“TransForm” – Second Life Art Exhibition in Boston Cyberarts 2009 (1st draft)


Boston Cyberarts is planning an array of projects in the virtual environment of Second Life. One of these exhibitions, Transforming, organized by Lily & Honglei, will be on view in Design new media gallery at UMass Dartmouth and in “Land of Illusion” art space in Second Life.


– Second Life Art Exhibition at Boston Cyberarts Festival 2009

Theme/Focus: Artworks examine the meaning of  “transform” over extensive areas: social, cultural, or personal. We also focus on using Second Life as an “agent” to transform traditional art forms, such as painting, sculpture,  folk art, performance into digital arts in Cyberspace, therefore argue that, as a new language, virtual world art is continuing, developing and “transforming” expressions in the history of art. The TransForm exhibition will also unveil DSL Cyber MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Arts) project in Second Life.

Participating Artists/Projects (subject to change):

Patrick Lichty (artist, educator, curator & writer.  US ) – Dream Umbrella

Second Front – Second Life performance group

Mark Millstein (artist, educator) – Kite Forms

John Craig Freeman & Will Pappenheimer (artist, educator. US) – Virta Flaneurazine

Lily & Honglei (artist, curator & blogger. US & China) – Land of Illusion

Constantin Severin (writer, artist. Romania) – Archetypal Expressionism

Philip Zhai (philosopher, educator & artist. China) – A Dream of Red Chambers

Exhibition Locations: Physical gallery: Design Gallery, Group 6 Room 154, College of Visual & Performing Arts (CVPA), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (see map). Second Life gallery: ” Land of Illusion” Art Space.  To visit, please register a free account, then click here.

Exhibition Dates: April 24 – May 10. 2009. Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10AM – 6PM

About Boston Cyberarts: The first Boston Cyberarts Festival took place ten years ago, in 1999, and since that time the biennial event has become an eagerly-anticipated part of the Boston-area arts and technology scene. George Fifield, Director of Boston Cyberarts, noted: “The Boston area has been a center of art and technology for decades, since the pioneering work done by institutions like WGBH, Polaroid, and the MIT Media Lab. We’re proud that for the past decade we have been able to shine a spotlight on both the rich history of art and technology, and on the visions for the future.” […]

About the Curators: The curator Lily & Honglei are new media artists from Beijing, currently based in NY and MA.   They are dedicated to enhancing new media art exchanges between the States and China. Lily & Honglei founded “Land of Illusion” project in Second Life in 2007, a platform generating virtual-world performance and exhibitions for contemporary art and cultural studies through cross-continent collaborations on the Internet. In 2008, Lily & Honglei founded NY Arts New Media & Net-Art platform affiliated with NY Arts Magazine. Their creativity and activities aim to use new media arts and Internet-art to provoke free thought and expression in China, meanwhile advocating that digital arts should contribute to preserving cultural heritages, maintaining cultural sustainability and diversity in a globalized world. […]

Discussion Forum – “why art in virtual world?”

To consider the function of art in virtual worlds, one has to look at the history of art that involves the creation of social situations. Emblematic of these are the Dadas and Futurists, whose soirees and evenings of syntesi broke the boundaries between art and theatre. Excommunicated Surrealist Antonin Artaud wrote of the “Theatre of Cruelty” 6, which proclaimed the use of radical actions to reveal a reality without artifice, and in the late 50’s Guy Debord and the Situationist international engaged in critical discourse by the creation of social situations. Although there are a number of artists who dealt in social relations in the 20th Century, I would like to draw influences for our engagement with virtual art through precedents from Alan Kaprow, Joseph Beuys, and Nicolas Bourriaud. From this, I would like to establish the creation of the ephemeral social/relational space through the “Happening” (Kaprow), establish the object as site of social exchange/generation (Beuys), and relational space with persistent traces/art (Bourriaud)…

–  Why Art in Virtual Worlds? E-Happenings, Relational Milieux & “Second Sculpture” by Patrick Lichty

More readings:

CIAC’S Electronic Magazine No 31, Fall 2008, Second Life / Art.



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