Saturday, 2 April 2011


Some thoughts about my new build at UWA.., which I have called Transubstantiation.

Now, in the normal course of events I build a piece without much of a ‘back story’ and rely on my feelings for composition, colour etc to compose a piece that has a volumetric balance to it.

I’ve been doing this since I was about 5 or 6 I think and I just try to obey ‘the Law of Volumes and Lines”, if such a law exists.... it seems to, in my eyes.

So, any theory is really a sort of post-rationalisation of what I have built, though it does actually inform the details and some choices I make in the latter stages of finishing a piece, giving, hopefully, a meaning for myself if no-one else.

Some theories are more than just passing intellectualism for me and form the basis of a personal theology.

Considering the prim as Increatum, I had the following to say prior to my build at Magoo...

“Paracelsus was the first person to coin this word, using it to define the "uncreated" which is basically what it means.

"Prima Materia", an Alchemical concept, is what everything is made of, literally the First Matter. Now, according to alchemists, the Prima Materia is what you start The Work with, and through diligence, ritual, and devotion you turn base matter into gold.

Now, as this Matter is "the root of itself" (radix ipsius) it bears a (projected) resemblance to the godhead in that it, like Uroboros, "fertilises and gives birth to itself".

It is the Uncreated Creation. A god.

Now....let’s fast forward a few hundred years to Second Life..... The Prim.

The Prim is the Prima Materia of Second Life, everything is made of this "stuff", and like alchemy (often called The Art) we can, through diligence, ritual and devotion turn this humble prim into pure gold. "Everything is made by prim and without prim is nothing made that was made."

The Prim is an uncreated creation.

The Prim "fertilises and gives birth to itself".

The Prim is Increatum. ....

i.e....... the Prim is a god.”

Taking this idea a step further in my consideration of Nature I wrote the following when I built Tree of Trees at IBM..

“There’s a thing about nature that I have been trying to express these last three years that is intrinsic to the way nature works.

Nature is economical. It takes matter and sculpts it in the most efficient manner to suit its ends.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe wrote a book in 1790 called The Metamorphosis of Plants, in it he points out how a stem is basically a transformed leaf, as is a petal, as is a root. The basic unit of the plant is simply metamorphosed into different ‘organs’ by, as we now know, a fairly mathematical process of the changing shape and nature of the unit cell.

This process is almost identical to the one I use in Blender. I can only do one thing in Blender, namely change the distance between vertices.

In plants this is called homology and has a lot to do with why my plants in SL look as they do. All my plants have evolved in this manner from a single group of vertices in a Blender file: this is Virtual Homology.”

i.e. there is only One Prim, really..

So, in my build at UWA this thought process takes a further step when considering this process, as The Prim undergoes Transubstantiation in the artistic process.

Artists turn stones into bread and water into wine (on a good day).

Alchemists considered that the work of redemption was left unfinished by the Christian god as it basically applied simply to Mankind and not to the actual Matter of the Earth. Nature and Matter were left, they believed, to be redeemed by the Art (alchemy).

The spiritualisation of matter may be the greatest task before the artist, redeeming the atomic world to a conceptual purity, to thought, to emotion, while the Second Law of Thermodynamics charts its destruction... in that “The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.”.

..i.e. erosion is universal, only art creates.

What does this mean?

Well, as greek mythology tells it, we humans stole The Fire of the Gods, the power to create... and were duly punished, not collectively, but poor Prometheus got severely punished by Zeus.

Because we have created virtual worlds, we act as gods.... (I am one of the gods sat here in my Olympus squabbling with the other gods and generally interfering with the lesser avatars below).

We create and destroy worlds and conjure emotion and spirituality from prims, well, actually from The Prim.

Each Prim is essentially a Cornucopia as its final manifestation is at my whim, my desire.

The Prim contains my body and my blood... my essence.

How? ....Every Prim I build is actually a REAL part of my psyche... (there is nothing virtual in this argument/statement).

.. and so this artistic process is a transubstantiation.

I am a god, The Prim is a god, I am in The Prim and I manifest through Transubstantiation.

More details on opening and location to follow when I've finished building it....


1 comment:

  1. You are what you create. Your vision, your dream built from a base shape and sculpted into your world.