Reflections on Sacred Space

“Just in time for Easter…” (sounds like a used car ad, or a bad movie trailer, doesn’t it?) I finally finished this project that I’ve been working on for some time. Here’s a copy of the notecard, as well as a couple photos to whet your appetite. Stop by and experience it for yourself.

Reflections on Sacred Space

Reflections on Sacred Space
Morris Vig
March 2008

Like all of my more artistic builds, I created this space in my early effort to build “that mansion I have always dreamed of.” Of course, it didn’t turn out that way.

I started dabbling heavily into WindLight SL photography and began to wonder about building a structure where the textures were not the focus of attention – but instead the sky settings determined the experience. So I created this structure, one where there is plenty of room for the sky to play a role in the build but also where light can reflect off the many pillars and angles. The sculptures around the edge of the room are my constructions as well; I changed their textures to white to provide even more interesting surfaces. I encourage you to explore your windlight settings and find a visualization that works best for you.

Once the build was done – and it was great fun, building a modernist “church” construction without any of the architectural trappings and icons of religion – I realized that I had created a space that inspired an exploration of one’s spirituality…a sacred space that could speak to people of all faiths and beliefs.

This concept of spirituality in virtual space has been a recurring concept for some time – it’s probably the one area I greatly wanted to explore with Oyster Bay and sadly never got to. It’s worth exploring the reasons that we are in a virtual world. Many of us come here for retreat or escape, some for recreation. I might suggest that some are looking for something more…a sense of spiritual peace.

Elros - “Future Vision”So I turned this white build into just that…a place where you can explore those core thoughts of spirituality, and what it means to be in touch with yourself and your higher power – whatever that may be. Please feel free to grab a pillow and enjoy elros Tuominen’s great works of SL sculpture (especially “Future Vision,” which glows brightly as the focal point of the build…an amorphous light that conjures up images of the relationship that one may have with their God).

If you’re lucky enough to be here when others are too, please ask before engaging in conversation. Some are here for the peace and quiet that is offered. But if the conversation is there to be had, why not talk through some of these larger issues. What is the role of spirituality in our Second Lives? How does it manifest itself? What affect does it have on you, both in SL and in RL?

Enjoy the build, and soak in the experience that it offers. It has been a pleasure to share this evolving vision with you.

My WhiteOut by Vig photos

As promised, here’s the background on my new WhiteOut by Vig WindLight sky preset along with some examples.

It started toward the beginning of March, when Isolde Flamand and I were watching a classical violinist. The pavilion was filled, so we parked ourselves up on a hillside to watch the performance. Because she had a prim skirt on, Isolde didn’t want to sit…her avi looked particularly striking standing on top of the hill, so we started an impromptu photo shoot.

I started playing with WindLight settings as I am wont to do, and my last tweak resulted in the image you see below this . I don’t believe I saved this exact setting, but it clearly was the precursor for the WhiteOut preset.  I really like that shot.  Note that the only post-snapshot editing done on the photo was to square it off.

Isolde Flamand - Early WhiteOut photo

Over the next couple days,  I kept playing with this concept of a “White Out” in the background with very soft foreground.  It resulted in the WhiteOut by Vig setting.  Here are a few of my photos from the shoot that I took using my avatar as the model.  A couple of the shots were taken at Sabine Stonebender’s Zero Point – a seasoned SL explorer will notice the glowing colors in the background.

I hope you enjoy playing with the WhiteOut by Vig setting!  If you happen to install it, IM me in-world and let me know how the photos work out for you.

I complain because I love

Harper’s comment about the increasingly dour tone of this blog in recent weeks has had me reflecting on why I would be going in this direction. I think I’ve come up with a couple notions.

To preserve the visual integrity of this blog, I’ll put my extended thoughts after the fold. Read on…

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