The following are some excerpts of an interview I did on Nov 18 2008 for Crashinews, an italian news show. Just in case you wanted to hear me blather on about art in SL!
Papper Papp: you are in SL since ...
Papper Papp: 2005!!!!
Sasun Steinbeck: September 2005, yes
Sasun Steinbeck: just over 3 years now
Sasun Steinbeck: I've seen a lot of changes :)
Papper Papp: how did u find sl? and why did u log in ?
Papper Papp: :))
Sasun Steinbeck: just to give you an idea of the growth I've seen, when I started maintaining the list of SL Art Galleries from Pathfinder Linden, there were no more than about 40-50 galleries on there
Sasun Steinbeck: Now, there are over 550 art galleries on the list. Just amazing growth.
Papper Papp: cool!
Sasun Steinbeck: I read about SL in some magazine somewhere... it was so long ago. It said that everything was built by the residents, which caught my interest.
Sasun Steinbeck: So I just logged in to check it out and it was love at first sight.
Papper Papp: how did u get this wonderful idea about galleries?
Sasun Steinbeck: I was captivated by the creativity I saw, and that's what's held me here the whole time, the massive creativity I see every day in the sims, the builds, the architecture, the art, the experiences people create for others to enjoy. It's truly a magical place!
Sasun Steinbeck: I was good friends with an art gallery owner when I first started SL. I think we had a mutual friend that I met in a sandbox somewhere. Her name was Savi Sieyes, and she had a sandbox where we hung out a lot. So I was hanging around in art galleries ever since the very beginning :)
Sasun Steinbeck: One of the most rewarding things to me in my entire SL experience is to hear from other artists that tell me they were inspired by my sculpture. Artists that have gone far beyond what I've done and taken new kinds of art in new directions that were inspired by something I did (among other influences of course), that's just such an incredibly gratifying thing for me :)
Papper Papp: I can imagine :)
Papper Papp: sharing is important for the new kind of artists
Sasun Steinbeck: Yes I agree, I really think it's important for artists to get together to share experience and help new members of the art community get integrated into SL and exposed to all the great stuff going on.
Sasun Steinbeck: My particular passion is for the art gallery owners, I have a large group that helps new gallery owners (many of whom own very small boutique galleries of their own works) get started and share experience.
Papper Papp: what do you think about the future about art in sl and about sl ?
Sasun Steinbeck: I think that art in SL (and this applies to other virtual worlds too) is going to dramatically increase in importance and visibility in the RL art world
Papper Papp: I agree
Sasun Steinbeck: The reason is that only in a virtual 3D world can you *experience* an art installation and become part of it in ways that simply can't be done in RL.
Papper Papp: sure!
Sasun Steinbeck: My sculpture is also a good example of real SL art that simply can't be taken out into RL and experienced the same way, not even close.
Sasun Steinbeck: You can't morph a physical object, or fly into a giant sphere of flowers, or experience moving prims like you can in SL.
Papper Papp: you make me feel scripting as an ART
Sasun Steinbeck: I'm glad that when I first started SL I decided to pick ONE thing and do it well. I chose scripting, since I recognized that as the "magic sauce" behind all the really innovative things I had seen up to that point, and I wanted the magic sauce recipe!
Papper Papp: it's a sort of challenge :)
Sasun Steinbeck: You raise an excellent point. I strongly believe that the really interesting art in SL is the union between scripting and artistic design. That's not to say there isn't some *excellent* 2D art and really nice 3D art with moving textures. But I still think that there's a huge unexplored frontier of art in SL when you combine scripted objects with art, just waiting to be explored. Trust me you haven't seen anything yet!! We will see some amazing things in the future. The SL artist of tomorrow needs to learn some new skills, and one of them is scripting!
Sasun Steinbeck: I can only hope that my sculpture inspires some artists to learn LSL and try some new experiments, it's just one small example of what can be accomplished, there's so much more that could be done.
Papper Papp: yes, it's important to use SL at 100%
Sasun Steinbeck: I have seen some very successful collaboration between artists, builders, texture experts, sound experts, and scripters. You don't need to know everything... sometimes the trick is to find the people that do! If you understand what can be done in those different areas, you can dream up some new possibilities and find someone to help you create it. SL is a very collaborative environment, so don't be afraid to get out there and collaborate! Two crazy people are better than one :)
Papper Papp: great!
Sasun Steinbeck: :)
Papper Papp: "Two crazy people are better than one :)"
Papper Papp: LOL
Sasun Steinbeck: LOL! It's so true :) You can't create something really special if you're not a little crazy!
