Clarkson University Associate Professor of Communications, Media and Design Alex Lee will world premiere his latest VR project, titled “The Fold,” in Paris, France at the Recontres Internationales Paris/Berlin New Cinema and Contemporary Art Festival from May 5-8.
The ‘VR Lab’ segment of the festival will feature The Fold alongside ten other works of art in virtual reality that question our principles of reality, our daytime perceptions and our everyday representations. Alex will represent the US in this lineup.
“The Fold” is a non-linear interactive movie and virtual reality based art game where rooms with doors contain a concept that folds to other rooms with doors. Inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ short story ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’, this VR-based ‘escape the room’ project highlights the similarities and differences of techniques in relation to the western (episode I) and eastern (episode II) philosophy, including structuralist and surrealist literature, conscious bodies, metaphysics, mathematics, the virtual object, Buddhism, zen principles, Qi (氣), and problematizes the affirmation of technique, its outputs and technologies as anthropologically universal within the framework of VR, AI, 3D animation and video games.
During this event, Alex will show ‘episode I’, in which five doors will be presented in virtual reality with the following names: the doors, the fold, the grid, the meridies and the cave.
“My work is an investigation into the possibilities of digital images in an increasingly technical and automated world. Born originally from aesthetic theory, my practice focuses on the creative use of artifice and immateriality within the digital image,” said Lee. “I view the digital image in relation to the term ‘technical image’ coined by philosopher Vilem Flusser, in which photography and mechanical reproduction heralded new forms of perceptual experience and knowledge.We live in a digital age of the elite technical image in which increasingly complex technical software and hardware devices are used to acquire and disseminate knowledge.The products of these technical devices find often find their way into my work expressively, plucked from sources from science, science fiction, mathematics, physics and modernity.”
Lee is an artist who uses 3D animation, video game engines, virtual/augmented/immersive reality platforms, machine learning and the potential of simulation technologies to explore contemporary forms of representation, artifice and technical imagery – based on concepts within the science, science fiction, physics, philosophy and modernity. He received his BFA (2005) and MFA (2009) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the US.
There will be a live stream on the Recontres Internationales Paris/Berlin website at art-action.org/site/en/prog/22/paris/prog_live.php