Monday, October 5, 2009

White Lebed - A woman with Vision

White Lebed works as a gallery curator in Second Life which sometimes can be a thankless task as we both agreed, added to the fact that you can never please everyone – so doing what you think best is the compromise often taken. White is Russian born and ‘Lebed’ means swan, so we have White Swan, which in Russia has great mycological history behind it – history in the form of who and how art was seeded in Second Life seems a subject close to White’s heart as she enthusiastically throws her efforts and time in this directional pursuit. White is Lead of the Art Department this year for Burning Life , which is the virtual equivalent to the Burning Man event of Art, Fire and Community, which she herself admits is not been an easy task but White has taken it on with great style and humour – the role encompasses a broad spectrum of skills and I personally applaud her efforts. White has also been working with the Angelgate Gallery, and has curated some wonderful collections including 'Primavera' and 'Soleil' which have been hugely successful art events. White is also an artist herself, a sculpt maker in her own right, and is extreamly gifted in this area, she has a rare thing - 'a good eye' and an understanding of what that is and how to use it. So that was a little bit of background from me, now lets move on.

White was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions, but this time we skipped the 3 questions she could have asked of herself had she wanted to – each to their own say I.

If you would like to see more images from Burning Life check out the Koinup group here and you can also peruse what has gone on before in the various Burning Life Sims by clicking here
White also has her own Koinup area which you can see here

So now to continue onwards to the questions.

Q1. What brought you to the metaverse?
It was a pure accident. I never played any video or computer games and I hardly watch TV. But one day I caught a Discovery channel program that mentioned how video games have reached the next stage where it is not considered a game anymore since now they are a place where people can make things like art and fashion. They mentioned Second Life, a name I had not heard before. But what they said and showed made me interested enough to download the program.

Q2. Please tell us in 5 words what best describes you.
Constantly searching for the excellence

Q3. What aspect of the metaverse interests you the most and why?
I love the "zero-resistance" nature of the metaverse. It is easy to get used to amazing freedoms when we get here and stop noticing them. But think about the easiness with which we can make anything we want, share it with the world immediately by completion, talk to anybody, learn from people, spread the knowledge, discover your own creative abilities, start performing etc Yes, the technology is not perfect yet - we wish things were less laggy, less buggy, more predictable. Yes, some people take advantage of the still vague laws and low protection from breaking them. Metaverse is not going anywhere - it will grow larger, more powerful, and more complicated. And it is exciting to be at the very beginning of it and watch what is basically a natural for anything new a "trail and error" process.

Q4. Burning Life is upon us any advice to first time visitors?
The festival will be over by the time you realize how many interesting things are there. It attracts the best artists and performers from all over the grid. Examining only the 12 featured art plots and the 52 themed art camps might take a day or two. And those are only the beginning. You can find something amazingly creative and original anywhere on 34 Sims. To help all the viewers, and particularly first-timers, we are going to try a new program - Art Pathfinders. We will invite people who love SL art, good at finding things, and willing to share their finds with others. They will preview the BL grid and create specifically art related tours. Since this is a new program, we are not sure yet about the details and the process. You should visit the Art Department plot right away by arrival to BL - we should have a schedule and a lot of useful information about what and where you can see. Plus a huge green tent full of presents from artists and designers :)

when the Sims are open to the public you will be able to TP directly from this link The Sims open to Burning Life on October 17th 2009.

Q5. Which aspects about being involved in Burning Life did you enjoy the most?
Meeting new people. I made so many friends during last year’s BL. And the friendships we formed lasted a whole year. I hope for the same in 2009.

Q6. If you could change or improve anything to access the virtual world better what would you do?
I believe virtual worlds generally and SL particularly can benefit from more creative and active marketing/advertising. As I mentioned I came to SL by accident after seeing a 10 minute long segment about it on TV. I haven't seen any mentioning of SL in mass publications ever since. Even in the Bay Area, were I live - quite close to the actual LL office - very few people know what I am talking about when I try to explain virtual art. And even if people find SL, register, download and rez it for the first time, it is questionable if they will stay. I invited a few rl friends to join and their first experience wasn't that good. If I didn't ask them to come back and explore it under my guidance they would never have relogged again. I think it would be great to advertise SL in special art related media sources and direct them to more specific places from the first minutes of their existence in SL.

