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Scylla Rhiadra

A New LEA? How Can LL Best Support the Arts in Second Life?

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25 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I love religions that focus on love

Love, for my 10,000th post!

 

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2 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

The LEA (Linden Endowment For The Arts) idea most likely came from the NEA (National Endowment Of The Arts) based in the U.S.
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Endowment_for_the_Arts
The NEA has been under repeated attacks from conservative groups, citing the organization as anti-Christian. They especially denounce art that is sexual in nature and art which threatens the status quo. Trump has repeatedly tried to gut funding for the NEA (not sure of the present status).
They want art to be funded privately, and with their increasing control of just about everything at the state level (abortion is getting more and more difficult due to this state-level control, to cite one example) this would mean severe censorship of the arts.
The private sector can only do so much to keep art "free" and allow it to buck the status quo (as much art, by its nature, does) when the laws favor this conservative agenda.

Of course SL is not RL in all respects, but I thought it might be helpful to know the above background regarding conditions in the U.S. and what the "private sector" increasingly means here.
I'm not optimistic about the "private sector" even here in SL, however, because many believe that artists who strive to be better artists are not deserving of any special favors -- no distinction is made between those who rez a prim on their land vs someone who has studied the arts for years and desires to devote their life to such a pursuit.
Just to be clear though, lest someone labels me an elitist, I believe all people are artists when they attempt to create anything -- I tried to get those creatively decorating their Bellisseria homes to see themselves as such.  The issue is, however, should someone who is skilled (or developing skills) in the arts, showing promise, and demonstrating devotion, be given financial opportunities that are frequently denied in society? (Denied because art is frequently not part of the commercial system in place where people can more easily earn an income). 

To be honest, I don't look at it with a political real life view at all. How real life artists struggle or how US political situation is for art, and private sector and everything, has not much to do with artists in SL imo.

Private sector in real life as you mention above is mainly big foundations and companies, with profit, political, religious or other motivations. In SL the private sector it ordinary people like you and me, from all over the world. Its not like we ask the Chung real estate, or Blueberry to control the art. Its us all who can contribute. And its not like in SL there's some random clown on the helm every for years deciding random regulations on how it should be handled. We are in control.

I think you are over dramatizing the artist in SL. I know upcoming artist in real life can struggle, but this is SL. A virtual world. You can be a plumber in real life, but an artist in here. Its silly to compare RL and SL (again, my opinion). We don't need a Vincent van Gogh to be active in SL, we have creative, out of the box, digital people surprising us with their creativity in whatever ways possible. Not full time dedicated artists.

The importance of art in real life is much higher than in SL too. In SL there are so many wonderfull creative ways to entertain and inspire us, artists in any form being part of that. But with SL artist I don't just mean people who can do some art installation, or paintings. But also singers, people creating beautiful landscapes, craft amazing items. Almost all of SL is art in one way or the other. RL art is an outdated concept in a virtual world as SL.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

We are in control.

LL is in control. They just choose to be hands off about it when they should be hands on. 

How many residents see LL as something lurking in the background and how many see LL as involved in the community? 

LL needs to be involved in the community (and proactive) and something like Endowment for the Arts is one way of doing that.

SL residents need to see that LL cares. Every. Single. Day.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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14 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

LL is in control. They just choose to be hands off about it when they should be hands on

Content wise, as long as we don't break TOS, we are very much in control.

18 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

LL needs to be involved in the community (and proactive) and something like Endowment for the Arts is one way of doing that.

SL residents need to see that LL cares. Every. Single. Day.

Well, some people prefer "total" freedom above "leadership" involvement. But I agree to a level, and do think we should see LL cares. What we are discussing is, if sponsoring art is the way they should show this care.

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18 minutes ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

Content wise, as long as we don't break TOS, we are very much in control.

But I agree to a level, and do think we should see LL cares. What we are discussing is,

Even content wise LL is still very much in control. And once again they choose to be hands off about it.

Quote

Well, some people prefer "total" freedom above "leadership" involvement.

There are many ways to be involved that do not require "leadership" and "total freedom" is just begging for trouble. That is how some people are.

Quote

if sponsoring art is the way they should show this care.

