Virtual Reality Paintings (videos of walkable 3D environments) (2019-2021)
Wearing a VR headset and using VR painting programs, I greatly enlarge my small roadtrip drawings so that they become walls, floors, ceilings, and monumental features. I then "paint" into them in 3D space. When viewers wear the VR headset, they can physically walk through the paintings and explore. Additional viewers can see and follow their explorations via tv/computer monitors showing the real time movements through the VR spaces.
Video clips of "Escape Routes" (2021), a custom VR work using Tiltbrush to expand, evolve, and re-imagine a selection of paintings exhibited in an exhibition also titled "Escape Routes" at Tinney Contemporary July 24-August 31, 2021.. The VR work contains 9 scenes which invite viewers to walk through immersive 3D virtual paintings with digital images of the physical paintings in the real gallery space as floor, backdrop, and distant depths. Viewers can also create complex shadows by moving their left arm throughout each of the scenes.
When the Covid-19 global quarantine necessitated a cancellation of a long planned trip to Peru and Ecuador, I made my usual lap size travel drawings while clicking through our planned itinerary on Google Maps Street Views while shut in at home in Philadelphia. Several months later when the sadness had evolved, I imported a selection of those drawings into Tilt Brush and made a VR world out of my imagined travel experience. This is a video tour of that VR environment, which then informed the basis of a large painting.
"Sightreading" at Galleri Urbane, Dallas, November -December 2019. In this solo exhibition offering VR work on the Vive headset for the first time, a monitor is placed by the headset. A video loop plays when the headset is not in use. When a viewer walks through the VR worlds while wearing the headset, other viewers can observe a live stream on the monitor. The surrounding paintings were all made in response to watching videos of individual scenes in this VR work.
"Scenic Lookouts" (2019) was premiered in my solo exhibition "Sightreading" at Galleri Urbane, Dallas, in November 2019. This work included several vignettes based on roadtrip travel watercolors. Viewers can explore only one individual platform at a time, but can see all of the others far out in space. A small ripple appears on the floor, and when viewers walk onto it, the image fades out and they are teleported to one of the distant platforms.
"Middle of Somewhere" (2019) was premiered during my solo exhibition "Sightreading" at Galleri Urbane in Dallas in November 2019. This work contained several "rooms" where enlarged images of small drawings and paintings formed walls, floors and ceilings in semi confined spaces. Using VR painting programs, I built out 3D marks to create dense, walkable abstract worlds. Viewers can peek through walls and paintstrokes. Upon walking towards an animated ripple on the floor, the images fade out and viewers are teleported to other vantage points and rooms made of different images and marks.