Wednesday, July 09, 2014

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AM Radio, Revealed: My Profile of the Acclaimed Second Life Artist Who Mysteriously Disappeared -- Now on Polygon

AM Radio revealed

Polygon is now featuring my long, lavishly illustrated feature profile of the man behind AM Radio, one of the most beloved and acclaimed artists to use Second Life as a medium -- and who, after years of fame both in SL and the outside world (he was profiled in The New York Times), rather mysteriously disappeared from the virtual world.

But thanks to the intercession of my friend Beverly "Bettina Tizzy" Nillson -- not to mention the man himself -- I learned, over a conversation that went beyond a year, the full story of AM Radio. (That's him, somewhere in the photo here, at Austin during South by Southwest in 2013, where we first met.) He told me how AM Radio came to be, why he created in Second Life what he did, the impact his rising virtual fame had on his real life... and why, at pretty much the peak of his avatar celebrity, he decided to go away. And as virtual reality returns to the fore, and we begin to wonder what kind of profound experiences we have within it, and how they will change us, AM Radio has much to teach us there too. Read it all here.

Oh yeah, one more thing to add before you go:

Thanks, by the way, to SLer Ziki Questi, who maintains AM Radio's last remaining work, "The Far Away" in Second Life, and a great repository of images of his installations that no longer do, many of which are featured in the Polygon feature -- see them in all their full glory here. And to visit The Far Away, click here to directly teleport.

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Carmsie

A mystery solved! Like so many others I was in awe of AMR's virtual art, tho i never met him in avatar form. fascinating to learn that his rl art has such a similar look and feel. Recalling those amazing installations makes me smile and it's gr8 to learn AMR is happy and succeeding irl. I hope he comes back ... one day.

Ziki Questi

Thanks, and that's a lovely write-up on Polygon — Ebbe Linden stopped by The Far Away a little while ago after reading it.

Here's a better link to the images (and many others):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zikiquesti/sets/72157626755042587
And some machinima of the IDIA Labs works here: https://vimeo.com/zikiquesti

(And, by the way, AM has been back inworld a little more frequently of late, most recently a couple weeks back, so it's possible to catch him from time to time.)

Tesla Miles

I hope he comes back for good and creates another awesome piece!

Val kendal

Hey Hamlet, that was a fabulous piece, congrats and thank you!

This choked me up because it was so true:
"And then amid all that, often by accident or via word of a friend, players come across a work by AM Radio. And the light itself seems to change — the outside cacophony is forgotten."

melponeme_k

He left because he ran out of spaces to put his wheat.

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