The way? Why should LL limit themselves to just one way? Being involved with the community via only one means is not being involved with the community. It's paying lip service. If LL is truly trying to clean their act and reputation up, paying lip service to their current and prospective customers is not the way to do it.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

Almost all of SL is art in one way or the other. RL art is an outdated concept in a virtual world as SL.

Well, I think that there is some truth to this, although the clothing maker who slaps together a crop top from a prefabricated mesh kit, and markets it alongside the 50 kazillion other similar looking crop tops is maybe not entirely deserving of the appellation of "artist." Or maybe they are? I'd say not, but I don't want to get mired down in the impossible debate about what constitutes "art."

However, here's a thesis. I think I slightly more than half believe it.

Creativity in Second Life is in serious trouble. We're in the early to mid stages of the disease, but the symptoms are really troubling and the long term prognosis deeply disturbing. It began with the introduction of mesh, and the concurrent failure to provide an in-world tool to at least do some of that work within SL. This resulted in two related and damaging developments.

First is that almost all parts of the creative process moved off platform. Creators spend vastly more of their "creative" time in Blender and Photoshop than they do in-world. Pretty much all that's left in-world, other than actually plopping imported items down, is scripting.

Second is the fact that the lack of easy-to-learn tools for creation of mesh in-world has made the learning curve, or maybe even just the perception of the learning curve for building mesh items, waaaaay out of the comfort zone of most residents. So, mesh creation, which is now perceived as the only medium in-world that really counts, is out of the reach of all but a pretty small percentage of the resident population.

I'm sure that there are other factors as well, but my perception, certainly, is that Second Life is showing less and less evidence of being a place where creativity is woven into the fabric of our everyday life here. Nearly anyone here could once be a creator; now, we are all consumers. We consume clothes and pre-made mesh bodies and heads, we consume the absolutely gorgeous regions we visit without having any real sense of how or even why they were made. Creators are increasingly using imported prefab mesh: anyone who shops at all extensively for clothing, for instance, knows that this is true.

And, whether it's because of these things, or part of a parallel development, there has been an impoverishment of the imagination. Increasingly, women's clothing is all looking the same -- the same high-heeled, thigh-high or ankle boots, the same knotted shirt or cocktail dress, the same distressed or ripped jeans. And don't even get me started about the lack of variety in men's clothing, shapes, and skins. And the places we visit too are starting to blur together. I know I've said this somewhere else before, but I swear if I visit yet another "new" charming rural sim with quaint cottages and rusting pickup trucks, I'll scream.

Of course there are exceptions to these trends: I could name more than a few myself. But on the whole, SL is starting to feel like a McDonald's with pretensions. There is so much less whimsy, less humour, less thoughtful insight on display.

So. There are a variety of ways to address this looming crisis -- and it is a crisis. One way, just one, but an important one, is to find a way to encourage new art, whether it's coming from emerging artists, enthusiastic amateurs, or tested veterans of the art scene.

And, a hugely important part of how this might work (and one of the reasons I think that the old LEA model needs to be shelved) is to make that art relevant and present to and in our virtual lives, in a way that it hasn't been for some time. Maybe, just perhaps, that will help spark a renaissance of creativity in this slowly atrophying platform.

ETA: I should grudgingly acknowledge that parts of this thesis were developed in discussions with Maddy, who sometimes has interesting things to say that I haven't thought of. I know, I know . . . hard to believe. But there you are.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
Emphasis and typo
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2 hours ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

I think you are over dramatizing the artist in SL. I know upcoming artist in real life can struggle, but this is SL. A virtual world. You can be a plumber in real life, but an artist in here. Its silly to compare RL and SL (again, my opinion). We don't need a Vincent van Gogh to be active in SL, we have creative, out of the box, digital people surprising us with their creativity in whatever ways possible. Not full time dedicated artists.

The importance of art in real life is much higher than in SL too. In SL there are so many wonderfull creative ways to entertain and inspire us, artists in any form being part of that. But with SL artist I don't just mean people who can do some art installation, or paintings. But also singers, people creating beautiful landscapes, craft amazing items. Almost all of SL is art in one way or the other. RL art is an outdated concept in a virtual world as SL.

I can accept that you feel this way about your art, and your experience of other people's art, but this is not how everyone feels about it.

I see no difference between RL art and SL art, and my wanting RL art concerns to be as valid in SL as they are in RL has nothing to do with Vincent van Gogh or any type of "over-dramatization" you are accusing me of.

