QL: Hello Thoth! Glad to meet you. You placed Mind Melter at Art India Gallery. The audience love that work. Please tell a bit about it and the idea behind the work.
Thoth-Anubis (thoth.jantzen): Well, it generally emerged from 2 or 3 themes I've worked on over time. I've been playing the the media sculpture and immersive environments, as you know, for a while. I've also been experimenting with different ways to try and achieve an decent 3D effect using media The 'Mind Melter' is the result of one of those experiments. So far, it's also one of my favorite works.
QL: I fully agree. Not sure if I want to give it back to you ;)
Thoth: ;) Who says i'll take it back? ;)
QL: That sound promising ;) The reactions of the visitors are interesting. They are are fascinated and somehow hypnotized. Did you experience that too? Was that the reason to give the name MIND MELTER?
Thoth-Anubis: You could say so, yes. The patterns it generates can be very engrossing. I find myself just 'watching' it alone sometimes for a long time, not really thinking, just 'looking'. Of course, I'm easily amused by colorful flashy things. It's probably why i do this. ;)
QL: Your work is pretty unique in SL. The translucent glowing prims, the movements. How did you invent this technique?
Thoth: Well, it's evolved over time. It started long ago just trying to make a regular media/TV screen more interesting. I changed the orientation of the textures on some bordering the main screen, made them the media texture, and it looked pretty cool. From there, I began to experiment and came up with my first immersive thing, the Kaleidoscopium.
QL: And the music, is that an important part?
Thoth: Well, it reinforces the visual impact. rather, they are mutually reinforcing, it seems to me. Watching, for example, a regular music video in one of the immersive builds seems to magnify the 'emotive' impact of the piece. If it's a love song or a sad song, you really feel immersed in the feeling. If it's a rock or dance song, you find yourself ready to party.
QL: You like to dance in RL too?
Thoth: Hehe, I like to, but i'm usually advised not to when i try. ;)
Ql: I was told that 'mental practice' of dance in SL enhances the RL abilities!
Thoth: I would be a good counter example for that. Of course, it could reinforce one's delusions of grandeur as a dancer. But my avatar can really move, and the bunny slippers it wears just sort of make the dancing come alive. ;)
QL: Are you creative or artist in RL too? Has your life in SL any connection to RL?
Thoth: I am 'creative' in RL, but in different ways. When i was very young (long, long ago in a galaxy far, faraway), I was an artist and cartoonist. But the starving aspect of being an artist sort of made life tough, and I wound up going in other directions. I haven't really drawn for years and years, but I do write poetry, haiku, and some short stories when I can. I also have had some of my SL stuff shown in RL and have worked on projected exhibits of virtual reality simulations a bit. But that's about the extent of it now. SL is good for creativity in different ways; one of the main ones is that it removes a lot of barriers to creating that some people may face in RL whether it be time, or resources, or what have you.
QL: So, SL is a part of your creative life.
Thoth: Yes. A fairly significant part. I've been surprisingly....fortunate? in SL in that sense. I don't think it's so much due to any great 'skills' I have; my skillset is limited. But i do look at things differently from a lot of people, and so far, what I do seems to be fairly unique and I think that's where a lot of the interest in it comes from.
QL: When I see your work, I see more than with many other artists the future of Virtual art. Did ever musicians had the idea to use your works for videos?
Thot: Well, thanks! That's a big compliment. You see I look at trying to use the medium, or the environment, in ways that are unique to IT as opposed to trying to replicate in SL or virtual reality what already exists in RL. I think some have considered it, but it's not really been done. Then again, it's not very well 'known' outside of SL and the number of real musicians who've seen it is fairly limited; but that's slowly changing. we'll see how it goes.
Ql: Your current "Home" in SL is Area 54.What is this space and what are you doing here?
Thoth: Yes...thanks to Lapiscean Liberty and AViewTV. Well, that's complicated. :) Area 54 is a combination art gallery/club/event venue....or that's the idea. Of course, a big part of the idea is to offer SL users a really powerful and unique immersive experience inworld. But another part is to try an bring what is happening in SL out to the internet. So, we stream some events live and try to promote to the non-SL internet users to watch and share in what's going on. Right now our streaming capability is limited because it is a fairly tech and labor intensive thing to do, but we hope to do more and more, and learn how to automate more of it so it can eventually be a very regular part of the place.
Quan Lavender: I hope yuu will succed. For the opening of the club you had pretty well known DJ's here.
Thoth: Yes, and we streamed it live. It was a huge success. we had a lot of people both inworld and on the internet watching. Of course, we would like more on the internet (was only a few hundred, i think), but it's not bad for a start.
Quan Lavender: And it went relatively smooth...
Thoth: Surprisingly. We did have a minor disaster behind the scenes, but quick thinking on the part of the ppl helping out made it almost unnoticeable to the visitors. Apart from that, tho, it all went perfectly and i think all the dj's we had were great, too. I was very impressed with all those who helped. Petlove and Emmo also streamed more than 5 hours of video...perfectly. :)
QL: I could not log out, the music was so great. I can imagine that events like that should help to improve the name of SL.
Thoth: Well, that's one hope. If ppl 'out there' see what is possible here in other ways than is normally shown, I think there could be more interest in SL in general. But that's sort of a hoped for side-effect, not a specific goal of ours...It's not out job to promote SL, but we do hope to show a positive, exciting side to it.
QL: Thank your for that interesting interview!
Taxi to MIND MELTER: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shekhawati/198/72/432