On encountering Huxley and very large dinner plates

Aldous Huxley  / TOSL
Aldous Huxley / TOSL

Aldous Huxley is the name given to the home of Tree and Ocean SL (TOSL), owned and operated by Quinlan Quimby, or QQ as she prefers to be called). It is also the home of a remarkable art piece she has created under the banner of Project PossUM (which I believe stands for “Possibilities Unlimited Museum”).

The name of the region marks QQ’s penchant for authors, the former home of TOSL having been Herman Melville. However, given the nature of Project PossUM, one might be forgiven for thinking the name was used as a nod to the great man’s use of psychedelic drugs, and that one had arrived in one of his milder dreams while under the influence.

Aldous Huxley  / TOSL
Aldous Huxley / TOSL

I say this because you arrive on  a giant porcelain dinner-plate balanced 200-ish metres up in the air atop a rocky island and apparently floating in the clouds. Upon which sit some exquisite porcelain pieces big enough to sit under and walk inside.

It’s actually a stunning build, beautifully crafted, wonderfully detailed and yet delightfully minimalist. In fact, it all looks deceptively easy  – which is generally the hallmark of great works of art.

Aldous Huxley  / TOSL
Aldous Huxley / TOSL

Pay particular attention to the “glaze” on the plate itself. By making the surface somewhat translucent, QQ allows the outline of the hilly landscape of the land under it show through, which creates an interesting interplay with the texture of the plate’s surface as one cams around, suggestive of the interplay of different lighting sources on the plate as one moves.

The trees and little buildings are wonderfully designed and delicate looking; so much so, that I’m convinced that were someone able to touch them, they would feel as if they’re made from the finest porcelain

Aldous Huxley  / TOSL
Aldous Huxley / TOSL

Huxley once stated that one source for his novel Brave New World came from his time spent working in a chemical plant, which he described as “an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence”. That’s quite possibly a description which might be applied to a good part of Second Life. I wonder what he would have made of it, had he had the chance to see it …

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