For anyone passionate about Second Life's potential to become a new art form, this is awesome news: The Guggenheim Foundation recently announced the short list for its HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2010, and Chinese artist Cao Fei is among the six finalists. The Guggenheim is easily among the greatest contemporary art museums in the world (its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building is itself an artistic landmark), and the Boss award was created to “honor innovation in contemporary art, and to single out artists who were creating truly inventive works of art.” And Cao Fei, as regular readers to this blog will remember, is known in Second Life as China Tracy, and for the last three years of her career, has used the metaverse as her artistic palette, for a feature machinima, and for RMB City, a city in Second Life that has appeared in art galleries around the world in many forms. (As the photo above suggests, Fei is also a beloved friend and occasional collaborator -- that's how she met me at the Beijing airport!) Whether she ultimately wins the prize (announcement is this November), this is incredible recognition for her Second Life-centric work, and by implication, the potential of Second Life and other virtual worlds to be an artistic medium.
Here's the most recent incarnation of RMB City, by the way, at the Berlin branch of the Guggenheim, a mixed reality installation. If you watch carefully, you'll notice SL talk show hostess Paisley Beebe makes a cameo appearance:
Question for other artists reading this who also use Second Life as their medium: Do you think this award makes it more likely to gain your own work recognition by the wider art world? Or will Cao Fai inadvertently come to be seen as owning the category?Hat tip: Hugobiwan Zolnir