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The project that I am working on right now, called “Imaginary Destinations”, is a personal metaphor of the 3D virtual worlds. The aim of this transdisciplinary research project is to create a fun and innovative artistic experience, because I want that you be able to visit through the virtual reality, the places I have painted. Furthermore, I also wish that the images of this scenes should extend well beyond the linen canvases or papers through augmented reality and contextual capabilities.

Is a transdisciplinary research project because I will use diversity of materials doing research into materials, research into process, diversity of research and I will try to make a good integration of different fields. The project is at an initial stage, I’m painting a wide range of “Imaginary destinations” with acrylics on linen smooth canvas and watercolours on paper (with which I am already testing for augmented reality), and soon on wood boards, glass surfaces, pieces of fabric, etc.

This “Imaginary destinations” are inspired by “Second Life”, the largest-ever 3D virtual world filled entirely by the creations of its users.

One of the most prevalent influences in my work is the subgenre of science fiction, called “SteamPunk”, a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Some of my other great influences are the Art Nouveau or the Catalan modernism (an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art, especially the decorative arts – that was most popular during 1890–1910) and the Victorian architecture (mainly romantic medieval Gothic revival style).

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The scenographies of “Imaginary destinations”, are characterized by a greater presence of animal-machines and human avatars in period dress, usually are designed or painted in grayscale with light warm to cold hues.

In the creative process, I combine my 3D models with digital photographies from the photo sessions I do with my amazing team of collaborators and epoch’s explorers, and/or I used to use as references, some elements from photographs with “no known copyright restrictions” (with and average antiquity/age of 100 years) for the preservation of the way in which they dressed, principles of architecture of the Belle Epoque period, etc.

I try to create the “Imaginary destinations” with a little fantasy, an air of sophistication and add my personal form of surreal humour, to create a parody or fine amusement but without any lack of respect for people.

In its next phase, based on the opinion I will have from the public, I will select one of this pictorial or digital images which functions as a “art concepts”, and I intend to transform it in a virtual world inside “High Fidelity”, “Sansar” or “Space”, new platforms for creating social VR experiences, in which end users will can interact with each other through online 3D avatars and be enjoyed in VR with head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, etc.

In the last phase of the project, I’m going to transform the exhibition space into one of the “Imaginary destinations”, and the public into avatars, dress up in vintage costumes, combining paintings and sculptures, with augmented reality, virtual reality, augmented virtuality and experimental music.

In relation to can reflect about it, is my intention to provide this long term project, with a theoretical context through a wider set of issues.

The Snail’s Steam Beach | José Galant