Swing Low, Sweet Chariot


Yesterday I decided to build a transparent platform at about 4000 meters in the sky – 1000 meters above my warehouse studio, in fact, which obviously is 3000 meters above the ground. I like the privacy up there, the silence; it’s a bit of heaven, for an artist. At any rate, I needed this invisible platform to enable me to rez objects and then photograph them floating free, unencumbered, in the sky above, where I can turn day into night, or summon a burning desert heat at the snap of a finger. In Second Life, you see, it’s easy being God.

So, I built the platform, and then decided to rez up my glorious silver 1934 Ford custom hot rod, a gift from fellow SL artist AM Radio, just to see how she looked, ridin’ high, racin’ with the moon. But it didn’t look right. Something was missing. I then thought I’d dip into my collection of digitized Richard Diebenkorn drawings, blow one up to about 40 meters square, drop it onto a transparent panel, and, voila, a beautiful charcoal drawing of a nude floating in the afternoon sky, lines roughly scribbled on the clouds.

This was good. This was very good. Until, that is, the moment I decided that the hot rod should be within the drawing, not in front of it. That’s when it happened. You see, when you’re driving a highly sensitive and seductive work of art on an invisible platform high in the sky, there’s always the danger of forgetting exactly where the edge is; sort of like the tourist telling his wife to back up a bit at the edge of the Grand Canyon for a better picture. Suddenly I found myself plummeting earthward at a very high rate of speed, and hitting the damn brakes didn’t seem to do a damn thing. Nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the ride.

It doesn’t take very long to fall a thousand meters in a car, I discovered, and within an instant the entire ensemble slammed into a giant chrome art cube (see neo-cubism, below) resting on the roof of my studio. The car appeared to be lodged about three or four feet into the cube, facing straight down. Since I was relatively unscathed, and this was, after all, a photo shoot, I immediately jumped out and began taking pictures. Serendipity rules in Second Life, remember, and you have to be ready for it at all times if you’re an artist.

So, I didn’t find exactly what I had set out looking for when I began this effort, but then, neither did Christopher Columbus. Like him, I was quite happy with my discovery, the result of which is the digital painting above, hot rod blur, which is now hanging on the wall of my studio, and will soon be part of the upcoming digital exhibit in Santa Barbara (more about that later). As for my future work on the platform, I’ll beĀ  wearing a parachute from now on, and may even rez a few guardrails up there. I’d wear a hard hat, but it might mess up my flexi-hair.

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One Response to Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

  1. Bob says:

    That is a BEAUTY! Echoes of your first-life motorcycle paintings…

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