My so called second Life…

The title of this post is taken from a Times article from Dec of 2006, and also a panel discussion that was held at the College Art Association conference in Feb of this year. I think its a great way to start my new art endeavor.

As most of you know, I am a Grad student at California State University in Northridge. I was originally an Art History Grad student finishing all of my course work and working on my thesis, when I made the huge decision to change objectives to Studio Art. I am an artist. I realized, I am not a scholar. I love Art, all aspects of it, the past, present and future, the culture, the community, the controversy and the comraderie. I feel my life would be incomplete without it.

Being a part of the Art Community in Second Life(SL) has been an amazing experience. Growing up in SL the last 2 and a half years has also been an experience I will never forget.

As most of you also know, I am a painter in real life(RL). I upload digital photos of my work into Second Life to exhibit. This last year, I have been trying to reconcile my art and SL. What do I do here? I don’t create specifically SL based art using the tools that are available here but I know we are all immersed in a new and exciting moment for art. We are at the beginning of something that is already being written about in Art History books. (See “Digital Art” By Christiane Paul) It is an amazing time.

My last couple weeks in school, have really got me thinking about who I am as an artist and a person. Although frankly, I’ve been questioning who I am as a person for the last few years. Luckily, this last year, I have really started to find myself..yay!!! Being an artist within SL and the art community there, has really helped shape who I am. It has really got me thinking about where I want to go with my art. I have decided to take my art solely within Second Life. I am not going to create art within SL, but actually use SL as my art. I am going to use Gracie Kendal as my art. Her life and times, her so called life. Gracie as an artist in this community, the freinds she’s made, the relationships she’s had…even the wild penis in the window story (Ummm more later). I realize this is going to get very personal for me. Something I haven’t really dealt with in my art. My abstract art, has been personal on a very different tip of the iceberg level. But dealing with the life of Gracie, Is totally different.

I had talked with my mentor about this. I asked her, what is the media/medium going to be? She said it really doesn’t. Don’t worry about that. Think more abstractly. Funny, I can paint abstractly just fine, but thinking it…is sooo much harder. I am a very analytical, logical person. Object based as she put it. She said I have to stop thinking of the artist as a maker of objects (I LOVE Duchamp!!)

Just some basic ideas I have for this new project… Thinking about my career/life within SL as the art.. maybe ways to document my travels within SL… and other ideas:  machinima, SL photography, this blog…  During RL crits in School, I will not have my RL art, but rather show SL projected on a screen for the class to critique… (not sure what I’ll show them yet)… I will still create RL art, but it won’t be shown in RL…It will only be accessible within SL.

Other concepts for this project… Thinking about Sl and ideal beauty. The Avatar as mask. I could address my avatar, change her- play her up/Glam… etc. Reinvent myself within SL (Don’t think I can do this..but its an idea)- Avatar as content- series of self portraits as avatar… think about escape/fantasy (as it relates to my life and in general)- Can look at the idea of a beautiful woman being an artist, is that possible? Will it help or hinder her? How does that change within SL vs RL? Thinking about artist as persona, spectacle, performance- the cult of personality. Think about writing my own narrative, almost a journal or diary, etc.

This is all more a brainstorming session…But I’d love your feedback..I am really excited about this project and am really looking forward to working on it over the summer.

Thank you so so much :)))

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One thought on “My so called second Life…

  1. Hi Gracie. I think this is a spectacular idea. I have always felt that if you are going to excel in any project you approach, you have to be passionate about your subject. I know that you are passionate about art and a very experienced, active and sociable resident in SL. I feel, therefore, that the combination of the two will bode well for you. I have found SL to be a fantastic medium for creating art… there are some absolutely amazing digital artists out there creating unbelievable work using SL snapshots as the basis of their art. A word of advice if you’re moving into SL photography (from one that knows), download a few clients and not just SL ones … you will come across an abundance of bugs that appear one day and not another. It can be incredibly frustrating and requires a lot of patience at times. I have about 4 clients I use and swap amongst depending upon the challenges I’m facing on the day … LOL! I wish you the very best of luck with this project … I know you can do it and excel! xxx

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