Occupy White Walls: A Look at a Few of the Best Galleries

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.)

There’s an official Discord channel for Occupy White Walls where users discuss the program and share their favourite galleries. I decided to visit many of those recommendations and I took pictures to share with you below.

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!

octavarium

sinappz

altamont

captaincaps

p1xeltr4sh

emerald2

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!

Why not download the OWW software from Steam and do a little exploring, designing, and curating of your own? Best of all, it’s totally free!

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An Artist Contemplates Second Life

Wagner James Au of the long-running blog New World Notes has highlighted the work of artist Erik Mondrian, who found himself so inspired by Second Life that it became his MFA thesis at the California Institute of the Arts:

Here, in Second Life, a vast virtual canvas where we create what cannot be, what could be, what was, and what might be again, I step inside the imaginations of people I have never met, and who I may never even have spoken to, understanding something of their inner worlds nonetheless.

— Erik Mondrian.

Here is the entire nine-minute video on YouTube from which this quote was taken:

It’s quite beautiful, and I would encourage you to take a few moments to watch and enjoy it. If you want to see more, there is a playlist of ten videos shot and narrated by Erik here.

Occupy White Walls Will Soon Launch on Steam—But You Can Get a Sneak Peek!

oww.png

You’re probably wondering what happened to Occupy White Walls, the fun and funky virtual world for the art curator in you? Well, they had to shut the platform down completely for a period of time while they got ready to relaunch the program on Steam. They’re now very close to that official launch date, but you can get in early if you want to take a sneak peek! Here’s the scoop:

Hello people!

We have some Good news, some bad news and some terrific news.

Let’s start with the bad news; we said we’ll launch OWW in October, but sadly, for the first time in video game history we will be a little late, hopefully in the first week of November. The game is almost ready we just want to polish it a bit further, squash a few tiny bugs and sprinkle some extra pixie dust.

The good news; we are currently holding a secret beta for OWW. Even better; we are GIVING OUT STEAM KEYS on our Discord channel – you can help us with that last drive for polish! But hurry, not many keys left…

To get an early-access software key, join the Occupy White Walls Discord channel and send a private message to Protobear, and he’ll fix you right up! He says:

If you don’t have a key yet, you can easily get one! send me (protobear#0001) a PM here on discord and I’ll send you a key ASAP.

For testing purposes, we ask you to create a new account.

Leveling is currently a bit wonky. For some it goes too fast. This will be fixed in the coming week.

Note: the number of keys they are giving out is limited. Once they’re gone, you’ll have to wait for the official launch date on Steam.

I was able to obtain a key, and this evening I reinstalled the software, setting up a new account. (Unfortunately, OWW was unable to save any of the old galleries that people had created. You do have to start over again from scratch, with a new username and a new email address.)

The collection of artworks you can use to decorate your gallery has been expanded, and now consists of approximately 3,000 works, mainly classics from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., plus the work of about 20 living artists (with plans to add more over time).

In no time at all, I had my first picture framed and mounted!

OWW 30 Oct 2018.png

If you haven’t tried out Occupy White Walls yet, why not give it a try? It’s great fun!

Sansar Pick of the Day: Value in the Virtual at ArkDes

Value in the Virtual at ArkDes 1 27 Sept 2018.png

A real-world art exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden has a virtual counterpart in Sansar. The Architect’s Newspaper reports:

…Value in the Virtual, an exhibit by London-based Space Popular, blossoms with a polychrome array of signs, patterns, and symbols. The show has just opened at Sweden’s national center for architecture and design, ArkDes, under its new director Kieran Long. A new feature of the museum is a smaller gallery space—Boxen, a steel box designed by local practice Dehlin Brattgård—inside one of the two main exhibition halls. It is intended for fast-paced architecture shows curated by former ArchDaily editor James Taylor-Foster, and Value in the Virtual is the first display of work by a contemporary design practice in the new setup.

Entering the exhibition space, you are invited to take your shoes off (to experience the printed carpets on the floors), and once inside, to put on a pair of virtual reality goggles. They are a window into Voxen, a parallel version of the same gallery space produced for Sansar, a social virtual reality platform. During the press preview, an online visitor had already found his way there for a peek. The avatar, dressed in a black bodysuit and a Daft Punk motorcycle helmet, showed up out of nowhere, mumbled a distorted “nice to meet you,” and soon disappeared.

In this realm, you get 3-D views of some of Space Popular’s scenarios: one is a version of Stockholm where public art is updated by the minute; in another the allegorical wall mosaics of the Nobel Prize venue are adjusted to tout recent scientific achievements; and in another a selective nightclub bouncer might actually let you in after all, if you upgrade to a nicer-looking “skin.”

The Sansar experience still seems to be under construction; there is a large empty area in the back. But there is already much to see and appreciate here.

The experience description in the Sansar Atlas reads as follows:

Welcome to the virtual experience of Space Popular’s exhibition at ArkDes in Stockholm.

The exhibition “Value in the Virtual” explores the challenges and possibilities for architecture, design and city planning as buildings and cities will soon get virtual layers when VR and AR devices are increasingly used in pubic.

Visitors can see the physical exhibition at in the gallery BOXEN at ArkDes in Stockholm between the 19h of September – 18th of November. Through the physical exhibition visitors can also visit the virtual exhibition through a headset available in the centre of the space creating the possibility for cross reality interaction.

ArkDes is Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design. It is a museum, a study centre and an arena for debate and discussion about the future of architecture, design and citizenship.

Space Popular is based in London and led by Architects Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg.

Here’s a link to the Value in the Virtual at ArkDes experience.