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The Virtual Art Gallery Levels-Up at UCLA

Pro tip: Don't forget to feed the digital dogs.

Forget about the boring browser-based gallery explorations you've had in the past: New New Wight has cracked the virtual art space dilemma. Since last week, the virtual replica of Los Angeles-based UCLA’s New Wight Gallery has been overtaken by the school's Design Media Arts program, turning the screen-based gallery into a student-run creative environment that blows away institutional rules, art space-protocoled behaviors, and even the laws of physics; at New New Wight, you're allowed to eat donuts wearing flip-flops, while watching floating, moving, hyper-scaled digital awesomeness.

"This virtual space contains no rules. Gravity can disappear, objects can penetrate into each other and space can expand or contract. We asked ourselves what kind of art would exist if no rules were necessary," Julieta Gil, co-creator and co-curator of New New Wight, tells the Creators Project. Created and curated by Gils alongside Theo Triantafyllidis, the Unity3D-generated gallery showcases a series of digitally-rendered dynamic elements by UCLA's graduates and emergent new media artists, including Adam Ferriss, kyttenjanae, Neil Mendoza, and more, and offers viewers a chance to explore and navigate into an uncanny, digital dog-filled universe (please don't forget to feed them).

The Maya 3D, Blender, Sketchup, and Photoshop-generated images, videos, and 3D objects were submitted through an open call that asked artists to experiment with and push the boundaries of interactivity, by providing works that challenge the medium of the virtual gallery. “The final submissions ranged from images and video files, with some installation instructions, to a set of pills with special powers by Adam Ferriss, and a whole bonus level by Alex Rickett and John Brumley,” explains Triantafyllidis. “We then imported all the submissions to Unity and worked closely with the artists to make the works interact with each other and mix everything together to make the gallery feel like a space that is alive,” he explains. All the while, the curators tried to add a game-like quality to the experience of viewing and interacting with art.

View the online show here or download the desktop version for MAC OS X or Windows. In the meantime, here are some screencaps:

New New Wight's full lineup includes John Brumley, Adam Ferriss, Jesse Fleming, Julieta Gil, Stephanie Gorman, kyttenjanae, Nico Le, Neil Mendoza, Camella DaEun Kim, Katherine Parsons, Alexander Rickett, Thom Rugo, Echo Theohar and Theo Triantafyllidis. Click here for more info. 

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