Last year I was invited to take part in the Cal Sate Univerity at Long Beach's Virtual Art Gallery program, part of the Art110 course at CSULB as an artist-of-study. You can read last year's program here.
I am pleased to be again asked to participate in this program, curated by Glenn Zucman (SL: Lothar Leborski), an instructor at CSULB who is featuring a lot more Second Life artists this year in the program. It's very cool; Prof. Zucman and his TA Elizabeth Juarez (SL name: Mu5icliz Frentis) are very serious about the possibilities of virtual art.
Here's what Prof. Zuckman said after last year's class:
I’d hoped to have as many of the groups meet with their artists as possible, but without the pressure of a formal requirement, few actually did this. Your group got to meet with you in SL, and another group was able to meet F2F with an exciting performance artist / sculptor, Jocelyn Foye. Most of the other groups had much more minimal contact with their artists via email or Facebook.
I think actually interacting with your artist is so important, that I’m restructuring the course for fall, making this a scheduled part of the work. We’re also letting go of wonderful but dead artists like Ana Mendieta and amazing but inaccessible artists like Banksy, and putting together a group of Second Life artists they can meet with in-world, Southern California artists they can meet F2F, and a few New York and beyond artists they can meet with via skype.
A lot of my friends have been asked to participate this year: Gracie Kendal, Betty Tureaud, Trill Zapatero, Douglas Story, Desdemona Enfield, Vaneeesa Blaylock, soror Nishi, Wizard Gynoid, Tuna Oddfellow and Alizarin Goldflake. Quite a stellar lineup!
"The students will create both an architecture (or un-architecture) for the gallery, and also work with the artist to curate a compelling and insightful exhibition of their work. Note that we have 2 sections of this course, and would like to have a team from each section work with you, so there would be 2 independent, different galleries created. We will give you 3D copies of both galleries and also 2D photos of them."
There's a Facebook group and a student wiki. The students will speak to the artists about their work, tour some of their installations and galleries and then construct their own virtual gallery on the CSULB sims.
He says "The commitment from you should be minimal. We'd like for them to have one in-world meeting with you... we would like them to spend an hour or so with you so they can develop an understanding of your work and your ideas. This, and permission to exhibit your work, are the main things we are asking from you."
I had a BLAST with the students last year; I spent a lot more than one hour with them. It's true that a lot of time was spent explaining the basics of SL... but that made me think back to when I was a noob, and made me think harder about exactly what I was doing and how I was approaching it; that gave me a better understanding of my own work, so we all learned something. I really enjoyed talking with the students while I explained what LMs and TPs were, how to move stuff and how to rez a prim. Nothing like the enthusiasm of a noob to give you a vicarious thrill as they rez a wooden block :D
I'm looking forward to it again!