My Medium

 It took over one hundred years for photography to be considered art. Today, similar stigmas and disregard are faced by many digital mediums ranging from digital paintings to video games. The full discourse on this topic can play itself out along with the discussion on whether or not Second Life is a game or metaverse, but a growing number of artists have stopped their banter and have already started using Second Life as a medium.
The more I see the variety of creative artistic expressions forming within SL, the more I am reminded of the birth of Modernism, when Paul Cézanne described his desire to “treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone.” This concept is of course familiar to us as Second Life residents living in a world of raw shapes arranged in organic compositions. I believe this comparison between creating art in Second Life and the beginning of Modernism is especially apt when we consider the very reasons that many residents are drawn to Second Life; the desire to reshape and create the world around us in a new way that breaks from tradition. Indeed the results of both movements have led to a re-examination in the way that we view architecture, literature, society, economy, education, and our own personal lives.
Even though the similarities are truly there, I’m not sure that creating art in SL is closest to Modernism or Post-Modernism movements of the past, but perhaps it is more like creating art directly from the future. Creating art in SL is a little like creating art in a colony on Mars, using Martian rocks, and ideas and concepts that we will only understand once we have landed on Mars, built our hypothetical colony, and sufficiently adapted to our new Martian way of life with new cultural symptoms and symbols.

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