Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Far Away

The Far Away
Originally uploaded by strawberry.holiday
Tall dry grass, abandoned locomotives, windmills and a view of farmhouses off in the distance make you feel like you're in a field in the mid-western USA, instead of in Dreamland North in Second life.

AM Radio's installation, "The Far Away" transports you out of SL. Avatar Erin Lasek, a good friend of AM Radio told me this evening, "This place is impressive because it actually feels real to the mind." The more I think about that statement, the more I think that it's true.

I've been to "The Far Away" a few times, but haven't had enough to say about it to make a comprehensive blog. "Wow" on a sheet of paper by itself doesn't make for much interest, so I IMed AM Radio tonight and he agreed to sit and talk with me.

" I wanted to see if it could be done… large amounts of grass stalks without grinding the server to a halt… how to solve the problem." AM radio describes how he began the build. When sitting on the front of the locomotive, contemplating the earth, or the sea, or counting the pieces of grass in this installation, you don't imagine that it began as a test of skill. It feels like it has meaning, something to say.

According to AM, this was intentional, " I started creating all these things, I realized that I could start putting things together in ways that implied meaning" The things that came together, rusting cars, dining tables, sideboards and windmills create a plethora of eye candy. I think it'd be hard to choose a favorite, but I asked AM what his favorite part of the build was, anyway.

Strawberry Holiday
Originally uploaded by strawberry.holiday

The thing that AM chose as his favorite element of "The Far Away", was not any of the physical buildings, or objects, but the experience of being able to share his visual story with painters across Second Life, and the charity that he has a donation box for at "The Far Away".

"The first week this was up, I got crazy traffic. I decided I better do something while I have an audience. My 15 minutes of SL fame wasn't going to be stupid. So I researched charities and Heifer had a great rating on all the charity comparison sites. Its agricultural slant also was appealing as a match and that's how I settled on Heifer… and look here I have raised enough to buy a real cow for charity. How can that not be my favorite part of the build?"

Table for Two
Originally uploaded by strawberry.holiday

This was AM Radio's first claim-to-fame in Second Life but there is more to come! Keep an eye on his group notices in the open-enrollment group "The Quiet and The Far Away"!

SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Dreamworld%20North/227/96/30

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