16 April 2014

Ghost Castle

Now open at Italian Square, and presented by Italian Square and Tanalois Art, is Ghost Castle by Fuschia Nightfire, a highly interactive installation inspired by Fuschia's real life artwork at Corfe Castle, located in Dorset on England's southern coast. Begun by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and greatly modified in the 12th and 13th centuries, the castle stood strong until its destruction following capture by Cromwell's forces in 1646.

If you arrive at Ghost Castle and you're the only person in the area, the installation will reflect the look of how the castle now appears in real life, with the stronghold and remains of the keep firmly planted on the hillside. We're told that, "In her RL guise of Nina Camplin, Fuschia was commissioned to do some mural work at the [nearby] model village and whilst working there, she became inspired to make this installation, showing the present day remains of the castle which, when an avatar walks into it, rebuilds to its former majestic glory."

And so it does: as you approach parts of the castle, what's no longer there in real life suddenly appears before you, and gradually you get a sense of what the entire majestic structure must have been: walls, towers, staircases, ramparts, battlements. As you move away, these phantom pieces fade away again, and so unless a number of people are exploring simultaneously you're not likely to see all the pieces assembled at once. It's quite delightful to explore.

Navigation can at first be a little perplexing: some areas are solid and some phantom (necessary because as things rez you have to be able to move out of them), so just keep walking and climbing (or flying, which is often best). Be sure to set your draw distance up considerably—you'll often want to zoom out to see the effects of your movements—and also be sure your object detail (or LoD) is at least 4. Fuschia's work suggests interesting possibilities for virtual historical recreations, and I hope to see more like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment