Second Life as an artistic medium

Let’s use this post to let artists comment on using Second Life as an artistic medium to itself…and why they use it.

Those of us in the SL-generated art fan community – tell us why you like virtual art!

15 Responses

  1. First response came in-world from SL builder extraordinaire and Oyster Bay artisan Breeze Winnfield:

    [17:20] Breeze Winnfield: cause in rl i cant draw a straight line??.

  2. Hey, Morris … don’t leave out us “sound sculptors”!

    I like it because I would never be able to create a work like “4/4” that was the final installment of “4” with Juria Yoshikawa …

    True mixed media by collaborative effort…

    ~~ Aldo

  3. Similar to Breeze’s comment there, SL makes impossible things possible. You can create hovering art or scripted art. And you can build things without it costing you anything. Try building a house irl, you can’t even find land to build it on (there are no rl sandboxes for builders), you don’t have the materials or maybe even the skill to build it.
    In SL you can build, try, fail and succeed in building stuff without it costing you anything and thus not having problems you might run into irl.

  4. SL provides immense usefulness for even a real life artist; as long as the rl artist understands the difference between the two.

    First very interesting possibility with sculptures is the ‘automatic arithmatics”. You create a sculpture ( not sculpties) with normal prims and everything is strictly inside some equation, that can make it a lot easier to die cast it in material form in rl.

    Second is the ” automatic popularity test”. You can easily see what is worth the effort in rl. If a sculpture is popular in SL, it has greater probability of being a success in rl too. However, you do need to keep the difference between two in mind like in sl, prim count can be a big consideration.

    Another important factor is the access to “international market” without spending a dime. You are in a real global village in sl, and your work reaching the farthest corners of the world.

    There can be many reasons, but these three were the ones that came to my mind instantly.

    Finally, I d say that Morris is really contributing to arts in sl through his Oyster Bay endeavour. Wish him good luck !

  5. I like the instant gratification. My RL artistic life (as a hobbyist so far) has been suffering, as I am seduced by the ease (to my personality and style) of creating a whole work whose balance I like, in an afternoon. I’m a music composer in RL, but took to architecture and sculpture immediately upon starting work in SL.

    You learn from doing. I want to take some of the lessons I’ve learned with artistic work in SL back out to my RL music composing work. I also produce daily photos for my web site. I use my esthetic ideas and attitudes from photography in SL, and vice versa from SL back to RL photography. It’s a situation of good artistic ventilation. 🙂

  6. One of the things that makes SL as artistic media interesting is that the viewing experience of the observer is unique. In traditional displays that mirror RL art museums you can easily view things from all angles, get up close, take a look from up above, etc. What I personnally have not seen, but is likely to exist is much more interactive art in unusual environments, how about riding a moving sculpture? Does a ride through Svarga count as art?

  7. SL is much more of a venti than a medium, in my opinion. Where else can you invert 40 meter spheres, project images on them, stand inside and just marvel?

    For me, SL has unlocked some secret fount of creativity, artistic expression, and appreciation for art that I hadn’t known existed in myself. Every time I toss a prim, it’s a new and exciting discovery. Every time I see/hear/experience the talents of other SL artists, I am in awe..

    Second Life as a medium? It’s a major conductor of energy!

  8. SL offers the opportunity to explore literally impossible media.
    One can make sculpture of flowing light and electricity defying gravity and pretty much most laws of physics with impunity.
    Reactive and kinetic works take on a whole new dimension from this lack of physical constraints.
    The ability to make art phantom allows the viewer to immerse themselves intimately inside pieces in a fashion truly impossible in real life.
    I feel this ability to immerse and sometimes merge with the art is unique to the medium that SL has become and should be explored.

  9. Do not underestimate the power of the network! There is the lone wolf practice of art making here like in rl but in sl networked powered collaboration is what is so fascinating to me. This is related to what AldoManutio Abruzzo said at the top – visual artists, sound artists, programmers, curators, Germans, cross-dressers, you name it. What I have found is, unlike the rl art I’ve experienced in my life, the endless series of connections in sl enables new energy and new ideas to form. This goes well beyond the question of whether it’s sl made prims vs. scanned rl art. But be careful, the network can take over and leave you wondering what your art and yourself all about. Collaborate, be true to yourself, create things no one has ever heard, seen or touched.

