New exhibition at Library Art Gallery at Info Island

I’m on the Library Art Gallery’s mailing list, so I got a bunch of mailings for their current show and decided to check it out. You can go to the exhibit in SL here.

I’ve heard Arahan bitch mightily about the omnipresence of “2-d” art in Second Life and not really gotten what his objection was until now. But with this show (I’m skipping the artist’s names on purpose),  I start to get a sense of what he’s so pissed off about it.

The works there are all quite tasteful and pull together a variety of colors and textures into a very lovely show. Except… there’s something sort of empty about it all. I’m not opposed to abstract work in the least, but this stuff feels pushed and pulled in a way that’s almost accidental, if you remove the wonder and excitement from accidents. They’re sort of accidents created by a robot that only ever produces pretty accidents; it’s what he does, you can count on it, and there’s not much more to it than that. They’re nice. And that’s what I hate about them.

I want my art to be an experience. When I look at art in SL, I want to be challenged; I want to think and feel, to perceive the space in a different way, to wonder about the person who made the work. In the real world, I’m much more open to beauty being a launching off point for a work of art. In the real world, I have ugliness all around me (beauty as well, but it’s less obvious), and fixing my eyes on a work of art that gives me great pleasure is an experience onto itself. But everything in SL is perpetually pretty… so what does this sort of art add to the experience?

Is it more pretty than my surroundings? No. Do I swoon at the complete, undeniable beauty before me? Not at all. Do I see the work of art and understand it as part of a lineage of modernist and post-modernist art, such that a little equation goes off in my head and I think for a second, “aha, got it?” Yes. Except that’s hardly an experience that I will remember in a day or a week. It will be quickly smoothed over by the experience of seeing an especially well-rendered building, a nice-looking avatar, or a really cool water slide. I just want my art to be so much more than that.

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~ by amyfreelunch on November 3, 2008.

4 Responses to “New exhibition at Library Art Gallery at Info Island”

  1. I had a look, it’s a gallery showcasing RL photography, it’s all just one prim textured, the gallery is like those littered down my high street, the one’s I have past everyday for nearly 10 years, I have been in one once. This post is as exciting as the ‘art’, but not as pretty.

  2. The very first art I made in SL was uploading my own RL photography and paintings and slapping them on a flat prim. I simply didn’t know what was possible and I had to start somewhere, it was a good way to learn the very basics of the tools and from that point things just evolved over time.

    The example above shows how dull and uninspiring flat art is in Second Life and the absence of any meaningful emotion.

  3. However, now reading Arahan’s post, I must say that there is one example of a 1 prim textured object that excites me, and that’s a beautifully textured image uploaded for use on a wall, a control panel or even for terrain, some of these textures have been carefully illustrated, areas may have been given a 3D raise look effect, shadowed, highlighted, distressed and usually calculated to fit a specific prim shape and size, which takes real skill to achieve, but it is more or less considered just the ‘fabric’ of second life rather than art, but is definitely more interesting to me than the work shown here.

  4. I want to see this beautiful thing Dekka!

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