Several years ago, I was pointed towards a You Tube video showing the creation of a scene in Second Life. The video was posted by Sharefestival, but was originally produced by Robbie Dingo.
Watch the World, made far back in 2008, poses the question “Ever looked at your favourite painting and wished you could wander inside, to look at it from different perspectives?”, and takes us on a time-lapse journey through the in-world recreation of what is perhaps Vincent van Gogh’s most celebrated work, The Starry Night.
The Starry Night is one of many the artist created depicting the view from the window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It is the only noturne he produced in the series and was painted a little over a year before his death. In it we see the pre-dawn countryside visible from the artist’s bedroom, but with a styled village of Saint-Rémy – which was not visible directly from van Gogh’s room – added in the middle distance. It’s a poignant painting, and one which inspired American singer-songwriter to compose the equally poignant Vincent.
In the video, we are taken on a journey with Robbie as he recreated The Starry Night in Second Life, offering visitors the opportunity to enter van Gogh’s world and visit his village. It’s a wonderful video, hauntingly framed by McLean’s lament, and it is one I’m often drawn back to time and again, so much so, that I had convinced myself I’d already blogged directly about it.
Sadly, the build itself has long since passed from Second Life, but as I’ve not dedicated a post to the video, and again found myself watching it recently, I thought I’d rectify the latter and write about it now. It’s a timeless piece, and a beautiful demonstration of how Second Life can be used to present a new perspective on art.
Robbie also offers a Revisited video on the piece, in which he shows footage not used in the original cut: