CDB Barkley (aka Alan Levine) : Oct 23, 2006 10:26pm
Not all of our readers may know, but the NMC Campus is starting its rather massive expansion (see information from last week’s press conference). The entire current campus fills one Second Life “Sim”, a 16-acre plot of land. The new campus will have the current sim at the center, and will have a grand total of 7 sims or 112 acres. Some terraforming is underway now by our builders from Infinite Vision Media.
But an empty sim provides a space for some interesting, short-lived art. Last week, one was host to a special restrospective exhibit of the sculptures of StarAx. Tonight there was not only one, but four massively large-scale art installations of incredible beauty.
If one had a high angle view, they would have seen a rather stark handprint on the new land:
What is that in the distance?
A few people may recognize the 6-finger hand that is the logo for DanCoyote Antonelli, a bold SL artist who was part of the NMC Campus Artists on the Green event back in August. He is also the creator of the performance art Zero G Skydancers. (Advance note: Watch this space for a special announcement on the next series of Skydancer performances soon!)
Tonight, for one night only, he got to use an entire 16-acre sim of NMC Campus to create some new art — in four variations. The first was his logo shown above. A few hours later the hand was gone, replaced by a mesmerizing landscape of vibrantly colored glaclal fjord like canyons. That was followed by a the very familiar shape of an ink drawing of Don Quixote and Sancho — but it was only visible in the mini-map! A final piece transformed the land into a set of rolling waves, alternately textured in zebra-skin and rectangular patterns.
As you flew over the land to explore, edges seemed to shift and reform, and subtle color variations were exposed over different regions. We got to chat with DC underwater, standing on a candy rock like substrate!
Talking with DanCoyote Antonelli
Apparantly, these works are created as terrain maps in RAW files format (13-channel Photoshop files) that can be uploaed to a sim and special textures to replace the normal grass and rock.
DanCoyote, who refers to his work as “hyperformalism”, talked a bit about the power of wonder:
It is important to remind people that they have the capacity for wonder– which I see is the primary job of the artist… and it is possible in SL, since many of the usual bets are off. Gender, race and disability are downplayed here in SL; it helps us suspend disbelief and makes for a fertile place to do work and transcend boundaries.
The dominant modes in SL are gambling, porno and retail (all fine things, I do not make a value judgement about them) but I am offering another mode. The point being that other people do these things just fine which gives me room to do other things instead. I promote fine art mode; the others grow anywhere like weeds. I am planting roses which take a little longer and more work to grow.
Scale is a magnificent potential in SL. I use it all the time. There are a few secrets I have discovered. Since our avatars (puppets) do not have working hands the granularity of the world is different our view is also different through the display mechanism.
He then took us on a tour of two of his large scale art works, the first DanCoyote Museum at SL location uvvy (85, 208, 25) :
DanCoyote’s ZeroG l at Uvvy
and another Zero G installation at Sudo, which just boggles the mind with scale, size, and intracacy:
ZeroG Vl Sudo
And he is more than willing to provide a tour sometime for our NMC Teacher’s Buzz Group.
This was a heady hour of mind-blowing sights. In closing, because it would not even be there in the morning, I quickly flipped on the movie camera, and captured a quick fly around this amazing land art:
We have a special presentation of photos captured last night showing now on the main screen at the Gonick Amphitheatre, and you can find many more photos loaded up at flickr (includes 2 more versions DanCoyote did, thanks Larry for snapping the photos).