  10. […] Vig of Oyster Bay Sculpture Garden had a fine idea for an interactive post on his group blog this week,”Why use sl as an artistic medium itself?” Here was my […]

  11. Material, spatial and formal structures must emerge that embody the singular qualities of metaverse environments. These structures will be employed to fabricate its built environment, its spatial texture and its social potential. Once integrated into the fabric of a specific world, this structure will become the substance of its built environment.

    From this point on, metaverses’ will no longer have to rely on RL paradigms of representation and fabrication, and can develop a unique visual language, different than, for example, that of video games, cinema, or RL. Even if certain elements in the metaverse resemble RL buildings, cities or suburbs, this will be either a coincidence or a convenience; Metaverse, the media will dominate spatial expression.

    This emergent structure will become the very substance of its built environment, made possible by a unique creative force, a product of its spatial topology, its physics and its communications. In short, we will see the emergence of the metaverse as a medium of creation, and it will be through this medium that the metaverse will be formed, and will inform.

    But in the end, it comes down to a question of representation. As Lev Manovich summarizes in The Language of New Media, “…computer generated imagery is not an inferior representation of our reality, but a realistic representation of a different reality.”

  12. Second Life art is something I feel will be the next great art movement. It’s pretty much the only really original medium in YEARS. Those of us using SL as a medium are trailblazers.

    Many of you have already expressed some of the reasons that make SL as an art medium appealing to me — instant gratification (great for my A.D.D.-fueled short attention span), immersiveness (the viewer can not only get up close to the art, they can walk around in it), the ability to create things that would be difficult or impossible to make in real life. I also agree that it is a wonderful network for exposure. I don’t have much else to add to this list (you beat me to it!), but I do share your sentiments.

    Ansel Gasparini said, “What I personnally have not seen, but is likely to exist is much more interactive art in unusual environments, how about riding a moving sculpture?” I’ve done this with a couple of my works, in attempt to thrust the viewer into the state of mind I was in when I created it.

  13. Second Life is the greatest kinetic art work medium that has ever existed!

    Second Life’s ability to create a near infinate variety of moving & changing art works very quickly may make it very hard to establish what is “Great Art” in SL.

  14. Can you hold it? Can you touch it? Is it real when it only touches your eyes or perhaps… your heart. Does it make you feel…. different? Does it affect how the electoimpulses course through your brain? Do you like it? Do you hate it? Do you find it inconsequential? Do you think the artist gives a shit… he/she was immersed in the most wonderful mud of creativity, wallowing in hours of shifting shapes, exploring texture, surprising self time after time with new and wondrous contortions of space, and in this place where wonders never cease I just wonder what would DuChamp have done, or VanGogh, or DaVinci, or da guy that carved the Venus of Wullendorf and ….what tool or medium will your great grandchildren have to validate.

  15. For me, art in SL is not limited to the forms available in RL. Or, perhaps, because the medium used (SL itself), the perception of buildings as art, clothes and bodies as art, landscaping as art becomes apparent and accessible. I consider the finely sculpted mech bodies art almost as much as Madcow’s amazing sculptures. And then there are mind-bending pieces, such as Gaz’s Come Together piece now at Odyssey, in which the animated parts are the avs themselves–if you haven’t checked that one out, go with a few friends! The addition, in SL, of scripts (especially including object rotations, texture rotations, proximity awareness), texture applications to convoluted surfaces, particles, sounds, flexibility, animation, the suspension of gravity and certain other physical realities add elements that are not easily possible in RL, and sometimes completely impossible.

    I think it’s great that artists are using SL to exhibit RL works, and it is terrific to have access to what artists around the world are doing in RL. But, for me, SL itself provides a fantastically rich, exciting new medium to explore.

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