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Curatorial Translation 24-30 September, 2007, Skopje

The futuristic dreams from the nineties and the myth of virtual reality become reality in the beginning of the 21st century. Interactive 3D worlds are not anymore product of fantasies of the hippie generations or techno promises driven by industry players. Fusion of Internet and 3D virtual reality brought powerful tool that these days penetrate more and more aspects of everyday life. The phenomena of virtual worlds are becoming new social and economical territories.

The online virtual worlds belong to a new form of information platforms that is called vectors. A vector is defined as any medium through which something is moved into space. Transportation vectors circulate objects and subjects as global commerce goods and the universal labour power. What circulates in communication vectors is information.

The main characteristic of Second life as a vector is that its form and development is up to the users. Based on the open source software, it constitutes a social experiment of novelties production, both in the field of information hold and use and in the different forms of organising a global social space. At the same time, it is also a market that is based on soft –so far- rules, that are still however strict rules of the late capitalist reproduction.

It is a place where the users / prosumers* are actively using a 3D technologically mediated environment to foster the future potential of research and creation. So, in a world where everything is created by the users, everything is already in one way or another cultural and has the potential to be art. Scripted sculptures and bots [objects that perform ¬automatic actions] are great examples for questioning the agency or power of the art-object.

What this virtual world lacks still is the critical stance and an institutional presence that is not absorbed in the 3D world but can also react to it in creative terms. Although Europeans are the biggest group in Second Life (Europe 54%, North America 34 %), an institutional cultural critique and analysis of multiuser virtual environments seems to be still inexistent.

Consequently, some of the upcoming questions regarding art and cultural activities in the virtual environment of Second life could be the following:

-What will be considered art in these new situations?

-What is the role of art in these structural changes?

-How artists act or should act in the 3D world of Second Life?

-What they can offer?

-How they can involve the people?

-How institutions and galleries can use technology to create new experiences and meanings, rather than to replicate their real life selves?

  • prosumer: producer & consumer
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Page last modified on October 13, 2007, at 05:28 AM