The First HUMlab Yoshikaze Up-in-the-air Residency Completed

Yoshikaze is a space in Second Life, run by the avatar Goodwind Sailing with support from Humlab, Umeå University, Sweden. Its main activity is to provide a Second Life residency for artists in the virtual world, the results of which are exhibited. The Up-in-the-air Residency is project based and can be applied to throughout the year. The artist is expected to give at least one presentation of the project at the end of the residency. The residency length is normally 1-3 months.


The first artist to work within the Yoshikaze program has been Alan Sondheim who is about to complete his three months working on the HUMlab Island. Alan writes in a description to the upcoming exhibition of his work from the residency (in HUMlab, Umeå University, Sweden with an opening in the lab on 15th September at 15:00):

For the past several months, as a result of the Humlab residency, I’ve been working on avatars and installations in the virtual world Second Life. My main concerns have been the relationship between narrative and architecture, the relationship between language (inscription) and a ‘natural’ virtual world, the creation of installations that have no referents in the physical world, and the interrelationships among body, sexuality, language, and virtuality. This, along with a performance venue in Second Life’s audience, has given me the opportunity to examine different phenomenologies of text and narrative; the result has been a series of experimental writings, which will soon be gathered into a book. I wish to thank especially Sachiko Hayashi and Jim Barrett for their support all through this work.

The images, videos, and documents in this exhibition reflect the varied stages of the installation and performance work. I’m fascinated with the idea of creating the inconceivable, working always in dialog with the software and hardware themselves. And I’m driven, above all, by two things – a real sense of wonder about the world, and the desire to know as much as I can about its structure and phenomenology. Serious play in virtual worlds is an amazingly productive process in this regard, resulting in what I call ‘ontological mashups’ that seem to constitute the very substance of our being. – Alan Sondheim, August-September, 2010 –

The results of this first artist in residency in a virtual space conducted by HUMlab look very promising. We already have the next artist ready to take up working on the HUMlab Island. Juria Yoshikawa (a.k.a. Lance Shields) will begin working at Yoshikaze later in September. I look forward to writing about Juria’s residency here in the coming months.

I will blog more information about the Alan Sondheim show on the 15th September 2010 in HUMlab shortly. It will be a public event and all are welcome.

There is a Facebook group for Yoshikaze if you would like to join the community around the project. It can be accessed HERE if you have a Facebook account.

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