The Story

Questo non è ciò che sembra.
This is not what it seems.

Ars Plastica is a virtual world artwork and living ecosystem by DC Spensley

On the surface Ars Plastica is a downloadable virtual world, an experiential story about the remnants of an alien colony vessel discovered by an Earth exploration spacecraft. But Ars Plastica is also an exhibition of meta-sculptures, each a demonstration designed to engage the art viewer in reflexive and reactive experiences, nuances of what is generally considered “interactivity”.

To visit the sculptures requires the logged in art viewer to soar through an oxygen rich gas bubble wedged between stars far from our reality. On the way you will notice a world teeming with plant and animal life once intended to colonize and populate another planet. This is the story of a shipwreck, of invasive species, of a futile attempt at manufacturing homeostasis surrounding a catalog of artworks somewhere between inert and interactive.

See the world debut of Ars Plastica projected live into Pied à Terre 37788, Rome the evening of July 4th, 2016 where the artist DC Spensley will be on hand to act as a guide. The application will be available for public download at after July 5th. Call Pied à Terre 37788, Rome (+ 39 338 8107315) for information about informal evening guided tours on July 5th through 7th.

The floating derelict inside Ars Plastica is an ancient “generations ship” a 4 kilometer long colony craft that somehow became trapped for thousands of years inside an interstellar gas bubble. This kind of ship was essentially a massive engine pushing a huge asteroid in front of it to protect itself from minute ballistic particles encountered in interstellar space as it accelerated to nearly the speed of light. The asteroid was selected because it has a nickle/iron core and is covered with nearly a kilometer of water ice which provides volatiles to propel the craft and sustain the organic life onboard. Remnants of the asteroid litter the interior of this oxygenated bubble.

Unknown catastrophic failure caused the vessel to get caught inside a rare nebula of breathable atmosphere, a 60,000 kilometer pocket of oxygen/nitrogen mixture wedged between binary stars somewhere in the Pleiades system.

Because of this great distance from Earth, visitors can only arrive to Ars Plastica via interstellar probe launched from Earth many years ago to explore this system. This special “quantum telepresence technology” allows Earthly explorers to visit the pocket of breathable gas that encapsulates remains of the ancient ship and experience the wonders within in nearly real time.

There is no gravity, but the main wreckage rotates by virtue of huge primitive sails that capture the wind within the bubble to spin the massive vehicle and create a little gravity. Not very much. It seems the project was unsuccessful because the original ship’s crew and colonists have long disappeared.

Nobody knows who built the ship or if the builders of the sails were the same people. None of them have ever been found. And while not much remains of the original generations ship, the flora and fauna brought on board have taken hold in the gas pocket and make it their home.

DC Spensley 2016

Ars Plastica