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UWA SiVA 1.1: Artists' Choice -- Self Portraits

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UWA Studies in Virtual Arts, VolI, No.1. Exhibition catalog from the January 2012 show at the University of Western Australia's virtual campus in Second Life. ISSN 2200-7873 (Digital) 2200-7865 (Print)

Text of UWA SiVA 1.1: Artists' Choice -- Self Portraits

  • UWA Artists Choice ChallengesAn exhibition series of original digital art in a virtual world

    3D Self PortraitsFreeWee Ling, Lead Curator

    UWA Studies in Virtual Arts | January 2012 | Volume 1, Number 1ISSN 2200-7865 (Print) ISSN: 2200-7873 (Online)

  • UWA Studies in Virtual ArtsJanuary 2012Volume 1, Number 1

    ISSN 2200-7865 (Print) ISSN: 2200-7873 (Online)

    Jay Jay Jegathesan (SL pseudonym: JayJay Zifanwe), Project Director, Co-curatorD. A. Newton (SL pseudonym: FreeWee Ling), UWA Honorary Research Fellow, Lead Curator, and General Editor

    Copyright 2012 by D.A. Newton. All rights to the original works depicted are owned by their respective creators, and images thereof are used by their permission. All text and images by D.A. Newton/FreeWee Ling unless otherwise noted.

    Contact:Jay Jay JegathesanSchool of PhysicsThe University of Western Australia (M013)35 Stirling HighwayCrawley WA 6009AustraliaEmail: [email protected]

    UWA Studies in Virtual Arts comprise exhibition catalogues, special editions, and monographs on the arts in virtual worlds. Focus is especially upon the 3D art competi-tions held at UWAs virtual campus in Second Life.

    CitationContributors retain intellectual property rights to their material and may re-publish it provided that UWA SiVA is acknowledged as the original place of publication. Material in UWA SiVA may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-profit use for the purposes of education research, library reference, or stored and/or distributed as a public service by any networked computer. Any commercial use of this journal in whole or in part by any means is strictly prohibited without written permission. Any use of this journal in whole or in part should include customary bibliographic citation.

    Second Lifeand Linden Lab are trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. The univer-sity of Western Australia and UWA SiVA are not affiliated with or sponsored by Linden Research.

  • Contents


    The Work

  • 2012 is the third year of 3D virtual art challenges at the University of Western Australias virtual gallery in Sec-ond Life (SL). Through these competitions, UWA in SL is recognized worldwide as one of the most imporant venues for the presentation of virtual arts.

    This year we feature two separate and non-concurrent challenges: the UWA 3D Artists Choice Challenges, and the UWA Centenary 3D Art Challenge. From January through March and August through December, we will feature monthly sponsored theme challenges, beginning with the current theme of 3D Self Portraits as shown in this premiere issue of UWA SiVA. From April through July will be a single major open compe-tition in celebration of the Centenary of UWA, with L$550,000 Lindens (about $2200 USD) in art prizes and L$775,000 ($3,400 USD) for MachinimUWA V, a related animated film competition.

    For the UWA Artists Choice challenges, a different theme is announced each month, but the core theme is personal expression. We want the artist to use this as an opportunity to explore some aspect of their personality, not only as a creative artist, but also as a critical observer.

    An essential difference in these shows is the judging. When artists submit an entry they agree to serve also as a judge for the prize awards. Thus the awards are de-termined by the recipients colleagues, making this a unique process of consensus among peers rather than a critical adjudication by an outside panel.

    As in most UWA challenges, entries are open to anyone and no qualification is required. There are technical lim-its to the number of parts contained in an object and to server load. There is no size limit except to the extent that it impedes our ability to show other work. We ac-comodate media video and audio streaming, sound and light emitters, etc. Often we are confronted with work that presents special difficulties in presenting it properly. But we do whatever we can to work with artsts to sup-port their visions.

