I wrote this message the other day but it seems to keep getting held up...
I think you have a point Manu, about audience outreach. Eno's 'paintings'
(which we endured here in the north of England in his exhibition at BALTIC)
being shown in SL strikes me as similar to the Arts Council having a myspace
page - colonising a space for marketing/visibility purposes, without always
engaging with the network of users/subscribers related to it. I'm not sure
what the 'boomerang back' into real life is. Eno says he wants it out of the
gallery where few can see it, and yet visitor numbers at places like BALTIC
are certainly not on the 'few' end of the scale, neither are they outside
the windows of Selfridges department store, where the 'paintings' were shown
beforehand. It might not be about few people seeing it in a gallery as much
as few galleries now offering to show it?
In any case, I think the Eno project is an example of what Patrick called a
virtualisation of 2d art, aiming for that 'magnification of perspective'
that Patrick pointed out SL provides.
There was a wide-ranging discussion about SL on the IDC /Collaboration list
that Trebor Scholz runs back in February, but there they seemed to agree
that the interesting thing about it was how it could be seen as "a model for
civic participation and cultural production" - namely for community
initiatives. Using it as another 'distribution' means for already existant
real world art doesn't quite seem as meaningful.
To move the conversation slightly: we've seen some interesting examples of
curators and artists generating activities within the SL community (opening
a gallery, hosting residencies, etc); what is the role of the curator in
these environments? How are they different to real life curatorial task?
Patrick mentioned his curatorial efforts on myspace last year (the summer of
myspace project) and Rob L is 'curating' a project on facebook; I was
shocked to discover there is not a single curator curating a 'channel' of
video art on YouTube (can this be true? can anyone name one?). Any thoughts?