A Visit To Berg By Nordan Art In Second Life

Berg By Nordan Art

Art in Second Life still seems to be thriving, as can be seen from the arts category of the destination guide. Berg by Nordan Art caught my eye whilst browsing the destination guide and I decided to pay a visit.

Berg By Nordan Exhibitions

Berg by Nordan Art is owned and curated by Kate Bergdorf. The gallery  is actually a number of galleries and sim space, making good use of the lack of physical constraints in a virtual world by using the sky and ground.

Entrance

On the ground you will currently find Penumbra by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu. Visitors are advised to set their region windlight to London 2026 and turn their sound up. This is because this is a visual and audio exhibition and the audio definitely adds to the atmospheric setting.

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The Art of Second Life Brings Better News

Hotel Chelsea

Second Life in the media is a strange beast. When it comes to technology sites people talk about “Second Life, is that still around?” and people talk about how Second Life was a thing, but no longer is, even though it is still very much around.

When it comes to what people do in Second Life, especially in the arts, it’s a different story. These articles talk about Second Life as a thing and don’t talk about how there’s nothing to do there.

News and Taxis

These differences came to my mind as I was reading an article by Kembrew Mcleod over at Prairie Pop : Bibbe Hansen’s rebellious history and dynamic legacy.

The article is about Bibbe Hansen, mother of Beck and Channing Hansen but it’s in the final, almost throwaway paragraph, that we read about Second Life :

Nowadays Bibbe Hansen is a member of Second Life, a performance art group that exists in the online world of Second Life. There, her avatar Bibbe Oh can be seen playing virtual sound collage concerts culled from Fluxus audio sources (though she also does live performances, most recently with Lydia Lunch in New York City).

Which causes me to have a “Wait … what?” moment. However it’s the way that there’s no negative comments about Second Life in the article that really stands out.

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Art, Physics And Cloudy Avatars in Second Life and Beyond

Changing Statue

Art has quite a good following in Second Life, Draxtor Despres covered the work of Rose Borchovski in episode 14 of The Drax Files : World Makers. There’s the Linden Endowment for the Arts. The Second Life destination guide has an arts category and bloggers such as Inara Pey regularly cover the arts, a recent post appeared on Inara’s blog regarding Dathúil: visions of desire in Second Life.

The mixture of arts and technology also sees Second Life turning up in articles about artists who have gone beyond Second Life, or have exhibitions inworld and outside. Second Life of course does not have a monopoly on creativity in virtual spaces and we see this exemplified in an article over at The Huffington Post : What Can Virtual Reality Bring To Art?

The article covers the work of Adham Faramawy and Jessy Jetpacks for an already sold out show by the Royal Academy of the Arts : Virtually Real. The technology being used here includes HTC Vive which might indicate a bright VR future for art, but the Huffington Post article also sees Adham Faramawy mention Second Life and physics :

I was never a gamer but this was always my problem with Second Life. So many people wanted to replicate something that already exists, when actually these technologies can be quite useful speculative tools. Even though the way platforms are designed guides how you use them, they can still be used to visualise a variety of possibilities. And what’s wrong with imagining new ways to be situated in the world?

Indeed, virtual worlds and spaces do not have to be inhibited by the physics that apply to the physical world and we see this sort of issue raised again in an article by Christian Petersen over at Art Slant :Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Martina Menegon. Martina, it’s fair to say, is a lot more enthusiastic about Second Life, even though she doesn’t login much these days, partially due to a cloudy avatar but I’ll come to that later.

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The Vordun Museum and Gallery In Second Life

Vordun Museum & Gallery

This week’s Highlights from the Second Life Destination Guide has a host of attractive looking destinations, but I had to start somewhere, so I started at The Vordun Museum and Gallery. The blurb tells us :

The Vordun Museum and Gallery is a new art and history experience in Second Life. Featuring the use of experience keys, visitors can get a real life feeling of being at a museum. Three new exhibits will be featured at The Vordun, featuring various art by masters and Second Life residents, and a historic Titanic experience.

Inara Pey has already posted an excellent review : The Vordun: a new art experience in Second Life. I heartily recommend that you read it, but I will say that the experience does largely live up to the hype.

Reception

There are currently three exhibitions on offer; European Masters, 300 Years of Painting, Lip Service, which will run until September 19th and A Night To Remember, a Titanic experience and I mean that as in, it’s about the Titanic ship.

The three exhibitions provide different experiences. The first, European Masters, 300 Years of Painting provides the visitor with a HUD and also makes use of Second Life’s experience keys feature.

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LaTurbo Avedon Talks To ArtSlant About Art And Digital Existence

Christian Petersen over at ArtSlant has published a great interview : The Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: LaTurbo Avedon. This is an interview with digital/virtual artist, LaTurbo Avedon but what makes the interview great for me is that it goes beyond artwork and delves into areas of avatar identity, creative spaces and much more.

I speak a lot about how good Draxtor Despres Drax Files : World Makers series is, because it gets to the real physical person behind the avatar, but Christian highlights another way of how avatars can evolve and how lines between the physical and virtual world can blur :

The artist LaTurbo Avedon may be a computer-created avatar but she is very much alive. Her identity has been created through very real experiences and interactions over numerous websites, social platforms, and gaming consoles. The notion that there is a “real” person behind the avatar becomes increasingly meaningless as the division between all of our online and IRL identities blur and dissipate.

That’s a fascinating way of looking at how avatars can evolve. LaTurbo Avedon has evolved via many platforms but she has deep roots in Second Life which go all the way back to 2006 and in her time in Second Life LaTurbo built and ran a club, which exemplifies a strong engagement with the environment because running clubs, even in the virtual world, is not as easy as some may think.

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