The Journey in Second Life

DaphneArts: The Journey

Now open as the ground level of DaphneArts is a new interactive installation by Angelika Corral and Sheldon B, The Journey, which builds on their recent work with mixed media, notably with January’s celebration of Edgar Allen Poe (see: A dream within a dream: celebrating Poe in Second Life).

“The Journey is an imaginary world, telling a fantastical story, using metaphor, analogy and fable,” Angelika and Sheldon say of the installation. “Perhaps a different story to each and everyone, according what the individual is searching to find out, about who and what they are throughout life, as they make choices based on their experiences, beliefs, and outlook. But the search for meaning in life is a Hydra; one question answered leads to many more to contemplate…”

DaphneArts: The Journey

Visitors start their journey on the upper level of a large, cube-like glass and steel structure where they will be asked to allow the attachment of a HUD – which they should allow, as it provides the means to experience the interactive elements of the installation. Instructions on how best to view the installation are provided via information boards, including setting the preferred windlight (if your viewer doesn’t adopt it automatically), and a short video introducing the piece.  Below this, on the main floor, sheep appear to be emerging from two large machines, pointing the way forward, to a snowy world outside the cube.

Core to the piece are three seats: one inside the cube, one out on the snow, the third on the water. sitting on them will trigger a recital of a poem, read by Angelika. All three poems offer reflections on life’s journey. Each of them –  Fire, by Dorothea MacKellar,  A Journey by Nikki Giovanni and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s We Wear The Mask –  provoke thinking through their use of metaphor, give us pause to consider our own outlook on life and the journey we are taking through it.

DaphneArts: The Journey

Metaphor is richly presented throughout the installation, from the poems themselves, to the guiding lines of sheep and fences (a reference to sleep, the gateway to our deepest imaginings, and thus to this imaginary world), to the crows with their reference to death, the inevitable destination of life’s journey, no matter how we attempt to dress it up – such as through a glowing ascent to the heavens. Even the snow falling thick and fast might be seen as a metaphor.

A journey is a fascinating piece, one which depends entirely upon our own experiences, outlook and desires  / hopes / fears in life. It is a piece which, as Sheldon as Angelika note, for every question asked and possibly answered, a dozen more raise their heads. Thus, interpreting  the installation is genuinely a subjective matter, driven by the questions we bring to it, and those which follow them.

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