SL and the Art World: Soho + Second Life = Sexy!

Sat, Sep 8, 2007


Second Life Art is beginning to enter the mainstream of the art world. Visionary artist and art theorist Richard Minsky (his avatar in Second Life is appropriately called ArtWorld Market) and Second Life’s rising art world star Jeffrey Lipsky - known as Filthy Fluno in Second Life – are playing key roles in bridging the two worlds.

Minsky is publisher and managing editor of the brilliant and gorgeous SLARTTM magazine. “In urban slang a slart is between a slut and a tart,” Minsky notes. I caught a glimpse of SLARTTM in real life at SLCC. SLARTTM will be launched as a series of in-world books and exquisitely produced real life limited editions.

Filthy has been making the news and traveling with his exhibit, “The Adventures of Filthy Fluno.” On sept 14th, his show will open at “The Revolving Museum” in Lowell, Mass with a live performance from renowned boogie blues musician Komuso Tokugawa (see a video and post here).

Live from Japan, Komuso will broadcast his raucous guitar stylings and singing into the Revolving Museum using Second Life technology!

SLARTTM and the Second Life art exhibit at SLCC curated by Lipsky had a huge “must see” buzz going on in Chicago. I talked to Richard briefly after his presentation on The Art World Market of Second Life. But I really caught up with ArtWorld and Filthy in Second Life on Thursday, Sept 6th, just as they were preparing to stream the opening of “Crater New York: A Lunar Drawing Contest” into Second Life from Soho’s Location One.

Soho + Second Life

On September 26th a special jury of artists, journalists, a rocket scientist and a realtor will select three winning drawings. The drawings will all be exhibited in Second Life until the judging. “Crater New York” is one of a series of very high profile mixed reality events that are planned for September. See SLARTTM for the full schedule.


I live only a short subway ride from Soho in NYC but was nearly late for the opening. As Tara5 Oh, my avatar on SL, I was busy chatting with Filthy and ArtWorld while they set up the streams from Location One into multiple locations in Second Life. It was almost 6.30pm when ArtWorld urged, “hurry – you’ll be late.” I hastily packed up my laptop and camera and jumped on the #1 train down to Greene Street.

And soon, with the help of Location One’s IT guru, Drazen Pantic, I was logged into Second Life and watching 3D artist Everett Kane making his drawing for the contest both in real life, right in front of me, and on my laptop in Second Life (see the picture below). Filthy was still in-world. I continued my chat with him while explaining Second Life to interested gallery goers, many of whom had never seen Second Life before. Second Life will be projected into Location One for the rest of the show on a large screen.


I met and had an interesting talk with Location One Executive Director, Claire Montgomery and Director of Media Relations Flavia Destefanis. Location One is a very cool art center devoted “to the convergence between visual, performing and digital arts in a time of rapidly changing technology.” And, I met the conceivers of this participatory project – the artist duo of Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese. Crater New York playfully explores topics pressing to art theory and global culture like “what happens to landscape in an age when nature is increasingly replaced by humans?”

Ligorano/Reese’s project gives a new spin to “deeper questions about affordable housing and the place of artists in the New York of the future. A trend that also mirrors the shift in perception of the moon from a heavenly body to real estate.” Crater New York uses the moon as “a model for contemplation,” and “a launching pad for your imagination.” The winners of the drawing contest will each receive a deed for property on the moon.

The Location One team has turned the gallery into “a control room that channels your imagination into the great beyond.” And, as Marshall explained to me, this thinking naturally led them to Second Life, and:

A series of networks of live video feeds and internet streaming virtualcasts your work from First Life into Second.

See, “Whose crater is it anyway?” for more (or click the picture below left) and see Rhizome. The picture on the right shows the stream coming into Second Life. In the picture below, gallery goers discuss the moonscape.



The Metaverse and the Moon

Ligorano/Rees have invited other artists to help them imagine and create the first colonies on the moon – the first lunar group show!

Look closely and you’ll find fantastic architecture: hydroponic gardens, lunar residences, an amusement park, a cathedral, an intergalactic reading library, an oil derrick, coffee shops, and a monument for the Apollo program (visible from earth in 1:16 scale).

