Lawrence Lek | Europa Mon Amour (2016 Brexit Edition)
Video and installation artist Lawrence Lek is creating an alternative universe that will never be complete. Using the technological possibilities and aesthetics of virtual gaming, he has crafted Bonus Levels: a vast immersive world where speculative futures and alternative pasts can be explored, and perhaps lead to a reassessment and expanded understanding of the present. In this sense, Lawrenceâ€™s work stands in a direct philosophical lineage from Thomas Moreâ€™s Utopia â€“ an interrogation of society and civilisation positioned within a quasi-novelistic framework.
Often based on actual places, but transposed onto a digital world, Lekâ€™s uncanny environments play on the impact of the virtual on our perception of the real. His immersive installations send viewers wandering unguided through ruins and utopias, fantasy and fact, trying to tie together the strands of narrative they encounter and find a sense of agency or purpose in a fragmented, semi-fictionalised universe.
Rather than crafting his worlds in pure virtual-reality, however, Lek draws upon his experience in music and industrial fabrication to create installations that allow viewers to explore his realms together in isolationâ€“ shared spaces in which every person can experience their own personal fragment of a communal whole.
Lawrence came to Makerversityâ€™s MVWorks programme to support the development of his work, the construction of a new Bonus Level in which he has created semi-fictionalised artists as digital entities, and to help him address the existential problem of being engaged in a fundamentally infinite work of art.
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