“Our dreams are a second life.” ~Gerard de Nerval
By Cat Boccaccio.
I remember the first Scottius Polke exhibit I visited back in 2008 at Mater Rhode’s Mountain High gallery. The display consisted of images of Scottius’ first life assemblage work. Yes, it was a long time ago. He was even human then!
In the fifteenth episode of Draxtor Despres’ Drax Files: World Makers, Scottius’ RL avatar, Scott Rolfe,takes us on a tour through his world, which deftly straddles both Second Life and RL. He shows us his studio, charmingly chaotic, where he composes his recycled art pieces for collections such as Aessemblage, Aesop’s fables retold with his assemblage pieces of foxes, crows, and other creatures; and Carnival Discordia, his unique and humorously sinister collection of circus sideshows.
Both Aessemlage and Carnivale Discordia transitioned, with the addition of animations, to Second Life. “Art takes on its own personality in Second Life,” Scott tells us.
Scott’s background in illustration led to the creation of two of his most popular immersive Second Life environments. He drew the textures for mushROOM, including floors, ceilings, fabrics, and wallpapers, and we entered a world within a world. It was a child’s room, with a larger-than-life scale, bright colors, and slightly scary creatures under the bed. “Some would joke it is a Third Life,” he says.
“Sometimes,” says Scott, “there is a complete disconnect where there is art on the walls. (People) don’t feel drawn to it in a personal or emotional way. By putting it in Second Life, it brings it directly to them. It becomes part of their world.”
“I think that Internet culture in general has freed us from the determiners of public taste; we don’t have to rely on the upper echelon,” he says. “It’s gone right back in the hands of regular people, like you and I.”
Regular? Scottius the Otter is hardly regular. His other popular immersive installation, The Docks, was also its “own little universe”, with vegetation and life forms drawn from the imagination of the artist. People wrote stories about this world, created machinimas, took lots of pictures.
Drax again underlines the relationship of creativity and Second Life. Second Life as an environment, a workplace, a collaborative space, a world like no other for self-expression.
“Second Life is the opposite of the perception that most of the world holds,” Scott says. “I mean it’s not a place where lonely people go and ignore everyone. It defies the rest of the digital world. It’s not a competition, this is not a race.”
“I don’t see Second Life as closed garden. Both worlds complement each other.”
Thanks Scottius, for providing so much inspiration and entertainment in Second Life! And thank you Scott, for demonstrating how to pronounce “assemblage”.