I first encountered the work of Canadian artist Bryn Oh in a whimsical yet menacing 2012 installation called Anna’s Many Murders, commemorated in this machinima created by the artist herself:
Since then, Bryn Oh has created dozens of evocative and compelling art installations in Second Life, skillfully using the virtual world as her canvas to tell many stories at the intersection of technology and art. Linden Lab has chosen to highlight her Rabbicorn installation trilogy in the most recent episode of their Second Life Destinations video series (created by Draxtor Despres):
If you have never experienced Bryn Oh’s art before, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to her sim, Immersiva, and explore her work! Part one of the Rabbicorn trilogy is Daughter of Gears, followed by The Rabbicorn Story, and the third and final part is called Standby.
Virtual worlds are natural homes for art galleries. Artists can design galleries and installations and reach whole new audiences using the various metaverse platforms. In this blogpost, I am going to provide an overview of art galleries in various social VR platforms and virtual worlds.
Second Life has long been home to dozens of virtual galleries and exhibit spaces. You could easily spend the better part of a week just visiting galleries! In fact, there is an Art Galleries of Second Life website and even an in-world HUD you can pick up at any participating gallery, which allows you to teleport from gallery to gallery in-world! I have spent many an enjoyable hour doing exactly that.
Of course, no discussion of virtual art galleries would be complete without a mention of Occupy White Walls! This is a virtual world focusing on art gallery building and art collection curation, which already has many fans. I can recommend it highly. It’s great fun!
Sansar is already home to many art galleries. The best way to find them is simply to search the Sansar Atlas on keywords like “art” or “gallery“.
Another way to find art exhibits in many different social VR/virtual worlds is to follow blogs. One good one to follow is Travel AgentM83, who covers interesting locations (including art) on a multitude of platforms.
What about you? What art discoveries have you made while exploring the metaverse? Please feel free to leave a comment, thanks!
As promised, here’s a few more of the best galleries I have visited in Occupy White Walls. This is actually a great way to pick up ideas for use in the gallery I am currently building!
This user has created an imposing tower at one end of the gallery, rising up against the night sky:
At the very top of the tower is a glass-walled gallery filled with landscapes, open to the starry night:
This outstanding gallery features a bold, futuristic design and numerous themed displays:
As you can see, this gallery is more about the architecture than the art!
This gallery is truly a joy to explore!
As I mentioned before, Occupy White Walls is free to use. I would encourage you to download the client software from Steam and do a little exploring of your own! There’s so much to appreciate here, an embarrassment of riches, and something to delight just about anybody.
The software has just been updated, and a new feature allows for the collaborative building of galleries with other users:
I’m on holidays from work this week, and I have been binge-playing Occupy White Walls (OWW for short), which I have written about on this blog many times before (here, here, here, and here). The virtual world had to shut down its alpha last year to retool and relaunch on Steam. And the beta version of OWW is even better and more fun than it was before!
The object of the virtual world/game is to design your own art gallery and curate a personal collection of art. Visitors (some real, some NPCs) come to your gallery, and you can use the money they leave to buy more art, build out your gallery, and level up. At each level, you unlock more items for building (walls, floors, ceilings, lighting, furniture, etc. in a variety of styles, such as Factory, Steampunk, and Art Deco).
Players can select art for their galleries from the vast catalogues of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., as well as a growing collection of modern artists who see Occupy White Walls as a way to extend their brand. In fact, I was so impressed by one digital artist that, after selecting a couple of his pieces for my gallery, I followed the Patreon link from his OWW bio and became a patron! (By the way, don’t forget that you can also become a patron of this blog. Here’s how.)
To visit these galleries, you will need to download the OWW client software from steam (for free), install it, and go through the introductory tutorial. Then, all you have to do is press T for teleport, type in the name of the gallery given, et voilà! You are there!
One gallery that really impressed me with its creative design was made by a user named Emerald. The emerald2 gallery (one of several that Emerald has created) is a full-blown cruise ship, with art from stem to stern!
So, as you can see, people have taken the basic tools and building blocks given to them by Stiki Pixels (the creators of Occupy White Walls) and they have done some marvelous things with them.
And this is only the first few galleries I visited on my list of recommendations by other users! In fact, there are so many beautifully designed and curated galleries that I might just turn this blogpost into a regular feature on my blog, profiling five or six OWW galleries at a time. There’s so much to see!