Closing reflections on my sacred space

Multlcolor Twist by Morris VigOf all of the artistic efforts I’ve actually created on my own in Second Life (as opposed to the many that I’ve marketed, promoted and hosted), there are two that really stand out in my mind. The first is the Multicolor Twist (left), my first (and arguably my best) SL sculpture. Three prims of smooth, shiny symmetry that really seem to have spoken to people and demonstrated that you can think up something truly special and not have to bust through prim limits to make it. If anything stands out in my portfolio as a signature piece, it’s this.

The other is Reflections on Sacred Space, my somewhat personal investigation into the notion of spirituality in the virtual world…and whether being in a virtual world can offer a means to further one’s spirituality. Think about it – we can’t see God in real life, but can we create his(?) image in Second Life? Can we interact with that image? Does the image have to reflect Judeo-Christian iconography? Or can we create a representation of the sacred that is so wonderful that we cannot help but feel closer to God? I tried to provide myself with some of these answers in Reflections on Sacred Space.

I started with a cathedral-like build yet kept the entire build shiny and white, allowing for the many lighting options presented in the Second Life WindLight settings to take a role in helping the visitor along. I also rezzed all of my SL sculptures but changed them all to white as well. Lastly, I put elros Tuinomen’s “Future Visions” sculpture in the middle as a focal point. This white-hot ball of kinetics is just incredible…it took the notion of a God in a toga and long white hair and beard (not to mention God had to be a white man…I mean, that’s a given, right?) and flipped the whole concept on its ear. God, in this imagery, is not a person but instead an idea – an energy.

In that space, that sacred space, I honestly felt like I connected to my spiritual self in a way that I had not done before. Thirty-plus years of Roman Catholic mass and something like seven or eight years of Catholic education, and it took a bunch of prims in a virtual world to help me contextualize the pure wonder of God. I took a few snapshots to get my mind around the concepts presented in this post, and I’ve put them in a slideshow after the fold. (Note to the prudish: The slideshow investigates mature themes in a mature way.)

Pardon the self-indulgence (especially ironic, knowing that pride is one of the seven deadly sins), but I wonder if my little build, in a small way, may have helped steer artistic curiosity in a new direction on The Grid. I was always a bit saddened that I never saw SL-generated artwork that stepped past the religious iconography and into a deeper meaning of religion while managing Oyster Bay Sculpture Garden. Since I opened Reflections on Sacred Space, however, Bettina Tizzy and (cough) Rezzable teamed up on a build project that plays with the concepts behind Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, with its competing notions of Heaven and Hell. I gather that a number of SL sculptor artists – a number of my friends included – are getting involved in that project; I look forward to seeing the results.

Artistic urges lead me in different directions, however, and it’s time for me to close this special build and perhaps build my mansion – the build that instead found me building Reflections on Sacred Space. I’ve taken to machinima in a big way if you can’t tell, and I want to continue on that path. So I’m going to grab some footage of Reflections on Sacred Space and then take it down. Maybe that mansion will have a movie theater!

Anyway, I hope you liked the build. It’ll be up for a couple more days, as I do need to grab that footage before deleting it. Please stop by and draw your own conclusions.

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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.

elros’ Tubular Gallery

You never know what you’ll see when you TP in. He’s always got something new and bold waiting for you. elros is one of SL’s great immersive artists. He creates entire experiences.
posted by Morris Vig on Denso Heights using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

“TAGGED!” – 8 random facts about me

Having been tagged by Cheen Pitney, Bettina Tizzy and Cyanide Seelowe, I guess I can’t hide from the blog trend of saying 8 random facts about yourself. So here we go…but I’m going to stick with Second Life as opposed to talking about my “Real Life.” In all honesty, my Second Life is much more interesting!

  1. I have 3 “alts.” One is a purple furry…he’s my accountant. One is my work alt (yeah, I have a little RL vocational bleedover…but not as much as I’d like). The other is my “peace and quiet” alt. Why 3? Because I don’t have 4…
  2. I blew off Orientation Island when I rezzed inworld over a year ago. And I don’t regret it.
  3. I won’t even acknowledge unsolicited teleport requests with a reply. In my opinion, that’s the height of SL rudeness.
  4. Perhaps my favorite HUD is the EmoterHUD. It’s a freebie, but it can make for entire minutes of fun as the user makes his/her avatar actually have something resembling human expressions. Case in point:
  5. I feel inferior to nearly all of the SL sculpture artists, photographers and machinimists with whom I interact, making my role as a “gallery” owner kinda interesting. I mean, the artisans are the creative ones. I just own land.
  6. I read SL men’s style blogs. A lot. Like embarassingly so.
  7. Speaking of blogs, I use NetVibes to track 86 SL-related blogs at last count. And that number grows by one or two every week. Yow!
  8. I use Skype and Google Talk to talk with close friends quite a bit while I’m inworld, but I rarely use SL voice.

