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Darlene Charneco and Second Life, part 2


Roberta: What’s your favorite place in second life?

Svarga Island
Second Life Resident Laukosargas Svarog has created an island named “Svarga” that is not only beautiful but has a simulated fully-functioning ecosystem. Read more about it on New World Notes.

Darlene: Oooh that’s a tough one. A few of my favorite places I like for the seclusion so I’m not giving those locations away;). Otherwise it’s usually whatever place I’ve been reading about that intrigues me most with potentials and pushing of the envelope…. Like the Island of Svarga which is part of a beta test for a fully functional artificial ecology system for SL. Everything is actually growing and replicating by itself!

Roberta: How many hours a day do you spend on average in second life? when did you join and how did you learn about it?

Darlene: Currently I still do not spend much time within SecondLife but I think most users do. On average I would say I spend about 2hrs there every few weeks. It’s a much smaller part of my online time…I spend a great deal more time on email correspondence and reading and responding within the textbased communities. But I expect that to change as more of my friends try it out. I’d like to facilitate their introduction to the interface, greet them, connect them with others and collaborate on more projects together. (and of course I will spend more time than usual this weekend for the NMConnect event).

Roberta: How separate are your second life communities and your real world communities?

Darlene Charneco nmccomic

NMCcomic- is a shot of my visit last Sunday to a talk at NMConnect artist with Anthony Fontana about the potential use of a comics format as instructional guides for newcomers to virtual worlds..

Darlene: My SecondLife community is mostly made up of those I correspond with in other online communities…especially those I met through and our first virtual project of BetterWorldIsland. I had the opportunity to meet and spend time in real life with but a few and due to the distance not often. This year we’ve scheduled quite a few real life workshops and gatherings across the US and abroad…and I hope to In my real life community I co-host a CraftyClubhouse every other Sunday to encourage hands-on creative endeavors am slowly nudging friends to explore the potentials of social networking sites and to share their creations, photos and thoughts on the web.

Roberta: Do you think it’s possible to create better systems online that will transfer over into the real world? And is that a goal for you?

Darlene: Yes, I do believe it’s possible, and yep, it is my main reason for involvement. SecondLife is a microcosm of sorts. And at present it includes many of the same issues and tendencies that we see in our real world: rampant consumerism, profit-obsessed activities, apathy to world problems, etc.

…What seems to me the most important aspect of the web is the widening of our personal circles of empathy and communication and collaboration…This seems a great playground for exploring that sort of challenge. Late last night I was speaking with someone who was logging in from Japan.(!)There are even translator tools to interact with those who speak another language.

Roberta: What are you doing for the NMConnect consortium (an event that took place last weekend in Second Life).

Darlene Charneco - cyburb
Cyburb- A still shot of the machinima , my husband working on converting details of an artwork of mine imported into the virtual world. I’m fascinated by (and a product of) the problems of suburbia… very interested in smartgrowth concepts for urban planning…and trying to visualize ways out of our sprawl tendencies…also see cyberspace as a ‘spaceless’ realm where we might be able to relocate a lot of structures in order to NOT create them in real life…….

Darlene: My friend, In Kenzo, is organizing the NMConnect event and we brainstormed together on some of the general themes/direction.

I’ve collaborated on a piece with my husband that is on display within NMC campus, on the Outreach sim …incorporating 3 of my real life artworks into a walkable triad. For me presenting my art in the virtual world is about celebrating a certain freedom from physical constraints…it’s playful…the enjoyment of seeing things from another perspective..or changing scale entirely and being able to share that experience with another regardless of geographic proximity. It doesn’t replace the real object…but I’ve derived much inspiration in my life from artworks that I’ve never had an opportunity to view in real life. My own works tend to be model miniatures of larger worlds…so SecondLife allows me to play around with the notion of scale even more.

Darlene Charneco peacewatchers

PeaceWatchers- is a shot of my avatar (Ava Dougall) and my friend in LA (In Kenzo) spending some quiet meditation time together at ManorMeta on BetterWorldIsland. The meditation is a script that runs with your avatar when seated in a particular spot…it is actually really relaxing, helps you to slow your own breathing in rhythm….and a nice way to be able feel in a shared realm with a distant friend.

I will also be co-hosting a short talk/discussion on the topic of memory palaces on the final day of the event (time TBD) with a Canadian friend who I‘ve corresponded with for nearly 4 years. This will be our first collaboration for our long history of common interests and for that alone it feels very meaningful and momentous. Keep posted on developments by the NMConnect wiki page.

Anything else you find interesting/exciting about second life?

Darlene: Pure potential. Like the web, it is an evolving construct and tool…and its form and usage depends on us and what we use it for. What are the best usages you can imagine? How can you help make that a reality?

[Read Part 1 of this interview.]