ARTFORUM report on RMB City

[ 2009-01-16 23:29:42 | 作者Author: caofei ]
: | |
Read more:
ARTFORUM English
ARTFORUM Chinese

uploads/200901/16_233102_rmb_artforum.jpg

<虚拟现实 -- 人民城寨 第二人生> 2009.01.19
很难想到在2008年,有哪件独立的作品(更别说还在进行中的作品了),比人民城寨能吸引到更多的人参与进来了。人民城寨将在世界上不同的地方轮番登场,与此同时,虚拟城市的虚拟化旅行也可以在她的YouTube上看到,电脑用户可以下载第二人生并进去参观。上周五,曹斐和一些朋友以及粉丝,进行了盛大的开城仪式。在第二人生注册一个身份后,我决定进去溜溜,浏览了一下菜单,选择了一个名字(Petrolhead)和一个化身(魁梧的浅黑肤色男人)。

在第二人生中,人们可并没有听说什么堵车和火车晚点的事儿,在这,可以直接飞向或者通过心灵运输到达目的地。当你还在学着识别地图时,这一切尚不管用。我琢磨了一下,知道了怎样才能直接冲到人民宫,曹婓的化身中国翠西业已完成了她的致辞,表示诚心欢迎人们的参观和关注。中国翠西的的嘴唇并没有动,但她的手指在看不见的键盘上敲击着,她所说的话一行行从我们的屏幕下方划过,大意就是可以将人民城寨当成自己的家,发挥我们的智慧,让这里绚烂迷幻。

项目的CEO宣布,下一位演讲者将是这里的第一任市长UliSigg Cisse, 这是瑞士收藏家乌里•希克的化身。开幕式上充满了赞助者和显贵要人的开场白。但是在同一间屋子里,却没法让虚拟化身们安静下来,喋喋不休的演说夹杂着聊天室陈旧的打破僵局的声音(比如,大家从哪里来这样的话),尤伦斯中心的盖伊•尤伦斯的第二人生的代表Guyullens Skytower不经意地喊出一句:“今早找不到我的裤子了。”自命不凡的演讲看来不会有了,策展人的那些化身,比如横滨三年展的Danielbirnbaum Quan, Beatrixruf Shinn和Hansulrichobrist Magic都没有出现。

我走了进来,抓拍中国翠西将“市长资格证”交给乌里•希克的那一刻。屏幕抓拍功能是建立在第二人生的分界面处,但得需要一些技巧才能找到合适的角度。由于项目中出现的小问题,所以四处走动就被弄得复杂化了。很多用户的集合和他们的频带宽度减缓了第二人生动画化的速度。我继续不耐烦地敲击我的箭头键,结果发现我几乎踩到了中国翠西的脚。开发部的一个人喊:“能不能让一些‘虚拟化身’从这两人身边挪开,多谢!”我撤回了酒吧,点了一瓶香槟。

之后,庆祝活动在外面的人民水上公园开始,大金鱼跳跃着,精心制作的焰火点亮了天空。我看了一下庆典场所的外观。人民城寨的人民宫是按着北京的紫禁城设计的,但是,红门上挂的却是一只熊猫的图片,没人守卫,除了一些播放本地消息的控制台外,这里是一个充满友好氛围的散播信息之地,而非令人肃穆的纪念场所。人民城寨的规划转换了城市中心的水平式排列顺序,形成了一个垂直的轴心;紫禁城处于北京的中心,人民宫位于人民城寨的最高点,只是被摩天轮夺去了一些光彩。世界上那个最大的摩天轮,预计2009年在北京落地。

轮子下,是热闹的派对,没有音乐,但有很多舞蹈,点击“pose ball”, 客人们就可以将他们自己带入一系列的特技动作中去了。我让Avatrian的程序员Rodion Resistance带我遨游,这家旧金山的公司负责第二人生的的内容设计,与曹合作,设计了人民城寨的大部分内容。Rodion将我带到了人民公园。绿色的草地上环绕着有缺口的鸟巢,赫尔措格和德梅隆设计的国家体育馆投下了反乌托邦的影子。
其他的虚拟化身也都在缓行漫步,作为人民城寨唯一平坦而开放的场所,还有一些小的“SLebrities”出现,包括第二线的成员,在第二人生中进行表演的艺术家团体。我跟Eshi Otawara开始说话,她最先在水上乐园引起了我的注意,当时她大叫,觉得自己特别碍眼。其实她指的是她那华丽耀眼的紫色礼服,她计划在第二人生的市场中将其作为限量版的一款给卖掉的,价格大约为150美元。

突然,一个巨大的生日蛋糕出现在公园中央,这是为了祝贺开发团队的一名队员。不巧的是,她已经离线了,正和北京的同事一块庆祝呢。但是派对还在继续。一只熊猫递来巨大的生日蜡烛。对于大多数其他用户而言,该是吃午饭的时间了。但在纽约,已经是后半夜了,所以我决定在岛屿上进行最后一次飞行。手拿着生日蜡烛滑行时,我看到一个类似中国洗涤剂的瓶子洒了出来;外边是一个横滨三年展的广告牌,显现出小汉斯的脸。我想靠近点仔细看看,但是却卡在了桥架和楼房的角落之间,进出不得。我试图脱身,用箭头键瞎弄,可能太过劲了,冒出一条信息来,提示我把蜡烛扔掉,这样,第二人生就拧巴了,停了下来,最后分崩离析。

— 文/ Brian Droitcour

"Virtual Realty"—— (RMB CITY, SECOND LIFE 01.16.09)

IT’S HARD TO THINK OF A SINGLE WORK—let alone a work in progress—that got more play in 2008 than RMB City, Cao Fei’s community-building project in the online world of Second Life. Surely boosted by its double-edged benefit of introducing the art-world mainstream to the dark continents of China and the Internet simultaneously, RMB City took turns on display in (physical) exhibition spaces around the world. Meanwhile, an animated tour of Cao’s twinkling confection of a digital city was available on her YouTube channel, and anyone who had a computer with a free gigabyte of memory could download Second Life and visit. But users could only get as far as RMB City’s outer limits until last Friday, when Cao, along with a few dozen friends and fans, celebrated the grand opening. I decided to drop by, too, a few hours after registering a Second Life identity, scrolling through menus to select a name (Petrolhead) and an avatar (a strapping brunet).