    For this first monthly round of the UWA Artists Choice awards at the UWA, I thought it would be interesting to turn the light on the artists conceptions of themselves. Self portraiture has a long tradition in art, from Leonar-do da Vinci, Albrecht Durer, and Rembrandt to Escher, Warhol and beyond. It would seem a natural subject for an artist. The model works for free and is always avail-able. And the artist gains an insight into self-perception with every decision: Do I include the mole, the scar

    that reminds me of falling from that tree as a child, the gray hairs? Is this to be a brutally honest portrayal or an idealized vision? Shall I do a literal realistic portrait, an abstraction, a metaphor? The openness of the subject is appealing for maximum freedom to express ideas while being by definition an intimate statement.

    As is customary in Second Life, the artists are listed al-phabetically by their official SL first names. In almost no cases are their real life identities known, and it is considered impolite to inquire about such details. Vir-tual reality has its own norms. Because we cannot know an avatars real identity, we accept them however they choose to present themselves, regardless of nationality, age, gender, or any other personal characteristic.

    We want to acknowledge the generosity of our patrons and sponsors for this project:

    Clearly, none of this would have been possible without the tremendous support of UWA in SL and Winthrop Professor Ted Snell, Director, UWA Cultural Precinct; and Jay Jay Jegathesan (SL: JayJay Zifanwe), who real-ized the idea of a virtual campus online and created the UWA art and machinima challenges.

    We had a total of eight sponsors for this show. Among the most enthusiastic, and one of the first to sign on, was our dear friend Flora Nordenskiold. We are all saddened by her sudden departure from SL. The lack of her presence is a major blow to the support of artists here. We thank her for everything she has done to enrich our lives.

    We also express our deepest gratitude to the other spon-sors for this exhibition:

    Fiona Blaylock and artFiona Armany Thursday and Dyce Underwood for

    DNA Art and Music Fusion Eliza Wierwight and Patron Cherry Manga and Anley Piers

    for Mysterious Wave Ginger Alsop and Phi Designs Zachh Cale and projectZ

    ~ FreeWee Ling UWA Honorary Research Fellow

    Curator, UWA 3D Art Challenges


  • The WorkThere were 25 entries by 24 artists:

    Carmsie Melodie - Portrait

    Winner: First Place Award, Non-Scripted Award:Cherry Manga - Autoportrait

    Chic Aeon - Do You See Me?Corcosman Voom - Self portrait in Yellow

    Dusty Canning - Thinking Outside the BoxEifachfilm Vacirca - Smiley d-oo-b

    Fiona Blaylock - Self portraitFreeWee Ling - Am I my avatars pet?

    Gleman Jun - nuJ namelGHaveit Neox - Portrait Clock

    kjs Yip - Self portraitLilia Artis - One of billions

    Miso Susanowa - Self portrait: i am not my codenexuno Thespian - ancient ruins of temple of nex

    Nish Mip - Self portraitPraxis - Prax - Nut

    Winner: Second Place Award, Peoples Choice AwardRose Borchovski - Self portrait

    Sea Mizin - Juggling Away the DaySecret Rage - There was a little girl

    Silene Christen - Inner LightSilene Christen - When you left

    Sledge Roffo - Self portrait

    Winner: Third Place AwardSuzanne Graves - S in Prims

    ToySoldier Thor - Swimmers - The ArrivalWotthe Dickins - Magic Mirror

  • Carmsie Melodie: PortraitThe scribbling is an act of creation and desperation. A way to take some kind of control -- to cover up the pain and helpless anger.

  • Cherry Mangas Autoportrait is an avian fractal image suggesting a multifaceted personality. The viewer sees the surface and then dives in to find layer upon layer of re-cursive images, each a little different as we seek the core. We have the impression that the layers could go on forever, thinking, yes, this must be the center, the essence, only to find yet another layer below.

  • Chic Aeon - Do you see me?

    Chic explores the varieties of virtual experience, provoking questions about identity as we try on new personas. Which is the real me? Any of them? All of them?

  • Corcosman Voom: Self Portrait in YellowCorcosman presents himself as a subtley changing amorphous shape, partially translucent, partially opaque.

