A Surreal Cube lands in Second Life

Surreal Cube - Molly Bloom
Surreal Cube – Molly Bloom

Surreal Cube is a complex art installation conceived by art archivist Art Blue, known for his celebrations of virtual world art and artists, including The Surreal Tower (of which Surreal Cube could be considered a direct descendent), Art Walk on the Moon (which you can read about here) and A Room for Ferrisquito (which you can read about here).

As with many of Art’s installations, Surreal Cube is enmeshed within a lengthy narrative (provided in note card form at the landing point), involving an attempt to save Earth’s art heritage (in this case, works by Molly Bloom) by building a gigantic space ship – the Surreal Cube – in which the art should be preserved. Those familiar with science-fiction and / or Art’s previous works and activities elsewhere may recognise some of the references within the story, such as Vulcanicus and the passing mention of billionaire SR Hadden – who featured in the late Carl Sagan’s seminal (and only) science-fiction novel, Contact.

Surreal Cube - Mistero Hifeng (with the Cube by Gem Preiz as the backdrop)
Surreal Cube – Mistero Hifeng (with the Cube by Gem Preiz as the backdrop)

While the central focus of the exhibit is Moll’s work, the installation includes contributions by Juliette SurrealDreaming (who is also the exhibit curator), Hyde Hackl, Mistero Hifeng, Gem Preiz, and Moewe Winkler., some of which are placed one inside the next, matryoshka doll style. Mistero’s  sculptures are to be found around the perimeter of the region – perhaps those who came together to witness the landing of the great cube ship before it was frozen in time by Dr. Kawoom, who can be found in one corner of the sculpture parade.

The ship itself sits slightly canted over the dark waters of the region, caught in the moment of landing by Dr. Kawoom when it was realised it was too big for it’s intended landing space. The surface of this vehicle, designed by Gem Preiz, features his trademark fractal designs, which periodically change across the cube’s faces.

Surrel Cube - The Cube: Gem Preiz
Surreal Cube – The Cube: Gem Preiz

Within the vessel lies an aquatic environment designed by Moewe Winkler, occupied by alien life forms and over which a ghostly pirate ship stands-to. Here, also, is a short story by Juliette SurrealDreaming, and an LM giver to visit the Second Life Surreal Tower exhibit. At the very centre of the cube lies an enormous egg designed by Hyde Hackl, within which lies a garden and the gallery of some two dozen pieces of Molly’s art (part of which can be seen in the banner image at the top of this article).

If all this sounds a little confusing, visitors are offered a choice of ways to find their way around. The first is to take the Meta Harper chair, available at the landing point. This takes control of your camera, carrying you a visual tour through the exhibit. The second is to use the network of teleport discs found throughout the installation and which offers the best way to examine each element of the exhibit in turn. In addition, there are various interactive elements – poses, a ridable flying horse – to be found and enjoyed.

Surreal Cube - The Egg: Hyde Hackl (with ghost ship in the foreground, added by Juliette SurrealDreaming)
Surreal Cube – The Egg: Hyde Hackl (with ghost ship in the foreground, added by Juliette SurrealDreaming)

The Surreal Cube has a twin available in OpenSim, and the installation will also feature at the Santorini Biennale, running from September 1st through to October 15th, through a video of the exhibit filmed by Wizardoz Chrome. After October 15th, the core of the Surreal Cube will be cleared away, remaining only in OpenSim, and the cube in Second Life used to house further installations curated by Juliette SurrealDreaming.

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