Artistic Expression in Second Life: What can we learn from creative pioneers of new mediums?


  • John Lester / Pathfinder Linden Linden Lab



Second Life, art, research, virtual worlds


Second Life is a virtual world that allows its Residents to create completely original content using atomistic building tools in a shared and globally accessible space. In this respect it is a very unique new medium for artistic expression, as it give artists not only a new collection of creative tools but also the ability to create an environment where individuals can experience this art as a group while engaging with each other. How are artists exploring this new medium of virtual worlds, and what can we all learn from them? In some ways, they are leveraging very ancient human desires for shared experiences around classic creative work such as music and visual art. In other ways, they may be creating completely new models of artistic expression, such as dynamic art that changes based on the interactions of both live performing artists and patrons in a global setting that sometimes blurs the boundaries between the virtual world and the physical world. Studying these new artistic explorations may yield insights into yet unforeseen best practices for engaging human beings around creative content and collaborative expression in virtual worlds.