« SL Cosplay: Mads' Hannibal in Benedict Sherlock's Home | Main | What Dealing With Second Life Griefing Can Teach Developers of New VR Social Worlds »

Tuesday, November 01, 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Years ago I used to paint and draw, but ever since I was a child I always had that desire, that I guess many people have, of wanting to get inside the painting to take a look around, to feel what it was like to be there in the setting that the picture showed. For me this desire was fulfilled when back in the early 1990's Video games began releasing their game editors with the games, Unreal being one of the first ones to really allow me to create something close to what I had imagined, but I have used most game engines and finaly came to SL and OS. Ever since then in I have always described what I was doing as painting in 3 dimensions. This is exactly as it has always felt to me. I was never making games, I was always creating 3 dimensional art, just as I had created 2D art when painting, just that now I could enter into the pictures I painted. The Gridism mentioned here seems to me to be reversing the process and taking a step backwards. And if you consider virtual worlds as some form of art, then painting pictures of it, is like painting pictures of pictures if you get my drift. I agree that digital worlds are very fleeting and putting an impression of them down on canvas is an interesting way of preserving some record of them. But wouldn't that be true of and screen shot that was taken in game and enhanced an then printed out. There are many beautiful enhanced screenshots of some of my SL worlds that other people have created and put a great deal of work into,and then put them up on Flickr, wouldn't these count as Gridism . I think it is great that people might want to express their thoughts and feelings about online experiences in traditional art forms. But I am not sure that it would constitute an art movement. I mean does television inspired art have a movement or radio inspired art, I don't know maybe it does.


Posting this here too to clear a few things up.

1. I specifically said in the essay that Gridism is NOT digital photography. Whiskey's photo is used to illustrate the predecessor of Gridism. Hamlet, please change the image. This is not one of my paintings.

2. You have three paintings to pick from in that essay alone. You do not get to tell an artist what is a "more concrete" example of a genre they invented.

After some talk with other artists in the grid, some very angry rants, and some thinking, I've decided I'm going to stand up for myself and make sure the mission of this genre is not altered or hijacked. Gridism is what I say it is, because I am the inventor of it.

Digitalism is for photographers and Virtualism will welcome you with open arms, should you want to partake in digital photography.

Wagner J Au

Sorry, I took down Whiskey's image -- missed the distinction that you were only talking about physical art. However, to really drive a movement, I still think we need to see clearer examples of what you're talking about, beyond your own work. None of the images from the Medium post really read to me as "physical art essentially about the virtual world experience", for one thing; for another, it's better to cite other artists as well, especially those who've preceded you. To take one notable example, Cao Fei was creating physical sculptures and installations inspired by Second Life nearly a decade ago, and she's been shown in some of the world's top galleries and museums. So where does she fit into this scheme? Or, say, an avatar-only artist like Four Yip, who was doing SL to RL paintings in 2009:


Or Gracie Kendal, whose shown (and still shows) many of her SL-inspired paintings in LA galleries?


And so on. Not discouraging you at all -- there's definitely something here that deserves more fleshing out!


I am not sure why we need any ism's really. Ism's are like walls, once you build them up you have to defend their borders and put some people on one side and not on the other, when maybe they sit on the wall or are half on one side and half on the other. None of the great artists to my knowledge ever begun the movements into which they have over time been maneuvered. If someone told me I was part of a virtualism or digitalism movement it would be meaningless to me. I create Johnisms because what I do is peculiar to me and like nothing else that others do, only in that they use the same materials. And I also have decided I'm going to stand up for myself and make sure the mission of this genre is not altered or hijacked. At least replying to this post has helped me define my genre, for that I am grateful :)


1. The farm painting I did was a literal recreation of my skybox.

2. I noted predecessors in the report.

3. I'm not here to say what others' work is called. If they want it to be Gridist, then awesome. The essay even gives tips for artists on how to join in and create Gridist work too.

Seeing as you had both a rough draft and final to read and give feedback on, this is extremely disappointing to see from you. You may not think this is discouraging, but from this viewpoint I see someone who isn't willing to write an article accurately or put up proper pictures, just because it doesn't fit what he thinks it should.

And I'm not here for that.


sirhc deSantis

'If it’s physical, it’s Gridist. But it must be physical. This is a genre aiming to redefine what we consider fine art.'

Erm no. Quite the oppo.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Making a Metaverse That Matters Wagner James Au ad
Please buy my book!
Thumb Wagner James Au Metaverse book
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
Wagner James Au Patreon
Equimake 3D virtual world web real time creation
Bad-Unicorn SL builds holdables HUD
Dutchie Evergreen Slideshow 2024
Juicybomb_EEP ad
My book on Goodreads!
Wagner James Au AAE Speakers Metaverse
Request me as a speaker!
Making of Second Life 20th anniversary Wagner James Au Thumb
PC for SL
Recommended PC for SL
Macbook Second Life
Recommended Mac for SL

Classic New World Notes stories:

Woman With Parkinson's Reports Significant Physical Recovery After Using Second Life - Academics Researching (2013)

We're Not Ready For An Era Where People Prefer Virtual Experiences To Real Ones -- But That Era Seems To Be Here (2012)

Sander's Villa: The Man Who Gave His Father A Second Life (2011)

What Rebecca Learned By Being A Second Life Man (2010)

Charles Bristol's Metaverse Blues: 87 Year Old Bluesman Becomes Avatar-Based Musician In Second Life (2009)

Linden Limit Libertarianism: Metaverse community management illustrates the problems with laissez faire governance (2008)

The Husband That Eshi Made: Metaverse artist, grieving for her dead husband, recreates him as an avatar (2008)

Labor Union Protesters Converge On IBM's Metaverse Campus: Leaders Claim Success, 1850 Total Attendees (Including Giant Banana & Talking Triangle) (2007)

All About My Avatar: The story behind amazing strange avatars (2007)

Fighting the Front: When fascists open an HQ in Second Life, chaos and exploding pigs ensue (2007)

Copying a Controversy: Copyright concerns come to the Metaverse via... the CopyBot! (2006)

The Penguin & the Zookeeper: Just another unlikely friendship formed in The Metaverse (2006)

"—And He Rezzed a Crooked House—": Mathematician makes a tesseract in the Metaverse — watch the videos! (2006)

Guarding Darfur: Virtual super heroes rally to protect a real world activist site (2006)

The Skin You're In: How virtual world avatar options expose real world racism (2006)

Making Love: When virtual sex gets real (2005)

Watching the Detectives: How to honeytrap a cheater in the Metaverse (2005)

The Freeform Identity of Eboni Khan: First-hand account of the Black user experience in virtual worlds (2005)

Man on Man and Woman on Woman: Just another gender-bending avatar love story, with a twist (2005)

The Nine Souls of Wilde Cunningham: A collective of severely disabled people share the same avatar (2004)

Falling for Eddie: Two shy artists divided by an ocean literally create a new life for each other (2004)

War of the Jessie Wall: Battle over virtual borders -- and real war in Iraq (2003)

Home for the Homeless: Creating a virtual mansion despite the most challenging circumstances (2003)

Newstex_Author_Badge-Color 240px
JuicyBomb_NWN5 SL blog
Ava Delaney SL Blog
my site ... ... ...