Traffic and train delays are unheard-of in Second Life, where you can fly or teleport to your destination. That doesn’t help, though, when you’re still learning to read the map. I figured out how to zap myself to the People’s Palace just as China Tracy, Cao’s avatar, was finishing her address: “[W]e are looking forward to your visit and your continuous attention and intervention to RMB City.” China Tracy’s pixelated mouth didn’t move, but her fingers tapped at an invisible keyboard as her prepared lines passed across the bottom of my screen. “Please make yourself home at RMB City, and let us ignite the wisdom and dazzle of it.”

The project’s CEO, who has the unappetizing handle Freeway Mayo, announced that the next speaker would be the city’s first mayor, UliSigg Cisse, avatar of Swiss collector Uli Sigg. Even here, vernissages are marked with the pedestrian ritual of opening remarks by sponsors and dignitaries. But there is no way to silence avatars in the same room or otherwise set a VIP’s words apart from the general feed, and so the speechifying mingled with stale chat-room icebreakers (“so where’s everybody from”) and non sequiturs like “Mayer Mayer Mayer many Mayers.” Guyullens Skytower—in real life Guy Ullens, who opened Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in 2007—blurted: “couldnt find my trousers this morning.” Loftier discourse didn’t seem forthcoming, since the avatars of the curators who included RMB City in the Yokohama Triennale—Danielbirnbaum Quan, Beatrixruf Shinn, and Hansulrichobrist Magic—didn’t show.

I moved in to get the obligatory snapshot of China Tracy handing the “Certificate of Mayorship” to UliSigg. A screen-capture function is built into the Second Life interface, but it takes skilled maneuvering and zooming to get a decent angle. Navigation was complicated by hiccups in the program; the convergence of a few dozen users and their bandwidths slowed Second Life’s animation to a series of stiff jerks. I kept impatiently tapping my arrow key, only to find myself nearly standing on China Tracy’s feet. “May we request some avatars to move back from the duo, thanks!” shouted a member of the development team. I retreated to the bar and clicked on a Champagne glass.

After the remarks, festivities began in the People’s Waterpark outside. As giant goldfish somersaulted and an elaborate fireworks display animated the sky, I took an exterior look at the ceremony’s venue. The People’s Palace of RMB City is modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing, but a picture of a panda hangs on its red gates instead of a portrait of Mao, and it is unguarded and empty, save for a few consoles broadcasting local news—a friendly site for distributing information rather than an awe-inspiring monument. The layout of RMB City shifts the horizontal order of urban center and periphery to a vertical axis; while the Forbidden City is in the middle of Beijing, the People’s Palace sits at RMB City’s highest point, overshadowed only by the Bicycle Wheel—a conflation of the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, set to open in Beijing later this year, and Duchamp’s readymade.

Beneath the wheel, the party raged. There was no music but lots of dancing—by touching a "pose ball," guests could launch their own into a sequence of acrobatic moves. To chat about the construction of RMB City with fewer distractions, I let myself be teleported away by Rodion Resistance, a programmer from Avatrian, the Philippines- and San Francisco–based company specializing in Second Life content design that Cao contracted to build most of RMB City. Rodion took me to the People’s Park. The green field there is ringed by a jagged nest of rusty, broken pylons—a dystopian shadow of the National Stadium designed by Herzog & de Meuron for the Beijing Olympics.

Other avatars ambled over shortly after; as the only flat, open space in RMB City, the People’s Park seems destined to become its default site for congregating. There were a few minor “SLebrities” present, including members of Second Front, the artists’ collective that stages performances around Second Life. I talked to member Eshi Otawara, who first captured my attention at the Waterpark when she announced: “omg i am sticking out like a turd in a punchbowl.” She was referring to her ostentatious violet gown, one of a limited edition of ten that she intends to sell on Second Life’s bustling marketplace for forty thousand lindens apiece—approximately $150.

Suddenly, a giant birthday cake appeared in the middle of the park, in honor of a member of the development team. Unfortunately, she was already offline, celebrating with her colleagues in Beijing. But the party went on. A panda arrived to hand out giant birthday candles. For most of the other users it was lunchtime, but it was after midnight in New York, so I excused myself to take a final flight around the island. Gliding between sloping high-rises with birthday candle still in hand, I glimpsed an object that looked like an upturned Chinese detergent bottle erupting in a cascade; beyond it was a billboard advertising the Yokohama Triennale, splashed with the visage of Hans Ulrich Obrist. I steered toward it for a closer look but got stuck between a bridge span and the corner of an apartment building. Trying to escape, I fiddled with the arrow keys, perhaps overzealously, then a pop-up message suggested I drop the candle, and Second Life stuttered, stopped, and crashed.

—— Brian Droitcour
[最后修改由 caofei, 于 2009-01-21 03:51:03]
评论Feed: http://www.alternativearchive.com/caofei/feed.asp?q=comment&id=296

这篇日志没有评论.

此日志不可发表评论.