Q7. You have been actively involved within the arts community in Second Life - how did this come to pass?
As I see it now, I got very lucky. By accident I met the right people from the beginning and landed right in a middle of the active sl art life. I was lucky to find very creative supportive friends and as a result, within first months I was making art, exhibiting in places like Crescent Moon museum, Garden of NPIRL, Angelgate and working on Rezzables projects. But I know many people who were not in such a favourable environment wasted a lot of time struggling to find places to work, to exhibit. So when I was told that the very first gallery that invited me to participate, Angelgate, was looking for a curator, I decided to join it and attempt to create a friendly place for looking at art, showing art, learning about techniques, meeting each other, etc The first multi-artist show, Primavera, was so well accepted by visitors and press it gave me a lot of confidence to continue. I was particularly happy about the fact that most of the visitors considered the show to be at the level of "who is who in SL" and didn't notice that 9 out of 24 participants were debutantes. One of the best things that happened to me during my first months in SL was participation in the Artropolis art talks. Filthy Fluno kindly invited me to join his weekly art talks featuring successful artists and I met a lot of good friends there. Plus, I loved building art workshops around SL. So that’s how my Master class Seminars started - inviting accomplished successful artists to give a workshop. It proved to be a very successful idea, the classes are always full.

Q8. If you could improve access to the arts across the metaverse what would you suggest?
I think it is time to have a kind of docent group and art tours. Virtual exploring doesn't come easy for everybody. Some people are not that good at learning how to navigate metaverse and need help and guidance. I am not sure I would learn and discover as much as I did in such a short time if I didn't have people like that helping me.

Q9. If you could have unlimited space to host an exhibition of art what would you be inclined to do with it?
Oh this is the easiest question! Given resources, I absolutely would make a well organized comprehensive art museum. We are witnessing the birth of a very exciting new, never seen before art form. And it would be great to preserve the history of how it developed. As far as I know there is nothing like that. I would try to hunt down the very first art objects while it is still possible and make a chronological exhibition of important art creations. It would require not only unlimited space, but a lot of time and energy. But I think it would be worth it.

Q10. I know you have background with arts - would you like to tell us a little more about this?
SL helped me to actually do what I was taught to do. Despite taking all possible sculpture classes, I never made anything 3D aside from the class projects. I was painting in oil because doing anything sculptural would involve conditions I didn't have - a studio, materials, tools... Then I developed allergies and had to switch to acrylic. The closest thing to making sculptures while using acrylic would be painting murals, so that is what I was doing. When I found SL I realized how many 3D things were sitting in my head and I was almost addicted to watching them to realize in at least some form.

Until next time here on metanopsis!

Poid Mahovlich on Koinup
Poid Mahovlich Blog Area


Chestnut Rau said...

Poid thanks so much for this great interview with White. She is a wonderful person who I enjoy working with very much.

Amanda Lane said...

Poid, Interesting interview - I have something to offer White, the ability to make the art museum she spoke of. This is accessible for people outside SL and would bridge that gap for those not comfortable in the SL environment yet, but still give them the experience of flying around a 3d space. GalleryCentric engages people much like SL allowing them to fly around a gallery viewing the artwork from any angle or distance.
Clients can use the guided tour, gain information about each work and change the wall colors. This is new, we launched on 09.09.09- those who have experienced GC love it, we want people to use it. I would like to extend the offer of a free first exhibition to White Lebed. I suggest she goes to and then emails me via the contact there.

White Lebed said...

Poid, thank you for your kind words about my work :) Your outstanding job as the Lead of the Art Department of Burning life, which you did for 3 years right before me, was a great inspiration for me. I appreciate valuable advice that you keep sharing - very classy and generous of you. I admire your artistic abilities, as you know. I hope we will keep participating in each other exhibitions as curators and artists. Great to have you as a friend. Hugs :)
Chestnut, I love working with you too! you are the best. Thank you for all your support.
Amanda, I went to your website - very impressive. I am not sure I see how it can be used for showing 3D arts yet. Looks like a very cool way of presenting 2D art. I know a few good photographers and painters who could benefit from it. I will send them your way. Cheers!

Poid Mahovlich said...

ty Guys ! I see it always in this simple way - we each have the ability to sew seeds, from which a tree may or may not grow; if that tree growns, it needs water and air, and as it getting a little bigger it becomes seen, sometimes noticed and it then in time also develops and drops it's own seeds - the creative process continues on.

Keep planting seeds many different types of trees to be grown!

Poid Mahovlich said...

Hmmm I was thinking that looks really interesting Amanda - ooooh White there you go, maybe this will work out for you :) *waves to Chestnut & Pier

Pier said...

regarding the chance of displaying 2d artworks in a 3d immersive experience, along with galleries in SL, we found very useful "colliris"
its an addon for browsers that allow you to browse images and galleries in a sort of 3d cinematic immersive experience

Janae said...

Great piece! Specifically I really like your organization and the way you structured it. Great work!

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