Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What will happen to art?

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

Linden Lab posted "Upcoming Changes for Adult Content" tonight and not surprisingly, the virtual world they govern is exploding in conversation and worries about it.

The issue is actually not new to Second Life® or to art, even.

In September 2007, artist Cheen Pitney had to move the bathing nude statue he had created to a mature sim within Burning Life, Second Life's answer to Burning Man. The statue had been censored.

What will the new rules mean to art on the grid? How many artists will have to move their works from the mainland? Will Cheen's bathing beauties be okay on a PG sim that houses an art museum, for example, or will they be relegated to Mature sims or... horrors... ADULT?

Where will Linden Lab draw the line about clothing and skins? Xiamara Ugajin's skin "Black Bird" was created first and foremost as a work of art. Where on the grid will this be okay?

What will happen to art?


sororNishi said...

Yes, I even wondered earlier when I blogged this is there would therefore be a dress code for PG sims??

Sex is a part of all our lives, partly hidden, partly revealed, it has an energy that is a fundamental part of our psyche.

As I have opined earlier, compared to violence, it is a harmless force. This obsession with hiding all traces of our common origin shows an unbalanced tendency to placate those who think life should be seen as fluffy and clean.

Thingy said...

Art will have to wear a bra.

Godeke said...

Even in the most puritan communities that I have have visited, art *galleries* freely display sexualized or violent art. The more "classic" the piece, the less people seemed concerned... David or Venus get displayed everywhere.

On the other hand, some of the more extreme works have been in "set aside" sections. An example of the latter is the work of a photographer who documented exploited Asian sex trade workers. After viewing that work, I felt the "setting aside" was a reasonable thing that allowed the more sensitive (or those with younger family members) to avoid a gruesome display (there was no sexuality in the work, only horror).

I think the key is simply to follow the real world model: disclosure of the contents nature allows people to make their own choices as to what to visit and what to avoid. And like the real world, there will always be edge cases that get hammered out via drama and posturing, but in the end usually a reasonable compromise is reached. After all, Michelangelo's David creates a stir from time to time, but it remains a frequently replicated sculpture, even in public spaces.