Olga Wunderlich interviews people involved with art, and art-related politics in Second Life. The interviews have been slightly corrected for grammar, better reading and understanding. I hope you will get interesting infos and inspiration for your own actvities in Second Life.

Trindolyn Beck - artist




Tridolyn Beck is an artist in Second Life who mainly works in a different 3D program: Poser. He then imports the images into Second Life, where he already had a number of exhibitions, the most recent in Galeria LX, where we meet, and in Gallery… For him, Second Life is an extension of what 3D artists have been doing for several years and thus he likes to live and to socialize in Second Life. The motifs of his images derive from stories, such as fairytales but also stories he remembers from childhood. With his 3D imaging program, he is able to achieve a much higher resolution and much more sophisticated poses than in SL, thus, his photographs seem to stay in between Second Life and Real Life, at least if we see them represented in Second Life. In the interview he talks about his work and the relations between SL, RL and his art, and the possible future of Second Life.

[13:48] Olga Wunderlich: We meet in a gallery space in SL, where you show your work. So I would like to ask you how long have you been in SL, and what is you reason to show your art here?
[13:49] Trindolyn Beck: I was born February 26th 2007..... and I guess, just like Real Life I need to show my work to help explain who I am
[13:50] Olga: well, I know, but what is mostly interesting to me, to tell it straight, in our talk, is how you are relating to SL. In certain ways, one could say you are not a SL artist?
[13:52] T.B.: Well, I am NOT in particular, an SL artist. I am an artist who exists on SL. I have been involved with the 3D community for many years and SL just seemed to be an acceptable extension of the work I create.
[13:53] Olga: In which ways is it an extension?
[13:55] T.B.: I do not create my main work in world, although I do some sculpturing and photography here. But I guess what I mean is Second Life was born from the type of art I and other 3D artists do. If it weren't for Poser and Bryce and programs such as these, SL would not exist. So since you and I are born from SL.... that makes it an extension. Also, living in this world gives me inspiration
[13:57] Olga: Interesting, so you have the feeling our existence is a mind child from the community you have been involved in?
[13:57] T.B.: oh definitely..... Avatars are born from 3D modeling. They are just animated.
[13:58] Olga: What is more important for you, the modeling or the picture making, saying: are you a builder or a photographer?
[14:00] T.B.: I am much more involved in the modeling aspect as would be a painter. Photography is the recording of God's work where what I do is more playing the God.
[14:00] Olga: and do you feel, what is happening at the moment in SL is somehow your images coming alive?
[14:02] T.B.: it's funny like that.. but yes... I love watching 3D coming to life and coming together of all the interesting artists involved in this massive piece of art.... That will someday become a "norm" in communication

