On Saturday, August 16th, the ALEGRIA Studio team opened its new installation at LEA25, titled The Sea of Cubic Dreams. It’s an interactive installation, and acts as a prelude for a larger work that will be presented there under the title of Theater Night’s Dream, which, as the team say, will be a surrealistic CG New Media art installation inspired by the theatre and the fantasy culture, the protagonists of videogames, the Cloud Atlas film and William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Sadly, I was out of town for the weekend and so I was unable to attend the opening party which featured an electronica music concert with Ultraviolet Alter (you can listen to her music here) – I had to make do with reading the coverage provided by Inara Pey and Ziki Questi. The ALEGRIA Studio is a collaborative team featuring artists from Spain and Argentina. Its members are CG artists Amanda Mir, Telchar, Maria Grot and Noke Yuitza. Duna Gant is the team’s curator, while Syra Hyun is their muse and photographer.
Now, on to the installation itself… Upon arriving there, you will find yourself pretty much knee-deep in a shallow (for the most part) sea embraced by a deep blue night. The whole installation seems sparse; open to two of its sides and fenced on the other two by tall mural-covered walls, only blue, black and teal cubes of various sizes can be found there, slowly floating around. Let me point out that, because of the sparse nature of the installation, it makes sense for you to set your draw distance quite high; I had set it to 256 meters. Also, to fully appreciate the installation, do use the region windlight, because it was specifically designed and fine-tuned to enhance the installation’s atmosphere. Finally, as you can see from the pictures, the cubes have been enhanced with materials, so it’d be best if you could enable ALM (Advanced Lighting Model – formerly known as deferred rendering).
As said earlier, the installation is interactive. You’ll have to get close (really close) to the cubes and sit on them; for the larger ones, you practically have to fly and land on them, and then sit. After you sit on the cubes, you can shove them in any direction, sending you and the cube you’re sitting on drifting away, fast or slowly. Your control (shoving) inputs on the cubes can accelerate or decelerate you, change the cube’s direction, or even stop its movement.
Of course, the cubes can collide with each other: the cube you’re sitting on (depending on its size) can throw you off, into the air or down into the waters. As for the cubes you collide with, they can change direction, drift away gently or roll over. Think of it as playing Carom billiards, but with a greater number of balls, and at considerably lower speeds. Controlling your cube will take some practice, and there are also three transparent walls in the region: Two to keep you from bouncing on the region’s boundaries and one to keep you from flying too high.
Now, as to the upcoming project… No opening date has been given, but when the time comes, I’m sure it’ll be announced at the studio’s website and the Linden Endowment for the Arts’ blog. For the time being, the studio has presented this preview, which I found beautiful, pleasant and – yes – fun.
- The Sea of Cubic Dreams at LEA25 (Rated: General)
- ALEGRIA Studio
- Theater Night’s Dream, the new ALEGRIA’s project
- Ultrasonne – Ultraviolet Alter’s SoundCloud
- Adrift of a Sea of Cubic Dreams – by Inara Pey
- The Sea of Cubic Dreams – by Ziki Questi
- Maria Grot
- Noke Yuitza
- Galerie Artemis – Duna Gant’s blog
- Syra Hyun
- The Sea of Cubic Dreams at LEA25 – album on my Flickr Photostream