7- Experimental Themes

7- Experimental Themes
Obedience by Bryn Oh, collaborative with Peter Greenaway 2015
Review by Eleanor Medier

Seventh in Series of Pivotal Projects
Chosen by Bryn Oh
to represent her development as a virtual immersive artist
Reviewed by Eleanor Medier
/ Liane Sebastian, virtual art critic

Often, the tighter the parameters, the more creative the solution. Unlike Bryn’s other works, Obedience was commissioned in real life. She takes an ancient Bible-inspired story and expresses it in 21st century terms and technology. Bringing a new perception to a more-than-analyzed story is no easy task! But Bryn loves a challenge. In this creative depiction, she takes Isaac’s point-of-view instead of the traditional Abraham perspective.  Rather than a tale of belief only, it becomes a tale of trust, loss of innocence, and transformed relationships.


Though viewers know the story and probably have made personal judgments about it, Bryn brings new questions to the old story. She inspires a re-examination of belief’s repercussions. How many courtroom dramas prosecute crimes that were requested by “God”? Will a modern audience believe that God speaks to Abraham? Especially through a television? Is there not a contradiction of a vengeful God and one beyond such need for self-validation? If the story indicates that this nature of “God” is purely a human construct, then Abraham has the potential to be a murderer. Is there a contradiction between what can be accepted religiously versus legally?

This subject is a great choice for Bryn. Exploring the moral dilemma, questioning fantasy versus reality, and presenting life/death situations are specialties of Bryn’s. The more levels she incorporates, the more she needs to use the theme to anchor the many arms of variation.

Obedience also bridges to the real life audience, though the online has a much larger audience. The accessibility of real world presentation will increase with upcoming technological capabilities. The learning-time of Second Life® navigation will become insignificant for the delivery and appreciation of immersive art. This is another level that Bryn anticipates as an artist on the forefront of technological application. In Obedience, the ancient meets the future, and the contrast makes both richer.

“Obedience was shown at the Judaiches Museum in Berlin. This is very uncommon for an artist. Often museums focus on artists already dead or on ones which follow a more traditional path such as painting or sculpture. My work was shown there, while I live, as a fringe or frontier new form of art. It helps to legitimize the medium to be taken seriously by institutions of that caliber.

“The museum didn’t realize how I would portray the story of Abraham and Isaac. I modernized it to see how we might interpret the same scenario if Abraham used a gun and was told to kill his son by a message from the TV set late at night. I also wanted to explore the moments after God told Abraham not to kill his son. The Bible story stops there, but what were the moments like when Isaac knew his father would have killed him… how would that change their relationship? Is God so insecure as to need Abraham to do this? To have a throne room full of angels chanting for eternity about His greatness? Did God simply tell Abraham to stop at the last moment, satisfied, and then turn his attention elsewhere while Abraham’s and Isaac’s father-and-son bond is destroyed? I want people to come away questioning this story and to see it in a modern environment they can relate to, rather than an ancient story that is hard to associate with.” —Bryn Oh

SSJ#18-8 bryn oh-obedience

—– Links for online viewing:











—– Links to continue reading Pivotal Projects by Bryn Oh series:

Becoming Brynreview by Eleanor Medier / Liane Sebastian
The various levels of Bryn Oh’s creations are represented by these seven pivotal works, chosen by the artist. Giving context to the review, Bryn’s voice gives even greater nuance to understanding both her work and experiences, combined to leave a lasting effect.

“1- Breakthrough Perception” review of Condos in Heaven by Bryn Oh
Ideas find new form in the virtual world.

“2- Integrate Media” review of Standby trilogy by Bryn Oh
Developing an underlying theme to tie series into a fictitious futuristic world, portrayed through strong plot structure.

“3- Imagine the Expansive” review of Virginia Alone by Bryn Oh
Incorporating levels of reality from memory recordings to virtual build to Machinima presentation.

“4- Transform Limitations” review of Imogen and the Pigeons by Bryn Oh
Discovering key moralistic conflicts of life, death, and the quality between, developed into narrative series.

“5- Choose Metaphors” review of Singularity of Kumiko by Bryn Oh
Integration of multi-media, giving strength to literary incorporation.

“6- Define Communication” review of Lobby Cam by Bryn Oh
Simplifies technologically-inspired relationship into representative metaphor.

“7- Experimental Themes” review of Obedience by Bryn Oh
Interprets classical theme from new perspective, designed for real world viewing.

The in-world edition has further comments on these pivotal works. This overview article can be like a guide into Bryn’s world, giving its own structure to appreciating her environments and immersive experiences. Viewers can’t just look at a piece and not wish to know more. Each is enigmatic on its own. Each hints of more levels to come. The in-world review explores how the virtual world serves as the stage for Bryn’s creations. Like the levels that she incorporates between media, and complementary messages that use the features of each, Sim Street Journal is also multi-media in a similar range: from experiencing sims in SL, to capturing representative images, to building themes using complementary online vehicles. This review of Bryn’s work is best experienced as a suite. It is now released in a PDF to archive. Receive the in-world different, yet expanding edition, click on the kiosk at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Innu/40/36/1650or download PDF Sim Street Journal #18.
— The in-world magazine has topics that relate to those who understand the virtual context, including photographs, parallel articles. It has tabs for information landmarks, and web links.
— The online magazine expresses what the virtual world offers the real one. It is a mirror that reflects parallel articles, hot topics, and provides more links.Contributions are encouraged if covering topics relevant to real world readers.

Please see the INDEX for all contributors and articles.
(Back issues are available on MARKETPLACE).

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Eleanor Medier (avatar of Liane Sebastian)

BLOG: http://www.eleanormedier.wordpress.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eleanor-Medier/735735156500378?ref=bookmarks

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EMAIL: eleanormedier@gmail.com

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Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.

PORTFOLIO: http://www.lianesebastianillustration.wordpress.com

LINKEDIN: www.linkedin.com/in/lianesebastian

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/liane.sebastian

BLOG: http://www.publishingpioneer.wordpress.com

EMAIL: lianesebastian9@gmail.com

Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of second to first life.
© 2016 by Liane Sebastian/Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal.
Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.