Virtual art is real too. Watch the World(s)

I’ve been wanting to post something about art in virtual worlds for a while. Yesterday, my friend Kybernetikos posted some thoughtful observations about the limitations of virtual worlds, which included these two sentences about art:

Art is always looking for new mediums to express itself in, and with a virtual world, it has an old one (reality) with a new twist. What could be better for giving people a new way of looking at the (real) things around them?

It also got me thinking about how the creativity of overcoming limitations, and made me want to keep my eyes open for great examples of art in virtual worlds. I didn’t expect such a jaw-dropping one to fall in my lap so quickly. Jessica Qin just sent me this link:

Robbie Dingo (the creative genius behind Suzanne Vega’s guitar) has just taken my breath away with this piece, Watch the World(s), a Second Life machinima. If you’re sceptical about virtual worlds, I’d encourage you to spend 4’17” seeing how, in the rights hands, the process of recreating a famous artwork in 3D (which sounds so mechanical) is to create something new and spine-tingling.

There’s a great post at New World Notes on the creation process, with links to higher resolution videos.

If you would like to share your favourite virtual world art with me in the comments, I’d like that a lot.

12 thoughts on “Virtual art is real too. Watch the World(s)

  1. I always like to phrase it as “real art in a virtual world” – with the intention, much like you pointed out, that this is simply a new medium for artists to play with and be creative.

  2. Agreed with your notions on virtual art. It’s something that I and my friends have been exploring at Oyster Bay. Check out my blog – it’s largely about SL art and my venue. Kronos Kirkorian made a fantastic machinima as well of our spring show, and we’ve just completed a dialogue on using SL as a medium to itself. All that, and more, are available at my blog. If you’re inworld with some free time, look me up. I’d be happy to share what I can with you.

  3. thanks for sharing that Roo – beautiful.
    I think the art world has so much to offer technology. Back in 96 I set up some meetings with artists and geeks here in Melbourne, getting them into the same room to talk about this new media thing. I’d like to think some of them went on to become digital media gurus!
    Sometimes you need artists, architects and musicians to help see the potential of new technologies. I was speaking earlier to Pavig Log – lead creator from the very hot Greenies sim. She told me she was a muscian who got into VR! The other designer of that sim has an art background. Look what they have done – amazing!

  4. Being Dutch, living in the south of France, driving to work at IBM Montpellier everyday passing fields with grapes and sunflowers, at work with a focus on virtual worlds….. This movie has now a special place in my hart.
    Thank you very much Robbie…

    oh…. and I could not resist informing the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam (my place of birth) on your masterpiece as to ask their experts what they think of it from an artistic and cultural perspective. Will let you know if they reply. Hope you don’t mind.
    Thanks again. Rick Reesen (aka Kareltje Krasker)

  5. ohhh….. i spend a good deal of my time trolling for virtual art. if you take a gander through my picks in SL sometime, you will find a lot of it. (thaumata strangelove.) i particularly love the pieces from adam ramona, the work by angrybeth shortbread at the pencil factory, and actually, the van gogh museum in SL. it’s called Virtual Starry Night (I think) and has some amazing rebuilds of van gogh paintings that you can walk right into, 3D. very lovely. ps – say hello sometime.

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  7. I think my favourite Van Gogh painting would be Starry Night and I love the Don Mclean song Vincent which is about this painting.

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