Every week as I embark on writing research critiques, I know I would raise my eyebrows. (Why thank you Randall for the fascinating and hard-to-understand-at-first-glance case studies.) This week, it was no different as I entered into the realm of Second Front, as I attempt to decipher a gist of it.
So, what they’re doing is not a game. Neither were the Second Front members ‘performing art member’ but performance art members. I deem them as performers of artistical critiques of certain issues they aim to raise, using graphcial animation and third space as their stage. One thing surely, is that they rely heavily on improvisation and unintended actions – which actually makes the magic. I’m a goer for that!
What drew my attention greatest out of their works was the idea was the new world they created through Second Life. A virtual world where people come together, sell stuff, stage performances with no main objective – it was practically and literally a second life, lived through the third space. The fact that it engaged one million active users meant that it had an incentive for people.
It just made me wonder – Could it be that people are living their alter egos in Second Life? Or is it the fantasy element that people could actually live their ideal lives in the third space that attracts users?
Then again, this isn’t something particularly new as there are similar sites with the same concept, like habbo hotel. No particular objective but a virtual community where people are increasingly bold with the way they interact with strangers behind an anonymous image.
But one thing for sure is that people feel an inclination towards the virtual world because of the fact that they could be anyone else, just like everyone else there.
As my mentor once told me, not everything in art has a meaning behind it so don’t try to hard trying to understand it – trying too hard will spoil the art. Indeed, this is one work/artist group I dont plan to truly understand or decipher as it may be looking too close or too far into the whole picture they want to paint.
But I believe this can be a good thought about how with the third space, things can be real, and yet not real at the same time.
As I did my own research before reading the interview, I found that this quote actually resonates to my previous thought although it was meant for another context
“……a two way exchange between the virtual and the real, through which new hybrid meanings can be made….”
Hence, with the advent of such virtual platforms, it can be said that an amalgamation of the two worlds (real and virtual) have formed, transpiring us into a new ‘in-between’.
Looking into the future, in my take, is this question that we will ask:
‘What is even real anymore?