Elfod Nemeth, builder and scripter of the Wall which forms the focus of the performance of The Wall in Second Life, sent word that there was to be a special, last-ever performance, a... um... well, it's hard to know how to describe the event without inventing a new word... an experience put together by the Cybernetic Art Research Project (CARP).
I've been to a lot of art performances and events in four years of Second Life, but this was the first time that I felt I was watching something that literally couldn't have been made anywhere else. It was something which had been designed around the things that can be done in Second Life, and it was certainly an experience.
The performance mixed audio, music, voiceover and clips of sound, with visual, particle effects, building tools, slideshow, performing avatars and performing puppets, lighting effects and scripted objects, to shocking and moving effect. I crashed out a couple of times (until I stopped trying to take photographs and started taking screenshots instead) but fortunately managed to get straight back in again. I'm very glad to have seen the performance.
It was very professionally produced and directed, and although they apologized for a couple of SL glitches during the performance, I had actually noticed nothing except my own crashing, which is something I expect with a popular event anyway. The whole production was planned and executed extremely well, co-ordinating audio, visual, performance and effects brilliantly to make a whole.
At the end of the performance, the audience joined the players in a fantastic after-show party, with the incomparable DJ Doubledown Tandino. I can honestly say that it has been ages since I enjoyed a party so much.
The music choices were good, and someone made free with the particle effects, and people were still dancing enthusiastically when I teleported away to look at some clothes I had seen at the party... about which more anon.
The whole event was being streamed to a museum in Florence as part of a live art performance. I only hope the viewers there enjoyed it half as much as I did in Second Life, where I felt I was living the performance, not simply observing it. I look forward to future CARP productions eagerly.