A virtual world does not make our art any less than what is created in RL -- its importance is not necessarily "higher" in RL as you've claimed. For example, I may choose to paint in RL using canvas and oil paints, or I may choose to use my computer Corel Painter program and paint on on my computer canvas via mouse and/or computer drawing pad in order to to upload into SL or print out for my wall in RL, or I may choose to assemble various 3D landscape elements into a cohesive whole (a painting) in SL -- they are all the same thing. All of them require two important elements -- skill with the tool I choose, and imagination.

Computer art is just another medium, it is not separate from other mediums, or somehow not real or lesser because we can't hold the paint or canvas in our hands.

Now I can agree that many more people have the opportunity to be creative in SL. That's what makes SL amazing!  But I don't think the RL art they are doing here is in any way separate from RL art.
The singer sings in RL to a RL audience, or the songs are broadcast to avatars in a virtual world. It's music in any world.
An artist paints in RL or in SL using their skills and imagination -- same thing.
A poet reads a poem to an audience on a SL region -- how could they be different from reading to people in RL?
Vincent van Gogh has nothing to do with the above.

Unfortunately all the same political issues that one enounters with art in RL happen in SL too, unless someone is just playing happily on their land alone.
I can't see how you'd separate politics between RL & SL ones (who gets what and how, is how my Political Science teacher defined 'politics'). If you do anything of a more serious nature in SL you have to deal with them, and Gloria Steinem said it best -- the personal is political.

As we continue toward more of life taking place online I think the distinction won't be made so much between what is real and what is not when computers and virtual realities are involved.

Even if you want to make the difference a monetary one it doesn't always apply. Many people earn their living with online art/endeavors, and I've done so for many years (in 5 years it will be 20 years total).  I just had a nice lunch paid for by LL. Burp. How's that for being concrete?

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Posted (edited)

Scylla, I need to again read one of your posts about how LL should be approached, but by skimming it something became clear to me -- by appealing only to the money-making side of this issue (when approaching LL) we are espousing Libertarian ideals, and I don't like seeing how Libertarian San Francisco with all its tech influence has become. Though LL expresses liberal values in terms of social mores, are they becoming (if not now) strictly Libertarian in financial matters?

When I was helping my daughter with her illness in San Francisco I interacted with many in the helping professions, specialists at a physical rehabilitation center, and they were very annoyed with the high cost of living there due to the tech influence -- many had to live far from the city and even then they were struggling. They gave preferential treatment to my daughter once they realized she was a teacher and not part of the wealthy tech people who have little regard for those outside their tech bubble who are struggling.

I know LL is not some huge tech company, and sure LL needs to stay in business and be concerned about the bottom line. But they are a platform as much as a business, and so should be concerned about more than profit. Society overall needs to be about more than just profit.

Edited by Luna Bliss
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3 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

Scylla, I need to again read one of your posts about how LL should be approached, but by skimming it something became clear to me -- by appealing only to the money-making side of this issue (when approaching LL) we are espousing Libertarian ideals, and I don't like seeing how Libertarian San Francisco with all its tech influence has become. Though LL expresses liberal values in terms of social mores, are they becoming (if not now) strictly Libertarian in financial matters?

In answer to your last question, I'd say not. I think the libertarian side of SL, which is very pronounced in some regards, being built -- baked, if you like -- into many of the basic foundational structures of the platform, is a legacy of Rosedale, rather than a deeply-held, fundamental belief of the current LL crew. Ebbe comes from an entirely different political tradition, for instance.

But I think this is less about the libertarian influences of Rosedale than about the simple fact the LL is clearly consolidating and rationalizing their operations right now. And they are, inescapably, a company that is supposed to be making a profit.

I suspect there are many Lindens who believe, as you and I do, that the contributions of the arts have value that is not measurably in the reckoning of the bean counters. But those people we don't need to convince.

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4 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

"over-dramatization" you are accusing me of.

Just for the record, I do not mean to personally attack anyone here with my opinion, and my choice of words here was poor, my apologies.

My view of what art is, is vastly different than that of people who probably are more experts on the matter. If I see a canvas with some yellow, green and blue squares on it and its decided its art and being sold for 50 million because the guy who painted it is considered a famous artist , then I am flabbergasted and honestly a bit disgusted and think the art world is a tad crazy. But deciding on what art is and what not, is not really the discussion here.

