Tilting at Windmills

Tilting at Windmills

It sometimes seems that pursuing art in SL is like tilting at windmills. Just by encoding your creations in a specific term—“art”—you make a statement about the intent of your work—it is somehow “higher,” shouldn’t be commodified, should only exist in some sacred space of some aetherial otherworld consciousness, to be respected for itself without concern for design, utility or monetary value with the belief that if one builds it, they will come. Wouldn’t we all love to live within such lack of constraint?

It’s a conundrum because some of the finest artists, technically and evocatively, are the folks who create content on SL. There is nothing so heart stopping as a beautifully turned shoe or a dress that evokes a million instant thoughts from the smell of jasmine to the intensity of a new lover’s gaze across a crowded dance floor to the slight bind of a tight bodice enwrapping the ribs. Yet we don’t call them artists—we call them “designers.” And they easily spend as much time advertising, providing customer service, dealing with business issues, etc., as they do with creating. It’s no cakewalk.

Tilting at Windmills

It’s no wonder why the virtual marketplace rewards fashion rather than art. Everyone wants to sport the newest dress from Mami Jewell. You can’t walk around with a sim full of windmills on your back.

Nevertheless it’s worth seeing SL art. Some is quite beautiful, evocative, innovative and offers to residents the opportunity to leap outside the normal spaces of SL and into new environments. When done well, they tweak our understanding of SL, of virtuality, of the uses of this medium, of the several sly and clever tricks one can do to overcome the damn box SL puts us in.

Tilting at Windmills

Dividni Shostakovich has put his money where his mouth is by hosting the Split Screen Installation Space, where he invites artists to put up their work for a month-long showing on his dime. Calling himself “Curator,” he hosts the artists, provides them with the space (and time—they get a month to build with the month to show), and allows them free reign within the constraints of sim space, prims and capacity. He also does all the promotion, blogs about their art, and spends a lot of his SL time seeking out other artists to give space to.

It’s a generous gift Dividni offers—two months per artist per space. This month he is sponsoring two artists—Alizarin Goldflake and Blue Tsuki. I took these photos in Blue’s exhibit, enjoying the colorful ambience, the sounds, the motion. Douglas Story first brought me here, telling me he liked to visit to relax. I would not call it relaxing myself but it surely is inspiring and beautiful in a sort of strange surreal way. I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful it is for Dividni to be doing this–many artists would not be able to use SL as a medium otherwise.

Tilting at Windmills

Thanks, Dividni, for giving to the community :)

Hair: TuTy’s ADORABLE Updo hairstyle – Black by Tutys for TUTY’S HAIR

Skin: Hush – Marin – Natural – Honey (db) by Hush Darkrose for Hush *

Eyes: IKON Utopia Eyes – Trojan Blue (ML) by Ikon Innovia for IKON *

Dress: -AZUL- Annelisie/Amethyst (MAL2012/MissBrasil) by Mami Jewell for –AZUL- *

Jewelry: (Kunglers Extra) Pitanga – silver by AvaGardner Kungler for Kunglers *

Sim: Blue Tsuki’s “Adagio” at Split Screen Installation Space

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