Archive for July, 2007

a new home


So, I did it! I bought new land. Taking the expansion slowly I bought a 1024 m2 plot, which now triples my land holdings. And since the first 512 m2 is free I am still in the first land tier category. Olando7, the Belgian journalist I met a few weeks ago, told me the land was for sale. It is next to the kbps project land, a somewhat alternative, underground area which holds several clubs, a cinema, one or two punk shops and another gallery. In Nimue (where DEPOT is now) my neighbour is selling his land as well, he is selling 2048 m2 for 35.000 lindens which to me seems like an absurd amount of money. I don’t think my neighbour is very much in tune with the prices for linden land at the moment. I tried to convince him he should lower his price but he wouldn’t do so. And now it is still for sale and he lost me as a potential buyer. And I don’t see land prices going up anytime soon. So, about the new land, it is a water plot. The fun thing in that is that I can build the gallery adjacent to the kbps land, which is sort of hanging above the water, and have my house on the ground floor (which is actually on the water) and create my own…well…somewhat tropical hangout…(yes, with a massive building hanging over my head but hey, who cares, it’s not like it’ll fall down). Minor problem, I’m not that much of a builder yet. But well, I got time. It will become a nice place eventually.


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Some more thoughts on the subject of originality. In my previous post I wrote that calling the works being sold in DEPOT ‘originals’, would seem weird to me. This was based on the fact that those are sl copies of rl works, being photography, oils and works on paper. In that sense I would not call them originals, since the originals are the rl works, and the sl copies are made for use in sl. They are however being sold as ‘singles’ or in a small edition in order to give them the same exclusivity as they have in rl. In sl however, something new has evolved. The slart, second life art. And I find that very intruiging. I have already seen a few works that I liked but so far only one that I would, realizing that I’m no expert and infinite discussions could be executed on this topic, actually dare to call art. Sound artist Edo Autopoiesis made a work that responds to the always present wind in sl. Apparently there was rain in the past as well but that has been stopped since the rain made a habit out of coming right through the roofs. Anyway, about his work edo writes the following:

”resonating-with-secondlifewind’ works and responds to this wind. Above the clouds there are floating 100 windmills, ordered in a grid. Each windmill shows us the direction and speed of the wind at that specific position. Together, they give a visual representation of how the wind behaves on a larger scale, over a larger area. Each windmill uses the available wind-energy to lift a red object: More wind and the object is lifted faster. Once the red object is at its top it’s ready to drop down again so it will hit the acoustic resonator at the bottom, and thus make a sound. The red object will only drop down though, when there is another windmill nearby also making a sound. So, the rhythm with which the sound will be played depends on the wind as well as on the sounds from the neighboring windmills. Since the wind in Second Life is always changing and never the same, the musical result will always be different: infinite variations on rhythm and melody.’

To me his work is, besides the fact that it is beautifully made, an example of creation. Instead of using sl to make copies of things we already know, he made something completely new out of the ingredients life and sl give us. My technical knowledge unfortunately is not good enough to judge the spontaneity of the work, the whole thing operates after all in a scripted environment. But these kind of questions are part of edo’s work as well as I understand, for I read on his website:

‘An artist creates an artifact, something made by a human being. Nature, that which is not created by human beings, shows us the sublime: the always perfect balance. Any artist can only try to make something as sublime as nature. Any human being can only try to be as sublime as nature.’

Whether or not sublime, here it is, originality, creation. In sl. It certainly is there, and it poses enough interesting new questions for us. Resonating with secondlifewind can be found here and other (rl) work by edo can be seen here.

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There is something odd about the SL art world. I find that, contrary to RL, a lot of galleries are owned by artists. Some artists have a gallery devoted to their own art, other galleries show several artists and have changing exhibitions. But what I find odd is that artists really do shop around with their art. They hop from one gallery to the other. And the funny thing about that is that, contrary to RL again, in sl there would not be any need for such a practice. A simple teleport click brings you anywhere you would like to go. Simple as that. So even if the work you want to see is at the other side of our virtual world, it’s a matter of seconds. Anyway, related to this way of working, I recently had a not so positive experience with an artist. After the first exhibition in DEPOT I was contacted by email by a RL artist. He liked the gallery and would like to show his work there. So I checked his website and agreed with him that we could make a nice exhibition in DEPOT with some of his works. I told him and I also told him that I wanted to sell his works as ‘singles’. What I mean by that is that I only wanted to sell the works once, in order to give it some exclusivity. One could discuss whether exclusivity is in fact one of the main characteristics of art but especially in this environment I think it should be. Instead of the word ‘singles’ I could use the work original but somehow that seems weird in an sl setting. Anyway, he agreed. So, there I was preparing his exhibition when he invited me to an exhibition of his work in another gallery. Since I was already used to this hopping habit in sl I was not really surprised. However, when I noticed it were the exact same works, I was. Most art in sl is not sold in editions or as singles when for me, this seems essential. Or at least, when it comes to selling sl copies of rl art. Art created in sl is a totally different subject. More on that later.

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Booh! Its vi’s blog. I wasn’t planning on starting one but posting something on the SLART blog made me do it! No, really! What it will be? A little bit of everything I’m afraid. Do we need it? Probably not but I will do it anyway. See the pic in the header? That’s about how I felt when I started SL in january of this year. Upside down. After hearing an item on newsradio about it I was immediately intrigued and fascinated, mainly because of the overlap between virtual and real life. I wanted to know more, understand how it works. So right the next day, there she was…vi was born into a new world. After my first weeks, hanging around all the newbie places, feeling bored and lost I understood I had to start doing something or I would miss the point completely. So, brave and assertive virtual me got herself a job at Jade’s Jazz Lounge, right after she got herself her first prim hair, met loads of fun (and not so fun) people and shopped shopped and shopped. About that btw, a nice discovery about sl shopping is that it actually turns out to be a major RL moneysaver. Hah, that about wraps it up for all those grumpies nagging about the dangers of addiction. But then, then I wanted more, I wanted to create something. But what? In the past few months I found that second life is not that much of a second life at all. I can not be anything but my RL self. Like it or not, it is always me I tag along, even to a virtual new life. So even in this so called second life people do things, create things to which they are familiair. Designers design, reporters report, artists create art, philosophers practice philosophy and so on. Oh yeah, scammers start sl banks. So what did I end up with? I built myself a small and modest art gallery. Is that somehow related to my RL? Yes. Because this was mainly a way for me to take a next step in my development as an sl avi it is still a small gallery, on a small piece of linden land with the lowest amount of prims. But I am happy with it, for now (allthough I like it so much that yes, I am already thinking of expanding). And who knows what the future might bring.

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