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Lost in the GRID - My so-called Second Life

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second lifesecond lifeFor the past three weeks, this thing called Second Life has consumed my time, my wallet, and my mindspace. The question is: why? Is it because there is a tremendous amount of speculative activity on the SL Grid regarding the potential of money to be made in selling aether> Is it the potential of having unrelenting avatar sex with humans, furries, centaurs, elves, or mecha? Is it the fact that within three months, I have met the strangest asemblage of people, been in bizarre and compromising stiuations, slammed a cycle with a girl on back into the side of a mountain at 180 KPH, or blew off a nuke that crashed my grid?

I have yet to make heads or tails out of this consensual hallucination that would probably have Tim Leary scraping to get out of his grave...

However, in the meantime, I have constructed the Michinaga/Lichty Art Center, with offices for Intelligent Agent, and my swanky virtual bachelor penthouse.

Currently, my 'zone' is home to the Second Front Performance Art Collective, spanning the entire North American continent. The performances SF have been doing in SL so far have been equally bizarre, and I hope some of you can look up Man Michinaga in Han Loso...

More soon...
Back into the grid.

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I find 2nd life to be really creepy. I was approached about 5 years ago by one of the financial backers when they were starting. He had seen a piece of mine at Eyebeam called Shooter. He wanted me to do exactly what Patrick has done which is to build an art gallery/art work. I told him that I don't do my art work for free. That was the end of that conversation.
This is a similar tactic used by web media moguls such as AOL. When AOL first started there were many people who were working for free while AOL built up it's value. Those people were never compensated for their work. This is also the case with YouTube.
Of course here at there's no compensation either but there are a couple of differences. One is that this is a serious artists site that in the future will be archived and help to advance the dicourse on art and digital art. The other is that there is a degree of vetting here at Not everyone is welcome, only those who are actually making serious contributions to art.
In 2nd life you have a mish-mash of people who are more or less creative. They are given rudimentary tools to create their avatars and architecture and trees. There is no "curating." The thought is let the market decide. In this case with Linden dollars.
The main things that an artist can do in 2nd life is to create fantasy architecture and design parts for Avatars. Yes on a certain level this is fun but what does it mean? I think that Patrick is asking that same question.

digital penises digital prayers

The main things I have found in my wanderings on SL are: sex simulation and "religious/spiritual" establishments. I randomly teleported to some sort of club location with my male avatar wearing a white dress. I was quickly ridiculed for being a "fag" and thrown into a "faggot box."

I didn't realize that anything would be taken so seriously in a digital world. Luckily, I later found Baku, which is the hangout for the Something Awful goons. Their extreme irreverence and postmodern pastiche approach to SL is the only enjoyable thing I've found in SL. Perhaps I'll check out this art installation.

The Average Age is 35

My friend Bruce Wallace spends quite a bit of time on SL. He's involved with Peaceful Tomorrows which is a group of families who've lost loved ones after 9/11. He started an email exchange with teachers and students in Iraq. Here's the URL with some info: He says the average age of people on Second Life is 35 years old. He also says that there is an under 18 section. He's built a number of activist sites to hold conferences with people around the world. He's 62 years old. He also likes to play battle re-enactment games with miniature toy figures. He's not an artist, he's an activist, a high school teacher and a computer scientist. I think that in Second Life there's a way to fullfill or amplify what you are doing in RL.