Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eternity in an hour

Posted by Bettina Tizzy, with contributions by many

We struggled over the name for it. It is one of his best works ever and despite its short life, it couldn't remain nameless.

Charlene Trudeau, owner of the land it will sit on for the next 30 days, suggested that this enormous creation by Spiral Walcher looked like a nebula, an atom, an exploding star, a galaxy and a solar system all at the same time. She then quoted the poet William Blake:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

Charlene Trudeau: "Eternity in an hour." I think that's what I'd call it.

Infinity by Sleeves Rhode

Temporary creations in Second Life® often leave me with a tinge of melancholy. I can love them, but only for a very short while. Such has been the case with many of Miki Gymnast and Eshi Otawara's installations, as well as Chasm by Nebulosus Severine, to mention just a few. These were works that took my breath away and then... disappeared forever.

For one month only, the newest creation by that King of Glow, Spiral Walcher, will pulse brightly and then, like all stars, it will die.

Machinima by artist Nebulosus Severine

While many believe this to be made of particles, it is actually all-prims. Take a look for yourself by teleporting directly from here.


Ruina Kessel said...

I understand the melancholy. But, I think, maybe that's part of the art?

Temporary art is something that I've always been drawn to, with a particular appreciation *for* its temporariness. Sand castles, chalk drawings, food arrangement ...

For a long time I was drawn to it, but had no understanding as to WHY I was drawn to it. What was so compelling about artwork that would cease to be? Lately though, I feel like I understand it better - The human desire for permanence is actually rather *counter* to the ways of nature, and as such, is kind of strange. All things large enough to observe come into being and then pass away. There is speculation that death is even an evolutionary advantage that life *evolved* to have while it was still in its single cell state, because it allows for change and growth, all of which potentially creates greater survivability.

In addition, it is perhaps our desire for permanence that has helped lead us to some of the great tragedies of our time, like all the problems with the environment, or the wars over things that, at least from an outside perspective, should not be worth the suffering it causes.

If we keep making permanent things, we will run out of room and resources to make and keep them...

haha sorry for the wandering rant. Just something I've been thinking about lately, and your post touched on it. The post is wonderful, thank you so much for writing it :)

Bettina Tizzy said...

Ruina - Thank you for taking us down that stream of thoughts. Yes, to so much of what you have to say.

I find that as I get older, the objects in my life have become less important, but public spaces and shared "content" have more value because they are reference points and benchmarks and provide a sense of history and evolution. I can physically show you something and compare it to something else. Some spaces take on the importance of an old and favorite song. When visited, memories of other times rush in. All this is lost when a creation is temporary. However and as you pointed out: "If we keep making permanent things, we will run out of room and resources to make and keep them..." Can't argue there.

Ruina Kessel said...

Yes, it's a difficult balance to strike - we cannot keep everything, but indeed, we as humans would be almost nothing without our histories, memories, pasts, knowledge, experiences ... all of which are greatly enhanced by, and sometimes depend on the physical object.

Perhaps this is one of the ways that technology is important > information takes up so much less room when it is encoded into our technological marvels of storage. And so, perhaps, creating art in virtual spaces is vitally important, not just for art's sake, but to embrace and encourage ways that will allow us to continue our learning and growth without compromising so much of our limited environment and resources ... :)