Controversy About SL Art Exhibit
One of my favorite art galleries is running an installation that includes more than 100 sculptures by Starax, some of which are for sale. This installation has raised questions about sharing rare virtual art in an environment where copybotters run free.
Starax is considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best, virtual artist to rise to prominence in Second Life. His early fame was secured by the creation of his magic wand, which produced a 15 minute long show of sculptures and effects. A few years ago he disappeared from the grid but then reemerged as Light Waves who built "Embrace" (above) and many other works for Rezzable. Some suggest the same person is 3d Soup who created the Odalisk. You can read more about this incredible person and his work at the NPIRL blog.
To many, Starax is the "father" of virtual art in Second Life. He is revered. He is loved. His work was collected by devoted followers and much of his art is tucked away in their inventories. When the work is displayed it is often in private. Why is the work hidden away?
There is great fear that Starax's work will be stolen by a copybotter and ripped copies will appear for sale. Theft of his work would diminish the value of the originals which are in short supply due to high cost and the fact that many are no transfer. Sadly, copybot fears are quite legitimate. Unscrupulous people steal content all the time and it appears there is little that is being done to stop them.
If you are looking for a link to the Starax/Light Waves installation, I am not going to share it here. I am sensitive to the worries about copybot and now that I am aware of the concerns, I am not going to do anything more to contribute to the theft of the art. At the same time, I do I think hiding great art away from view is also a crime of sorts. People who are new to SL don't know who Starax is and they should be able to see and appreciate his work. In order to fully appreciate why Odalisk is breathtaking you have to understand the history of SL sculpture. One way to do that is to see the parade of animals produced by Starax's magic wand.
So, what do you think? Should early Starax work be on public display?