Dan Yapungku in SL Daniël Vandersmissen in RL Hasselt (Belgium), September 2009
Index: Introduction 1. First steps in Second Life. 2. Applications of Second Life for Teaching and creating Art. 3. Teaching and discussing about Art in Second Life. 4. Connecting Teaching activities done in Second Life with Real Life Teaching practise. 5. Using Second Life as a place for experiencing and visualizing the final result of a work you will do in Real Life (and vice versa) 6. Conclusions
Introduction This text try to show you how art can have its space in Virtual Worlds, in Second Life, towards my experience as an Art teacher in Belgium (Flanders, the KHLim college for teacher training Hasselt-Diepenbeek) who uses Second Life for artistic and teaching purposes . To give you a background to understand who I am and why I do some experiments in and with SL I try to tell you in a short overview my “classic” life story …
As a child I was writing and drawing books. On the ages of 12 years old I created my first oil on canvas “the nursery school seen out from my window upstairs” … and at 16 y.o. I painted my self-portrait in oil (this is also in expo in SL). I became art-teacher and studied art, specialism: painting. As a teacher and in creating I tried to let the things grow, change, evaluate, like life … knowing that we are born and will die … even when you do nothing you are going on in your process of changing.
As an individual I consider to be and doing so I see that I’m not alone … I create but also others create (fauna, flora, the universe, it is and become). Besides that fact I consider what I’m creating and how I do this, out from which start material, which instruments.
1. First steps in Second Life My first steps in SL let me met a lot of people from all over the world through an internet connection and 3D visualisation. I asked myself: where is this all about and what do people try to do with the given possibilities of SL … the game of playing life …
The result was a rather philosophical movie “ the Man of Rain” (see: http://users.telenet.be/kunstwand/contactpersonen.htm ) From the avatars I met, like everyone in RL, I could/can learn something. For me SL is RL for creating, teaching and communicating … particular in, about and with art.
2. Applications of Second Life for Teaching and creating Till now I got next results and experiences: 1. In SL you can create in an easy way 3D constructions what you also can do with more complicated 3D programmes … 2. In SL you can teach like in your classroom to other avatars 3. In SL you teach in an e-learning system like you use for example BlackBoard or Moodle 4. You can discuss and receive help, feedback and collaboration about a lot of topics 5. You can develop projects with a lot of people together on distance (try out art events, artwork, …) 6. You can make combinations: using SL as a part of a RL lesson, and vice versa … That way SL became an instrument for teaching and creating.
3. Teaching and discussing about Art in Second Life. Teaching in SL - an art workshop: once a month on Thursday - during 6/7 months from 11 am till 1.30 pm SLT - participants visit art, - discuss art, - create art and - show the result in an event, … see the REN festival: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-320826 )
4. Connecting Teaching activities done in Second Life with Real Life Teaching practice Five students from the teacher training (to become art-teacher) RL college KHLim, Diepenbeek, Belgium (http://www.khlim.be), created two houses in SL by using - networking and - communication in SL see illustrative movie about this: WSartMeiSept09 1
5. Using Second Life as a place for experiencing and visualizing the final result of a work you will do in Real Life (and vice versa) A few of my last paintings and animations I made out from an abstract sculpture in SL, and in SL I created some houses based on a drawing RL, those houses became background for a painting in RL about a flying man (see pictures and animation)
6. Conclusions My conclusion: … it can be anything, anywhere, anyhow, any who, and so on … And not only I’m creating also others in their own way and philosophy are doing so. Thinking that way I decided in 1994 to start an organisation “the Conscience” to set up in a small village a living artwork: an art event of artists and visitors.
This project I did each year again in summertime till 2001 (at the end this festival “ArtWall(k)” was done with about 300 artists and 5000 visitors). In the same period I discovered the computer as an instrument to create … For me this art instrument was the same as charcoal or oil and canvas, because the result also had a form, tone and those in a particular composition of a fixed image or a sequence of following pictures (an animation or movie).
By this discovery I could go on creating and writing with a faster machine … the PC … with more possibilities for presentation and communication, working together … using internet. Teaching and creating is like life … so this thought brought me to the virtual world … to explore the living thing of for example SecondLife .