"We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning"
- Jean Baudrillard
Only a fool would try and define Art in Second Life.
But seeing as I am a fool - and a drunken one at that - I may as well give it a stab.
There is no Art inherent to Second Life. All attempts to classify and ismify the creative activities that take place on the grid every day will fail. Because to understand what counts as 'Art' on the grid demands that you step outside of the fourth wall that we inexplicably breach the minute we log on.
Every texture of something Other on a prim demands the viewpoint of a frame within a frame. Every object that responds to our 'touch' requires an infinite leap of faith - the ultimate Suspension of Disbelief - that our Avatars are 'us'.
And *that* is where the Art in Second Life lies - not within the scripted animation, or the tortured prim - but within the one true item that we have unconditional control over - our *selves*.
To see Art in Second Life is to see others. To create Art is to Be here. The translation of Real Life artifacts into the Virtual Space - whether that be literal objects, or outmoded Modernist post-constructions - is forever futile.
This is a New Space, and the only commonality between it and that that we normally occupy is our *selves*.
There is no Art. There is only Avatars.
Kisa Naumova is an artist and designer whose photographic work aims to explore the nature of digital imagery and video by restricting the processes and outcomes to purely digital techniques, and to push the validity of digital abstraction as more than a decorative element.
In Second Life, she is mainly interested in the relationship between the 'self' and the 'avatar', the connections between the 'mind' and the 'screen', and the implications of these on possible forms of artistic outcomes within the virtual space.
In her First Life, she is a Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art and Graphic Design at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK, where her role focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of digital media and its practices. Her work has been shown at the ICA in London, the Leeds Film Festival, and featured in Creative Review magazine. She has also worked with the BBC, and is currently up to all sorts of secret things.
She lives in Lancaster, with her cats and her Macs.