There is no question that the future of virtual reality and augmented reality will behold scary levels of technology that will challenge our fundamental human values of what is ethical. Joonas Hyvönen works in digital media and 3D-animation to examine how digital elements have become manifested in our daily experiences. Predominantly working in the animation program Maya, the subject matter of Joonas’ animations deal with digital issues in the larger contemporary phenomena. He incorporates autobiographical experiences within the work, often expressing the narratives through the first-hand perspective of a protagonist.
To create the animation, Joonas firstly “designs and models sets, objects, characters, lights, camera movements and so on.” He tells It’s Nice That, “depending on whether I’m working on an existing environment or something totally imagined, I either have source images to base the work on, or I create everything from scratch.” Over time, the animator has created a small library of 3D objects to use repeatedly to create an environment. Once the digital environment is formed, the artist experiments with ways of visually storytelling, playing with various forms and functions to build a compelling story.
With an upcoming exhibition in January 2019 at Helsinki’s Oksasenkatu 11, the work explores the highly-rendered digital landscapes that questions whether public space in the digital realm is possible. The ownership of digital space is an ongoing topic of conversation in Joonas’ work. The relationship between the animated characters and the built environment explores the tangibility of digital existence in a distinctively thoughtful way. The deadpan monologues “mirror a personal wish to find alternative explanations or ways of relating to a world where digital technology has an ever-increasing impact.” The work also explores how digital work should be viewed and experienced at the intersection of virtual reality and the physical. The first-hand perspective of the films immerse the viewer into the digital world without a need for a headset.
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