Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bamboo, Desolation, Gadgets & Envy in Second Life

Bamboo Grove (moderate)

I've talked to you before about the need to visit the Bamboo Grove - a stunning 3d version of an ink on rice paper drawing.  If you haven't been there yet, you really must!

Once you have experienced/indulged/appreciated this extraordinary build you should then realize that you're almost 2,000 m in the air.  If you're like me you'll wonder what might be down at sea level.

China (moderate)

The China sim hosts the Bamboo Grove but it is much more than that piece of art.  On the ground is an extensive, quirky build filled with odd machines and (when I was there) a really interesting mix of people.

Aston Leisen is the owner of this fabulous place (and the sim next door, more on that in a bit).  He is part of the Open Media Lab which is affiliated with or doing a project for the China Academy of Art.  There are more artists and organizations involved with the two sims and the building/installations situated there but I'm a failure and cannot sort out all the players and their relationships.   My Chinese language skills are admittedly non existent - if I can find out more about the group I'll let you know.

Much of the land-based portion of China is a collection of buildings and railroad tracks.  If you start to wander through them you might find yourself in China West - and this is when I decided (as if the Bamboo Grove wasn't enough)  I want to be Aston when I grow up.

China West (moderate)

Set Windlight to "London 2026" - if you don't already have it you can get this and more terrific presets here

There is a story behind this build which must involve desolation, deprivation and the struggle to survive.  I'm struck by the amazing beauty that we can appreciate as tourists - I'm sure that nobody forced to experience it in the physical world thought of it as a place for great photos, but we're the lucky ones.

China West (moderate)

The contrast between the Bamboo Grove and this stark landscape is considerable.  They are both minimalist in nature but convey completely different views of the world and elicit markedly different emotions.

I recommend you visit all three different locations.  Appreciate the first as an opportunity to walk through a piece of art and the second for a quirky sense of fun and experimentation.  Find yourself in the sandstorm blowing through the third and, if you're anything like me, envy these builders their talent and thank them for sharing.

PS.  Please remember I need your help with my SL8B project.  I'll water your plants!

China West (moderate)

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