I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it once again: three of my favourite Second Life blogs when it comes to in-world destinations are the ones owned by Exotix (Inara Pey), Honour McMillan and Ziki Questi; they never fail to present interesting, unique and, more often than not, thought-provoking destinations for the SL traveller. If I’m completely honest, for much of my SL presence I’ve shied away from exploring, and I can easily cite three reasons as the main ones for this: first of all, lag was always my bane (I’ve never owned a particularly powerful machine); I’ve also been quite self-conscious regarding my ability to capture the atmosphere and mood of any given destination; finally, I had spent much of my existence in SL indulging in other pleasures, practically remaining oblivious of many other things I could savour here.
When I read of Nino Vichan‘s “When The Mind’s Eye Listens” exhibit at LEA6 on Honour’s blog, I immediately took note of this place and added it to my “to visit” list – and I also found myself agreeing with much of what she wrote regarding other matters in that post. Then came Ziki Questi’s post (on the same day, at that) about this exact same exhibit, and it was settled: I had to visit it.
Not only was this exhibit covered by two bloggers I really respect, it also has a very interesting theme. But before I go there, I’ll have to say a few introductory words. This exhibit is part of the Full Sim Art Series, which is curated by JayJay Zifanwe of the University of Western Australia. As many people already know, LEA (the Linden Endowment for the Arts) gives artists the opportunity to present their work and vision on a full sim for a month. Usually, the exhibits shown are beautiful, intriguing and thought-provoking. Nino Vichan’s “When The Mind’s Eye Listens” is no exception.
The exhibit is an exploration of neural pathways, but not in the context of a neurology or biology class; instead, it explores how our thoughts, memories, fantasies and dreams, and the memories of those dreams and fantasies, are formed, intersecting and reforming patterns that combine the stimuli we receive with our vision and hearing.
In Nino’s own words:
“In the infinite space of your mind’s eye the neural pathways that define your memories, dreams, fantasies, and the memories of those dreams and fantasies, intersect and reform patterns that combine the stimuli received from your visual and auditory input channels.
In this dimension the laws of physics are only used as referential material for the infinite creative processes that govern your experiences.
Free floating endlessly through this continually modulating universe you encounter a melody from a wooden flute that drifts like a dusky, perfumed mist and gives you a feeling of peace.
A flash of pure yellow light, that is only the meaning of the color and not the visual color itself, is defined by a metallic crash that evaporates into the vapor.
The universe of your Mind’s Eye is inhabited by strange and wonderful creatures, of Intangible substance or pure color, that live in the ephemeral space of a momentary sound.
I offer this work as a vehicle into your mind’s eye where you may pause for a moment and breathe deeply and slowly in an atmosphere of
emotion and meaning…”
The exhibit is is an eight-tiered (including the ground surface where the visitor arrives) arrangement; each level is a beautiful, mystifying show of particles, moving slowly, drifting, colliding and pulsating, accompanied by a sound score combining ambient and droning elements that literally absorb the visitor, effectively leading them into an almost trance-like state. Also, on each level, right next to the teleport point, you will find a platform that you can sit on – this is a tour vehicle that carries you around in a magic carpet ride-like fashion, into the beautiful patterns that are meant to essentially portray our thought process.
Naturally, to fully enjoy this gorgeous exhibit, you will need to do a little preparation work beforehand: you will need to raise your draw distance a tad (upwards of 128 meters – 192 served me well), turn up particles as much as your computer can handle, use the region’s default windlight and allow the region’s media to play. “When The Mind’s Eye Listens” will run throughout July, so you have about half a month left to savour its splendour.
- The Mind’s Eye, Art & a Theory in Second Life – by Honour McMillan
- When The Mind’s Eye Listens – by Ziki Questi
- Nino Vichan‘s SL profile
- LEA FULL SIM ART SERIES: Nino Vichan’s “When the Mind’s Eye Listens” – on the University of Western Australia’s SL blog
- “When The Mind’s Eye Listens” – SLurl
- “When The Mind’s Eye Listens” – my photo set on Flickr