Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Tribute to Madness and Genius

An artist who is involved in 'Second Life' created an incredible video that reduced me to tears. Even those who never experienced the wonder and magic that is possible in the virtual reality of Second Life should be able to respond to this video, an hommage created for Vincent Van Gogh.

There are many people who look upon madness with terror, disdain, contempt or cold indifference. This video salutes those who have spent their lives striving to touch other realities, as well as those, like Van Gogh and Philip Dick, who had no choice but to embrace their visions, exploring worlds both terrifying and marvelous without being able entirely to control the transition.

The artist who created the video is Robbie Dingo. It is an incredible work on many different levels. It provides a window into the mechanics of creation in Second Life as well as a breathtaking interpretation of Van Gogh.

From the artist's own description of the video:

Second Life Machinima by Robbie Dingo.

'Frameless heads on nameless walls, with eyes that watch the world and can't forget - like the strangers that you've met'. [Don McLean].

'Ever looked at your favorite painting and wished you could wander inside, to look at it from different perspectives? Spend a single day in one of mine, from early sunrise on a new day, to dusk when lights come on in cosy homes; through a peaceful night, till morning.

'Shot on location in Second Life then post-produced, this was an idea I had a while ago. The Sim in this work was on temporary loan so it's all been swept away now, leaving only the film behind. It was always intended however that the video would be the end product, not the build.

'This work is dedicated to the many weird and very wonderful strangers from around the globe I have met, but have never really met.

'Higher quality version is available over at my blog. Search for 'My Digital Double Robbie' in Google.

'For more info on how this was put together, please read over at New World Notes.'

End of Quote.

Much of the mainstream exposure of Second Life has focused on questions of morality in terms of virtual sex and the ease with which superficial virtual sexual relationships and interactions between avatars can be experienced. As with so many other topics, for the most part these articles and exposes fail to comprehend the immensity of the concept of 'Second Life'.

In 'Second Life', any artist is free to pursue his/her visions and dreams, to find others who respond to those visions and in some cases, contribute to a collective dream that is far greater than anything that could be achieved alone.

For example, there is an artist named Wolves Bain in 'Second Life' who creates castles. His castles are not empty shells waiting for a buyer. Each has a history, a story written by the artist. 'Castle Row' is a vision made concrete. In creating it, the artist allows the world to share and enjoy his vision. Each of these castles are for sale, enabling the viewer to take one of those visions home, to incorporate it into his/her own dream.

There are many artists who pursue fantasy art in Second Life. Wraith Unsung is another. Her 'Fairy Grove' is an incredible place, where one can wander through galleries dedicated to every aspect of 'High Fantasy'.

I wrote about Paul Ge and his musical instrument shop in another post. All the arts and sciences are represented in Second Life. There are scientific museums with interactive exhibits. There are lecture halls and classes to be found in every conceivable subject of interest in both worlds.

The art of 'Wraith Unsung' and 'Wolves Bain' appeal to me personally, but every period in history and/or myth and every style from prehistory to futuristic imaginings exists in Second Life. I cannot imagine that any one could explore Second Life without finding something there that touches him or her personally in a profound way.

No comments: