Ekphrasis: Rusted Developments

Many know that one of my great concerns is the conservation and preservation of virtual art, and incredibly complex problem for this rather ephemeral medium. I’ve written about it a bit, and it is something I hope to work on with other like-minded denizens in the future. As it remains, however, the current best practice is to document through image, text, and the wonderful new art of machinima.

This is why I am so pleased to share with you that A Rusted Development, the exhibit I have curated at LEA 1, has already been archived in this manner, and it hasn’t even been open a week!

A Rusted Development Catalogue, photographed and designed by PJ Trenton, with text written and edited by Rowan Derryth.

Truth be told, I am responsible for part of this – along with my accomplice, PJ Trenton, we have created an exhibition catalogue which can be read (and downloaded for free) online. There is also an inworld Thinc book version which can be grabbed – again for free – at kiosks at the exhibit. The text simply tells you a little about the background of the exhibit and the artists involved, but it is a gorgeous design and layout by PJ. Whether viewing it on a work break, or grabbing one for your virtual coffee table, I know it will be enjoyed!

I am equally excited to tell you that the talented Chic Aeon has already made a machinima of the exhibit! It was a complete surprise to me, but explains why I saw Chic on my radar for quite a while this weekend. It is a short but beautiful film which captures not just the artwork, but the entire spirit of the exhibit:

It was my hope that A Rusted Development would express the possibility of hope in the aftermath of catastrophe. I think the exhibit is a huge success in this regard, with each artist offering their own thoughts on this notion in their work. Through her machinima, Chic has added her own layer to this exhibit, taking inspiration from the artwork and writing her own story. For me, Chic has just joined us in this endeavour, and for me has become another of the Rusted Artists, and with her permission, I will be adding this media to the exhibit. Thank you Chic!

A Rusted Development will be up through the end of June. Please watch this space for further announcements of events.

One comment

  1. Congratulations Rowan! I’m out of my studio ATM and won’t be able to view your lovely catalog till later, but congrats on its publication, and I look forward to seeing it soon!

    It would be nice to have a “conference”…
    face to face
    avatar to avatar
    conducted across new media platforms like these blogs, videos, catalogs etc

    on the preservation of virtual artworks.

    It is ironic that as digital works they are theoretically far more preservable and presentable than, for example, the Mona Lisa, which in addition to existing on a small, disintegrating piece of wood, can only be viewed behind 30 or so CM of bulletproof glass, and the hundred or so people, with cameras over their heads, between you and the bullet proof glass in front of the small, disintegrating painting.

    Yet as we’re all aware, be they analog tapes or 3D virtual objects, the ability to see even a recent project is somehow strangely and frustratingly ephemeral.

    It would be a nice, and perhaps even fruitful, conversation to have…

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