Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Curious Kitties








Curious Kitties in Bizzare (22, 43, 54) is a raucous, cacophonous commercial build that recklessly tiptoes the edge between order and atrophy, with the result being not only a popular (and necessarily laggy) retail experience but also a provocative work of digital architecture.

Unencumbered by traditional notions of enclosure and structure that in RL would have it vaguely categorized alongside other folies rouges en métal such as Bernard Tschumi's Parc de la Villette, Curious Kitties unfolds as an exuberantly rigorous explosion of Japanese, Goth, and Fetish merchandise spread over three levels that are at once both complimentary and contradictory, with the top level floating in air and the bottom level submerged below grade in a manner that very few sims seem able to exploit (with one notable exception being the hauntingly nocturnal reflections in Devil's Moon).

The overall experience is somewhat like a dream from which one awakes uncertain if they've remembered all of the details, compelled to plumb both the heights and the depths, asphyxiated and vertiginous from the sheer number of offerings, the euphoria made manageable by a consistent presentation of white rectangular panels that respond to a kind of rational curatorial order, with the rules violated occasionally for added emphasis by panels cocked at odd angles or strewn along the floor/roof surfaces. In this build the content and the container complement each other extremely well (which is also interesting when compared to the somewhat dissonant quality of artwork as presented against the rational classicism of the Grignano Art Museum).

This relationship appears so symbiotic, in fact, it is at times hard to tell whether the walls and floors are influencing or responding to the logic of the merchandise displays. Through the use of largely simple square shapes in a similarly constrained palette of red, black and grey there is a richness to the composition, particularly in the lower subterranean level (accessed on my first visit by plunging unexpectedly through the grey phantom panels on the main floor) where one finds a curiously conflicted detente between serenity and freneticism, between the garish and the sublime, in a manner that frames and heightens the impending loss of innocence to be shed like so many locks of newbie hair, purple sweaters, and white T-shirts.

2 Comments:

At 2/01/2006 6:03 AM, Anonymous Rez Menoptra said...

Man, do you have the archispeak down or what? :) Once again, eloquently written.

I'd like to invite you to come to Gemmed 224, 166, 24 (roughly) and take a look around. If I'm inworld at the time, I'd be more than happy to show you around.

--Rez Menoptra

 
At 2/01/2006 8:15 AM, Blogger Chip Poutine said...

Thanks rez, but I just calls 'em as I sees 'em, and try to let the builds do some of the speaking for themselves rather than get bogged down in too much theory.

Some of the european journals get way too obscure for this little noggin - perhaps something's getting lost in the translation.

Thanks for the tip BTW, it'll definately be checked out! Anyone else??

-CP

 

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