This is about if LL should support art, and let a group of "experts" decide for us what is art and who are considered artists and receive this support and who not. That's where I strongly disagree. 

That's just my opinion, and nothing more. Ill get out of this discussion though, because it derails the original purpose of this topic, and I honestly respect your opinions on this and hope you will work it out.

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of how art permeates a lot of creativity in SL, one way I support artists is by purchasing hand-drawn skins. Skin creators who paint them from scratch are definitely some people on that list of who you can throw Lindens at to keep their development going. A lot of these folks can easily give up and go the photosourcing way, when I pick up and admire their earlier handiwork with painting. If only they had gotten more positive responses with their drawn skins, you know?

If you enjoy such things, think about it! We wear art on our bodies in SL as well.

Edited by Aemeth Lysette
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39 minutes ago, Aemeth Lysette said:

Speaking of how art permeates a lot of creativity in SL, one way I support artists is by purchasing hand-drawn skins. Skin creators who paint them from scratch are definitely some people on that list of who you can throw Lindens at to keep their development going. A lot of these folks can easily give up and go the photosourcing way, when I pick up and admire their earlier handiwork with painting. If only they had gotten more positive responses with their drawn skins, you know?

If you enjoy such things, think about it! We wear art on our bodies in SL as well.

I'd hazard a guess a lot of SL residents don't know the difference, or what the process involves. The Art of Skin Creating would make an interesting exhibition... 

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It really would! Plus a fun activity is putting some plastic wrap over your computer monitor that's displaying the SLUV, then hold up a piece of paper to the screen and painting/drawing a skin over that.

I did that once and it was a crazy outcome, but really fun. You can sell the skin after and take creative pictures with it too. Turn yourself into walking art! I think a lot of folks would enjoy a workshop like that.

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16 hours ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

Just for the record, I do not mean to personally attack anyone here with my opinion, and my choice of words here was poor, my apologies.

My view of what art is, is vastly different than that of people who probably are more experts on the matter. If I see a canvas with some yellow, green and blue squares on it and its decided its art and being sold for 50 million because the guy who painted it is considered a famous artist , then I am flabbergasted and honestly a bit disgusted and think the art world is a tad crazy. But deciding on what art is and what not, is not really the discussion here.

This is about if LL should support art, and let a group of "experts" decide for us what is art and who are considered artists and receive this support and who not. That's where I strongly disagree. 

That's just my opinion, and nothing more. Ill get out of this discussion though, because it derails the original purpose of this topic, and I honestly respect your opinions on this and hope you will work it out.

Thanks, and I know there's a language barrier between us that is making communication more difficult.

I hope you don't leave the discussion, as you've brought up some very important points. Leaving aside the problems of fame and money infecting the art world, the issue remains -- are there art experts in SL? And should they have the right to determine which artists get space to display their talents?

I don't like power imbalances either, but I'm afraid this generally occurs when people are trying to learn pretty much anything. We have teachers who (hopefully) know more about what we're trying to learn than we do.  Not that their power/knowledge is absolute or that they always know what is right, but in many cases they do know more simply because they've spent time considering the subject.

There is some kind of confusion going on (most evident in the Hangars thread) that because beauty is subjective (in the eyes of the beholder) this must mean there are no objective standards whatsoever regarding what art is, and that what we personally like must be what makes something artistic. But there are standards -- does the work achieve a type of unification or harmony via the use of form and color is the most basic. Whether the work exhibits some novelty is another characteristic to consider.
Artists and art critics spend years studying and/or experiencing this, whether in school or with their own work, and so we should respect their opinion while at the same time knowing they could be wrong in some cases. This knowledge can be arrived at via studying about what makes a work artistic, but it can also be arrived at via the 'feeling' the work creates without considering the principles of art consciously.

We can only hope that those who would be in power at the LEA would be somewhat skilled in art and make an applicants artistic skills be the primary consideration for who gets a 6 month grant. But art critics are subject to all the faults humans fall prey to when they achieve some power -- how objective they will be depends on each person. It can't be perfect -- mistakes will be made. The issue is whether the program is beneficial to enough people to be worthwhile.

