Monday, September 16, 2013

What is so real about a surreal world?

Poetry. Just one of many things I really don't get. That's probably why I don't often listen to a song's lyrics. Violence against women, homophobia, and vegetables on pizza also confuse me. There just seems to be no point. Surrealism. Don't get me started.

Actually, Strawberry Singh's weekly blog challenge got me started on surrealism. The details can be found on her blog (here) but essentially we are tasked to "create an image in Second Life that has a surreal feel to you. Don’t forget to share your link in the comments and add your picture to the Blog Memes flickr group." I've been quite stymied as to where to take this challenge. I even dug out old art class books from the basement. It's not hard to recognize surrealism when I see it, but ... but ... but, that's about all I can do. My not really getting the concepts is compounded by the need to work within a virtual world that is, in my limited understanding, inherently surreal. Second Life.

For example, in SL you click a door to open it or the door opens when you get close to it though it is textured or built to have a door knob. Or you'll notice that houses in SL sometimes have kitchens but only very, very rarely have toilet facilities. Further, I'm pretty sure it's hard to go a hundred meters in most any direction without running into some virtual representation of food.

That's just the "physical" part of Our World. Standards are surreal, too. Back when the Lindens maintained offices in-world and each had land on which to put a house or other build, I found "sex beds" as the major piece of furniture on more than one such site.

Oh, Ceelo, what were you thinking? Well, you weren't the only one.
Landscapers flatten "live" terrain then add artificial hills, streams, ponds, and rocks. Many parcels in the winterized regions have palm trees and tiki huts. Christmas, Halloween, and other seasonal holidays are always being celebrated somewhere. Perhaps that isn't surreal as there's a shop called Christmas Tree Shop in a mall next to a mega hardware store. But you can't deny that Furries and Tinies and people that stand on the ocean floor like statues aren't surreal.

A recent comment on a friend Crap Mariner's MySL post (here) should let you know that I'm not being judgmental by singling out these groups. Those who know me have seen me as a Furry, a Tiny, and standing on the ocean floor emulating statuary (sometimes as a Furry or a Tiny). On Crap's post I noted how pleased I was to see the giant birds he had placed as decorations around around a room for one of his events and I commented that I'd like to see more of that in Our World. Sometimes we get too wound up in making our virtual spaces so much like our real spaces that we lose something. What we lose just might be that we forget our avatars are, in the long run, real people regardless of the surreal things we do to them.  Like that time I painted myself shades of green, orange, and yellow before visiting the Eagle lander on the Moon. Try that, Real Life.


Strawberry Singh said...

You know, vegetarian pizza is the only pizza I eat. :P I enjoyed reading this post, I like your thought process on it.

Uccie Poultry said...

Thank you, Strawberry :D

Unknown said...

I love the thought of how inherently surrealistic Second Life is... I think that's really true and fun, and sometimes I wonder if the hyper-realistic trends and similar hyper- trends are a reflection of that. To have the whole world open as a possible template can be as terrifying as it is freeing.

Unknown said...

I do agree about Second Life being a surreal medium. I think that's why I usually take up the challenge to make it seem "real". I don't know if it's the cimfort of the familiar or the challenge to to medium.

Uccie Poultry said...

I need to get my own land again, not just shared with my brother, so I can go surreal on a whim. I guess that's the real beauty of Second Life ... it can let us do what we want when we want (within reason).