Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Mist Land

Going to CondensationLand is like visiting Tibet, like in Lost Horizons, maybe, but without the plane crash. Or wait, no, there is quite a bit of crashing; and a fair old bit of what feels like walking into the wind, in terms of lag. 
Condensation Land is a small grid consisting of just eleven islands, occasionally reachable from Osgrid, sometimes accessible directly via the grid manager, once you get permission to create an account from Zonya Capalini  who, along with Ludmilla Writer and Favio Piek, founded the Land long before the dawn of mesh. The weight of prims often prompts OutOfMemory errors, making the grid crash, and RL interests have drawn Zonya away from the project. But should you get a chance to sneak in here, you'll find it's like entering a secret garden, a special place of strange imagination and exuberant prims.
It is a girl's first job in any world to import hair, skin, shape, and at least one dress, and that takes about an hour when you're new at it, between the crashing and the importing objects. It feels good to do so, it feels like an investment in the place. OK no shoes. I can live without them. This is a place for flying and staring out over the battlements of improbable castles, or becoming one with the land's very own Klein Bottle.
The bottle turned out to be empty; in this antique world that came as no surprise. There is a strangely airlocked feel to Condensation Land. Knowing you are utterly alone on a grid is not a new experience to me.  In both Craft and my own minigrid, many's the evening I've spent without a soul around. But Condensation Land is like a Lost World, a place of silent awe, of certainty that any speck of pixeldust I might stir with my bare toes will stay moved for the longest time.
It is the evidence of activity, frenzied, purposeful, flamboyant building, that makes the sensation of stillness so poignant. Omurtag Milev's three sims Temple, Conceptior, and Angelico Miguelis burst with energy. Zonja's videos bring it to life.
  Walking quietly in this strange land, it rains down on the visitor just what it means to attempt escape velocity from the orbit of  Second Life. This place is a condensation of all the existential questions, a meditation on the missed opportunities, and the grasped possibilities, the virtues and the drawbacks that come with not being in the 'first world' of VR which we all either love or hate, or both.

Quiet loveliness is here. Like a mystical mosaic hidden in a misty mountaintop monastery, the art in Condensation Land has a special value, one that no Linden Endowment can touch... the effort required to see it. I wonder how many pushing, ambitious artists know what value that would add to their work - a little subtlety, a little more reserve.

To visit glorious, mysterious Condensation Land for yourself, contact Zonja Capalini via email for more information.

1 comment:

  1. Condensation Land is accessible through hypergrid at

    You captured it absolute perfectly, and I can highly recommend to anyone to go there and have a look.