Third Life
by Richard DeDomenici (a.k.a. DeDome Nishi)

8-9 October 2007
Phoenix Scratch in SL Commission #1, Exeter Phoenix (UK)

The architect Le Corbusier used the book as a way of disseminating his ideas, showing off future visions and solidifying abstract theories into print. Live artist Richard DeDomenici updated this approach, unveiling a series of as yet unrealised projects in the Second Life world. Some had proved logistically infeasible, while others had proved too contentious to carry out in real-world scenarios.

The audience was able to access the work in SL on 8 October, and in both SL and the Exeter Phoenix auditorium (where the event was projected onto the cinema screen) on 9 October.

Richard DeDomenici is an artist based within the M25, whose work is firmly rooted in socially-engaged practice. He recently disavowed his artistic statement of six years, which described him, amongst other things, as 'a one-man subversive think-tank'. He currently describes himself as 'Gadfly | Trimtab | Quipnunc'.

The Arts Council England funded Phoenix Scratch initiative, based at Exeter Phoenix arts & media tests ('scratches') new ideas in front of a mixed audience of artists and non-artists. It's about taking risks, opening up process, and dialogue. After two years of working in the Exeter Phoenix auditorium, Phoenix Scratch relocated to Second Life, in order to offer a new challenge to artists, audiences and curators to extend their practices beyond the Real.

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RL programme notes

Phoenix Scratch is about trying out ('scratching') new ideas in front of a mixed audience of artists and non-artists. It's about taking risks, opening up process, and learning from each other.

SL, like many other Massively Multiplayer Online Games, is an immersive, social environment. The primary way to experience the work is to get yourself an avatar and join us 'in world'.

But alongside that, we have decided to 'scratch' the idea of giving a different audience the chance to spend some time with us in Real Life (or 'meatspace'). This serves a couple of functions:
• it opens up process - the audience is able to look 'behind the scenes' and to talk to the artist as he works;
• it provides an opportunity for the technically nervous to dip a toe into the virtual waters - we have a couple of networked computers already set up with avatars for you to join us in world.

Perhaps you have three minutes to spend with us today. Or perhaps three hours. Either is fine.

Please use the space as you see fit. Do get yourself a drink, take a seat and watch for a bit. But remember, living in the SL world is not a spectator sport. Take a turn on one of the public computers. Consider the possibilities that SL offers us, as artists and audiences. Share your thoughts with each other and us. Do come and talk to us. That's what Scratch is all about.




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