No matter whether we call them virtual worlds,”social” platforms like Second Life are crowded by real artists, real designers, real users, despite the use of avatars and the exploitation of a 3D virtual environment that allows many to relax, play, chat, listen to music or, indeed, to explore new artistic approaches. But the reality is always present with its positives and negatives. So it is not uncommon to hear of any user who does not attend as the platform is not by choice but because his/her life has taken a turn or is it simply an unfortunate ending.
This is the case of Arteer Oliva, a visual artist as she called herself, landed in Second Life in December 2006 and since then many times under the spotlight (for example, she exhibited in New Babbage, in Cannery Rezzable, sim dedicated to art exhibits made at the time by Rezzable during the period when the British company was massively present in Second Life, rather than at various SL birthdays or Burning Man), the news of whose death (caused by a bastard ovarian cancer) was reported by her friend September McKinney on her Flickr album as well as by Ravenelle Zugzwang on Koinup.
September has also opened a group (http://www.flickr.com/groups/1891670@N20) where anyone can post images on the work of Arteer, whom in her profile on Second Life wrote of being: “An unending idealist. A builder, teacher, and friend. Beauty, honesty, intelligence, inventiveness, imagination, silliness, caring, love, poets, and pie are what I value most in this world” whom in the course of her experience in Second Life has dealt with building, arts education, textures and shapes creation, journalism and (virtual) photography.
As always in these cases the grief of those who got to know the artist personally joins the sadness disappeared by how fragile is the art that develops in virtual environments and on the web, how easy it is, over time, almost completely losing track (some remain until now here). The art in Second Life is often impermanent (a friend of ours years ago argued that the impermanence itself could be a characteristic feature of this form of expression) and also the attempt to preserve it through stories,testimonials, pictures and videos on the web is itself subject to the risk see vanish overnight the memories collected (or that they are not, however, more accessible, as in the case of the Flick album of Arteer).
When a person dies is his memory that we can hear her still with us, should not do something to avoid that the work of many people of genius who in recent years has used the Linden Lab platform go disperse, don’t you think so? Too bad Linden Lab itself appears very little sensitive about it and to delegate any form of protection and conservation of the users themselves, only to then complain about their falling out.