This series of five pieces was conceived as a metaphor for the lifecycle of ideas. The central piece represents the godhead of this virtual world, who interfaces with the world through her four Aspects, represented by the four surrounding pieces. Each Aspect interacts with information in a unique way, analogous to the different modes by which we all process information: whether we are crafting an object from a plan, making something unique and new, recommending a show to a friend, or reading a favorite book.
I - The Engineer
The aspect of practical creation, infrastructure development, and tool making. The start of the information cycle, she creates empty Orbs - vessels for knowledge. I wanted to capture the sense of meditative peace that comes from replicating a known design - the state of flow that creators and craftspeople achieve is one of my favorite emotional states. The little gooey pod that she is drawing the materials for the orbs from is the same as the small pods present in Zero, to give you a better sense of scale. The "off-screen" connections point toward Zero, like life-lines, but the material for the Orbs comes from the ground, where IV consumes information (the Orbs themselves are woven from patterns/information Zero consumed earlier).
II - The Artist
The aspect of creativity, embracing the strange. The second stage of the information cycle, the Artist fills the Orbs with Stories, art. The source of the Stories are unknown, seemingly pulled from the ether. Stories, in this sense, are not necessarily "art" oriented, simply context for a set of facts. A specific technique for sharpening a chisel and how that affects different woodworking tasks; a mathematical proof explaining how a set of basic principles leads to definite conclusion about the state of the world; or simply a poem: these are all new bits of information which may or may not be incorporated into the world (not all great ideas are seen to fruition, and of those that do see the light of day, fewer still catch on in a mass media sense).
III - The Curator
The aspect of deep searching, exploration, and seeking new ideas. The Curator sifts through stories, separating wheat from the chaff. Unlike the other Aspects, III has the capacity to reach out into other worlds - the ability to analyze the outside world and bring in Stories from other worlds/perspectives. We often rely on the opinions of others to help point us toward ideas, because without external viewpoints, we are locked in the echo-chamber of the self.
IV - The Consumer
The aspect of learning and insight. The Consumer strives to understand the world and develop empathy by observing the stories and ideas of others. Experiences, both firsthand and vicarious, can acquaint you with an Idea. Learning through experience and feeling with your own senses seems the best way to learn of the world; however, our senses and memories are fallible, limited in scope. We can only see a very small band of the electromagnetic spectrum. We cannot (without technological aid) witness the vast majority of interactions that happen in the Universe as a whole - when we look to the heavens, it looks mostly empty to our eyes. Because we are all limited and fallible beings, be skeptical of the information you take in, and take time to reexamine your thoughts and feelings for the same reason.
0 - The Arbiter
The being responsible for this virtual realm, both creator and breaker of patterns. Each aspect interprets the Arbiter in each of her roles in the cycle of ideas (Engineer,Artist,Curator,Consumer). This piece is more than four times the size of the individual Aspects pieces, incorporating aspects (haha) of each of the Aspects. There are tiny caterpillar II's in the branches, Zero's body full of Orbs, has both less than and more than the expected number of limbs. But unlike her Aspects, Zero wears no armor, is not constrained by the standard border (hence the arc on the top and the bottom), and has power over the shape both the world and the interface that views it (the right hand, specifically). Even her name, 0, breaks the Roman numeral pattern of her Aspects' names.