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Tuesday, November 01, 2016


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Years ago I used to paint and draw, but ever since I was a child I always had that desire, that I guess many people have, of wanting to get inside the painting to take a look around, to feel what it was like to be there in the setting that the picture showed. For me this desire was fulfilled when back in the early 1990's Video games began releasing their game editors with the games, Unreal being one of the first ones to really allow me to create something close to what I had imagined, but I have used most game engines and finaly came to SL and OS. Ever since then in I have always described what I was doing as painting in 3 dimensions. This is exactly as it has always felt to me. I was never making games, I was always creating 3 dimensional art, just as I had created 2D art when painting, just that now I could enter into the pictures I painted. The Gridism mentioned here seems to me to be reversing the process and taking a step backwards. And if you consider virtual worlds as some form of art, then painting pictures of it, is like painting pictures of pictures if you get my drift. I agree that digital worlds are very fleeting and putting an impression of them down on canvas is an interesting way of preserving some record of them. But wouldn't that be true of and screen shot that was taken in game and enhanced an then printed out. There are many beautiful enhanced screenshots of some of my SL worlds that other people have created and put a great deal of work into,and then put them up on Flickr, wouldn't these count as Gridism . I think it is great that people might want to express their thoughts and feelings about online experiences in traditional art forms. But I am not sure that it would constitute an art movement. I mean does television inspired art have a movement or radio inspired art, I don't know maybe it does.


Posting this here too to clear a few things up.

1. I specifically said in the essay that Gridism is NOT digital photography. Whiskey's photo is used to illustrate the predecessor of Gridism. Hamlet, please change the image. This is not one of my paintings.

2. You have three paintings to pick from in that essay alone. You do not get to tell an artist what is a "more concrete" example of a genre they invented.

After some talk with other artists in the grid, some very angry rants, and some thinking, I've decided I'm going to stand up for myself and make sure the mission of this genre is not altered or hijacked. Gridism is what I say it is, because I am the inventor of it.

Digitalism is for photographers and Virtualism will welcome you with open arms, should you want to partake in digital photography.

Wagner J Au

Sorry, I took down Whiskey's image -- missed the distinction that you were only talking about physical art. However, to really drive a movement, I still think we need to see clearer examples of what you're talking about, beyond your own work. None of the images from the Medium post really read to me as "physical art essentially about the virtual world experience", for one thing; for another, it's better to cite other artists as well, especially those who've preceded you. To take one notable example, Cao Fei was creating physical sculptures and installations inspired by Second Life nearly a decade ago, and she's been shown in some of the world's top galleries and museums. So where does she fit into this scheme? Or, say, an avatar-only artist like Four Yip, who was doing SL to RL paintings in 2009:


Or Gracie Kendal, whose shown (and still shows) many of her SL-inspired paintings in LA galleries?


And so on. Not discouraging you at all -- there's definitely something here that deserves more fleshing out!


I am not sure why we need any ism's really. Ism's are like walls, once you build them up you have to defend their borders and put some people on one side and not on the other, when maybe they sit on the wall or are half on one side and half on the other. None of the great artists to my knowledge ever begun the movements into which they have over time been maneuvered. If someone told me I was part of a virtualism or digitalism movement it would be meaningless to me. I create Johnisms because what I do is peculiar to me and like nothing else that others do, only in that they use the same materials. And I also have decided I'm going to stand up for myself and make sure the mission of this genre is not altered or hijacked. At least replying to this post has helped me define my genre, for that I am grateful :)


1. The farm painting I did was a literal recreation of my skybox.

2. I noted predecessors in the report.

3. I'm not here to say what others' work is called. If they want it to be Gridist, then awesome. The essay even gives tips for artists on how to join in and create Gridist work too.

Seeing as you had both a rough draft and final to read and give feedback on, this is extremely disappointing to see from you. You may not think this is discouraging, but from this viewpoint I see someone who isn't willing to write an article accurately or put up proper pictures, just because it doesn't fit what he thinks it should.

And I'm not here for that.


sirhc deSantis

'If it’s physical, it’s Gridist. But it must be physical. This is a genre aiming to redefine what we consider fine art.'

Erm no. Quite the oppo.

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