Contrast Within and Without: Achievements from Artists as a Tribute to the UWA 3D Art Challenges
Those outside of the virtual world look upon it with skepticism. When judging the unknown, it is natural for people to be cautious, but in this carefulness, seem to often misjudge. Who creates reputations? Usually those who are not involved and don’t understand beyond the superficial. Any committed SL resident has to deal with the opinions of family and friends who consider the virtual world as, at best, a game, and at worse, a haven for lonely perverted individuals that lack the courage to enact fantasies into their real lives.
Artists contend with these misperceptions all the time, and feel sad that this vibrant international forum is so badly perceived. Disregarded are the opportunities, inspirations, and achievements within a format that has limitless possibilities. Unseen are the amazing creations that take advantage of, and push the boundaries of, this innovative arena.
The University of Western Australia wished to do something about such misperceptions. Visionaries “down under” chose Jayjay Zifanwe to design a program that could not only support this growing community, but provide leadership in the advancement of ideas. Both interested in using virtual technology for science and art, their sims are full of displays and simulations. And the impact of their unique 3D Art Challenges has not only exceeded all of the founder’s expectations, but has become the center of shared creativity in SL.
After many years of hosting the highly successful competitions, Jayjay, and his collaborator FreeWee Ling, announced that the current“Pursue Impossible” show is the last. Smaller events will continue, but this is the finale, that must be filed under “quit while you are ahead!” Indeed, they are ahead. And indeed, though sad for all the artists, these pioneering events will cease. But, before that happens, it is worth taking a step back to evaluate this success. What has been learned? What can continue? How has UWA made a permanent versus temporary impact? Can this legacy morph into something even greater?
To begin an answer to such questions is to determine first where this ending leaves participants. Sim Street Journal has profiled Jayjay, FreeWee, and critiqued the exhibitions for the past few years. Eleanor Medier has served as one of the judges for the last two competitions (see Judge’s Notebook in SSJ#13). Because SSJ has many readers that are not in-world, consider how these achievements affect all creativity, not just virtually. Though it is impossible for anyone outside to see in, to appreciate the possibilities through an online presentation can give a glimpse. And, the international forum bespeaks of a renaissance in progress.
UWA set up the 3D Art Challenges to reach beyond the virtual. Jayjay lectures around the world about creativity and what is achieved. The participants in the competitions are both professional artists and aspiring ones—many discovering their potentials for the first time. Once the theme for the next competition was announced, a spectrum of creatives responded. It is an even playing field, as anyone can enter. The entries range from using few of the in-world features to being totally immersive and interactive.
With the two parallel editions of SSJ (online and in-world), this retrospective review of the artists’ contributions covers about four years of entries, but does not aspire to be a comprehensive presentation. For that, FreeWee Ling has done a masterful job with catalogs online for each show. Rather, this collection is to capture special moments from an objective viewer (and real life professional critic). Mostly taken from SSJ’s archives, over two dozen artists’ work is reviewed, half contained in-world, and half online here. These works are not chosen as the best or the worst, but rather as the most discussable for what they say visually. Supportive criticism is offered to ask the questions for more exploration. Hopefully, this will inspire more online conversation about this fluid merge of artists from every corner of the globe(do sphere’s have corners?).
Here are the links to the ones presented online. Please see the full list for those included in-world (download PDF Sim Street Journal #17) that has another two-dozen reviews from the UWA shows. Then please check SSJ’s Facebook page for exploring the impact of these contributions.
Rebeca Bashly, “Fruit of Time,” on permanent display in-world at UWA
Cherry Manga, “Cogito ergo sum,” on permanent display in-world at UWA
Bryn Oh, “Cerulean,” on permanent display in-world at UWA
Sevio, “World Peace,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Pursue Impossible
Janine Portal, “Pursue Impossible: Leonardo Da Vinci,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Pursue Impossible
Miso Susanowa, “360 Degrees of Freedom” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Transcending Borders
Mistero Hifeng, “I… Io,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Transcending Borders
ParkArt Collaborative, “Park Art Gallery,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: The Freedom Project
Roc Furse, “Escape” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: The Freedom Project
Krystali Rebeni, “Silent Reflections,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Reflections
Lalexl Devin, “Ephemeral Reflection” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Reflections
Dyso, “Choice” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Reflections
Secret Rage, “Primarily,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Triptych
Talia Sunsong, “Examining Different Aspects of Myself” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Triptych
Silent Christen, “Modern Sacrifice,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Triptych
Nexuno Thespian, “Earth Passion,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Earth
Brunequildalalinda Birdsong, “Madre Tierra,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Earth
Finn Lanzius, “A Match Made in Heaven,” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Fire
Also please enjoy other reviews from the 3D Art Challenges online:
Misprint Thursday, “Echo’s Reflecting Pool” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Reflections
Rebeca Bashly, “Mother” from UWA’s permanent show
Fae Varriale, “Heartwood” from UWA’s permanent show
Eliza Wierwight, “Caravanserai of Fractured Fairy Tales” from UWA’s permanent show
Fuchsia Nightfire, “Ariadne Spinning Universe” from UWA’s permanent show
Krystali Rabeni, “Helping Hand” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: The Freedom Project
Megadeus, “Mental Prison” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: The Freedom Project
Slatan Dryke, “Yonder” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: The Freedom Project
Iskye Silverweb, “Speechless Freedom” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: The Freedom Project
Mistero Hifeng, “I… io” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Transcending Borders
Pale Illusion, “The Paper Empire” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Transcending Borders
Takni/Misio2, “Offworld” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Transcending Borders
Dusty Canning, “Yellow House” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Transcending Borders
Ama Avro, “Utopia” from UWA 3D Art Challenge: Transcending Borders
The INDEX includes a list of all Sim Street Journal reviews.
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