Now open at the G.B.T.H. Project is a an ensemble art exhibition featuring no fewer than 37 artists from across Second Life. Entitled Contaminated, it is both a fun piece and something of a curio.
The curators of the project – Marina Münter, Megan Prumier and Nath Baxton describe it thus:
Each participant was given figurine[s] to act as a blank canvas to be textured and decorated in their own individual styles. With Contaminated onlookers find themselves situated in a built-up urban environment faced with an intervention of an abundance of of characters.
This description is offered at the landing point for the installation, which forms a part of the “urban intervention” (aka “street scene”) in which the figures are presented. Also offered at the landing point is a map to the installation, with a numbered key to where each artist’s piece(s) can be found.
A HUD is also available, which shows a total of 41 figures on its opening page (the additional numbers being the result of Luc Renoir presenting 2 figures in the installation and Mistero Hifeng a total of four), and allows the visitor to page through individuals images of the figures in the alphabetical order of the artists’ names. To be honest, I found the HUD to be of passing value; it was easier to wander through the installation and just right-click / Edit figures, as this not only supplied the artist’s name but also the title for each figure – a basic piece of information missing from the HUD.
The figurines themselves will be immediately familiar to anyone who has seen the classic LEGO® figures in the physical world. They are a fitting means of presentation, given it is possible to (at least to a degree) customise such figures, just as these have been customised by the artists. They present – like life itself – a rich mix of characters, each unique whilst remaining recognisably “LEGOy”.
While the figures may initially appear to be static, this is not entirely the case. Several feature animated textures. In this, I particularly liked I Am A Soul – I have a Body by Hope Something (NovaApache), with its burning soul, and Boy Meets Girl by miu miu miu (miumiumiusecond), which are in turn evocative and charming. Others are interactive, as with tutsy Navarathna’s Russian Dolls with its video media surface and Megan Prumier’s cheekily naughty “>_<“.
Some of the pieces might be seen as reflections on the rich diversity of life found within Second Life itself. Ash (Ashratum) offers 7 Faces of Dr Alt, for example, appears to be a comment on the manner in which Alt accounts can be used to deceive; Megan Prumier and Toods (Toodles Telling) appear to give a nod towards adult themes and nudity that are a part of Second Life (although obviously also found in the physical world). Yet others appear is reflections on life, love, memories, and more as we each encounter them on a daily basis.
To be honest, I have no idea why the title Contaminated was selected for the piece; is it perhaps a reflection of the figures being used as canvases? Might it be some form of comment on how we “contaminate” Second Life with out own thoughts, feelings, outlook and so on? Does it necessarily have to be contextualised with the figures rather than simply being a randomly selected title? I’ll leave that up to you to decide; I was happy simply wandering and viewing the figures as I came upon them.
Contaminated will remain open for approximately two months.
- G.B.T.H. Project (Starry Night, rated: Moderate)