Currently open at Artspace 3042, a part of the Ribong art hub curated by San (Santoshima), is A Nightingale Sang by Bleu (Bleu Oleander), a visually engaging celebration of the magic of working with prims in Second Life.
The piece takes its title from the British romantic song A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (lyrics by Eric Maschwitz and music by Manning Sherwin), published in 1940; specifically the opening to lines of what has become the more traditional rendition of the song (Maschwitz actually wrote an initial opening verse that tends to be dropped from the majority of recordings):
That certain night, the night we met
There was magic abroad in the air.
However, rather than referencing the love between two people, the lyrics here are used to underline that moment when human imagination and expression meet the creative promise and digital beauty of the humble prim, a moment when the most magical of relationships can begin.
In this age of external mesh tools, LODs, uploads and the need to familiarise oneself with dozens of workflows and practices in order to create something within the digital void, it is easy to forget just how powerful and rich Second Life’s in-built tools and capabilities are in their ability to give all of us the ability to build and create.
Prims don’t need complex workflows or multiple different applications; everything needed to create something captivating lies right here within the viewer, or, thanks to things like texture and script libraries, just a few clicks of the mouse away. And the skills to bring it all together can be acquired whilst remaining within Second Life, rather than far away within the near-isolation of this or that graphics tool.
From the landing point A Nightingale Sang takes visitors on a journey through a darkened space in which reside the most marvellous sculptures created and animated by Bleu. In both 2D and 3D, all of them are constructed by bringing prims together and then using scripts, textures, and the tools of the viewer – notably, for the visitor, the use of Advanced Lighting Model (Preferences → Graphics → make sure Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) is checked – this will also enable projected lighting without the need to keep Shadows enabled) – to create a richly visual installation.
Equally spaced through out the rising and falling levels of the space, the pieces are perfectly positioned so that each can be appreciated in turn – again, I’d advise using the local environment settings (World → Environment → Use Shared Environment). Also, as you explore, don’t forget to look up as well as around.
These pieces are simple yet complex living demonstrations of how we can use the tools before us to bring life to what might initially look to be little more than simple shapes to create something unique; of how once we have learn to rez and glue, an entire world of potential lies within our grasp, a world we can explore alone or with friends and in which the limits as to how far we go are defined by how far we want to go.
At the top of the installation can be found a little chapel, on the “alter” of which sit those basic shapes available within the Build floater that open the door to universe of creativity. Because, as someone once said: it all starts with a cube.
- A Nightingale Sang at Ribong Gallery Artspace (Mieum, rated General)