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The Bridge

If you’re familiar with the television series, The Bridge, the title of this post may induce cognitive dissonance. What has a Scandinavian noir crime series to do with the Second Life Endowment for the Arts (SLEA)? 

The TV series opens with a crime scene on the middle of a bridge between Sweden and Denmark necessitating cooperation between the police forces of both countries. The bridge, while occupying physical space, is also symbolic of the relationship between the primary investigators. Similarly, the Second Life Bridge Project has both a literal and metaphorical place within the vision of SLEA. 

The arts are a lifeline for many within Second Life, helping residents cope with serious illness, isolation and other real life stressors. This is illustrated well in David Denton’s TEDx talk about the relationship between creativity and Parkinson’s disease and how Second Life has acted as a conduit for his own compulsive creativity. Additionally, Second Life provides connections that might ordinarily be geographically impossible, a bridge between people who would never ordinarily meet. 

Many residents have bridged their worlds, real and virtual through the arts. Musicians from different parts of the real world collaborate; real world painters find a wider audience for their work; and as David Denton showed, architects from different cultural backgrounds found a way to engage in discussion. Art communities have grown and galleries and theatres have opened to a prolific audience. Writers meet to support, encourage and critique, and recently Second Life presented its first feature length film receiving acclaim outside of the virtual world in which it was created. 

The arts are represented throughout the grid: painting, sculpture, music, architecture, literary arts, the performing arts, film, photography, digital arts, television, radio, comics, graffiti, conceptual, and multimedia arts. The SLEA Bridge Project, headed by Rosinante Vinson (Rosi) aims to traverse these, acting as the bridge between SLEA and a diffusion of artists across Second Life. 

The Bridge, thus, takes a holistic approach to the arts. To be created by Chriscraft Undercroft, it physically extends from the quarter sim regions to the Sandbox and will have both walking and cycle paths. As you cross it, you’ll witness art and interactive boards which contain the SL arts database. At the time of writing (ideas do evolve), these will be arranged under the following categories: Art learning and education locations, 2D galleries, 3D installations, Performing arts groups and locations, Literary arts and Arts communities.

As Rosi is now compiling the list for the database, we at SLEA are particularly excited by this pioneering feature of the initiative; in its provision of a means to strengthen ties within this extensive community, we endeavour for it to fulfil a function beyond its name.

Featured Image taken at Montara Bridge Works

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Published by Safar Fiertze

Safar used to be a slave to her own ideas about what it meant to be a proper person. When she woke up she decided to learn how to ride a motorbike, and took to the road armed only with pen and paper. She now calls herself a writer, though currently as a ghost.

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