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19 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Thanks, and I know there's a language barrier between us that is making communication more difficult.

I hope you don't leave the discussion, as you've brought up some very important points. Leaving aside the problems of fame and money infecting the art world, the issue remains -- are there art experts in SL? And should they have the right to determine which artists get space to display their talents?

I don't like power imbalances either, but I'm afraid this generally occurs when people are trying to learn pretty much anything. We have teachers who (hopefully) know more about what we're trying to learn than we do.  Not that their power/knowledge is absolute or that they always know what is right, but in many cases they do know more simply because they've spent time considering the subject.

There is some kind of confusion going on (most evident in the Hangars thread) that because beauty is subjective (in the eyes of the beholder) this must mean there are no objective standards whatsoever regarding what art is, and that what we personally like must be what makes something artistic. But there are standards -- does the work achieve a type of unification or harmony via the use of form and color is the most basic. Whether the work exhibits some novelty is another characteristic to consider.
Artists and art critics spend years studying and/or experiencing this, whether in school or with their own work, and so we should respect their opinion while at the same time knowing they could be wrong in some cases. This knowledge can be arrived at via studying about what makes a work artistic, but it can also be arrived at via the 'feeling' the work creates without considering the principles of art consciously.

We can only hope that those who would be in power at the LEA would be somewhat skilled in art and make an applicants artistic skills be the primary consideration for who gets a 6 month grant. But art critics are subject to all the faults humans fall prey to when they achieve some power -- how objective they will be depends on each person. It can't be perfect -- mistakes will be made. The issue is whether the program is beneficial to enough people to be worthwhile.

Very nicely put, Luna. I agree completely.

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Posted (edited)

I have been avoiding this thread sort of like the plague however as it hangs around like a bad smell going to comment

Does the Lea old or new support art in sl whatsoever? I have never been to an lea thing nor do I know anyone that has said they have. I do goto a lot of art places but the only time I even am aware of LEA is when someone posts a thread here and frankly they dont make it seem worth visiting in the least.

I think therefore before asking A New lea you should be asking really did it ever work. Sure some artists got to put up their work, did anyone ever come to see it though

Edited by KanryDrago
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On 8/2/2019 at 12:38 PM, Selene Gregoire said:

SL residents need to see that LL cares. Every. Single. Day.

Still waiting for this one, almost 12 years now.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, KanryDrago said:

it hangs around like a bad smell

lol. Colourful, or at least odiferous image, Kanry. And not the first time you've employed it, or something like, with regards to one of my threads. I'm beginning to worry that it's not the threads that are malodorous, but me!

54 minutes ago, KanryDrago said:

Does the Lea old or new support art in sl whatsoever? I have never been to an lea thing nor do I know anyone that has said they have. I do goto a lot of art places but the only time I even am aware of LEA is when someone posts a thread here and frankly they dont make it seem worth visiting in the least.

I think therefore before asking A New lea you should be asking really did it ever work. Sure some artists got to put up their work, did anyone ever come to see it though

There are a number of points you make here. First, did "anyone ever come to see it"? Yes. I did, many others did. I'm pretty sure that you'll find that nearly everyone who has posted in this thread visited at least sometimes.

But your question is valid: was LEA effective?

And mostly, the consensus is probably no, at least for the last few years of its existence. And that's why, if you read this thread, you'll see that no one here is simply asking that it be resurrected as it was: the actual focus, the point of this thread, is to ask what can be done differently to ensure that it is 1) showcasing as much worthwhile art as feasible, and 2) integrating that art, and creativity in general, more effectively into people's day-to-day virtual lives here. No one thinks that what is required here is some sort of rarified, cloistered art space that no one except artists cares about: we all want to raise the profile of art and creativity, and make it matter.

So, this thread is about reforming LEA, not merely "saving" it. And, I might note, so too is the in-world group working to bring new proposals to LL: it's called "LEA 2.0" for a reason.

That said, I'm a little curious how you can be so sure that LEA was a failure, when you admit you've never visited it. Did you imagine that LEA was going to come to you?

Serious question, because this is an issue we've been discussing here, and that needs to be addressed: what would it take to get someone like yourself to use LEA, or whatever it is that may replace it?

