Monday, July 31, 2017

Lichtbringer's 16 Fields and the LEA Photo Contest

By Klaus Bereznyak

The tripartite collective of Lichtbringer (Light-bringer) have been bringing light to the grid through their collaborations since they first got together in 2015. Their latest installation on LEA26 is called 16 Fields, a sim divided four by four into squares, each square hosting a unique offering of original 3D work.

​There's still time to to enter the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) Photo Contest, open for entries until 17 August, and submit your best snap of this breathtaking show. I'm a sucker for a photographic challenge, so I loaded a roll, grabbed some lenses and set my coordinates to LEA26.

The landing point is in a cafe area (one of the 16 fields) with a well-stocked bar and equally well-stocked information points where one can find out about Lichtbringer and some of their other diverse work. Each member of the group, an artist in their own right, contributes unique skills to the collective. They work with handmade meshes, sculpts, prims, particles, lighting and scripts, endlessly experimenting with light. Beyond the cafe area is a surreal plane with tantalising cubic aurorae snaking overhead, snow falling upwards, shapes morphing and changing color. Whether you are a mouselooker or an ALT-zoomer, you need to get out and in among the lights.

​Immersing here is like being in a continuous firework display that you can get up close to without being burned. I was a little overwhelmed at first, but there are only 15 more fields to see after you have had a drink at the bar, or a late breakfast. Three other AVs were lounging near the landing point and, no doubt, camming. I wandered off in the direction of what first aroused my curiosity, a seemingly dark and static piece, beyond all the swirling light, on a corner of the sim. 

A protester stands under a towering sculpture of the word "APOCALYPSE" with arms lifted in an open gesture. Surrounded by death and dryness, the figure seemed hopeless, but I wasn't sure what the message was here. Some of the fields contain sculpted words or recognisable symbols that hint at meanings but leave it open to interpretation. For all the light in play, the dark shapes in some of the fields are fascinating too.

Across the fields, the light, colors and shapes that are visible are constantly changing, so that no two moments will be the same, offering endless opportunities for a unique photo capture. The scale of the works ranges from a quirky assortment of colorful polygons in a sort of 'playground' on the NW corner to epic structures that dwarf any AV and can be flown through. For the best flying experience, I recommend the high, cubic lattice of point lights, filled with a morphing funnel of particles in the middle of the southern edge of the sim.

To participate in the photo competition for a 1000L$ cash prize and a unique, handmade "namehopper", one must submit a picture taken within the installation. Post-processing is allowed but not essential and there's no entry fee, so it seems open and not too fussy. However, make sure you read all the rules on the competition web-page, especially the detail on perms and how to submit. 

Nobody seems to know what a "namehopper" is, answers on a postcard? I was hoping I'd find the answer somewhere on the sim, and I know what I think it might be, but we shall see. 

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