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Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar

Post #1311 • March 10, 2009, 11:52 AM • 2 Comments

When yesterday I mentioned that it was too bad that How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist, which had done such a good job discussing exhibition possibilities and advocating for artists selling their own work, wasn't current enough to cover the new social media, I had something specific in mind. Last week the New York Times ran an article on Jeffrey Lipsky, an artist here in Massachusetts who uses Second Life to promote his work. I find the possibility intriguing, although I'm already experiencing Facebook fatigue and Twitter tiredness only two months after joining them. I have an old SL account from a few years ago, back when I was running a little Apple laptop that got crushed when I booted the SL client. I don't game, I find the 3D aesthetic clammy (although the latest stuff has been blowing me away), and I'm generally pretty happy in First Life, so I never pursued it. But now it sounds like both the technology and the community have developed to the point that the user experience has smoothed out quite a bit and the virtual world now has an art critic.

My curiosity piqued, I'll reactivate my account, have a look, and let you know what I find. In the meantime, anyone there already?



Bob Ragland

March 10, 2009, 1:53 PM

I saw the story about the artist as an avatar. It seems that it's hard enough to sell one's work in person. The web is another layer in the onion that can make the selling of art so impersonal, in my opinion.
The erosion of personal contact with an artist is growing by leaps and bounds.
Technology has a place in the art world, but seeing and meeting the real artist matters. When one sees a genuine Rembrandt, it beats seeing the work in a book
or as a reproduction.
Early my art career , the fun was to meet people in person , that way they can tell other people they know about the studio visit etc.
The real thing matters.


Chris Rywalt

March 10, 2009, 2:44 PM

I don't know if it was in Second Life or another one of those virtual online worlds, but I was on one a couplafew years ago where you could, along with furnishing a home and buying a dog and all that stuff, build a virtual gallery of your work that people could walk through. It seemed potentially intriguing and I fooled around with it a little bit, but then I stopped. I forget why.

I'm with you on 3D, Franklin. It seems to me it set gaming back twenty years and increased the hardware requirements dramatically. Only very recently have the games gotten good enough -- and my hardware new enough to match -- to really impress me.



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