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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36 minutes ago, KanryDrago said:

I have never been to an lea thing

Well then you've missed some pretty great art. But I'm sure I missed great stuff, too, because I agree with your general point: LEA didn't really succeed at promoting what it was exhibiting, especially in its later years, and especially to folks outside the immediate LEA circle.

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On 8/2/2019 at 12:46 AM, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Prok is right about this much: the analogy that we all tend to fall into naturally -- of a benevolent government supporting the arts through grants, tax breaks, and so forth -- is flawed, and so actually distorts our logic when we try to formulate the optimum relationship between LL and the arts community in SL. Governments support the arts because they are, at least putatively, primarily concerned with improving the quality of life of their citizens. The arts actually do this: a vibrant arts scene makes cities much more livable, it produces quantifiable economic benefits, and it can assist in creating a better educated, more critically aware, and more cosmopolitan population.

But if governments see the well being of their citizenry, at least in theory, as their primary ends, this is not in any way true of a privately-owned, profit-motivated company such as Linden Lab. I have no doubt whatsoever that there are many Lindens, maybe even Ebbe himself, who are passionate about the success and well-being of SL as a culture, but in the final analysis, as an institution, Linden Lab's "end" goal is making a profit; a thriving culture and healthy community is merely a means to that end. In that sense, the arts are actually at two removes and not just one, from LL's end goal, which is making money.

So, arguing that LL "must" support the arts is, as Prok notes, a flawed argument and, ultimately, an unrealistic delusion. As a company, LL cares about the arts only insofar as they can produce a measurably more successful platform, which will, in turn, produce what the company really wants, which is money.

It does not, however, follow that (as Prok intimates) a corporate-sponsored art scene is going to necessarily be unfair, corrupt, or ineffective. IF Linden Lab is clever, they will work hard to nurture the arts in Second Life because, as Seicher says, "it benefits LL to support the arts in efforts like LEA." In fact, if one really believes in the efficacy of the various levers and mechanisms of capitalism, one should have no difficulty accepting that the pressures of competition and the imperative to produce profit should compel the company to explore this particular tool for producing a more profitable platform. A thriving and high profile arts scene will make SL a more attractive place to be; it will attract more talented creators and artists/artisans; it will (if exploited properly) raise SL's real life profile and marketability. It will, or at least can, benefit the economy as a whole.

Which is why I think Zeta's argument here is only half correct:

I actually agree that artists don't merit special treatment, merely because they are artists. Artists are vital to any society -- but are they really more important than anyone else who produces things -- clothing, food, shelter, healthcare -- that have a more immediate value to our survival? I don't actually think so.

But if artists aren't a special case, the arts themselves sort of are, because the only way in which the arts can survive in a free market economy is not through direct competition with other goods that are more broadly and immediately important, but through some form of "patronage," either through the wealthy (who tend very often to keep that art to themselves, and so prevent it from benefiting society as a whole) or through governments. And SL, as I've already suggested (and as Prok has insisted) has no "real" government.

In the final analysis, it will be the wealthy patrons who keep art alive here -- either philanthropists (and SL actually has a great many of those) or Linden Lab itself. And LL would be well advised to get involved and support the arts, not because they love them, but because they will ultimately make SL a more profitable platform.

And that is why LEA, or something like it, is a good thing, and deserving of support in some way or another from the Mother Company. Not because the arts will make us all happier (although this is to some extent true), nor because artists are a deserving elite (which I think is not true), but because it will produce more profit for the most important company in SL: Linden Lab itself.

 

This is all very thoughtful and well said, and it's true that art enhances the platform that LL wants to sell.

I'm the last person to think of corporations or corporate-sponsored art as somehow inherently unfair, corrupt, or ineffective. That's what socialist governments are like, and LL is more like a socialist government than a real corporation. I don't think corporations or capitalism are "inherently corrupt" the way socialism is; but of course corporations and capitalism in a liberal democratic society must be regulated and be under the rule of law.

Linden Lab is not a corporation like most, for ideological reasons. The founders and even the current staff have their roots in "the California ideology" or technosocialism of the Chomsky or AOC type or technocapitalism of the oligarchic or Randian type and so they don't behave like, oh, Wendy's or your local hardware store.

