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Tilt Brush painting: Chronotopic adventures in a physical-virtual threshold

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New forms of technology such as Virtual Reality (VR) bring visible changes to the temporal-spatial structures used to represent information and contribute towards a rethinking of the vocabularies of spatiality and spatial experience in painting practice. The History of Painting encompasses a range of techniques intended to create visual 3D illusions from a 2D plane. Virtual technologies present an opportunity to rethink the conventional structures and materials in the discipline of painting, forcing a reconsideration of paintings in, and as, space to be explored. VR painting app, Tilt Brush, enables users to create 3D imagery via a simple controller that mimics the gestures of painting, materializing a range of brushes, colours and paint effects. Tilt Brush paintings call not only on different making practices but also means of viewing and reading. In this article I draw on Bakhtin’s theory of the chronotope to interrogate how time and space are arranged to constitute the practice of Tilt Brush painting and as a means to understanding the experience of a VR canvas as a space existing both outside and inside a tangible environment. Rethinking notions of time and space in and around VR painting presents the opportunity to disrupt a representational logic and to consider the embodied relationship of painter to painting as a means of producing and probing the threshold between the physical and the virtual in VR painting.
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Keywords: Tilt Brush; VR painting; chronotope; embodiment; timespace; virtual reality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Law Society

Publication date: October 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Contemporary Painting responds to the territory and practice of contemporary painting in its broadest sense, viewing painting as a context for discussion, exploring its sphere of history and influence, rather than as a medium specific debate. The JCP combines a thematic approach with an open call, each issue opening up and problematising pressing concerns in contemporary painting.

    As well as contributions to current debates on contemporary art, a particular feature of the Journal of Contemporary Painting is the publication of archival or newly translated texts alongside current responsive articles, based on the premise that contemporary painting cannot be understood without reflecting on its history. Dedication to understanding the nature and forms of painting research has also led to the inclusions of an original visual essay for every edition. Additionally we respond to current exhibitions, books and symposia, nationally and internationally, in our reviews section.

    Our aim is to be responsive to current debates in painting and related art practices, drawing from a wide geographical field and across discipline boundaries to provide a discursive space in which a range of subject specialisms can be brought to bear on the culture of painting. We are particularly interested in writing emerging from practice-based research as well as from academics working in different disciplines.

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