What’s on deck?

Back to Oyster Bay….

I’ve been asked what is next up at Oyster Bay after the Madcow Cosmos show. First, I think it’s important to recognize that each show is its own creature (or in the case of Madcows, creatures!). One show doesn’t necessarily build upon another, but instead needs to be taken as its own intense investigation of the work of a given artist.

So it’s with more than a little excitement that I announce that Second Life’s Finny Yates will be showing Oyster Bay’s first-ever exhibition of “flat” art images in our main gallery space.

Finny’s work, as you can see from the piece pictured in this post, is quite distinctive – made even moreso when the viewer learns that the pieces on display are actually Second Life avatar photos morphed through deft use of Corel’s Painter 8.0 software into beautiful abstract textures. Finny promises a host of examples of this “avatar texture” style, complete with original photos of the avatars as well as intermediate renderings so the viewer can better appreciate the transformations. This is some very impressive work.

Some may ask, why is a sculpture facility getting into “flat” artwork? The answer is simple – We’ve never shied away from it at Oyster Bay, but we’ve never made it our centerpiece either. A stroll through our Cafe shows works for sale by Marisela Bouchard, Isolde Flamand and DJ Doubledown Tandino. And our Market is a mini-gallery to itself, with works by Alberto Solomon, Daedelus Young, AutoPilotPatty Poppy, Gracie Kendal and (yes) Finny Yates.

Finny’s work however, represents that which I hope to best promote in Second Life – that of works using Second Life as a medium. Starting with images from Second Life, Finny massages the works in ways that we could not have otherwise conceived – just as SL sculptors work with prims, scripts and textures to achieve beautiful results. That, in its essence, is what Second Arts and Oyster Bay is really about…using Second Life as the medium to create great works. Expect much more sculpture work, but don’t be surprised to see SL photography or other SL-inspired art at Oyster Bay.

Things that make me wonder about Second Life

All Dressed Up

Quite a scene. A wonderful looking location in the “Plush” sims, designed by SL’s resident zillionaire, Anshe Chung. Great design and layout, wonderful textures….all in all, a fantastic build. Really makes you feel comfortable.

But where are the stores? Where are the people? I was the only person in this sim. There was one in an adjoining sim. There were no stores that I could find in this sim, except for the obligatory Anshe Chung property sales/rental superstore. Just a bunch of empty storefronts (with some trash littered in).

This is a wonderful illustration of what I find all too often in Second Life. As a Second Life society, we are fantastic at building structures but not so great at building community. Why is that? What does that say about us, or about SL? Is there a place for honest-to-goodness community building in Second Life? Is there a need? If there is a place, and a need, how do we get there?

I continue to wrestle with these thoughts as I consider the present and future of Oyster Bay. I’d be interested in what others have to say, as I see no quick and easy answers.

The Goddess & The Banana

One of the joys of having a place like Oyster Bay is watching it act like a magnet for such creative people.  Among the many is Yxes Delacroix, whom I met during the Madcow show.  Among her other ventures, Yxes has a regular podcast, “The Goddess and Banana,” with business associate Banana Stein.  I’m still a bit of a newbie in the world of podcasts – honestly, they take a LOT of time to listen to – but it’s clear that this podcast is REALLY well done.  High production values (Skype is REALLY clear – I had no idea), original music….amazing.  And Yxes and Banana have a friendly, conversational tone that makes the show a pleasure to listen to.  (For the uninitiated, the site advertises the podcast as a “classy adult” show – but I haven’t heard anything that I wouldn’t hear on primetime television in the show that I listened to.)

This podcast, like other SL-inspired audio and video – not to mention the countless forum boards, blogs, etc. – is a fascinating testament to the cultural power of Second Life.  I’m just amazed at the depth and breadth of immersion in Second Life.  It really is another world.    If you stumbled upon this blog and haven’t tried SL, give it a try.  Basic accounts are free!

Sculpties for everyone!

Hats off to Second Life Insider for posting this great “Tools of the Trade – Sculpties” entry on their blog.  I had no idea that there were so many options for developing them…and so many are free or open source!