Second Life is, of course, the first and greatest group show in the metaverse with countless metascapes to explore. And now there is a world class meta art theorist/avatar, ArtWorld Market (Richard Minsky), to bring the emerging art movements of Second Life into a mainstream critical context.

See here for the SLARTTM visit to the amazing world of Sabine Stonebender, or Visit her Zero Point environment now..

Sabine Stonebender inside her scalar work Plasma Cheerios.

The Art World Market of Second Life

Minsky presented a paper at SLCC that contextualizes the art of Second Life that has no RL equivalent as “using in-world tools and scripts to create native artworks that could not exist in RL.”

These [works] can be huge in virtual scale, animated, and interactive, and can combine visual art, music and performance. These works have no RL equivalent, and the artists are dependent on in-world collectors, individual, institutional and corporate patronage, or their own resources.

Minsky articulates an art world view on creation, production, marketing, distribution, ethical and legal issues of Second Life art.


I found out when I met two of Minsky’s ArtWorld Market avatars in Second Life that this is a man/avatar with some extensive bandwidth.

Minsky is not only a successful artist with a considerable reputation. He also is chairman of the board for The Center for Book Arts. He was Visiting Artist at Brown University, “at the Ivy League East End of things,” and taught on Advanced Thought Particles at the Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas last year. He worked for the Hirshhorn Museum when it was in NYC before they moved to DC. Minsky had a contract to bind their books, which quickly turned into an art history education. Then he took a job as the museum’s photographer, and shot about 2000 paintings and sculptures.

All the best art photographers came to take pix there, at the Hirshhorn Warehouse. I learned a lot about how to look at art from them.

And now, Richard Minsky brings us SLARTTM which got a chorus of WOWs and AMAZINGs at SLCC where he previewed it.

Interweaving the worlds of paper and electrons

Minsky is introducing the world to the metaverse’s art stars. I have already been fortunate enough to meet and talk with one of the brightest, Jeffrey Lipsky, Filthy Fluno in Second Life. Filthy Fluno’s “biomorphic surrealism that brings together graffiti and cartoons recalls the work of Tanguy, Matta and Arp,” Minsky notes.

And, “Lipsky takes the lead in interweaving the worlds of paper and electrons.”


Filthy talked to me about how he got started in Second Life.

i started to really become inspired by the people and creations i came across in SL… so i started making RL art about it pastels and charcoal drawings. i’d photo them…upload them to SL and exhibit them and share them with my community. Next thing you know people started asking for the real stuff. Then i met someone from IBM [Doug McDavid]… he thought what i was doing was interesting so they flew me out to San Jose to lecture and make art… that led to more commissions and more lectures and more chances to travel to exhibit like at Gallery 555 in Porto, Portugal.

More about Filthy’s success story here. And, how he is using the island Artropolis as a platform to help other artists.  Also, see Filthy’s blog and a YouTube of “Filthy Drawing NMC”  here.


categories: Augmented Reality, crossing digital divides, Metarati, Metaverse, Mixed Reality, Second Life, Second Life and the Art World, Virtual Worlds, Web 2.0, Web 3D, Web3.D, World 2.0

1 Comments For This Post

  1. jeffrey lipsky Says:

    I’m extremely honored to be mentioned on Trish is incredibly thoughtful, thorough, professional, and a delight to talk with.

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  1. Art in NYC - Fine Arts in New York City » Second Life Art Contest in New York at Crater New York Says:

    [...] Life Art is growing and beginning to become mainstream, according to a post today in UgoTrade called SL and the Art World: Soho + Second Life = Sexy!.  Unfortunately, the term “Second [...]

  2. Second Life News for September 9, 2007 « The Grid Live Says:

    [...] SL and the Art World: Soho + Second Life = Sexy! Second Life Art is beginning to enter the mainstream of the art world. Visionary artist and art theorist Richard Minsky (his avatar in Second Life is appropriately called ArtWorld Market) and Second Life’s rising art world star Jeffrey Lipsky – known as Filthy Fluno in Second Life – are playing key roles in bridging the two worlds. [...]

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