Virtualizing Visual Art

I have to apologize about the long absence. There are several reasons for that. The first reason being art. And that brings me to one of the items in my list of topics to talk about.

What pulled my attention from mid-August to early October is a virtualization of a real-life artist event -- Burning Man ( irl was translated into Burning Life ( in SL. Artists coming together to create art for art's sake. A lot has been written about the two events, so I will not delve into that. I had never been to the real-life Burning Man, and I may never. The SL Burning Life was enough experience to last me a lifetime, and I'll leave it at that.

There are two classifications of art in Second Life:
* art created inside SL, including SL photography, and
* art created in the real world, which are mostly photographs and 2-D images imported into SL.

Gallery owners differentiate between the two and seem to have a preference for RL art and RL artists. To be honest, I think that's a snobbish attitude. It's akin to preferring a crappy oil painting to a breathtaking photograph, just because the painter took more time on the work or spent more money on materials.

Any week-old newbie knows how to import a texture, slap it on a prim, and resize that prim. Where's the creativity in that? Why not just upload the texture on a photo website, like Flickr, where it could get viewed by more eyeballs? Or submit it to a stock photo company and get paid much more than US$1 or US$2 for it?

I'm not saying that all RL art in SL are crappy. After all, I own a gallery, where I sell my own RL photographs, and I'm not about to admit my work is crappy. ;)

But, to a lot of artists, Second Life has become a new medium. And, if all you do is slap a texture on a prim, then you're not really taking advantage of the unique possibilities that a 3-D world affords you.

My first exposure to SL art is in the Second Louvre, where I discovered an array of amazing sculptures, made with a few types of prims. After having learned how to build and script pretty much anything, and after seeing countless other art by other artists, I'm still amazed how Starax Statosky can evoke emotion with a sculpture using only those few types of prims. Now that is creative genius.