  • Dusty Canning: Outside the Box

    Thinking outside the box is some-thing required by every artist who enters the UWA art Challange on a regular basis. If not there is a tendency to continue to produce clones of the work that you have done before. The months I have not submitted an entry are the months that I have been unable think outside the box and therefore find no new ideas or inspiration.

  • Eifachfilm Vacirca: Self PortraitEif exhibits himself as a cup full of cosmic dice contantly being tossed and retossed.

  • fiona Blaylock: Self Portraitfiona is inspired by the poem of Charles Simic that describes the qualities of a stone, dense and opaque from the out-side, but holding untold mysteries and possibilities within.

  • The Works

  • FreeWee Ling: Am I My Avatars Pet?A look at the relationship between the avatar and her atomic self. Whos in charge here?

  • Gleman Jun: nuJ namelGA pure white being in the center of light - the vision being imparted to the object.

  • Haveit Neox: Portrait ClockSelf portraits show our journeys. One dips into nighttime dreams, then resurfaces into the day. An ongoing cycle, yet different each day. The ever present impulse to create has lead me to Second Lifes unlimited possibilities. A selection of my work on three panels reveal my travels down this course.

  • Haveit Neox: Portrait ClockSelf portraits show our journeys. One dips into nighttime dreams, then resurfaces into the day. An ongoing cycle, yet different each day. The ever present impulse to create has lead me to Second Lifes unlimited possibilities. A selection of my work on three panels reveal my travels down this course.

  • kjs Yip : Self Portraitno one - no avatar, no artist - has ever seen his own head it is only an idea so much about self-portraits ;-))

    but we know about the important partsthe shape, the nose,the eyes and the mouth

    and we play with those parts to show:

    it is an imagination about

    grafic and structure architecture and space mobiles and levitation color and surface

    we use LIGHT COLOR & PRIMto paint in SL

    and - may be - we show a picture of the creator, of ourself ...

  • it is an imagination about

    grafic and structure architecture and space mobiles and levitation color and surface

    we use LIGHT COLOR & PRIMto paint in SL

    and - may be - we show a picture of the creator, of ourself ...

  • Lilia Artis: One of billionsEvery human being is unique, but considering there are billions of people, uniqueness becomes relative and in and of itself gives no clue to the real importance an individual may have.

    Knowing myself fairly well by now with all my contradictions and conflicts, I am sure there are still surprises hidden deep within me which might be triggered by unusual or by as-yet-unknown circumstances.

  • Miso Susanowa: I am not my code. An exploration of the numbers that represent us in various contexts. We live digitally represented in count-less ways in corporate databases around the world.

  • nexuno Thespian: ancient ruins of temple of nexnex shows us a box of spinning gears with shimmering curtains of color and his heroic figure behind it all.

  • Nish Mip: Self portraitThe eyes are the windows to the soul and the beginning of understanding.

  • Praxis: Prax - NutPrax shows us a big spheroid head with shifting chaotic electric neon patterns.

  • Rose Borchovski: Self portrait (Angry Beth)Angry Beth is a character in a new storyline Rose is developing. What is she reaching for?

  • Sea Mizin: Juggling Away The DayThe energetic abstract figure tossed its many facets in the air to keep them going.

  • Secret Rage: There was a little girlA strange dream that contrast the outer and inner personae of a complex being.

  • Silene Christen: Inner LightA trio of flaming figures surrounded by amorphous swirling energy.

  • Silene Christen: When you leftAn intimate portrait of a traumatic moment.

  • Sledge Roffo: Self Portrait

    Sledge Roffo: Self PortraitWe all have sides; aspects that are sometimes hidden, sometimes exposed.

  • Suzanne Graves: S in PrimsThis selportrait is an assemblage of frag-mented shards the constantly changes in color and depth.

  • Toysoldier Thor: SWIMMERS - The ArrivalThe statue of A Couple is impressionist and symbolic of myself and my wife. Although its of us as a couple - it can just as easy be interpreted as any couple. The art has a lot of meaning in many ways.

  • Wotthe Dickins: Magic MirrorIn a world without reflection, Wotthe lets us see ourselves as we might in real life.