When an Artist uses Windlight to Create Space and Dreams in Second Life

I’m showing you this first image as a mea culpa and to try and illustrate why sometimes you have to step away from Windlight buttons. I know the smart thing to do when you’re exploring is to have the “default region environment” selected. That way you see the destination the way the creator intended. This morning I forgot and had my windlight set for something I was doing when I teleported to LEA6↑.

I was really pleased with what I saw, I love big monumental builds and this one by Lollito Larkham↑ looked very interesting. Then I read the instructions on the notecard and went to the LEA Blog↑ to learn more and very quickly changed my environment to where it should be.

Let me begin by giving you a basic introduction to this exhibit. The installation presents scenes from sketch pads left behind by Marcel Chiffon before he disappeared. It’s very possible that Marcel lived and explored only in the imagination of the artist but we don’t care. The fact that he existed anywhere has resulted in odd/haunting/eccentric/beautiful and sometimes eerie scenes that we can experience.

I first encountered Marcel when I visited Seraphine↑ a few months ago. At the time he intrigued me and I’m glad to have the opportunity to see glimpses of more of his adventures but I really hope someday to find out about his eventual disappearance (just a personal wish, the artist will do what he wants of course). In the meantime you have to wonder about the chemical state of the mind of this possible alter ego.

The exhibit is not in narrative form, rather it is composed of a series of vignettes or scenes. This is something we encounter frequently and the usual method of separating the discrete areas is to build walls or use varying altitudes to keep them from encroaching on each other. One of the many complications for artists as well is that people will have their view distance set relatively high so they compromise the “scene” with distracting objects from another area.

Lollito has solved this problem by using Windlight. I’ve never seen this done before, at least I’ve never seen it done this well. I don’t care what your view distance is you will experience this exhibit the way the artist intended as long as you set “region default”.

Not only does a really smart use of Windlight force you to focus on and experience each area separately, it also increases the sense that there is no clear path through the installation. You have no choice but to see things as if you shared Marcel’s dream state.

This “dream” will take you considerable time to fully explore in part because it’s very easy to find yourself just standing there as things appear and disappear around you. I kept wondering if I’d really seen a figure in front of me or did I imagine a ghostly object over there.

I don’t want you to see this as a technical lesson in the manipulation of light that is facilitated by inworld tools. It is an art installation that successfully frustrates the visitor by placing you in somebody’s dream and capturing you there. Fascinating and somehow chilling at the same time.

However, after you have visited, consider the loss of impact if Lollito had not used environment settings in such an effective way. I’m really, really impressed and I strongly suggest you go experience Souvenirs de Voyages↑. Let the artist control what you see and be transported into Marcel’s dreams.

Leave a comment


  1. Thanks for this article! I was a bit stressed before the opening about the sky : How will it be received by visitors? Will it work?
    Cause i know it’s a particular light.
    Now , reading this, i know it was a good choice ! You really get my intentions and thanks again to share you feelings about this installation.


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