If you have lost your faith in Second Life, Immersive and Condos in Heaven is the place to go to get it back again.
If you came to hate robots because of the toxic and acrimonious traffic discussion, here's where you can come to love them again.
The Linden Resident Choices awards, to be further immemorialized at Linden infohubs and a Winners' Circle near Waterhead infohub, of course are annoying and grating and exasperating -- but what can you do, this is how the Lindens and their fanboyz are, and you can only walk around the robots.
Or, teleport to them.
All through Lent I was waiting patiently to blog the real excellence of SL, like this amazing island called Immersiva by Bryn Oh, which is a kind of post-apocalyptic grove of robotic second lives seeped in nostalgia and gesticulating madly to the future. When you see prim architecture like this that is so far and above the tawdry rags of popularity contests, you can almost forgive the Lindens their follies, for making the platform possible, and forget all the blingtards, because they don't matter.
Mind you, while being partial to primmyness, I can certainly recognize quality in sculpties (there are likely sculpties in this build too although it's more about the prims, and you'll be amazed the island even has 1,000 or so left over)
What I realized about this Art Work is that it has completely crossed the threshold from the old art of the old world into the new art of the new world of the 3-D Internet that will become more ubiquitous. I realized that we're privileged to see this transition to the metaversal right here at home in SL. I realize that the artist herself, whom I don't know, may not even realize herself that she isn't just playing at being in the future, she is there already.
Oh, I realize that's quite a statement, but this is quite an awesome build -- extraordinary, really -- and I think the crossing over to the Unovis, as Malevich would call it (and now objectless and objective don't matter as much as they did 100 years ago) isn't something that the artist Bryn probably even thought about. That is, as it can happen sometimes when somebody is the 1000th to click on the website and win the prize, or gets the millionth hamburger served, this artist just happens to be at the threshold. There are probably others we haven't seen yet or don't know.
To be sure, noir, apocalyptic wastelands "Escape from New York" stuff is a dime a dozen in SL. Good God, spare me one more rusted bucked of Caledonian primmery for $500, and a sea monster to boot. Yes, of course Immersiva beats to death all those same steamy rusty memes. What nihilist post-apocalpyse can do without a metal baby carriage meme, which of course was borrowed from the carriage bumping down the steps in Potemkin, or Rosemary's Baby in our modern life. Facile as all hell to have the well-worn predictably counterintuitive baby carriage -- and baby -- in the ruins.
But...it's not ever baby that has blue eyes in its head, and a steel-jointed hand pointing to a blank sky, and it's not every apocalyptic baby that has blue earth globes for eyes...and...most creepily, blue earth globes for eyes that are slowly turning. Amazing stuff. Oh and then to realize on the 10th look, that the baby is clutching a toy...and the toy is a grasshopper...and the grasshopper is playing a violin...Chilling...
Yes, there's the de rigeur steampunk clocks and turning cogs and steel scraps and some kind of slithy tove rising up out of the mudflats, covered ankle-deep in water. Every apocalypse has that stuff, but not every apocalpyse has thin, bending blue and grey steel reeds swaying in the cyber breeze or the ability to see inside to cunning little intricate cogs with scraps of old song lyrics. It's the seeing inside that pulls you through a narrative on this build that makes it cross the threshold, it's going up and over and under and across, each time touching a meme that unpacks not to be a meme anymore, like the best memes do!
See, in the old world, we have paintings that were two-dimensional and they hung on the wall. You looked at them, in a room. Inside, they might have a scene, a story, a framed event, that you could look at through the proscenium arch, and it might have a certain immersiveness (if you have ever, say, turned the corner in the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam and suddenly come upon Rembrandt's The Night Watch, you could concede 2-D its 3-D due, especially as the paint, even from 1642, still conveys that just-woken and still-half-asleep strained look on the faces as in real life).
Yes, in real life, we also have metal, pointy sculptures, which you can look at politely, and during your lunch hour, when they are inflicted upon you in the public square, try not to cut yourself on them or something. All well and good, but distanced and...inflictive.
Yes, art museums and especially nouveau sort of installations in Soho try to create a 3-D immersive feel. We've all been to gallery openings where you are supposed to sit on or touch or eat the art works. Still, there's something different and removed about all that. It is all still in a box, a frame, that says "This is art, look at me, and have the meta experience of experiencing art". It's what certain art works in SL do well, like AM Radio, but why they still seem flat if you are walking around in them, or, even, as everybody loves to tell the story about the Wyeth-like grainy fields of AM Radio and his old garages, screw in them.
Bryn Oh's Immersiva is all different. There is no box or frame, only world, world as lived. You are pulled into the story, and you wonder about what the baby is pointing to, and why the animal is rusting and what the robot father was explaining to his robot child, or what she was showing him or why the light lamps look like monstrances.
Really, this is worth joining Second Life for, if you have never come, to see what I mean.
It's not just technical facility, although there's loads more of that in one prim here than in most builds, especially of the apocalyptic meme sort. Long wires showing "line of sight" -- or perhaps parodying line of sight. Tiny little cogs like jewels. Suddenly gawdy-coloured insects that would make the Left-handed Craftsman of Tula green with envy.
Be sure to go upstairs to the gift store because an entire other world awaits up there, too. I won't spoil it for you! You have to see, and turn on sound!
There's a way to have your windlight settings changed to something even more fabulous, but I didn't take the time to get them all working -- I will. I was more than pleased with the dove greys and robin's egg blues that I was seeing normally, which were so different than the standard build in SL these days which is made up of turd brown on burnt sienna on vanilla soy latte to let you know it hasn't forgotten, uh, earth tones, in our iron world.
A build like this is eminently revisitable, because the narrative isn't exhausted, it's like the tiny metal sculptures of little men with coins sprinkled all over Bowery Park and some subway stops in New York, if you have ever seen those.
It's not just that the metaverse of the SL art space lets you do things "not possible in real life". We know all that. Yes, you can fly, and you can fly up there and see that. Sure. But in the future, the future we already entered here, art will always be in a surround-sound-surround-look immersiva and that will be a given -- and there will be more. In fact, "Immersiva" will become the name of this art school, like "Impressionists". It's not that it will replace the old art, which of course will still be everywhere, just like the Impressionists or the Cubists didn't replace the icon-painters. It's just that you will realize you crossed over into a new realm, and it's hard to go back. The icons will seem flat and dull and primitive, even being holy.
Of course, part of the art scene of Immersiva as with any SL art sim is that you might be joined by a friend, or a stranger who won't even talk to you but just wanders around with you in mute collegiality experiencing the build. Then the artist and the space and the visitor aren't in a frame and box called "gallery" but are in a secondlifian experience -- this is what Filthy Fluno does with his art shows, which, even if they have the old flat painting on the wall, jump out as well as part of his afro, his "hey, bubbelah," and even the miniature candied apples on the reception table.
It's all integrated. I'm not explaining this very well.
You could watch Bryn Oh's machinima if you happen to be on your lunch hour and can't go to SL itself, but the island itself is better. Although the film (quality is never great out of SL on these things) still adds a lot of other stuff to the entire thing you wouldn't have had otherwise. (in fact, I'm not even sure that is in this machinima is in the build because I didn't see most of it). This is other one is right from the build in the sky, which I take it is called Condos in Heaven.
You will just feel fabulous accidently teleporting into the jellyfish room and then emerging up through the water to a spray of particles on the steampunk clock.
Well, some pictures so you can see what I mean, but just go immerse in it while it lasts.