mercredi 3 octobre 2007

Presentation of Second Night

Paris at the time of the virtual world

For the first time, a local council with the size of Paris is investing in the Second Life virtual world. During the Nuit Blanche, the local council is presenting an exhibition called “Second Night” and highlights the futurist, committed and often iconoclastic work of around ten international artists.

In a virtual building designed by the architect Ignazio Mottola, visitors from around the world guided by their “avatars” will be able to discover works crossing utopia and reality. Cameras in the physical location of the exhibition at Hôtel d’Albret, in the 4th district, will broadcast the Parisian show in real time.

Night owls will be able to discover the universal world of Second Night there thanks to the design composed of computers and screens. Walkers will even be able to create avatars on site at the start of the walk and meet some artists whose works are real bridges between the two worlds and indeed influence their performance…

An artistic project on Second Life

Second Life is a virtual world invented in 2003 where millions of users meet who have created an avatar. Unlike the beginnings of the internet, Second Life is a world created by a private company, Linden Lab. An actual economy based on a currency called Linden Dollars, which can be exchanged into US dollars, has been developed in this “parallel” world. Banks, estate agents, recruitment companies, all types of stores selling virtual articles, concerts, cultural activities, educational centres, political groups, stock exchange crashes, casinos (recently prohibited), activists, strikes, virtual criminals and obviously artists have appeared on Second Life.

This virtual world has witnessed the mass arrival of the entertainment industry, political world and private companies. However, behind the dreamlike dimension of landscapes and architecture, avatars surf freely based on three dimensions in the space – it is possible to fly like in a dream. Other more masked dimensions of this world can be explored:

The latest stage of pop where star avatars are increasing in quantity

The new fragility relating to identities which depend on one click

An exacerbation to the point of being absurd of the concept of market value

An ecological masquerade in which an avatar in Second Life uses as much energy as a middle class resident of Brazil (1,752 kWh).

An oppressive society where avatars’ movements are monitored and analysed and each prank is reported and punished instantly.

An after-taste of the end of utopian societies, at a time where the concept of territory only tends to treat people in terms of migratory flows of “labour values”.

During the Nuit Blanche, the two locations to visit the exhibition as an avator or an individual will display a perspective on this changing world. The event will bring together artists’ practices who, beyond the concept of reproduction, are faced with the various aspects of Second Life.

Among the artists invited, Valéry Grancher will put on a play on the issue of denouncement and crime on Second Life, Miltos Manetas, a wink at Andy Warhol through the imaginary world of video games. Etienne Joubert studies the issue of origami in relation to avators’ bodies, Christophe Bruno and David Guez analyse the issues of migratory flows and social networks. Alain Della Negra and Kaori Kinoshita will ask real people to recount scenes that they have experienced in Second Life. Around ten artists will be displayed in total.

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