Second Life showcase for digital art

The parameters of the virtual exhibition look set to be widened, with an inaugural show on Second Life, designed by Depo Consulting.

The parameters of the virtual exhibition look set to be widened, with an inaugural show on Second Life, designed by Depo Consulting.

The virtual gallery, called Ten Cubed, attempts to show work that real-life galleries would not normally be able to afford to exhibit. It coincides with its real-life counterpart, Gallery ICA, in Kinsale, Ireland.

The virtual show is the brainchild of gallery owner and The Irish Times art columnist Haydn Shaughnessy.

The work of three digital artists – Chris Ashley, Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern – will be shown and available to buy.

Ashley creates work predominantly in html code, while Kildall uses performance art as an avatar in Second Life. Stern uses a desktop scanner to capture images.

Shaughnessy says, ‘Writing about art and design, you see that most [artists] rebel against technology and what they perhaps see as the impact of globalisation, but suddenly you have a talented group using technology to create art. I wanted to do something to raise their profile.’

Shaughnessy explains that he took on Depo Consulting creative director Bennet Dunkley to help establish the same exhibition design values in a virtual space that you would find in real life.

‘When we set out to create a usable on-line exhibition space we quickly became aware of the need for real-life design values,’ he says.

‘Bennet Dunkley has created an extraordinary space for us, one that virtual users feel especially motivated to move around in and view objects. It’s a real breakthrough in how on-line spaces or the 3D Internet will be used.’

Dunkley says, ‘The wider truth is virtual worlds can also be used to substitute for the travel and expense of attending any exhibition or event. With Ten Cubed we want to show the gallery world – museums, galleries and exhibition spaces of all kinds – what high-quality design can achieve in the way of improving on functional performance. Ten Cubed is not just a virtual gallery that allows virtual exhibition, its design is superlative at showcasing art work.’

He adds, ‘Most virtual galleries are like your average website, poorly designed without any sense of optimising a visitor’s experience. Ten Cubed has been designed by a professional architect to exploit fully the showcasing opportunities of the virtual medium.’

The inaugural exhibition is called Crossing the Void II and can be viewed at Second Life, or selected images can be seen at

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