I immersed myself in Kolor Fall’s Studio this week. I discovered his work space is bursting with force and energy unlike so many other static and clinical Second Life art sims. Kolor’s Studio operates with the controlled power of a finely tuned engine that hints at untouched reserves of turbo charged boost! Much of this impression comes from the fact that the sim is moving, cubes spin in space and dive below the sea before emerging dripping wet and arcing back up into the skies. Mountain peaks of curved steel rotate like whales breaking through the ocean’s waves. Giant sculptures reach into the clouds above, one looks like a teetering cubist beanstalk, the other like spilt paint pouring down from the sky. It did not take me long to realize that the Kolor lab is the work of an experienced and skillful artist.
I ventured online to learn more about Patrick Faith (Kolor’s first world self) and soon found myself intrigued by his description of painting. See Patrick Faith Fine Art and read about how he works (I normally cringe when I read about an artist’s creative process but this description provides insight by being calmly informative). I then followed his link over to Patrick Faith Art on YouTube where I found a range of videos showing him painting with his hands. Take a look at Drips in Black: Large Water Color and then watch his Tutorial for Simulated Art in Second Life. These links will help anchor your mind as you explore Kolor’s work.
Not that I went this route to understanding Kolor’s creations. I am very undisciplined in my approach to art in Second Life. I don’t follow the teleporter guides to large art pieces, I prefer to fly around and explore first. Then, if the work has hooked me, I go and find out more. Admittedly, I frequently get stuck in virtual nooks and crannies and miss a lot to begin with! But then, I think good art transcends the artist who created it. By that I mean art that is meaningful tends to carry elements that remind us of something else. These ‘reminders’ are our fleeting visual and emotional memories, they are intensely personal and unique. A good art piece triggers these flashes in each viewer who then, in turn, brings something and adds that to what they see. The fascination (for me at least) of Kolor’s work is that it seems to explore this layering of meaning. While his physical paintings show layers of paint and explore the ‘stories’ he finds in those layers, his virtual art allows us to travel right into the midst of these stories and explore the layers in 3 dimensions.
Another discovery I made about Kolor is that he is a very approachable and unpretentious artist. I tend to avoid Second Life creators as I have visions of them wreathed in creative contemplations dreading all interruptions. (Of course, they can use alts and not speak to anyone but I forget about that!) Anyway, I was lucky enough to be given a guided tour by Kolor. (Perhaps a richer experience for me as it followed on from my own un-guided forays.) Kolor clearly sees his YouTube videos serving as keys to his virtual work but he also talked a little about his ideas as we traveled around the space. He explained his work is largely about tension, the relationship of objects to each other in space. When I asked how this applied to the virtual space of Second Life he talked about manipulating perceptions conjured within our ‘neural nets’. At least, that is my subjective interpretation and summary of what he was saying!
Sound adds another layer to the labs and you may not be surprised to learn that Kolor composes, and plays, the music himself. A friend once observed music is enhanced when you listen to it traveling in a car watching the world roll by your window. Three dimensions, plus movement coupled with music help us to freely generate associations within the wordless zones of our brains. Second Life, and Second Life art in particular, exploit this relationship between moving visuals and music. Kolor explores his continuum of stories layered upon each other by creating ‘moving art’ enhanced by his ‘sound art’. Kolor and I even talked a little bit about his use of mathematics and the creative place where mathematics touches philosophy and quantum physics! ( I wrote once about this end of mathematics in Doppelgängers, multiverses and dodgy arithmetic, I am atrocious at maths but love its theories). There is a strange place where art and mathematics converge, it is a place full of surprises and treasures such as Bach’s music, architecture and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. I would like to quietly add Kolor Fall’s theory of tension and stories to this magical mathematical treasury.
Notes and tips: There are many places to visit… start at Kolor Studio Main, Kolor (113, 127, 72) and make sure you visit the following locations: Kolor Chamber Music, Sky Ocean, Kolor Lab, Kolor Gallery, Lounge, Black and White gallery, Ocean Floor and Cloud Stage.
This post has only touched the surface of what you will find at the Kolor Studio. Look out for the ear ring hunt and if you are lucky you will find your avatar wearing miniature Kolor Fall sculptures. Another amazing feature of these installations is that Kolor has made them interactive i.e. you can move things such as fountains and giant cubes thereby shifting the virtual world around you. AndOh and one other thing… don’t forget to dance on the rotating cubes!