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Art as an abstraction concept of the virtual world


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  • 3 weeks later...

The same emotional effects, I would suggest.

You do miss the tactile experience of art in SL ... and I am specifically talking about painting, as that is what I do here in SL and RL ... the possible scent, the texture and touch, sometimes the scale, but overall art is successful when you allow a viewer to feel an emotion when viewing your work. The stronger the emotion, positive or negative, the more "successful" the work, though I exclude works that are very deliberately designed to offend or shock.

Example: What do you feel when you view one of Cy Twombly's works? An Alberto Giacometti statue? A Pollock painting? The late Christo's tree-wrapped parks? (For me ... a breathtaking childlike curiosity and work of a genius that makes me almost cry, a sense of stunned awe and wonder, a sense of scale and hidden depths, and "meh", in that order).

What I mean by the words "very deliberately designed to offend or shock" is I can easily create an artwork that I know would deliberately/with intention offend someone's sensibilities, causing outrage and anger (a strong emotion = success, right?). Now, I personally believe that I do have the right to offend your sensibilities, be they moral or religious etc to make a point about society, but that too easily crosses into deliberately poking a sharp stick into a bear.

For example, I could create a piece with the mythical Judeo-Christian Mary figure crucified in lingerie to make a point about feminism and misogny, and I know that would most likely offend true believers. But is it a valid work to discuss the power hierarchy of the Catholic Church, say? Aside, the concept of blasphemy to me is a victimless and made up crime ... you do not have the right to not be offended, sorry. I can speak out/criticize any institution I want, thanks.

But back to the original question. 

Visual art can be implemented in a virtual world and should be able to trigger feelings and emotions when you view it. Why should it not? It's a visual piece. Your brain and emotions process it. You feel something (hopefully). It lacks some things from the physical world, but the emotions are still triggered and that, for me, is how art functions. To make you feel something.

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"Art as an abstraction concept of the virtual world" makes me wonder where the line between the so-called 'real world' and 'virtual worlds' really is.  When I am RL awake and (for instance) backpacking along the Colorado Trail as a storm comes up, my eyes see all kinds of things that I wouldn't see back in coastal Texas.  When I look down and spend half an hour watching leaf cutter ants, how do I know that I'm not dreaming.  Are dreams hallucinations or are they virtual worlds or are they just as real as a July 4th snowstorm in Leadville, Colorado?  And as for art are my drawing (graphite pencils by the way) of Mount Massive (Colorado) or of Puentedey (Burgos Province, Spain) real? They're flat things on paper, but inside my mind, isn't what I'm imagining, provoked by markings on paper, virtual?  Perhaps I should mention that I got sucked up into the Second Life arts community by Angela Thespian and FOCUS Magazine.  I was tutored in the basics of SL photography by Patrick of Ireland, and encouraged by Angela.  I came up with the addition of music or sounds to my Flickr pages mostly on my own, but is the immersion in virtual places in SL much different (any different?) than hiking down the Sawatch Range?  And if I add a link to James Earl Jones reading Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven' (from YouTube) what is virtual and what is real?  I have never met James Earl Jones -- I have just heard his voice and images purportedly his.  As for Edgar Allan Poe, I was told he is a deceased poet, but that is what I was told.  (I"m not denying he existed; I'm just pointing out that what I know of Poe are images in my head and words that likewise exist inside a tiny cranium now extant in a suburb of Houston -- namely mine).  Speaking of virtual worlds, I have come to know an artist and photographer now living (he says) in Washington State.  I have never met him and most likely never will   I have shared video clips of 3-D sculptures from the FOCUS gallery as they rotate in space -- and Jerry has admired them. And I have shared images drawn by hand in graphite with Phil in Madrid, Spain.  (He's a dang good artist as well as an expat American translator.  He might as well be virtual, too, since -- as with Jerry -- I only know him on Facebook.)  What is my point on this meander?  The line between virtual worlds and so-called real worlds is a foggy and ill-defined one, much as is the line between dreams and being awake!  A final thought: last night I dreamt of a charcoal drawing I'm making for a lady I know in Bulgaria -- she says -- of her SL avatar.  I dreamt some techniques as I gradually woke, but in that edgeworld between asleep and awake I was mentally drawing and observing how my charcoal helped or hindered my objective.  What was real?  I don't know.  The hard edges long ago melted.  I live in a soup of images, memories, and virtual visions.  What's real is my keyboard, my Chinese charcoal pencils, and my Japanese graphite pencils.  Well, I think they're real anyway.   

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