As of last Thursday, this is all that remains of Zero Point-- a long bench and a broad white sign. In previous years, however, it was a spectacular space of moving light and color, the work of Sabine Stonebender, ranked on this blog as among the Top 10 Art Installations in Second Life.
Metaverse art maven Amalthea Blanc, who wrote that post for NWN last year, has a more in-depth review on Second Life Art News, including machinima, and an extensive Flickr stream.
It is a good thing Ms. Blanc documented Zero Point so well then, because it's gone from Second Life, and it's very unlikely to ever return, at least in its original form. I read about this last week in SLART magazine, which reported that a billing error caused the entirety of Zero Point to get returned to her inventory. Lindens have struggled to restore Ms. Stonebender's work, but, she told me then, that process is difficult at best:
"The land has been recovered," she says, "but the objects on it were by and large not salvageable, so it's to be a slow and lengthy rebuild there in a new form. Apparently the autoreturn process is pretty brutal on how it groups unlinked objects."
In other words, all the individual components of Zero Point still exist, but not all the data that bind them together. "It was VERY random in the grouping," Sabine goes on. "The parts no longer fit and some honestly never appeared in Lost and Found," an inventory subdirectory. "Most of the 3rd floor I didnt even find parts."
This is the paradox of Second Life creativity: the building block, prim-based system enables creations of great depth and complexity, but let a single technical hiccup intercede, and all could be torn asunder. The question that follows is one beyond my expertise, so I put it to readers: other than copious screenshots and machinima, what's the best way to preserve Second Life creations in perpetuity?
Second image credit: Amalthea Blanc's Zero Point Flickr stream.
Update, 10:45pm: Hitomi Mokusei has created a Flickr group page for Zero Point. "I hope everyone who has pics that were taken there will contribute them to the group pool," he writes in Comments, "so Zero Point won't be forgotten."