The Australia Council for the Arts today announced a $20,000 grant for a collaborative artist residency in the 3D online virtual world of Second Life.
Second Life is a virtual environment created by US-based company Linden Lab. ‘Residents’ can explore an online world that is more than 42,000 acres in real-world scale using alter egos called ‘avatars’.
The Australia Council residency will enable a team of up to three artists, including a writer, musician/sound artist and digital visual media practitioner to collaborate on the development of inter-disciplinary artwork in Second Life.
The project, which will take place online, will require the artists to explore the possibilities of literary, music/sound art and real time 3D arts practices within the virtual realm. The successful team will ultimately develop new, experimental artistic practices and observations on the social and cultural layers that have evolved in Second Life.
As part of its overall strategy, the successful team of artists is required to harness both Second Life and ‘real life’ audiences, as well as develop a public exhibition for the artwork in Australia.
Australia Council chief executive officer Kathy Keele said the Second Life residency was a bold and exciting innovation for the Australia Council. ‘We are excited about this opportunity for Australian artists to explore the social, aesthetic, political and cultural characteristics of this dynamic platform,’ Kathy Keele said.
‘Second Life offers artists the perfect space to explore a virtual environment and test new ways of creating art. There is already a vibrant arts community in Second Life – with thousands of artists creating works in the digital realm – and we are keen to help build Australia’s representation.
‘There are so many possibilities for writers and artists to explore in Second Life that I expect we’ll see the successful applicants creating some excellent groundbreaking art in the process,’ Kathy Keele said.
The Australia Council takes its lead from a number of Australian commercial organisations already resident in Second Life. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) established its Second Life presence in March 2007 making it the first Australian media organisation to do so. The Australian music industry also staged the successful Hoe-Down Under Texas Aussie Music Party, enabling Australian artists to virtually attend and perform at the world’s largest music market event, South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas.