Giovanna Cerise installation The Colors of the Women at LEA14

Haiku Speedbuild & Giovanna Cerise

Giovanna Cerise installation The Colors of the Women at LEA14
at Giovanna Cerise’ The Colors of the Women at LEA14


TO: Giovanna Cerise, Artist, LEA14
FROM: Xue Faith, Host of Haiku Speedbuild, effective 1 March ’13
RE: Haiku Speedbuild & The Colors of the Women @ LEA14

Dear Giovanna,

Congratulations on your remarkable installation The Colors of the Women at LEA14. I believe in this work you have achieved a virtual sublime. Your installation delights at first glance, and as one spends more time immersed in your light and space installation it seems to grow in the richness and depth of its resonance.

photo of Artist Giovanna Cerise sitting in a chair
Artist Giovanna Cerise
As the new host of Haiku Speedbuild I’m hoping to continue the wonderful tradition that Special Jewell has developed over her 4 years as host, and also to try to help participants develop their aesthetic sensibility. Sometimes the work done at Haiku Speedbuild is a bit literal in its realization of the prompt Haiku, at least for my own sensibility. I worry that by creating visuals that “act out” the text of the haiku, we close down rather than open up the experience. With The Colors of the Women you have explored a powerful, visceral, lyrical abstraction that is very much of the aesthetic sensibility I’d love to have Haiku Speedbuild participants consider.

Haiku Speedbuild’s home is on the Afar sim. My hope is to also take it on the road to other venues to diversify the ambiance as we create. Since the Speedbuilds are so quick, just 50 minutes, I thought it might be an interesting counterpoint to once a month visit the LEA sims where so much more time goes into large-scale installations like yours.

Giovanna Cerise installation The Colors of the Women at LEA14
wading in the diaphanous light of Giovanna Cerise installation, “The Colors of The Women”
Would you be interested in hosting one Haiku Speedbuild at LEA14? I thought we might take a half hour to let you say a little bit about the project and to teach a little about your use of elements: flexi, glow, and so on, and then we could have the event there and encourage them to use some of the elements you’ve shown. The basic format of the event is a number of 10 x 10m pads where participants have up to 50 prims to create a work in 50 minutes.

Let me know if you think this would be possible, perhaps at 6pm SLT on a Tuesday in March, or if you have any questions or suggestions. That’s actually 3:00 Wednesday CET, so if the time is bad for you we could work out a different time.

Thank you and congratulations on your beautiful and powerful installation.


click on any image of my visit to Giovanna Cerise’ The Colors of The Women at LEA14 to enter slide show mode, then use arrow keys to scroll through the images

Author: Xue Faith
Student in the Culture, Media and Creative Industries programme at King's College, London. Curator at Gallery Xue. Webmaster for avatar bloggers.

4 thoughts on “Haiku Speedbuild & Giovanna Cerise

  1. UPDATE:
    I spoke with Giovanna Cerise and she liked this idea, however, it turns out that the current group of LEA land grants are up at the end of February, so neither she, nor any of the current crop of LEA artists will be able to host us in March. Whenever the new group are in place I’ll visit with some of those artists then and perhaps try to take Haiku Speedbuild to an LEA sim / artist once a month.

    This also means there’s only a handful of days left to visit, or visit again, this remarkable installation by Cerise.

  2. In this post I wrote that Cerise had “achieved a virtual sublime.”

    Perhaps I should say a few more words about that. In some ways it seems that the power of abstraction has had a certain access to the sublime, yet I think it starts earlier with the exploration of the power and vastness of nature before it’s more recent consideration as the technological sublime.

    For some the sublime is a gendered concept: “beauty” is feminine, “sublime” is masculine. For some the sublime is about power and terror and the technological sublime might be domination by a Kafkaesque factory or by The Borg. For me I think it is a sense of scale, beauty is intimate, the sublime is visceral, but unrelentingly vast. I think neither of factories nor The Borg, but of traveling through a Stanley Kubrick stargate. The experimental films I’ve seen from 2001 A Space Odyssey’s late 60’s time period, works by artists like Jordan Belson, John & James Whitney, Scott Bartlett, and many others, all seem to access this modern sublime.

    Yet when I think of the sublime, I think of no one more than JMW Turner (1775-1851) For me the sublime and Turner are synonymous. While many artists may be challenged to truly immerse us in an experience of the sublime, Turner seems almost incapable of not deeply exploring the sublime in every work he creates. Yes you could read a “terror” in the power of nature he expresses, but for me it is more of a Zen meditation, it is the realization that we are but one leaf on an inconceivably vast, Milky Way Galaxy-sized oak tree, standing in a universe forest of unending rows of giant oaks.

    Which brings me to my experience the other day of Cerise’ The Colors of The Women which was, I suppose, more Kubrick than Turner, yet possessing aspects of both. And beyond gazing into a canvas at The Tate, or a film projected on an enveloping Cinerama screen, Cerise’ installation is experienced viscerally as your avatar interactively explores the immersive 3D experience. For me Cerise has given us a virtual, corporeal experience of the infinite, that is in every way, sublime.

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