It was ironic that I happened to visit an important new build the other night with my friend, DB Bailey. It had been just over three years ago, at my very first opening at the late Ruttan Gallery, that he suggested I consider transforming my work into three dimensions – into objects you could actually walk into, wander around in. Although I was pretty excited about the idea at the time, it never went anywhere; after all, I thought, you can enter a painting with your mind, can’t you, and jetpack to places you had never been before, right? So what was the point?
The build was Parallel Worlds, by claudia222 Jewell; I had been tipped off to it by Wagner James Au’s recent post on New World Notes, where he described it as “one of the most inspiring and artistic builds I have seen in Second Life in a very, very long time.” Coming from Wagner (Hamlet Au in SL), this was really something; he’s been around this neck of the woods since the dawn of the ages. If you want to know how far back that is, read his book, The Making of Second Life. It’s mandatory reading for avatars.
Although DB couldn’t stay long enough for us to discuss it in any depth, I lingered for a while, exploring the cells within cells, skins within skins, worlds within worlds, mesmerized by the music and the interplay of organic textures and light. There was something about this place I hadn’t seen before. It was dark, edgy, melancholic; it was hauntingly beautiful…. but it was somehow more than that: it was sensual; it was alive. It had a quality I strive for in my own work: human passion; emotion and longing in pixelated form. This was as close to a 3D painting as I had seen.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m down with machines, I love the cool, brilliant interplay of sound, light and motion in our virtual playground. I love the whimsy of every fantasy brought to life around me.. but this was a little closer to my own thinking.. the power of ‘realistic,’ organic textures and paint to create a sense of warmth; a womblike other-worldliness that draws you in, casts a spell on you, and leaves you wanting more, Parallel Worlds has actually made me reconsider the question DB asked that night, and has spurred me on to investigate just what possibilities might be lying in wait, like a coiled cobra covered in mesh. O Death, where is thy sting?
In the photos above, claudia222, having descended in her chariot of the snake goddess, engaged in a lengthy discussion about her work, and the possible directions she might be taking it in the future, using mesh. I was all ears. But then, so was she. Thanks, claudia. :)
Direct slurl teleport to Parallel Worlds at this link.