— Wow! That's really impressive! Do you even compose music by yourself?
— Thank you. Yes, I do. Sitting in dark rooms at night and recording. Everything from vocals to piano and timing the music with the visuals. I've made music for a long time so this was one of the reasons I found VR attractive. I could use the music and visual art together to communicate the emotion in a different way than if I only had the music or the painting. — Ok. Talking about Amaryllis project, are you going to make money on it? How exactly?
— When I started Amaryllis it was important to me to keep the work "uncontaminated" by external interests, since I had a very strong idea of where I wanted to go with it and didn't want to deal with compromises coming from investors and the like. VR projects of this size and complexity are expensive to make, especially compared to the cost of a painting, for example, so a lot of projects are funded by investors or grants with specific guidelines. This often conflicts with the idea of making an artwork, which is not inherently a commercial product. So I ended up funding Amaryllis entirely by myself, and because of this there has been no urgency to make money on it. However, since I'm working through galleries and the art world is slowly waking up to the potential of VR as a medium, I got curators to look at the piece. Amaryllis VR : Ocean has been valued at 150000DKK and the accompanying physical pieces are also sold.
Besides this, I'm luckily being invited to events and fairs where I show the piece, and these places are usually interested in paying for having a unique, site-specific and temporary experience that can't be found anywhere else. — How do you differentiate what kind of events to participate in? Do you make any difference between exhibition and corporate event, entertainment and art?
— I try to select events that can offer an optimal setting for experiencing the work. People going to art exhibitions are in a different state of mind than drunk people at a festival, for example, but it's all about framing the experience and allowing people to understand what they are doing. That depends on how many resources are made available to me to frame that experience. It depends on many things. — What is VR for you: just the current way to express your ideas or the main media for your art?
— I don't really believe in having a main medium, to be honest. I think that's gonna evolve as you evolve as an artist and as a human being. At least that's always been the case for me. It's extremely important to me to be open and ready for these moments of inspiration that start an art piece, and to let every idea find its appropriate manifestation. That's why I have worked with a lot of different media, from photography to poetry, from painting to VR. You can't let lack of good technique and lack of discipline get in the way of expressing the vision that shows up and knocks on your eyelids every morning and evening. But with VR I have only started scratching the surface of what I want to express. A lot of VR projects are already fully formed and just patiently waiting to be born. I see the future of my VR art moving more toward the realm of performance art. Mariam`s website: www.mariamzakarian.com
Project website: http://www.amaryllisvr.com/
Photos and video: Mariam Zakarian