Whew! Made it! Now I have to choose 8 people to “tag,” so they have to offer their 8 random facts. That means you’re up, Charlot Dickins, elros Tuominen, MoShang Zhao, Daedalus Young, Sasun Steinbeck, Joeru Pugilist, PleaseWakeMeUp Idler and Finny Yates. If any of you 8 want to offer your 8 random facts on my blog, please feel free to post them as comments for this blog entry and I’ll point them out with direct links. Heck, enough people have been tagged that I’ll be happy to host anyone who needs a place to post their 8 random facts.

If you’re interested in the 8 random facts of some other friends of Oyster Bay, check out: Isolde Flamand, Sunn Thunders and Spaceman Opus. Don’t forget Bettina Tizzy and Cyanide Seelowe at the top.

SAVE LAUK’S NEST: Celebrating a jewel of Second Life

Save Lauk’s Nest

The drive to save Lauk’s Nest from doom as a result of the sudden European Value Added Tax policy imposed by Linden Lab continues in the best way that the Second Life art community knows how – with an awareness-building art show and music event!

Come join us on Saturday, 6 October at Lauk’s Nest in Second Life’s Alviso sim for an afternoon (evening, if you’re in Europe) of joyous activism as we try to rally resident support for this wonderful place in Second Life.

Artists – visual and musical – will be added throughout the course of the week, so check back in for an updated list of event.


  • Alizarin Goldflake
  • Taxus Gustafson
  • Xenophile Neurocam
  • Yarosh Nohkan
  • Cyanide Seelowe
  • Sabine Stonebender
  • Gore Suntzu
  • Sunn Thunders
  • elros Tuominen
  • Morris Vig
  • Breeze Winnfield
  • Ub Yifu
  • More to come!


  • 11:00-11:30 AM SLT – Andreus Gustafson
  • 11:3 AM0-Noon SLT – MoShang Zhao
  • Noon-2PM SLT – DJ Doubledown Tandino

WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? (click the links for related blog entries)

elros Tuominen interview on YouTube

Magellan Egoyan offers his latest video interview, this one of Oyster Bay artisan elros Tuominen. Check out Magellan’s insights on the interview here.

If you haven’t seen them, Magellan also did video interviews with Oyster Bayers Rezago Kokorin and Cheen Pitney.

Three incredible gallery RE-openings this week

Second Life art fans need to check out these 3 art gallery launches following their remodelings, the Artisan Galleria Skyline Art Experience, JazzWorks and The Gallery at Shengri La. Each is a reflection of the creative vision of their owner and is DEFINITELY worth a visit.

Artisan Galleria Skyline Art Experience

Jordan Morgenrote (owner and designer of Jordan’s jewelry at Oyster Bay…where does she find the time?) surveyed the SL art landscape over the late spring and early summer, deftly picking up on a couple things:

  1. The art viewing public really liked the concept of the the fully immersive art experience pioneered by Sabine Stonebender at Zero Point and further popularized by Juria Yoshikawa, who offers must-see, limited-run shows all over the grid. As in, REALLY likes them.
  2. The 2D “wall art” gallery world is quickly becoming glutted. But that’s nothing we didn’t know. I won’t make any judgements on the new entrants here, but one major result is that it is increasingly harder to make your gallery, no matter how strong you are, heard above the din.

Jordan bravely looked her two Artisan Galleria towers in Bellatrix in the face and decided that there had to be a better way. Fine galleries and gallery spaces, they were probably best of the breed. Problem is, that breed is quickly getting tired in Second Life.

She started the transformation of her place with a new sculpture garden (launched at a very successful opening gala that benefitted the Muscular Dystrophy Association). Laid out by Rezago Kokorin and featuring high-quality, low-prim pieces, this place was designed to be a romantic sanctuary – a place to admire art or spend a tender moment. On both fronts, mission accomplished.

Next, she pulled the towers. As in, deleted them. A gutsy move, but a necessary one. The towers were fine structures, but they were plain. They were “old school.” To transform, one needs to shed themselves of old trappings and embrace the new. Boy did she ever!

With the new land, the sculpture garden expanded. Jordan also installed a “teleport station” in the more modern style befitting the Bellatrix sim to bring people to the Skyline Art Experience.

To see a preview of the incredible Skyline Art Experience, as well as read about the two other galleries, look below the fold!

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