Bronze Sigil Knight (avatar created by Flea Bussy ) standing on Kazuhiro Aridian’s installation looking across at ‘Heterotroph’ by Madcow Cosmos.
After mentioning Grendel’s Children in my earlier post ‘Avatar boutiques and virtual vestibules’ Flea Bussy of Grendel’s Children sent me some fabulous avatars! Now I understand why people say ‘Woot!’ in IM, the surprise brought on a ‘Woot!’ of my very own.
Another view of ‘Heterotroph’ by Madcow Cosmos.
Naturally I wanted to take some photographs of my new avis and set out to find suitable Second Life™ backdrops that would be worthy of these avatars. I decided to aim for the ‘Fantastic Art’ style of illustration. I thought the combination of Flea Bussy’s avatars, the dreamy and grotesque environments of the NPIRL Garden of Delights (hosted by Rezzable), and Second Life’s ‘advanced sky editor’ would help me achieve this goal. I found this plan much harder to achieve than expected! For one thing this ‘collaborative collage’ of virtual art works taxed my laptop to the limit! I half expected to see a pall of smoke floating up through the speakers. Undeterred I continued, and now return to my blog to show the results of these adventures featuring the first of my Flea Bussey avatars, the Bronze Sigil Knight (male). I may not have achieved Fantastic Art, but with a few voice bubbles (and more time) I almost have enough material to begin a graphic novel!
Installation by The Messenger, NPIRL Garden of Delights.
Closeup of the Bronze Sigil Knight by Flea Bussy inside The Messenger’s installation.
If you have an account in Second Life find the time to visit this astonishing art exhibition. This is Fantastic Art on an epic scale in the virtual world. “Taking a page from Hieronymous Bosch, Rezzable and NPIRL have enlisted the participation of over 100 of Second Life®’s artists, architects, builders and coders to construct the NPIRL Garden of our collective dreams, spanning four simulators/islands to illustrate: the Underworld, Earth, and Paradise.” (Bettina Tizzy, NPIRL Garden of Delights. May 2008).
View showing the heavenly wings and halo of my Knight. (Beneath the avatar you can just glimpse Miki Gymnast’s ‘viewing platform’.)
When you visit the NPIRL’s ‘Garden of Delights’ make sure you attach the hud provided! This helps you to teleport from one installation to the next, and it also gives you the name of each artist. On my first two visits I didn’t want to be restricted and it was fun just flying around exploring. (I like to escape tour guides when I visit English stately homes too.) However, I finally decided to attach the hud and discovered an amazing number of hidden installations that I had missed earlier. (I hear the muffled cheer of distant tour guides.) I also encourage you to return several times because this is a truly extraordinary experience with much to see and savor.
Flight over The Garden of Delights (showing Soror Nishi’s exhibit)
Imagine a giant art gallery in real life opening its doors, and its pictures! In this gallery there is no standing behind a red rope attached to brass stands, or being watched closely by suspicious security guards checking you don’t sneeze on the paintings. In Second Life this giant gallery exists, here we can interact with the art, become part of the work. Here the art wants us to walk right into it; installations like NPIRL’s ‘Garden of Delights’ are constellations of small virtual worlds hosted by a mammoth virtual mother world!
‘The Grotto of Lost Souls’ by Jopsy Pendragon.
NPIRL focuses on work that is ‘not possible in real life’. Some might say this virtual art is not ‘real art’ but when I read my green tea leaves I see it is an art form that will continue to grow and evolve, real life will find more ways (than Second Life art exhibits) of taking us into the ‘Not Possible!’
Tune in again soon for another virtual journey, with another Flea Bussey avatar from Grendel’s Children.
For more information about Fantastic Art take a look at:
The Fantastic in Art and Fiction at Cornell University