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Enter LaTurbo Avedon's Video Game Nightclub

With 'Save 02,' the digital artist invites you deep inside the virtual world of Club Rothko.

by Benoit Palop
Mar 31 2015, 6:00pm

Images courtesy the artist

Club Rothko - Save 02 from LaTurbo Avedon on Vimeo.

Don't forget to hit save on your way out: LaTurbo Avedon has logged back into Club Rothko with a brand new video that she's been screening since last weekend at the CICA Museum, Czong, Korea. Premiering today on The Creators Project today, Save 02 features the digital artist's ponytailed avatar going about daily activities including music production and selfie-taking while immersed in a cathedralesque space filled with light projections and even another avatar. 

Back in 2012, the web-based artist decided to create Club Rothko as a studio space after spending a fair amount of time inside video game Mass Effect 2's Afterlife nightclub. She had no idea how much the space had evolved over just a few years of players' changes. She began by taking over different nightclubs in the online virtual world of Second Life, used them as experimental social and creative environments. “It started as a bit of an alternative use for one of the many nightclubs in Second Life, but I grew really attached to the pairing of my sculptures with the neon lights and Rothko wallpapers inside,” LaTurbo tells The Creators Project. “There's something really endearing about how Mark Rothko's paintings ended up as wallpaper in a nightclub. Its a strange intersection that really plays well with how I make my work,” she adds.

Avedon's experimentations began with a video showcasing herself dancing in front of the portrait of Slavoj Žižek, cold and oblivious to the avatar's moves. A few pilot projects followed a few months later, including a series of sculptures made from selfie image files, and an interactive sculpture builder in collaboration with Vince Mckelvie. These enabled her to refine her aesthetic and social media-based creative research practices, and to question the online mass identity as well as her own.

“I had been wanting to connect the various versions of my avatar identity, and Club Rothko seemed like a very fitting place for this to happen,” Avedon explains.“I created projections of my Second Life appearance that could interact with my more current mesh model. It was an opportunity for me to measure the ways I have become more realized and capable inside of different software."

Her newest creation brings her work to a new level, highlighting a social dimension both online and offline, which gives her the freedom to create and generate even more complete 3D environments and renders. “At a certain point there are restrictions on what you can do in virtual (and online) environments, edges of where games are intended to go or not," she says. "When I am building in my own software those edges disappear, and I am able to render anything I am looking for.” 

Save 02 is currently on view at the CICA Museum, to be followed by its appearance at Museum Angewandtekunst, Frankfurt, Germany in late April.

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