Online education and the metaverse

Feminist art in virtual worlds, Installations, Second Life, Virtual Worlds

The Veparellas

Maya’s installation at her Bluestocking Gallery:

I’m a Maya Paris fan.  What can I say — I’m a sucker for art that is quirky, provocative and humorous.   Maya’s work is certainly that.

She’s got an extraordinarily good eye, and she understands what 3-D immersive art is all about. The most immersive art implicates the viewer; it moves, changes colour, makes noise, or plays music.  It may also talk to you when clicked, or even animate your avatar.  Maya’s latest show has art that does just that; click it, and your avatar enters the “painting” to do somersaults.  I loved being part of the artwork.

I discovered Maya’s work on International Women’s Day.  Here’s a picture of me and a friend exploring her installation on the Veparellas, hosted in Second Life by Santa Barbara City College (that’s me on the left).

Now, for those of you who don’t know, the Veparellas are superbeings unleashed in a freak sewing accident.  They have special powers: they can run with scissors.  You, too, can be a Veparella if you visit Maya’s site.   Stop at the entry point and get your instructions on how to view the installation, along with your own nifty costume. You must wear your Veparella kit to really appreciate this site; I still wear the socks, they go great with  roller skates.

Music is always important in Maya’s work, but the music at the Veparella exhibit is particularly well chosen.   If you don’t hear music when you get there, be sure to turn on your media stream  (for viewer 2, at the very top right-hand corner)  Composed by March Macbain, the music is a perfect accompaniment to the installation; it really makes you want to misbehave.  I’d love to hear more from this composer.

If you haven’t explored 3-D art, now is your chance.  If you’re a newcomer to virtual worlds you should practice walking around a bit before you visit, but the worst that can happen to you is that you trip over those rather extraordinary shoes.  Or you can just ride around on a flaming broomstick, thoughtfully provided by Maya.

Well, off you go — here’s the link: (as of June 2011).  I’m not going to tell you too much about what you’ll find there, it would spoil the surprise.  Beware of the dancing apple, watch out for falling bones, and don’t drink too much vin Pique de Dard!

1 Comment

  1. JS Saltwater

    Thanks for posting this, Ellie, I loved it! You’re right about the music, too. Another artist I’ve been enjoying lately is Bryn Oh, whose work is a little darker but in a similar genre.

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