April 3, 2007

Second Life Sculpture – Visual Poetry

- by Magellan Egoyan

Although a relative newbie in SL culture, I’ve been very interested in finding examples of virtual art that is truly SL art, that is, art that can only be viewed in SL or that only makes sense in SL. In my own experiments in sculpture both in RL and SL, I have found that any attempt to develop SL versions of RL sculptures, or realistic looking sculptures, results in high prim counts. The results may be interesting, but are not going to be copied much in SL. This may not be the goal – single copy virtual art is itself an area of interest, and one version may be all the artist has in mind. However, some part of me craves things that are simple. What is simple in RL may be very complex in SL, and vice versa.

Given the constraints of SL, « simple » but effective art would need to be « low prim », probably kinetic, because this is so easy to do in SL, and texture rich, because there are so few constraints on textures. In my admittedly short experience within SL, I have found one artist who produces sculptures with these characteristics whom I particularly admire.

elros tuominen has developed a large collection of kinetic sculptures that are stunningly beautiful, while elegantly simple in construction. These low prim sculptures, which are also very modestly priced, could grace any home or work environment in SL. They invite inspection, they draw one’s virtual gaze into their interiors, but leave you as mystified after doing so as beforehand. Although you can see the simplicity of how they function, you remain bedazzled by the way the textures move within the mechanical flows. Sometimes accompanied by music, the sculptures echo many different themes, including cosmology, the natural world, and abstract but expressive forms. They soothe and engage the soul, and not merely the intellect.

elros is also a talented writer. Based on a chance comment I made at some point, he sends me a poem every few days – these have become an extraordinary mood setter for my life in SL. Here is a more or less random choice:“For every man who feels alone, and in his loneliness he feels cold, for every child who is forced to forget his age, for every woman who stands at home, and in her standing she cries and forgives, for everyone who waits day after day for hope, and in their waiting they only fall deeper and deeper… deeper, as deep as the deepest fog… for everyone who looks back and hides their head in hands, for you, feeling sad this morning time, as the toasts are burnt and the coffee seems frozen, I think it’s time for some climbing today, so why don’ t you change your clothes and come with me…” – April 1, 2007.

The sculptures cannot be easily captured in photos, nor really in video, although this would be decidedly better. They tease your interest and draw in your virtual gaze in ways that video cannot capture. They must be experienced directly to be truly appreciated. As an aspiring SL sculpter, I am green with envy with regard to these sculptures, but quite happy to acquire and sprinkle my own personal landscape with them. This is visual poetry at its best.

elros' gallery is at Tubular Gallery, Denso Heights (225, 240, 88).

No comments: