Pixie Rain: straddling Art and Porn in Second Life.
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Saturday 20th October sees the opening of this
year’s Burn2 festival in Second Life. Burn2 is
the virtual world equivalent of the RL Burning Man festival held in the Nevada desert and where
Philip Linden received inspiration to create Second Life itself.
Burn2 is a week long celebration of community, art and fire
culminating in the burning of ‘The Man’ and ‘The Temple’ on 27 and
28 October, respectively. The theme this year is ‘Fertility’.
Late Thursday night (GMT) a number of other bloggers and I were
given the opportunity to have an advanced look around before today’s official
opening. Now, it has to be said that the hour we were given was not nearly
enough to take in the hundreds of different builds on the six regions devoted
to the festival. But it is enough to get the taste and feel of this year’s
playa and take a few snaps.
As is my way, I wandered around aimlessly and studiously
ignored the site map we were supplied with. I had a vague notion that I wanted
to visit ‘The Man’ and ‘The Temple’ and look out for a WOW-factor build. The
pictures on this blog-post come from Thursday’s exploring.
Last year I had the pleasure of observing Debbie Trilling and Aleeta Zelin over a number of weeks as
they built, scripted and tested their ‘Man’ installation for 2011. I was asked
to take the official photographs for promotional
purposes. The final 15 min performance was one of the most dramatic and exciting scripted
installations I have ever seen in SL (watch the video below; ‘Change Quality’
to HD for best results).
This year ‘The Man’ is closely modeled on
the RL equivalent at BurningMan. It is a collaborative build which
included input from the RL Man team. The inner structure – called ‘the pistil’
– is constructed from mesh and therefore requires a mesh-compatible viewer to
am very much looking forward to this year’s Man burn on the 27 Oct, one of
the highlights of the festival.
(click pics to see full size)
The Man 2012
‘The Temple’ is the spiritual center of
the playa – the heart and the soul of the festival. In contradistinction to
‘The Man’ installation, no attempt has been made to replicate the RL equivalent
– it is a unique Second Life installation especially created for Burn2. Another
of the Burn2 highlights is the burning of ‘The Temple’ which takes place on 28
The Temple 2012
The individual installation which grabbed my
attention during Thursday’s tour was created by Ultraviolet
Alter. This has a real “wow-factor” and although I have
embedded a few pics of it here, it really is worth seeking out to see for
Created by Ultraviolet
As I wandered around the playa it soon became apparent that
not all of the builds have a “wow-factor”. Indeed, some are very simple, some
are utilitarian, others’ are psychedelic and/or rather garish. There were even
a number which I couldn't make head nor tail of.
But that is hardly the point. The point is that hundreds of
SL residents have joined together to create a six-region community festival,
despite recent adversities that threatened to end it entirely. Anyone who
wished to had the opportunity to get themselves a parcel and simply build and
One of foremost joys of Burn2 for me is seeing people simply
participate in whatever way they wish to participate. Burn2 is a healthy
antidote to the “I Just Stand Here” crowd who infest many of Second Life’s
otherwise enjoyable venues.
And that is why one of the key slogans of Burning Man and