, of course getting a jpeg and permission is different from getting permission and moving an object... It was more like, "Can we pull this off?" Because we are a shitty little gallery on the Lower East Side, and, like, who has the balls to ask to borrow a Dan Flavin? And you know what? We had the balls to ask, and we pulled it off, and it was a fantastic show. So for me like the work behind getting the shows, that’s not the reward, but it’s kinda sick. Like, fuck money, fuck all that. If you are actually excited about a show, people respond to that, and it’s pretty nice. https://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/interview_with_leo_fitzpatrick Eugene, These notes are from NHung Walsh, from an email...
I enjoy and really appreciate Andric's thoughtful note. 
Although I didnt have many opportunities of seeing virtual exhibitions. But I agree that digital/electronic/bytes/atoms arts can shock. It's another kind of immersion that is not supposed to calm you. Although for me, it does make me feel comfortable. 
Right now I am in a Starbucks in Tokyo staring at the ceiling of a virtual exhibition in Singapore. After a while, I thought of a lot of things: whether I would ever be able to stare at a ceiling for that long in an actual physical space. People would think I am weird. Yet the ceiling is part of the space and therefore should be part of the artscape or even the art. In the exhibition I was looking at, there wasnt any artwork in the ceiling, but I did that just because I can. Even the virtual ceiling is an imitation of a physical space. But do we need a ceiling for a virtual exhibition? Or do we even need walls at all? Not talking about the artworks yet, the space consumes you the way it's not supposed to. 
And how about conversations in an exhibition? In my hand there is a glass of virtual red wine and it moves with me as I walk inside the space. As if I was born with it. As if I wake up in a dream with it. Wine indicates social interaction, and we often meet people at the gallery opening day. But there was no one else in the gallery with me. I realized that I was talking to myself. Is this supposed to be like this all the time in a virtual space? And how about all of our discussions/conversations we have with each other around the art and the exhibition? Now as we have them via emails, can I think of them as invisible sounds that are bouncing around the wall of a virtual space? Just like the way we whisper with each other in a museum gallery? Sounds and noise help us to tracking and navigate space. But there is no sound here. I don't even hear my heart beat anymore. Although I was biologically sitting in a busy coffeeshop, I was not here. I was in the wonderful land of nonexistence, just by staring at a deceitful ceiling.
I don't think VR recreates a physical space. It creates a re-creation of a space that is not a space. But I totally feel at peace with it.
ICON Martell Eugene https://www.timeoutsingapore.com/aroundtown/exhibitions/icon-de-martell-cordon-bleu-2014 gallery.sg-Gallerysg__Virtual_Gallery_Show PDF unable to load. PDF is cover of the first gallery.sg Started on the  morning of July 1, 2014. This is public, but is mainly a record of notes and conversations between ES and SB. To Eugene 1. As you can see the banner above is from the first edition of gallery.sg.  Can we discuss a logo or font or screen capture or something that we can use as a banner as well as for projection identification? (If we create a scene with you and I in the gallery, maybe we can use the dialogue box as a way of describing the picture OR acting as a title and giving info about SPOKEN. (July 3...Just sent an email to Eugene elaborating on that and suggesting a few ideas/asking for input.) 2. This is about the writing side of things. There will be the usual gallery notes: I will be responsible for that. Your input is welcome, of course, but I am sure you will be busy on building the gallery. At present, I have selected 20 artists and you have 5. That is great and we can lock that down...or... What if?... What if we created a hybrid character who has met all of our artists? In other words one fictitious character will have spoken to everyone. This does not mean any more work for you, unless you want to create that fictitious character as the host of the gallery. I am completely neutral on this, BUT It unifies the chronological differences between you and me. It also allows for a bit of creative writing, in that I would create a bio for the character whom we have created.Simply, it may be interesting to have one character meet everyone that we met. The reality of how we met them is unchanged. Michael Lee and I did something somewhat like this for his 2011 Biennale piece, Office Orchitect. 3. Machinima? Can?
The following was posted on September 15th:
The launch of SPOKEN is postponed until the 24th of September.
If you visit Eugene's website,www.dude.sg you'll see photos and videos of Kareen, Eugene's girlfriend. One of the pictures is from a magazine, a story on a successful crowdfunding drive to help Kareen with her medical bills related to lupus.
Well, last week, the lupus raised its ugly head again and Kareen went to the hospital. She is out now and hopefully on the road to recovery. Eugene has been with Kareen...a lot.
Thanks for your understanding and see you in SPOKEN soon. We have more than a few surprises in store...
Steve and Eugene

1 thought on “SPOKEN Eugene Soh/Stephen Black open notebook”

  1. Pingback: Stephen Black's VR-related posts Part 1 | blacksteps

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