The chief strange thing about LL is they run and cringe from their main, best-selling product -- land, i.e. servers, and that means they run from their chief customers -- end-use land owners and rental agents. They don't embrace them, culturally or economically. Once in awhile they wake up to reality and lurch forward with a discount on islands but then only offset it by raising the cost of cash-outs. Imagine if the Hoover people ran from and loathed vacuum cleaners, and felt their real destiny was to launch Moon and Mars space probes to get lunar or martian soil samples. You would think they are crazy.

LL has this deep illusion that they can break from their main product and core customer base -- land and land-owners -- and get their income from skimming content sales in the form of tax, or in currency sales. No government including the European Union in the history of the world has made the large bulk of their income from this VAT-like action. Yet the Lindens persist in this delusion, which explains why all their advertising is about "becoming a creator" and all the people they feature and fete are creators. 

You might think their reasoning is that creators create content, and therefore they serve those land-owners who want to put something on their land. But that's only partly true of the economy, which is about services (renting or sex work or model training or clerking or blogging) as well. 

The Lindens' concept of "art" is "what the creators we fete do" -- so their logic is "Let's pick the cream of the crop and fund them." But for all the reasons we've all been saying, it doesn't work. They can't have a logic like, "art is good as motel art or for ordinary mass-taste people to put in their homes". That would be culturally and ideologically verboten for them. But it's true.

The Lindens can't embrace their chief customer and chief product, and so they become completely unconcerned about their chief problem -- that only 1 out of 10 retain or whatever the low number is. If you only care about content and taxing content production or purchase, you think of the population related to that as not so terribly important -- less creators/buyers, just tax more. Or if it grows slowly, ok, but it will get there.

Whereas if your chief product is in fact land, then you worry about people not staying and buying land. Hence Linden Homes, which is sort of their crash plan to catch up on all the years of running from their chief product, and somehow harnessing it to their ideology -- that is is not a free market, but what they create and manage, and hence their feted creators and content purchase is at the center of the project -- which is why they are back to planning a Busy Ben's mall. LOL.

Every other day, it seems, I stumble on people who have bought cheap land or even land a bit expensive but still not crazy (PG waterfront) and made art lots out of it, even if surrounded by blight. It gives you hope. I saw this just last night. Oblivious of a giant sex worker sign, someone was making nice art and beautifying the world. It wasn't even art for sale. So it's true that if artists think of parcels and not sims, they could do more -- but even sims are only $175 a month, which means you need to sell other things, whether rentals, souvenirs, landscaping services or whatever, and there is not only no shame in this, it is not somehow "unaesthetic". 

I don't anticipate this changing. The Lindens will go on as a very idealistic California-idea corporation that will continue to shun land as mass low culture and poor taste and "heavy" or something, since it requires servers. Of course content and sales of content require servers, too, but the Lindens pushed a lot of the stores off land on to the MP in order to reduce servers. I think there Grand Idea is to have a world that is really only like a trailer park that you hook up to. You have to bring the trailer (server) or even the parking lot, too, and you just hook up to their electricity.

I think inherently, because the California idea and LL are elitist and techno-utopian and shun and fear mass taste, they can't be democratic and free. And that's the only thing that continually brings new life blood into the art world, that big cities like New York or Los Angeles attract young people, and minorities and poor people have a chance they don't have out in the sticks.

There are the two ancient Greek methods, Sparta, where a small, select group of elite youth are taken off to a mountain to be educated in a strict and isolated environment, or the Athens approach, where out of the free and democratic class of 40, perhaps 1 or 2 geniuses might emerge. And it seems Sparta didn't leave a legacy except in places like North Korea.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/2/2019 at 9:45 AM, Luna Bliss said:

I also benefited from Obamacare, to the tune of medication costing $151,000 usd.  However, if I'd been too poor to afford Obamacare, or had I earned more money that year, I'd fall into one of the cracks of the uninsured/underinsured in the U.S. and would not have qualified for my medication. Co-pays and deductibles make insurance for most in the U.S. unaffordable (think 30% of $151,000 usd -- not in anyone's budget I imagine). The problem is the insurance and drug companies that rake in excess profit.

Disrupting the mood or theme - yes, it's a problem.  Like the boxes everyone puts around their parcels on the ground  you've complained about many times -- they ruin the look.  Selling items on an art sim is a different issue.

