17 August 2016

The Pillars: Four Moments of Contemplation

Now open at the Split Screen Installation Space, curated by Dividni Shostakovich, is a new installation by Oberon Onmura entitled The Pillars: Four Moments of Contemplation. "This work is an installation which embodies terraforming, complex scripted objects, and bots," explains Oberon, who credits American minimalist art of the 1960s and 70s as a primary influence. "A 'forest' of vertical mounds is inhabited by four avatars, each enclosed in a unique soundscape and constrained to a single animation. A plain white chair beside each avatar invites the viewer to sit and contemplate each small scene." More than seventy steep pillars or mounds rise up from a level sea floor covered with an infinitely changing grid of overlapping textures (image below); from the tops of the pillars, mist rises, and overhead flies an endless flock of bird-like creatures.

On four of these pillars stand platforms hosting scripted agents, or bots, who quietly perform various movements — spinning, lying prostrate, kneeling, pacing — while chairs positioned nearby invite viewers to sit, observe, and comtemplate. "Each person is going to bring his/her own feeling to them," said Oberon. "The spinning one reminds me of a tarot card somehow." At each of these locations, on the ground and on the platforms, a distinct soundscape is presented, so it's essential to have local sounds turned up. Additionally, phantom columns quickly appear and disappear between the pillars, continually altering the landscape, a contrast between the permanent and impermanent, or, as Oberon said as we looked out on The Pillars, "the ephemeral shapes among the solid spikes."

Visitors are urged to use the parcel environmental settings — [TOR] SCIFI - Arrakissed 2 for the sky, and [TOR] Arrakissed variation for the water (otherwise a great deal of the experience will be lost) — and to use advanced lighting model with shadows enabled. The Pillars will remain open through October. If you appreciate the work presented at Split Screen, please consider leaving a contribution at the landing point.


  1. Thanks, Ziki! Interestingly, although it looks like the water is made of flowing and crisscrossing textures, in fact it isn't -- somehow that's part of the water windlight itself. (Thanks, Torley Linden, for such a mysterious effect!)

    1. Thanks! That explains why I wasn't seeing the same effect with a different water setting — how interesting!