Strawberry Holiday vs. Theodor Adorno

Ok, just finishing up editing the latest podcast; Jeff is back with me this week and we discuss Strawberry Holiday’s latest piece and, strangely enough, we keep coming back to the topic of Adorno’s writing. This is really a shame, because the amount of people in the world who know who both Strawberry Holiday and Theodor Adorno are is like, maybe three, tops. Not like relevance to the outside world has ever been a great concern of mine, but we do make some interesting points about the challenges and potential of SL art, and I’m just really hoping it doesn’t get lost in artbabble.

Oh well. Here’s a picture of Strawberry’s piece:

strawberry_001And this here is a link to the piece, which will open a SL window if you click on it.

But even if Adorno’s writing makes your eyes roll to the back of your head and an unearthly “unngnghghhthththhhh” emit from your lungs/esophagus/mouth, you might be interested to tune in for the very special teaser for next week’s episode. Not that I’m going to give all that much info away, but I might have the SL Art Scoop of all SL Art Scoops. Yeah!!!!!

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~ by amyfreelunch on November 11, 2008.

9 Responses to “Strawberry Holiday vs. Theodor Adorno”

  1. I might have the SL Art Scoop of all SL Art Scoops

    Oh really!?

  2. Great show this week Amy. I was very interested to hear both yours and Jeff’s thoughts on Second Life artists’ breaking through into the fine art world and it is an area that needs to be explored more. Every committed artist I know in SL has already had some level of success or visibility in the real art world, and most work with other mediums. With Arthole for example, myself and Neb have worked with art galleries and events outside of SL, all of which have helped raise the visibility of virtual art and reached an audience that otherwise may never have seen the work. I’m also looking at ways to reinterpret installations I’ve created in SL in physical gallery spaces, I think this cross-world involvement is crucial if we are to progress beyond the obvious limitations that Second Life imposes.

    With regards to Strawberry’s piece I was underwhelmed. There is no escaping the similarity to Neb’s installation ‘The (Cult)ure of Television’, but where Neb succeeded, Strawberry failed. In Neb’s work you were issued with a complete avatar, and when seated were forced to be a participant, the result being to immerse you in a sinister and quite mesmerizing environment. The message of Neb’s work was clear, you were left in no doubt as to the intent of the artist, she even explained it in great detail in various notecards around the build. The same cannot be said for this piece by Strawberry because it simply does not involve your avatar in any way whatsoever and so you are left as merely an outside observer of the scene. I didn’t get any feeling of what it was supposed to be about other than perhaps saying we are ‘disconnected’ from the natural world by our use of technology, but there was no sense that this was a negative or positive thing. The translucency of the objects might suggest that the seated figure is fading or losing their identity but there is no sense of any horror at that predicament. It was a sterile and empty experience.

    I suppose my experience relates to what you were saying about some of the most effective SL art manipulates or involves ones avatar in some way, although I don’t think this is essential for an immersive or effective experience, it certainly is a very useful method of engaging the viewer.

    Oh and have a good trip!

  3. I haven’t been in-world much lately, as you know (I’ve mainly logged in only to check offline messages, etc), but I’ve been thinking about checking this one out, mainly out of curiosity.

  4. Mr. Claveau, I am surprised you describe Straws wonderful build as sterile and empty! The inside part is meant to be sterile and empty of course, supporting the message you guessed correctly, but I wonder: did you go outside at all? And did you wear a cute outfit? And did you have your sounds on?

  5. Mr Eel. I did indeed zoom my camera outside of the dome and saw the natural environment but I still think the overall execution was not very effective. I did have my sounds on but it added little to the experience, I did not wear a “cute outfit”, nor did I see any invitation to do so within the build.

    Can I ask did you see Nebulosus’s ‘The Cult(ure) of Television’? I think if you had you would agree it was a far more evocative realisation of the quite similar messages the artists’ were trying to encapsulate.

    I’ve appreciated some of Strawberry’s work in the past but I really do feel that this falls very short of its potential. I also think using technology to criticise the negative effects of technology is rather naive.

  6. I finally went to see this a couple of days ago. I think I spent all of about 5 minutes there.

    I have liked some of Strawberry’s work in the past, but this one just didn’t have any impact on me. If it had been my first experience visiting her art, I may have liked it better, but some of the elements in it were too similar to her past installations. Nothing about it really surprised me.

    I agree with Arahan that the message just wasn’t powerful enough. I don’t believe the meaning behind Strawberry’s piece was quite like what I aimed to convey in ‘The Cult(ure) of Television,’ although I can understand the comparison.

  7. Hey we have to have work that fails sometimes so the good stuff looks even better 🙂

  8. Yes Dekka, I always try to be constructive and explain exactly why I like or dislike something and there is nothing worse than the sycophantic toadying that is so prevalent in Second Life.

    Neb, you were specifically commenting on the stupefying effects of television with your installation, Strawberry’s is more about technology vs nature, I think. Different messages but similar in the approach.

  9. I agree, Dekka — we can’t expect all of our work to be 100% brilliant, it’s part of the evolving process. I’ve produced a lot of art that I look back on now and just cringe at, haha!

    And you’re absolutely right, Ara — I’d rather have someone be honest with me about my art than to just tell me they love everything I do. How can anyone improve without learning to accept some criticism? How can anyone hone one’s skills without knowing where one’s strengths and weaknesses lie?

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