The Ars Virtua Project is directed by James Morgan, is a project concerned about the distinction between the real world and the virtual world, and how we interpret it (or them). One thing they take advantage of is that one can literally (or should I say “virtually”?) build anything in any direction, or create non-human avatars. Which brings up questions that I am wondering myself – since we can build pretty much anything we want, why do so many people spend a lot of time rebuilding the real world in Second Life? How can we create native art in a synthetic universe?
The Ars Virtua program goes a long way in this direction. While parts of the museum act like a normal museum – presenting paintings and photography, the pictures are real life photos of the players dressed in the style of their virtual trappings! A conflict of the intersection of the real and non-real, using the virtual museum to present the other side – another section is filled with glassy reflecting whirls, scribbles and colors, not giving the patron to chance to know which way is “up” or “down”, if this indeed exists in a virtual environment.
I really enjoyed my visit there, I watched the movies, I got lost in the mirror-like rooms. But be warned, it can be graphics intensive.
Visit the Ars Virtua Museum in Second Life, visit the website on the internet (is there a difference between internet and virtual worlds?), or join their guild in World of Warcraft! You can find more info about all of that at the website.