Simploring 2018 (27) – Gem Preiz’ Demiurge

When I visited Gem Preiz’ installation “Sapiens” in January (read here) I met Inara Pey there, who told me that Gem plans an extention of this installtion by End of February. And really, as it turns out I got an invitation for Thursday, March 15th, from Gem himself to attend the opening of this extention for Thursday, March 15th. Unfortunately I could not attend the opening but visited a few hours before the opening. The extension is called “Demiurge“.
The word “demiurge” is an English word from demiurgus, a Latinized form of the Greek dēmiourgos. It was originally a common noun meaning “craftsman” or “artisan”, but gradually it came to mean “producer”, and then eventually “creator” (from wikipedia)

Gem Preiz’ Demiurge – opened until End of June 2018

At the landing point you can grab a notecard in several language, which explains Gem’s thoughts about both installations: “Sapiens ended on the vision of the Man understanding his universe and learning to dominate it. In Demiurge, the Man becomes creative and shapes his environment, for the good or for the evil.” From the landing point you can teleport also to Sapiens.

Impressions of Gem Preiz’ Demiurge: The past

Demiurge consists of 3 parts: the past, the present and the future. Each part is built on a sim-wide space.
The past reminds of of an ancient city, maybe Rome. It has classical buildings, historic buildings you can find all over the world, buildings with history, buildings that were built to last “forever”, to witness the ideas of a times. Inside of some buildings you find fractals exhibited. From the largest exhibition hall you can teleport to the next part: the present.

Gem Preiz’ Demiurge: The exhibition hall at “The past” – TP Point to travel to “The present” (arriving in “The present” lower right picture)

The present is very disillusioning: uniform skyscrapers, dirt, elevated roads and thousand of tin-sheet huts. In the present of Demiurge is just one exhibition hall with fractals. It is easy to find as the buildings stands out from the rest. From there you can teleport to the next part: the future.
I talked with Gem later and her told me that the skyscrapers are inspired by the chinese town Chongqing, an ocean of 25 floors buildings to house 30 millions people, while the slum is inspired by Kibera, the slum around Nairobi, Kenya. I don’t know both places, but I kind of have an idea how it might look there.

Impressions of Gem Preiz’ Demiurge: The present

The future is bright, particular with the windlight setting I used: Bristol. This world has futuristic skyscarpers of all forms. It’s clean and neat and organized. It does not only look futuristic but also artificial as if there’s no individuality anymore – although the buildings are creative as such, but the single human being is lost in the world. Look a bit around, you might find a starship, which you can use to explore the future from another perspective. I found it and I used it. It also adds to the fun!

Flying a spaceship at Gem’ Preiz’ Demiurge: The future

At the end of the installation Sapiens I saw a huge golden statue (the homo sapiens sapiens?) holding the grid cube in it’s hand, looking at it lost in thoughts. At Demiurge you’ll find this huge golden statue in a spherical building and it holds a brain in it’s hand, looking at it lost in thoughts. At the base of the statue you find teleport pads to Sapiens and to the past and the present.

Impressions of Gem Preiz’ Demiurge: The future

Demiurge is an impressive installation about architecture, not about single periods of architecture but from a higher level. It shows the clear forms and outlines of classic historic buildings that follow either function (like theatres) or simple demostrate power. There builders had he intention to create something for the eternity. It shows the uniformity of modern housing towers, the dirt and the poverty of the slums that are reality for many people around the world. And it shows our dreams that have become reality at least partly at some metropol areas like Shanghai, New York, London ..
Of course Demiurge is also a place where Gem’s fractals are exhibited and they fit in very well as most of them look a bit like science fiction. Overall, the installation contains 32 high resolution fractals. Some of them have already been displayed on Secondlife, in various other exhibitions.

At the landing point of Demiurge as well as in the notecard you find recommendations about the settings of your viewer. I also recommend to turn your music on (I did). The music Gem selected fits really well.

Gem Preiz’ Demiurge – outside of the the landing Point – upper left Picture Shows Gem and myself

One last thing. If you have time enough, walk outside of the building where you enter Demiurge. The landing area is inside another “future” world that is dominated a one tall skycraper. Gem told me that it is inspired by a project of tower to be raised in Bassorah, Iraq, that shall raise 1.000 meter, in SL it’s “only” 340 m tall. Talking with Gem you can sense his passion for architecture, forms and skyscrapers.

Thank you Gem for this extension to Sapiens. Demiurge is – at least for me – an installation you have to visit. Great work, Gem, very impressive!
Sapiens and Demiurge shall be open for a visit until End of June.

Landmark to Demiurge
Landmark to Sapiens

Simploring 2018 (8) Gem Preiz’ Sapiens

I discovered Gem Preiz’ artful work in Second Life last year and had some posts about the exhibitions and installations that I visited (No Frontiers, 5 years of Fractals, Chaos). Gem Preiz works with fractals, his pictures are based on math, but although the forms are duplicated what you see is a picture and you’re not able to to see the logic behind it. Often his work has a touch of science fiction. When I got the invitation to visit Gem’s newest installation at LEA 29, Sapiens, I went there a few hours before it opened offcially.

Gem Preiz’ Sapiens – Exhibition board (upper left) / at the landing Point (upper right) / inside the grid cube (lower)

You land in a hallway that could be part of a spaceship, some fog rises from below. There’re boards on both sides of the hallways and you can grab information about Gem and a notecard about the installation Sapiens. Gem describes his intentions and thoughts about Sapiens in the notecard (grab one). The boards also recommend the appropriate settings for your viewer for the best experience of Sapiens. I strongly recommend to switch the music on. At the end of the hallway is a cube, which is used as a TP to the installation itself.

Gem Preiz’ Sapiens – in the hallways / inside of the grid cube

Sapiens is a cube, a grid of 4 x 4 hallways and you land somewhere inside of an hallway. The cube hoovers in the endlessness of space. The hallways do look all the same, like at the landing they appear to be part of a huge spaceship. You get more or less lost in them, it’s a labyrinth, a maze. Gem describes the grid cube as a “limited universe, locked like a prison”. The “maze of interconnected passages is similar to a brain where the thoughts turn in a loop without any solution”.
You can travel between the 4 levels using elevator platforms that are on some crossings and which move up and down steadily. At the corners of the hallways you can peek out into the inner structure of the grid cube and again you’re lost, you find no mark, just endless repeating structures.

At the sides of the hallways of Sapiens Gem presents in total 40 fractals which he categorized into the themes: technology, maze, darkness, confinement.

Gem Preiz’ Sapiens -examples of the exhibted fractals

While I explored I met Inara Pey. I follow her blog “Living in a modemworld” for some years now and I often follow her exploring tours when I go simploring. It was the first time that I met her inworld and we had a very nice chat. And I had the opportunity to thank her in perosn for her great work for the community. Inara was just visiting like myself and just working on her blog post about Sapiens, which was published a few hours later (“A journey into Sapiens in Second Life“). As Inara has a passion for science fiction and space flight, Sapiens was for sure a highlight for her. Inara also told me, that Gem plans to expand the installation End of February, hence a reason for me to return.

Gem Preiz’ Sapiens – more impressions / Inara and Diomita (upper left)

Back to Sapiens. If you look out for details on the sides of the hallways besides the 40 pictures, you can find “Exits”, actually I saw 2 of them. They allow you to explore the inner structure of grid cube into which you peek from inside. You need to fly as there’re no hallways, otherwise you’ll fall down. The hovering objects, Gem calls them shuttles, are phamtom and thus colliding with them is harmless. I flew a bit around and although it looks huge at the first glance, you quickly discover your limitations. You can’t get out, I got a real prison feeling there and returned inside.

There’s another exit. In the hallways you find big black hands every once in a while. First I thought they might direct you way, but they don’t. Either by accident or by systematically walking every hallways on each level you will find a spot with many of these black hands. They seem to have caught a golden statue, a human, who cowers under them. Clicking the golden statue brings you to the end of the exhibtion, which is on a extra platform, from where you can also return to the start. You can also see all 40 exhibited pictures once again in a catalogue. Above the platform sits is a huge golden statue (the homo sapiens sapiens?) holding the grid cube in it’s hand, looking at it lost in thoughts.

Gem Preiz’ Sapiens – the golden homo sapiens sapiens

Sapiens is a great combination of a 3D installation with a gallery presenting Gem’s fractal art. Both fit together perfectly. It is a journey into the inexplainable space inside of our brains, that can be like space flight into the endless room. And I like and admire the fractals. Thank you for another great experience in Second Life, Gem!

Landmark to Gem Preiz’ Sapiens
Inara Pey’s blog post A journey into Sapiens in Second Life