Clarkson University Associate Professor of Communication, Media and Design Alex Lee will world premiere his newest VR project, titled “The Fold” in Paris, France from May 5 to 8 at the Recontres Internationales Paris / Berlin New Cinema and Contemporary Art Festival.
In the ‘VR Lab’ segment of the festival, The Fold will be featured alongside ten other artworks in virtual reality that question our principles of reality, our daytime perceptions and our everyday representations. Alex will be representing the USA in this lineup.
“The Fold” is a non-linear interactive film and virtual reality-based art game involving rooms with doors containing a concept folding into 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 technics as it relates to Western (episode I) and Eastern (episode II) philosophy, including structuralist and surrealist literature, sentient bodies, metaphysics, mathematics, the virtual object, Buddhism, Zen principles, Qi (氣), and problematizes the affirmation of technics, its outputs and technologies as anthropologically universal within the framework of VR, AI, 3D animation, and video games.
During this event, Alex will be featuring ‘episode I’ which involves five doors presented in virtual reality with the following names: the Doors, the Fold, the Grid, the Meridies, and the Cave.
“My work is an investigation on the possibilities of digital imagery in an increasingly technical and automated world. Originally born out of aesthetic theory, my practice focuses on the creative employ of artifice and immateriality within the digital image, ”Lee said. “I consider the digital image in relation to the phrase ‘technical image’ coined by philosopher Vilem Flusser in which photography and mechanical reproduction heralded new forms of perceptual experience and knowledge. We are living in a digital age of the ‘elite technical image’ where increasingly complex technical software and hardware apparatuses are being utilized for the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge. The products of these technical apparatuses often find their way into my work expressively, culling from sources from science, science fiction, mathematics, physics, and modernity. ”
Lee is an artist who utilizes 3D animation, video game engines, virtual / augmented / immersive reality platforms, machine learning and the potential of simulation technologies in order to investigate contemporary modes of representation, artifice and technical images – culling from concepts within 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 USA.
There will be a livestream featured on the Recontres Internationales Paris / Berlin website at art-action.org/site/en/prog/22/paris/prog_live.php