Saturday, December 4, 2010

Phaylen Fairchild: The Still and The Machinima

Wonderfully Phaylen. Make Me Laugh, beautifully! Ah, we meet again, for the continuation of my series on art in machinima, as I feature the art of machinimist Phaylen Fairchild this round. Her machinima work is beautifully captured and created, but her stories are typically comedic. Her humor is well conceived and executed, and her visuals are striking. I had a moment to chat with her about connections between visualization in art and machinima. I will be interviewing her at length for an upcoming book dealing with machinima, and I look forward to our extended talk. For now, I have a couple of emerging theories about this still art and machinima bond. First let me make it clear, that not every still artist is or becomes a machinimist. Second, not every machinimist is or will become a still artist. Yet, machinima, solely and collectively as a film genre, are composed (yes, I have used the appropriate word in this case) of a series of still frames. Motion moves us forward through the frames.

But there are times in a film, where the producer wants the audience to stop - and absorb the moment. It is as if the film stops, the screen appears frozen, and of course in a film that never happens technically. But for the viewer it does - time stands still. Stillness requires mastery in a motion picture. A still photo invites us to experience the artist's reality often in the same way. So as you contemplate on all this, I would like you to look through the eyes of Phaylen, and tell me not if you cannot see the richness of this frozen space (but never frozen image). It is a space filled with an imprint from her mind of a story revealed on virtual canvas, let's say a composite of her imagination, memories and vision. Each still work has a setting, character, and a story to tell.

This is the mind of Phaylen Fairchild, machinima diva of Second Life, WOW, and virtual kingdoms yet to conquer. She understands what makes us laugh (as in her World of Warcraft Divas series, to name only one). But when you look at and through her still photography, you begin to know there is so much to her understanding of the human soul, what makes it tick, and the self-knowhow of understanding makes herself inspired. Get a glimpse of her soul, and you will begin to appreciate the importance of every frame of your machinima. Just remember Phaylen does know how to have fun, but beautifully, in her art and machinima! She is playful and contemplative, and image matters in still and motion works. So when you smile at her ironic artistic interpretations of virtual life, or gut roll onto the floor while watching her beautifully composed machinima, you have entered Playlen's (lol, Phaylen's) world of artcraft. - Soni :)

Her work is on display in the outside court of the
Radiant Cathedral and Museum
Phaylen's Sample Machinima:
DiVAS - Phaylen and The World of Warcraft
DiVAS Season 2, Episode 2
Phaylen and The World Of Warcraft Blood Elves
DiVAS: Season 2 Episode 3
Moxie Polano: Haute Couture - Commercial
Harbinger Movie Trailer

Forthcoming, Machinima: The Art & Practice (working title, McFarland, 2011) by Sonicity Fitzroy and Lowe Runo. The Professional Machinima Artist Guild graciously provides syndication of Sonicity’s blog Magnum: The Machinima Review to Aview.TV/Sonicity/

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Just Published: "Media, Machinima and the Virtual Runway: The Rise of Fashionista in Second Life" (November 2010) in SCAN Journal, by yours truly under my RL name.
Photos taken at the Opium Time Machine Fashion Event, Summer 2010). (Soni, BEST OF SL Magazine reporter/photographer, in white)