[-empyre-] // Second Life: Who's art is it anyway? //

Julian Oliver julian at selectparks.net
Fri Mar 28 23:12:12 EST 2008

though i appreciate SL's great contribution as a platform for
collaborative creation of art, i have reservations about it being touted
as public-space.

rather, i take it as private space that, while liberal about its use,
inevitably has implications over the relative independence of art
practices based therein. has this conversation come up on Empyre or

an analogy:

    a wealthy businessman buys an island and names it an Art Park. if
    you can fly yourself there and pay a little rent, he will supply all
    the materials you need to build your art - seemingly having an
    endless store. there is just one condition however: the art is never
    allowed to leave the island. you're allowed to take photos of it,
    even make derivative works, but the island itself will always be the
    fixed home of the original.

    you and he both recognise artists are a valuable part of his
    business. by making the place more interesting - adding cultural
    value - more and more people will pay to stay in his plush
    accommodation. for the moment it seems to be working.

    some of the artists wonder what will happen if global warming raises
    the water level so high that the island disappears, taking all the
    art with it. others worry what will happen if tourism is bad one
    year and the park can not afford to stay open. most however choose
    not to think about it, imagining that it will be just as it is
    forever, their art along with it..


julian oliver
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