art / exploring / Second Life / SL / Virtual photography

Floating in The Sea of Cubic Dreams

Today I took a trip to the popular art installation by ALEGRIA Studio at LEA25, ‘The Sea of Cubic Dreams’.

On arriving at the landing point, I read the board that instructed me to
1. Approach to a cube
2. Sit on it
3. Touch it and move it
5. Enjoy floating!

So after an initial wander around to familiarise myself with the surroundings, I set about trying to sit on a cube. Well it was probably SL but it took me a few attempts. But after trying a few, I found one that would let me sit. I gave it a good old push with my mouse and went flying and spinning wildly out of control across the sim lmao! Luckily touching it again stopped my rocket-like progress, and I was much more gentle the second time, just lightly touching the cube with my mouse and began floating serenely up into the air. Finally organised, I turned on the music stream (which I recommend doing), and that was when the real atmosphere of the installation began to take me over. The music combined with the gentle floating and spinning of me on my cube, the feeling of weightlessness, it was awesome. It was like being in outer space! In SL we have no actual gravity of course, but we imagine gravity in our virtual world and operate that way since that is natural for us, and therefore this installation allows you to experience weightlessness in SL as you float around randomly, on no particular course, sometimes bumping into the other cubes, up down or out across the sea. I soon learned to control my cube and I totally loved the sensation and freedom of being able to propel myself any direction I liked, fast or slow, spin or just sit motionless very high in the air.

Have your graphics as high quality as your computer can stand. Use the Region Windlight because it’s beautiful and compliments the work. The reflections, the rich blue of the sea, the deepness of the shadows contrasting with the bright areas of light, just beautiful. I dared to push my draw distance to 400 and go up into Ultra settings in prefs, you really do want high enough graphics to have ‘Advanced Lighting Model’ selected to see things at their best. Luckily, even with my ancient computer and this installation is mesh, I didn’t suffer with lag or texture discard even with 37 other people on the sim at one point, and quite happily managed to float around with good graphics and take pictures too.

The cubes themselves are very interesting, they are reflective and seem to sparkle in the light, and I was imagining I could see things like faces or creatures or even map lines on their surfaces? Maps of the stars? (On mine I imagined I could see the wings of a moth, or perhaps flower petals.) I don’t know exactly, but I guess that’s open to interpretation by the observer. My imagination was creating all kinds of stories about the cubes and their origins and meaning as I drifted around.

I stayed here for I think over an hour, floating, thinking, listening to the music. It was so much fun and at the same time incredibly relaxing. For me this was a beautiful, meditative, and very different experience and I will definitely spend more time here. It was almost sad to stand up again and feel the weight of my pixel self as I walked, lol.

Teleport to The Sea of Cubic Dreams

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2 thoughts on “Floating in The Sea of Cubic Dreams

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