Thursday, June 28, 2007


Last night was very quiet. Cramped in rl from crouching on the floor over my laptop for three nights straight and stunned from a heat wave, I left Siri lying in a hammock wearing a ready made tiger striped tankini, on a beachy island club called Italia.

I was okay there for a while, as the place was empty of people, but soon wary, when I noticed that the place was obviously some kind of hook up joint, scattered as it was with pose balls with intimate sounding titles. It was time for some fine art...

I searched the grid for art-related sites and pulled up the White Cube Gallery. I approached the gallery with excitement, thinking I was going to experience art of real White Cube, London, proportions. And I enjoyed the exhibition – sort of.

I entered the exhibition "4" (June 3rd to July 4th) by American artist Juria Yoshikawa (Lance Shields). Juria, a female in sl (this helps explain:, is an artist in real life and has been creating sculptures in sl since March 2007. In this particular installation she collaborated with musician AldoManutio Abruzzo (Dennis Moser). Her artist statement reads:

‘ "4" is the latest artistic romp of emerging virtual artist Juria Yoshikawa collaborating with composers Miulew Takahe, Bingo Onomatopoeia, Auxillary Snook and AldoManutio Abruzzo. Given a month in a 15x15 meter cube shaped art space, she has chosen to use a single number as the beat to create her artwork to. The idea is simple. Yoshikawa will install a new artwork in the gallery each week. The minimalist number concept then extends to the 4 SL musicians she has called on to collaborate with, one each week. Each composer is given a single number 1, 2, 3 or 4 to create a soundscape based on their musical interpretation of that number. Yoshikawa herself will use her 4 opportunities to extend her ongoing exploration of light in immersive spaces.’

I entered the exhibition and animated my avatar as instructed. My sl body was blown and lifted through cubes of white light. I listened to the rush of music and was in the moment...for a moment. Unfortunately, technology failed me, or I it, again. My avatar was supposed to float gently on sound waves. Which it did, until I tried to stop all animations and my left arm somehow bent over the back of my head in some wrenching yogic crunch. Once again, I was ruining a perfectly good scene…

It takes a lot of openness on the part of the rl operator to truly appreciate an online exhibition. Like, if I had a 36” monitor and Boston Acoustic speakers attached to my computer. And blinders, so I wouldn’t be distracted by the stack of half-folded laundry, mocking me in the corner of my living room where I sat on the floor with laptop. Upon reflection, I thought about the work of rl artist Olafur Eliasson and would be interested to see a virtual representation of "Your Spiral View" or "The Inverted Shadow Tower".

But there was something there, emergent. And though a disclaimer in sl would have been the respectful thing to do, disassociating the gallery from the real place, with artists pushing the boundaries of material uses, it may not long before White Cube, London will jump on board.