A Virtual Void

An Open Conversation hosted by Erica Molesworth

with special guests Elisabeth Nicula and Fred Scharmen

JUNE 19, 11:00-11:45 am PST

Please join us online for an informal panel and conversation in Social VR: in a moment when NFTs dominate discussion in art circles, what role can art play in interrogating extractive environmental practices? When all the money and attention is following space ventures and the metaverse, can we make creative use of technologies in ways that do not simply replicate the void? Perhaps emblematically, this discussion will take place in Virtual Reality – itself the latest void to seduce with a promise of emptiness and possibility. Erica’s work has long struggled (hard) with the lure of Utopia and the strange tendency it has to be dystopian. Log on to Erica’s VR Art Camp space, Utopia Spa, as we puzzle out the possibilities of community, art, architecture, and relationships with non-humans in the void…

Highly recommended reading to facilitate a deeper discussion:

Elisabeth Nicula, "The Artist is the Void"

Fred Scharmen, Space Settlements

Elvia Wilk, “A Non-Universal Universe: Eco Art and the Art of Prehistory”

*Erica also recommends this Meta promo for the “metaverse,” and its own social virtual reality “Horizon.”

JUNE 19, 11:00-11:45 am PST (2pm EDT)

Please join us in the Utopia Spa:

https://hubs.mozilla.com/xLq72ca/art-camp-commons

Schedule:

10:45 - 11:00am: Warm Up Exercise

11:00 - 11:45: A Conversation on the Virtual and Artistic Void

If this is your first time in Mozilla Hubs, please join our warm-up exercise 15 minutes before the event at 10:45 am PST! We'll show you basic technical skills so you can participate in the event comfortably. Mozilla Hubs is accessible with or without VR headsets through your browser (and computer, phones, tablets etc.). Fast internet and a computer with a mouse and headphones can make a difference in your experience though. Safari doesn’t support Mozilla so please use Firefox or Chrome!

Erica Molesworth is an artist working across video and installation, and more recently in 3D modeling and animation. She is interested in landscapes that integrate the human and non-human, and their unequal relationship with human economies. She was born in Sydney, Australia, and completed her MFA in 2015 at the California College of the Arts (CCA). Erica has exhibited widely in Australia and in the United States, including at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Lishui Festival in China, the Dallas Medianale, and Firstdraft in Sydney, and Channels Video Festival in Melbourne. She has been awarded fellowships at LMCC, Vermont Studio Center, Lighthouse Works, MASS MoCA Studios, New York Art Residency & Studios (NARS), and Bay Area Video Coalition among others. She has given visiting artist lectures at Stanford and the Living Room Light Exchange, and is visiting faculty at Parsons/New School NY.

Elisabeth Nicula is an artist and writer from Norfolk, Virginia. She is interested in seeing and being seen by the non-human world, abstracted scales of space and time, poetics, and memory. Smooth Friend is her new publishing project.

Fred Scharmen teaches architecture and urban design at Morgan State University’s School of Architecture and Planning. He is the co-founder of the Working Group on Adaptive Systems, an art and design consultancy based in Baltimore, Maryland. His first book, Space Settlements, was published in 2019. His writing has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Atlantic, CityLab, Slate, Log, CLOG, Volume, and Domus. His architectural criticism has appeared in the Architect’s Newspaper, and in the local alt-weekly Baltimore City Paper.

Image and text:

Erica Molesworth, screenshot of virtual Utopia Spa, 2021

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Posters of Show & Tell events are collages from the artists’ works.