Papper Papp: yepp
Sasun Steinbeck: And let me tell you, I know plenty of crazy artists :)
Papper Papp: I am an artist too
Papper Papp: I know
Papper Papp: LOL
Sasun Steinbeck: hahahaa yes you know then :)
Papper Papp: yepp
Sasun Steinbeck: there are so many good photographers in SL
Papper Papp: yepp
Sasun Steinbeck: that's another area that will be very interesting in the future
Papper Papp: I am sure about it
Sasun Steinbeck: I think it's really really important to document what is going on with art in SL, architecture, sim design... everything
Papper Papp: yes
Sasun Steinbeck: and Photographers can capture that essence
Sasun Steinbeck: unlike anyone else
Papper Papp: there are disappeared places in sl
Papper Papp: they still live in pics
Papper Papp: :)
Sasun Steinbeck: yes! I'm so sad to see some of the amazing sims going away :(
Sasun Steinbeck: because of the OpenSpace debacle
Sasun Steinbeck: some beautiful art sims
Papper Papp: I am thinking to make an exhibition with pics of lost sims
Sasun Steinbeck: You know, I have noticed that growth in the number of art galleries has stalled since then, and is actually declining. And I am pretty darn sure it's because of gallery closures due to OpenSpace closures :(
Papper Papp: ( I had this idea in this moment lol )
Sasun Steinbeck: Oh wow that is an excellent idea!
Sasun Steinbeck: I like that, lost spaces :D
Sasun Steinbeck: as you can see growth peaked maybe 4 weeks ago and has been on a slow decline since then
Sasun Steinbeck: sometimes these declines are temporary, but you can see from the dots on the chart... this decline is not reversing
Papper Papp: unbelievable
Sasun Steinbeck: I believe the OpenSpace issues are hurting the art world in a significant way from looking at this
Sasun Steinbeck: each dot on the line is one week
Sasun Steinbeck: overall the growth has been phenomenal as you can see
Papper Papp: yes
Sasun Steinbeck: so hopefully this is a temporary hiccup
Sasun Steinbeck: This latest decline has me worried, but it hasn't been very long, what may happen is that after the galleries on OpenSpace sims close, they may reopen elsewhere, and growth may continue.
Sasun Steinbeck: So we'll see! I remain hopeful :)
Papper Papp: what do u think about opensims?
Sasun Steinbeck: That's an interesting question, there will obviously be a lot of art galleries on OpenSims and I'm wondering how in the world I'll ever keep track of all of those different islands of grids out there....
Papper Papp: I am not sure that OpenSims could be a good thing for sl :))
Sasun Steinbeck: I'm worried about influential people in the art scene saying that SL is dead and encouraging people to leave... I think it's inevitable that people will migrate to open sims, but I totally disagree that the sky is falling here in SL. I will wait and see like everyone else what happens with all these different grids that will be growing, I'm worried about the fact that it will pull people away from SL.
Papper Papp: but they represent the future in the opinion of most people
Papper Papp: I agree: in Italy journalists are writing about the sl death
Sasun Steinbeck: Yeah I think it's a dangerous thing to suck paying residents away from SL, it can only hurt LL. Some people may not give a damn, but if LL goes out of business, things around here may be VERY bad, who knows. I think people beat up LL FAR more than they deserve, they are pioneers in this space and this is all one huge experiment. Yeah they make mistakes, they're learning as they go.
Sasun Steinbeck: I'm very interested to see people's frustration level with all of the open sim owners, I'm sure they will be saying, wow SL wasn't so bad :)
Papper Papp: :)) yeah
Sasun Steinbeck: It does represent the future, but I think SL will ALWAYS be the biggest player, they have been doing this for a long time and contrary to people that really don't know what the hell they are talking about, LL IS the industry expert when it comes to running a 3D virtual world business.
Sasun Steinbeck: Unless they really screw up, they can keep innovating and stay ahead of the pack. But that can change of course :)
Sasun Steinbeck: Yeah I think there will be lots of lost places as OpenSims grids come and go. There will be a huge shakeout to see who survives and who doesn't. Lots of lost places :(
Papper Papp: :(
Papper Papp: one of lost places is
Papper Papp: virtual starry
Papper Papp: :(
Sasun Steinbeck: hm not sure if I've heard of that one
Sasun Steinbeck: I don't think I've been there
Sasun Steinbeck: So for someone like me, your photos may be all that I'll ever see of it :(
Papper Papp: :(
Sasun Steinbeck: So I think it's great that someone is documenting those places.