Sunday, January 27, 2013


     The base along the cliff-side walls of Medusa Locks has had a long history of changes. Lacking romanticism, the original structure along the cliff’s bottom was a public restroom. A little space furnished with some of the best grungy toilets and sinks I could find. Not long afterwards, the little room was expanded into a larger restroom with a sizable floor. Ironically, the less than tidy space took a remarkable transformation as this little jut of land became increasingly developed. What was once the fringe of the neighborhood suddenly became central. The bathroom expanded yet again to become a Visitor Center.

That change occurred due to a question my friend Lilia Artis had asked me one day: Why did I have the Visitor Center toward the edge of the sim, when the Paper Tower was not only directly in the middle of the sim, but afforded the best views over the entire city. I took her advice and moved the Center high up in the Paper Tower where it remains to this day. Shortly after the Visitor Center vacated the Medusa Locks neighborhood, it wasn't long before the other builds on the jut of land known as Darkrodin Pier also disappeared. For a brief time, a couple of colorful booths offering free fish took up the space. Bees and ants attracted to the odors of fish were somewhat reminiscent of buzzing sounds from the old days of the original restroom. By the way, only a bit of the first tiled wall, and a cat in the window remain today from that first structure.

I recently watched a movie called Darshan. It is a spiritual movie, and shot with fine cinematography. I found it a remarkable film in many respects, from its technique to the story, and thoroughly enjoyed the settings in India. Benares (Varanasi) is one of those special sites among human landscapes that really sticks out. In Benares, one purifies oneself in the river Ganges where city and nature merge, where life and death share the bustling shore. In Second Life where gatherings of people are uncommon (3 or 4 avatars in one area is considered a hopping place), I felt that if I wanted to create a very modest interpretation of a purifying ground, the emphasis would need to be on fragments of life, and representations of death. It is a project that will grow through time, as I become more familiar with its spiritual potential. Beneath what was once the bathroom, once the Visitor Center, once the Fish Market, rises the flat quai of libations. Fires burn on the quai pavement in reference to the cremations along the Ganges. But what I choose to position at the water’s edge is a question. For now, there are stretchers of art slanting down the stairs to the river, as if they were bodies awaiting the fire, or souls adrift on the next current.


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