Clarkson Professor’s Art to be Exhibited in German Contemporary Art Festival

View from within the virtual reality headset of ‘the Fold (episode I): the Fold’, 2020

Alex M. Lee, associate professor of digital arts and sciences at Clarkson University will exhibit his virtual reality project the Fold (episode I) in Berlin, Germany Thursday, April 18th at the Recontres Internationales Paris/Berlin New Cinema and Contemporary Art Festival. In the ‘VR Lab’ segment of the festival, The Fold will be featured alongside ten other artworks in virtual reality that question our principles of reality, our daytime perceptions and our everyday representations. Alex will be representing the USA in this lineup.

The Fold is a non-linear interactive film and virtual reality-based art game involving rooms with doors containing a concept folding into other rooms with doors. Inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ short story ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’, this VR-based ‘escape the room’ project highlights the similarities and differences of technics as it relates to Western (episode I) and Eastern (episode II) philosophy including structuralist & surrealist literature, sentient bodies, metaphysics, mathematics, the virtual object, Buddhism, Zen principles, Qi (氣), and problematizes the affirmation of technics, its outputs and technologies as anthropologically universal animation within the framework of VR, AI, 3D , and video games.

During this event, Alex will be featuring ‘episode I’ which involves five doors presented in virtual reality with the following names: the Doors, the Fold, the Grid, the Merides, and the Cave. There will be a livestream featured on the Recontres Internationales Paris/Berlin website here: https://www.art-action.org/site/en/prog/22/berlin/prog_live.php

Lee says, My work is an investigation on the possibilities of digital imagery in an technical and automated world. Originally born out of aesthetic theory, my practice focuses on the creative employ of art and immateriality within the digital image.” He went on to say, “There is an additional phenomenological layer to some of my time-based works. The work utilizes the loop, slow pacing, and the relatively still to great effect. The temporal disjunction from the natural and endless repetition alludes to an abstraction of time and perception. The work’s connection to light is derived with algorithms within the computer, which I manipulate to great effect. I play with the possibilities found in data representation and physics simulation in order to arrive at a new formal possibility. often times the work alludes to notions of the sublime or surreal within the context of the virtual but playing against notions of simulacra (artifice).

Lee is an artist who utilizes 3D animation, video game engines, virtual/augmented/immersive reality platforms, machine learning and the potential of simulation technologies in order to investigate contemporary modes of representation, artifice and technical images – culling from concepts within science, science fiction, physics, philosophy, and modernity. He received his BFA (2005) and MFA (2009) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lee has exhibited internationally in North America, Europe and Asia. Selected exhibitions include: Trinity Square Video, Toronto, ON; Mio Photo, Osaka, Japan; Daegu Art Factory, Daegu, Korea; Eyebeam: Center for Art & Technology, New York, NY; LEV Festival, Madrid, Spain; Elektra Festival, Montreal, Canada. His work has been published in articles covering art, science, and culture including: Metaverse Creativity, Smithsonian Magazine, Routledge Press, and Canadian Art.

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