a critical review of virtual culture
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From highly crafted realism to cartoon
One of SL's senior artists, Light Waves has been exploring the creative possibilities of virtual sculpture for several years. The current exhibition presents a variety of formats and forms, including scripted interactive works.
In the current show it is the use of sculpted prims (the basic building blocks of SL) that was released by Linden Lab last year, that differentiates the works from those produced in previous incarnations.
The "Greenies" have been given out as freebies for some time, performing mischievous acts around the metaverse. In Greenies-Freedom, one of these aliens has just released a caged bird. Here we see several aspects of Light Waves—the highly detailed animal, the carefully crafted cage, and a sense of humor that lightens the spirit.
The somber side of Light Waves combines with a continued interest in monumental sculpture in LoversRock. Textured to look like stone, two torsos emerge from one body. It plays with several tensions and conflicts—hard and soft, intimate and aloof, together and separate. Unlike the classical realistic forms favored in such Starax works as the Gladiator, this one uses the tools of Surrealism to evoke its meaning.
The animal action figure is further explored in Catastrophic, where the feeling of the feline waiting for the moment to pounce is effectively realized.
The interplay between suggested form, as in the paws, is counterpointed with high detail in the whiskers. This adds to the tension implicit in the pose. The use of contradiction, as seen in the three pieces on this page, is a developing area in Light Waves' work that is bringing it to a new level.
It takes the work from static imagery to an exploration of metaphor, and it becomes about the interaction between the internal experience of the viewer and the work.
©2009 Richard Minsky