[14:03] Olga: I actually did have the feeling, that you are ahead of SL, and related, the mannequins seem much more hyper realistic, and the themes you are having are dreams and fairytales come true.
[14:05] T.B.: Well, you are right, what I do IS more advanced in many ways but then you have to remember that the programs I use have been around for many years where SL is only just beginning. I have no doubt that it will catch up and even overtake the simple modeler
[14:07] Olga: There is something eerie in your images, more eerie, or uncanny than images you may in SL, and I wonder, will be SL like that? To explain that a bit: A friend of mine talked about the "Uncanny Valley", when we were in the show and talking about your images. Is that a term you are familiar with?
[14:10] T.B.: no... but I think what you are referring to is the detail that gives my drawings more "life" than SL can produce. An example: you are a lovely woman, very lovely, but your shoulders and your elbows are pointy, due to low resolution. And you have very little expression in your face or movement. That makes a world of difference when someone is visualizing.
[14:12] Olga: Right, the "Uncanny Valley" is a (not very serious) theory about robots, that they become suddenly uncanny to us, when they become too realistic, too close to human beings, unto the point when they reach a more humanoid level, where we start to feel sympathy again. Could you agree with that? (http://www.dansdata.com/gz062.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_Valley)
[14:13] T.B.: I LOVE all my people!!!! lol.... I become very attached to the characters I create. BECAUSE they are so real and BECAUSE I put so much heart into them. They are like family to me.
[14:15] Olga: (smiles) Maybe THAT is a reason they are so uncanny, they trigger something deep inside, I feel.
[14:17] T.B.: Definitely, they do that. I have a story that I have been working on for about 15 years that I finally finished and illustrated, and the main character is so beloved to me.... I actually had to kill her off to get my mind away from using her. I feel the same thing is probably working with that J.K.Rowlings lady and Harry Potter. She has to kill him to stop writing about her boy.
…- I cried
[14:19] Olga: Interesting! So, you do not feel so much difference to writer who creates a character, just that your personae are in a way more real, at least to the eye. However, I must ask the gender question: It is very obvious that almost all (or all ?) your characters are female, what is the reason for that, do you not wish for an alter ego?
[14:22] T.B.: I have an alter ego..... It lives in my drawings... THAT is why they are female to some degree. Also, I feel the female form is stronger physically and emotionally not outwardly but inwardly. They make more interesting subjects for me.
[14:23] Olga: Well, it is also a kind of stereotype in the arts, the female character is the one who suffers or gets objectified. The female character is the surface of projection for the male fantasy
[14:25] T.B.: I am a feminist... I deplore the use of female characters in bondage, s/m, or other inhumane forms in art. My characters are sweet and loving. ANOTHER reason I don't create as many men.... Men are PIGS for the most part and I know this.
Sort of blunt... but, you catch my drift
[14:27] Olga: Mhh, wouldn't it be desirable to find a sensitive and beautiful male character for your family?
[14:28] T.B.: I have a couple of them....... but they are usually stupid........ Except Trindolyn here. (smiles)
[14:29] Olga: Yes, that is something I was thinking of, who is Trindolyn? Is he a work of art?
[14:29] T.B.: I am Trindolyn. And yes, he lives in my art
[14:34] Olga: Let us for a moment talk in the third person, is he a character by himself? …like your models?
[14:35] T.B.: He is a character...... that develops daily. He is a lot like me. Someone I can count on to be ME when I can't.
Trin has the ability to say pretty much anything he wants as long as he doesn't mind pissing people off. I don't have that ability in the least. Grownups don't behave that way. So... In Trin, I can be who I want.
In fact... I have another character on here... who we will not discuss... that can and does anything "she" wants to... she gives me much more freedom than even Trin does.
[14:40] Olga: And both Trin and your mannequins, do they change a lot, do they take up different shapes and different outfits?
I feel it is a very interesting fact that you also have a female avi in SL, but I don't force you to talk about her. (smiles)
[14:41] T.B.: The Poser ladies.... I make new ones a lot but keep the old ones. Trin.. changes clothes.... that's about it.
They fit different scenes from time to time, different clothing, different hair, but it takes me weeks to get them looking good. I will not throw that away.
For instance, the picture of the dollies down there... "Dulali" is actually the same model as the ladies in the "background glass" but I redid the texture of her skin to emulate cloth and stithery. Now, they share a folder on my computer.
[14:45] Olga: Going back to some of your pictures, I like most those, which seem to show very ordinary life scenes, still, I am getting a feeling of (them) being haunted or some crime happening in the back.
[14:46] T.B.: Really?
[14:46] Olga: The ones I took notes of, was "sisters" "the awakening" and "bad girls" - where you don't see any "bad" as obvious in the images. Do you have stories in mind, when creating these scenes?