What no one ever admits about ObamaCare on the left is that the individual states had low-cost insurance for poor people who "can't afford insurance". I know, I was one of them as a single parent, and my son also benefited after he had a terrible accident and took more than a year to rehabilitate. State and city programs take care of people in those situations at the cost of high taxes which is why some corporations leave New York. Yes, Missouri doesn't have this level of care. But by and large, the states all have this. You could argue that the job of the federal government should have been supporting the Missouris and leaving the New Yorks alone. No one ever did because socialists like global not local plans. So people who can't afford ObamaCare and don't fear the punitive tax for *not having* it because they have low income or won't pay taxes do have options and still do. It's easy to blame insurance and drug companies and we can all tell horror stories and I have many to tell. But the reality is, the human propensities to prolong life, enhance life, and avoid sickness are the root of the issue and that won't change.

Edited by Prokofy Neva

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On 8/1/2019 at 7:03 PM, Orwar said:

   Eh? No. We have plenty of charity here, both secular and religious.

   "Europe" isn't a country, I'm not sure which country you were referring to but things like this can vary vastly from one nation to the next.

 

Europe is indeed an idea and a continent and remains so. The European Union isn't a "country" but a territorial body that attempts to align its votes at the UN and have unified policies. Are you for Brexit?

It's always easy to talk about "plenty of charity, secular and religious" when you are not the fund-raiser or even the giver, but you just have a vague idea.

I could like up 50 European NGO leaders from Europe who could tell you how hard it is to raise money from the PRIVATE sector as distinct from the EU or Council of Europe or governments. There isn't the tax incentive we have in the US, for example, where people can write donations off their income tax. There are large companies like Skype or Mercedes Benz that have philanthropic programs, but there aren't as many in the US. Everyone in the non-profit field knows this. That's why there are so many Europeans with American grants.

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On 8/2/2019 at 6:51 AM, Qie Niangao said:

This reminds me: I think whatever the New LEA ends up being one success metric should be how much it increases awareness of other galleries and arts projects in SL, generally privately owned and curated.

Various networks and blogs inform the public about these projects, with some effectiveness and might be leveraged by LEA to meet this goal. Nonetheless, despite current best efforts there remain plenty of folks* who would appreciate this privately exhibited art but just aren't plugged-in and reminded of its existence.

All this stuff is easy to find if you seek it, but that misses too many opportunities.

None of this is my area of expertise, I just point and grunt: Enhance awareness. Build on what's working. As appropriate, align with incentives of those who know how to promote.

 

______________
*Some of those folks may have never heard of Second Life. How can we get Place Pages of SL galleries in front of their eyeballs? LL Marketing has a role here, potentially more important than keeping some "broken doll" sims spinning, and there's certainly a much bigger win available here than anything aimed at pumping air into Sansar.

What *would* be a measure of success? In the real world, artists and galleries have metrics, whether good reviews (or any reviews), number of visitors, number of donations. They might still have "art for art's sake" but there, too, they will have some kind of ideological or aesthetic criteria, and more and more nowadays this is about political correctness. But still, they have a yardstick or some kind. What do you use in SL? Traffic? Donations? Blogs?  It's not quite the same.

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If this is true...and LL really is withdrawing LEA funding...I say...

GOOD RIDDANCE 👍

The LEA charlatans and poseurs have NEVER given one damn about the SL dispossessed...the homeless sandbox dwellers...the civil rights advocates, fighting a mounting tide of nazi filth on these forums...the residents who turned to griefing because insane 'creators' jacked up their prices by 50%+ in their greed-fuelled fantasies of wealth and stardom (huh huh, Beavis...mesh...meshhhh...sounds like huh huh...'poo willy brain'...huh huh huh...)

No, DAMN you 'artists' and your worthless garbage...how does it feel, now the boot's on the other foot, SLIME..?? Enjoying yr discomfort SOOOO much. The chickens have well and truly come home to roost...

As I said to Torley Linden in 2014 (when ALL of you VEGHEADS were griefing...we see you), art is a commodity that soothes the inadequate. You artists are the enemy of noobs. The disgusting vision of SL you've thrust upon us has stifled all genuine creativity, communication and compassion. Bury your galleries yourselves...we'll not partake in the clean-up effort.

We've gone without grants since day one. Now, damn you for complaining about receiving the same treatment. This is what you wanted instead of socialism. 

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