Fractal dreams in Second Life

A Cathedral Dreamer
A Cathedral Dreamer

Opening on Monday January 6th as a part of the LEA’s Full Sim Art series is Gem Preiz’s A Catherdral Dreamer, exhibiting his most recent fractal art creations and which is effectively one-third of a three-part exhibition. Opening at the same time (14:00 SLT on January 6th) will be an additional in-world exhibit featuring his fractal paintings, which includes those on display at LEA6, at his own gallery, while the third part comprises a version of A Cathedral Dreamer displayed on the Metropolis Opensim Grid.

The Installation comprises five distinct elements. There is a central arrival plaza, which is largely devoid of distinguishing features, symbolic of, Gem tells us, “the choices which each of us inevitably has to make about the various attitudes towards Life, the world and other people.” Surrounding this, and connected to it by individual paths, are four great exhibition halls, which the artist advises people to visit in the specific order of East, West, North and South.

A Cathedral Dreamer
A Cathedral Dreamer

The East hall, reached by a path which is increasingly given over to grass and plants, presents a submarine environment, sunlight falling into it from a dappled surface of waves high overhead. Here the images are strongly evocative of coral scenes, as fish and other creatures of the deep circle and swim. It is a place devoid of human presence; a place, Gem states, which “is the domain of the present and permanency at the same time.  It is also the evocation of the contemplative attitude of Man before Nature.”

To the West, within what might be an old, abandon warehouse, lay works representing humankind’s industrious nature, featuring huge and complex constructions and buildings of immense size and complexity – but all suffering from decay. From the roof hang a series of cages in which are set a number of human figures in evocative poses. Each of these conveys its own pathos, drawing the observer into its world in a quite powerful manner. This is a setting designed to evoke “the human society which takes, in its whirlwind, the individuals who are the actors and the slaves.”

A Cathedral Dreamer
A Cathedral Dreamer

The hall to the North is more hopeful, containing images of a possible future, focused on a grand and ambitious design, a great cathedral, designed to awe and overwhelm in its sheer beauty. However, one only has to examine the onlookers and the forlorn figure of the designer, seated with his back to the wall, head cradled in his hands, to know this great vision will never be achieved; it is simply to overwhelming.

Finally, to the South lies the future; a place of lines and light, which the artist describes as being, “beyond Time, beyond the world and beyond human activity.  A universe of pure concepts which evokes the domain and the activity of the spirit, and which everyone will fill with one’s own faith.” Take your time exploring here; there is more to be seen than might at first seem apparent.

A Cathedral Dreamer
A Cathedral Dreamer

The fractal images on display in the three halls are stunning in their depth and detail, deeply evocative and completely captivating in both their design and their beauty – even those representing decay and loss. The stories present within the halls – particularly the West and North halls – are also very emotive, drawing the visitor into them, encouraging careful observation in camming around if everything is to be captured fully and properly.

Four videos have been produced alongside the exhibition – the full listing is in the note card – and these are also striking in their grandeur and execution, featuring carefully considered music tracks. Pasting the links will play the videos in full-screen HD mode – and they really are worth watching; the marrying of soundtracks to images is simply superb. I’m including one here – make sure you play it full screen and set it to 480p.

A Cathedral Dreamer opens at 14:00 SLT on Monday January 6th, and will remain open until the end of the month. Recommended.

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13 thoughts on “Fractal dreams in Second Life

  1. Do you think it’s a good idea to present the best pieces of Gem’s collection in full size images with 2830 x 1737px?
    Gem also sells his artwork, but here everyone can now simply right click and save it.


    1. Do you think it’s a good idea for real-life magazines to present a tourist destination’s best places in high-quality pictures taking up entire A4 pages and even without obtrusive text getting in the way? The municipality or tourist ministry also sells photos of these places, but that way everyone can scan the magazine’s pages and save them or cut them out and frame them.

      FYI, in case you haven’t noticed, the aim of this article is to get people to visit the exhibit, which could also very well lead to them purchasing some of Gem’s artwork.


    2. And something else: Anyone can visit Gem’s exhibits and take snapshots to their heart’s content and at whatever resolution they want (or their computer can handle), without anyone being able to stop it. And they can share these snapshots too. On Flickr, Tumblr, Koinup, anywhere. Artists, of course, can see much farther than you; they know that the sharing of these images between others will get more people to visit their exhibits and their stores and purchase their artwork – free advertising.


      1. RL magazines get permission from a museum or an art exhibition to display works of art in a one-to-one copy. Otherwise, it belongs to good manners to show the exhibits only together with some surrounding environment.

        “Anyone can visit Gem’s exhibits and take snapshots to their heart’s content and at whatever resolution they want (or their computer can handle), without anyone being able to stop it.”
        That”s correct.

        “And they can share these snapshots too. On Flickr, Tumblr, Koinup, anywhere.”
        This is wrong, if the picture contains only a full display of the artwork.
        Someone who claims to be as smart as you, should really know this.


        1. And something else, brainiac: This post announces an exhibit that opens today. This means that the blogger you accuse was invited to preview the exhibit and cover it, before it opens. If an artist has any objection to this coverage, I’m sure they can speak for themselves, rather than leave this job to the likes of you.


    3. Sadly, that risk is endemic to any image presented on a blog.

      I opted to include images of the angles taken to differentiate this article from others on the same subject, and to get the greatest feeling of visual impact to encourage people to visit the installation, nothing more, nothing less. Certainly, I would hope that those wishing to enjoy Gem’s work fully would a) visit his exhibits; b) buy copies directly.


  2. About screenshots in high-res in a blog or a web publication:
    I want to add my personal opinion as I also published about the installation of Gem Preiz

    It is on the blogger to decide, He/she acts as a photographer. If there is a RL related imprint I see the blogger on the safe side as he/she then claims rights that can be legaly performed on the picture published. In addition it is good to add a photo tag with ‘photo by bloggers RL name’. The right for a picture is on the photographer. Not many people act professional on using screenshots – but they are – if raw published – just photos. If you have a famous virtual name [an artist name you have also noted in your passport or registered as a trademark] you may use this instead of the RL name on the published photo.

    This is no legal advice, just a personal comment as a blogger.
    Reiner Schneeberger


    1. The video is by Art Kangem. The music is Dreamscapes and wishes by Future World Music.

      I’m glad you’ve discovered my blog and are enjoying it!


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