[14:46] T.B.: Oh sure.... I think of my art as illustration more than any kind of “Fine" art. So most of them are relaying an idea of something.
[14:47] T.B.: However, I prefer the viewer to make their own stories
[14:48] Olga: Humm, what kind of idea is that, is it something like a root of a story, or just a situation?
[14:48] T.B.: Sisters is about just that.... one moment they are loving and sweet and the next they are at each other. Sisters fight!! right?? …out of nowhere sometimes.
Bad girls is showing an image of what I remember in school... mainly with boys but... showing a cute and naughty side of everyone.
Awakening is dark and scary... always some of that around.
[14:51] Olga: Mmmmmmmh… Interesting. There it is again, that twist: you have a scene you remember as boys, and you create a scene with girls !?
[14:51] T.B.: (laughs).. I like girls. It maintains my interest in the long haul of putting them together.
Make sense?
…whereas a dorky man would not.
[14:52] Olga: Yes, of course. I think in art, there is always some kind of erotic moment, and there is nothing bad about that.
[14:53] T.B.: The trick is to make that eroticism not flagerant
[14:54] Olga: I would like to shift our conversation again a bit towards SL. Your making of art with poser is pretty much a very lonely undertaking, do you socialize in SL, and what do you feel about the society that evolves on SL?
[14:56] T.B.: I do socialize in SL. I think its a great way to meet people from all over the world. I spend a lot of time in a place called “Hyles Swamp” just meeting new people, talking and laughing. I also live on a private island with a group of furries that I love very much... we talk and laugh all the time (laughs)..... The good thing is..... I can work on my art WHILE I hang on SL and get a lot more done.
[14:58] Olga: What is the inspiring moment in SL? When does it happen?
[14:59] T.B.: Well, I think it is seeing other peoples "characters" and what they do with them.... It gives another angle to what I am doing
[14:59] T.B.: You for instance
[14:59] Olga: yes?
[14:59] T.B.: I love the shape of your gallery
[14:59] Olga: ooh thank you ;)
[15:00] T.B.: impracticle as it may be... it is different and THAT is important. We can deal with the rest.
[15:08] Olga: I asked you to do a work in SL, and you told me you did that a few times.
[15:09] T.B.: yes?
[15:10] Olga: I asked you mainly, because I am interested what kind of difference it will make for you to work with "real" people (I mean avis, and how would you correctly say: someone “driving” an avi?)
[15:11] T.B.: Well, right off the bat... U CAN'T "drive an avi". The difference would be that I have no control over you. That makes it quite a bit different, and much more difficult to create a vision.
[15:12] Olga: (I was just searching for a GOOD expression)
[15:12] T.B.: Oh i think it was a good expression. I can't take you arm and move it back or change the way you are sitting, or make you smile or frown, or get rid of our obnoxious points.
Now, I can take you and put you in a beautiful setting with the right light but you would still be sitting there in that silly pose they make us do, right?
We WILL do it... I promise.. but it will take a lot of work and CHANCE. Chance is a huge factor with art inworld
[15:17] Olga: Okay, I am very curious about our experiment. Now, I think being close to an end of our interview, I would like to ask you some short questions.
[15:18] T.B.: sure
[15:18] Olga: What do you think about SL art?
[15:19] T.B.: The same thing I think about all art... some of it is wonderful, some is outrageous, some of it makes me sick. I have seen way too much art in my life and have found very little that I really enjoy.
[15:20] Olga: (smiles) How do you feel about SL not being an open society, but basically a big company with corporate rules instead of law.
[15:20] T.B.: I think that would blow.... But, it will probably become true because money rules the world.... When it does... I will move on. To put it simply, I am a huge hater of corporate life... it takes all the art out of everything. I have also learned through 50 years of life that there is not a lot any one person can do about it except try not to join in.
[15:25] Olga: Well, if you look at my interview with GE, he basically states that the longer he works here the more he feels that all his art is dependent on the liking of LL.
(This rising moon is gigantic!!!!!!!)
[15:24] T.B.: I love the moon
[15:25] Olga: Do you feel SL is a platform, or is it a game?
[15:26] T.B.: Both...... it will produce something that we will use daily... at the same time it is a way to forget your troubles... or make new ones. I play the game but it is too close to reality to STAY a game for very long. It becomes real...... peoples lives become entwined. And then it no longer feels like a game.
You wanna know the best part of this "game" for me?
[15:28] Olga: yes
(He offers Olga a hug)
[15:29] Olga: Mmhhh that is sweet.
I have one question left! What does it mean "Tortured artist"? (referring to the group tag Trindolyn is wearing)
[15:31] T.B.: It means, I find no respect as an artist here or in RL.... but then I never expected to
[15:31] Olga: Thank you so much, it was a pleasure to talk to you!
[15:31] T.B.: You are welcome... bye Olga
[15:32] Olga: Bye, Trindolyn.

Links:
Artist Trindolyn Beck aka Stephen Kauble:
http://www.stephen-a-kauble.com/
Galleria LX:
http://sl2worlds.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/trindolyn-beck/
Gallery Oculus (SLURL:)
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Belial/212/48/45

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