The Brittle Epoch: Canadian Artist Bryn Oh Unveils a New Immersive, Interactive Art Installation in Second Life

Brittle Epoch

Bryn Oh is a Canadian artist and sculptor whom I often have written about before on the RyanSchultz.com blog (here is a link to all my blogposts which mention her). She has long been active in the virtual world of Second Life, and has also created art installations on other metaverse platforms such as Sansar and the former High Fidelity.

On November 1st, 2021, Bryn unveiled her latest immersive, interactive art installation, a continuation of her previous work, called Brittle Epoch. Second Life blogger Inara Pey writes:

Opening on November 1st at her arts region Immersiva, is Bryn Oh’s latest work, entitled The Brittle Epochan installation that has been several months in development.

Most of the work is set in a mysterious frozen landscape, with a howling winter wind blowing the snow around, under an oversize full moon. The art installation makes good use of hidden teleporters to whisk you from scene to scene, and you are encouraged to click on everything in order to learn more about what happened! A HUD that is automatically attached to your viewer when you enter helps guide you through the experience (be sure to read all the signs at the entrance!).

Here’s a two-minute promotional video for The Brittle Epoch, released today by Linden Lab (the makers of Second Life):

You can pay a visit to the experience here. Inara Pey also notes:

As noted, Bryn’s installations all take place within the same over-arching universe, and thus share degrees of connectedness. As such, for those possibly unfamiliar with her work, or who wish to re-acquaint themselves with her themes and idea, I recommend the following resources:

Thanks to Inara for compiling this list of links! You can read her full review of The Brittle Epoch here.

Raspberry Dream Land: A Brief Introduction

Raspberry Dream Land is an invite-only artist platform which is accessible via desktop and VR devices. According to its “soft launch” announcement:

Raspberry Dream Labs is bringing to the world its brainchild –– the social WebXR event platform for progressive arts & entertainment – Raspberry Dream Land! A mecca of electronic music and alternative nights, creative hub and multisensory playroom opens its doors with an invite-only soft launch event in all major regions worldwide.

Our platform celebrates the solarpunk future coming into existence by uniting art, technology, sustainability and cyber-sexuality. Lose your avatar on the dance circuit to the live deep techno tunes, join the Central Plaza stage for the artists and brand talks, discover community generated 3D worlds, and experience the one-of-a-kind ‘Sense Magick’ Cyber-Tantra Ritual in the Underworld, the erotic playspace of the Future.

There’s not a whole lot of detail on the website so far, but the project has already attracted a number of artists:

Some of the artists associated with Raspberry Dream Land

There’s also a statement from the founder:

From multisensory academic VR study, 25+ IRL and VR events to [the] world’s 1st Burning Man in VR – over the past two years at Raspberry Dream Labs we explored how the potential of technologies-of-today can redefine self-expression, social entertainment and intimate connections.

While the interests in our events kept growing, we faced censorship from existing VR platforms which made us realize that while there is growing interest from users across the globe, there is no such platform that caters to these needs.

We are excited about our mission and the societal impact of what RD Land is going to unlock.

—Angelina Aleksandrovich, Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Raspberry Dream Labs

If Raspberry Dream Land intrigues you and you want to learn more, you can visit their website, join their Discord server, or follow the project on social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The platform is currently invite-only, but if you want to add your name to the waiting list, you can do so here.

New Art City: A Brief Introduction

New Art City is a virtual world platform created by students at San José State University (SJSU) in San Jose, California, which is intended to be a virtual gallery and exhibition toolkit for online art exhibitions. As SJSU’s Jon Oakes told me, “It’s like [Mozilla] Hubs, but for artists.”

According to the project’s website:

New Art City is a virtual exhibition platform for new media art with a focus on co-presence and experiencing digital art together. Shows are real-time multiplayer and accessed using a web browser on computer or mobile device, with no need to register, install extra software or enter any personal information. Using built-in tools to manage artworks and room layouts, curators and organizers can create a show and hold a virtual exhibition online. Participants can attend virtual openings together, chat and see each other moving around the space while experiencing digital art in its native format.

In its mission statement, New Art City’s curation and product design prioritize those who are disadvantaged by structural injustice. An inclusive and redistributive community is as important to this project as the toolkit itself, and the platform seeks to support artists who face barriers in the traditional art world, promoting and amplifying works by queer artists and artists of colour.

Galleries are accessible via the New Art City website, and run inside your web browser (Chrome is the preferred browser). New Art City is not yet compatible with VR headsets, but the creators have built it in a way where this will be possible in the future.

Examples of galleries in New Art City

There are already dozens of exhibits available for you to visit. New Art City is currently in private beta, and access to exhibitors is granted on an invite-only basis. They are planning to launch open signups soon, but in the meantime you may submit a proposal for access here.

Sotheby’s Sets Up Shop in Decentraland

The current boom in NFT art has led to new partnerships between bricks-and-mortar art galleries and brokers and blockchain-based platforms, such as Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium Space, where such art can easily be displayed and admired.

Venerable art auction house Sotheby’s has just announced via Twitter that they have set up a digital replica of its London galleries in the blockchain-based virtual world of Decentraland, as part of Natively Digital, an inaugural curated sale of Non-Fungible Token (NFT) artworks (along with a discussion room on Clubhouse today):

Artnet News reports (this site is paywalled so use the incognito mode of your web browser to see this article):

Sotheby’s virtual gallery is a twin of its New Bond Street outpost, complete with five ground-level galleries—but instead of London’s tony Mayfair enclave, it is located in Decentraland’s prime art hub, known as the Voltaire Art District (map coordinates: 52,83).

A virtual version of Sotheby’s avuncular London commissionaire Hans Lomulder…welcomes visitors at the gallery entrance, top hat and all. 

The Observer website reports:

The NFTs that will be for sale include both the work of early, pioneering crypto artists in the field and more recent blockbuster stars; some of the names represented in the sale are Rhea Myers, Lethabo Huma, and Larva Labs. Recently, Christie’s scored a huge win with the $16.9 million sale of 9 Cryptopunks NFTs manufactured by Larva Labs, so that listing in particular is likely to score comparable dividends for Sotheby’s.

The rare face-masked alien CryptoPunk in Gallery 1 has a starting bid of US$480,000! Obviously, this is art that lies way, waaay outside my payscale!

If you want to visit the virtual Sotheby’s in Decentraland, read my step-by-step guide on how to get started, then type /goto 52,83 into chat (note that you should also be able to visit Decentraland as a guest, without setting up an account). Enjoy the art!