East (above)

Syncretia East, panorama, showing the cantilevered platforms, the Angry Monkey Tent, the Yucca Plantation and the Botanical Gardens rezzed high above sea level and Port Desiree with the same named submarine by wolfgeng Hienrichs in harbor.

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The Eastern shore is the home location of Alpha Auer, who when in the archipelago chooses to reside in the, so called Angry Monkey Tent, a creation by Second Life Badlands designer Vas Legend. While the original name that was given to this structure by Vas Legend was kept, the tent itself has almost been entirely re-textured and today houses an assemblage of objects, some of which were purchased and /or found – as is the case in the Hobo bicycle and backpack, the copper samovar and the prominently displayed Aerogram table; while most others were rezzed by Alpha herself.


The Angry Monkey Tent. Exterior.

The tent and its furnishings constitute a virtual doll’s house, in which Alpha spends many a delightful moment reliving a contemporary, virtual manifestation of her long abandoned heritage as a nomadic Turk on the plains of Central Asia. In line with its nomadic attributes the tent has also changed location from the beach to a much higher location on a purpose built platform since the date when it was first rezzed.

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The Botanical Gardens, are a conglomeration of various cubes and rectangular prisms, floating in mid air, all holding virtual plants, which closely emulate real life flora and which have been purchased in Second Life, the bulk of which having been created by Dolly Heart. While some of these plants stand right side up inside their containers almost as many are rezzed upside down, indeed some of them mirroring what is above. Thus, despite the fact that virtual replicas of mostly well known Real Life plants were planted in this location what has been aimed at here is a virtual garden where even Real Life plants need not obey the laws of gravity and/or nutrition.

View of the Botanical Garden and the Angry Monkey Tent

The Botanical Gardens also ended up being a transitional domain between the Eastern and the Northern shores of the island.

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The Eastern shore of Syncretia has seen more transformative terraforming activity than most of the rest of the island. In its initial phases the shoreline held a wide beach upon which the Yucca Plantation, the tent and the lower prism containers of the Botanical Gardens were rezed.

This beach was broken in one location with a shallow pool, providing a habitat for a pair of virtual swans, and by the shore of which Alpha’s horse Gamma grazes contentedly.

While this pool remains, the beach to the south has been sunk, flanked by some very steep black cliffs plunging into the depths of an oceanic basin – an area yet to be built. Thus, nowadays the tent as well as the Yucca plantation have been elevated onto raised platforms. While the tent platform is cantilevered into the mountain’s side, the Yucca platforms are free floating structures.



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About

Syncretia, an island located in the virtual world of Second Life®, comprises a series of narrative/play installations, which can also be considered as “artistic environments”. Thus, the architecture of Syncretia should be seen as an endeavor for providing a context for play, storytelling and metaphor.

Thus, some of what can be experienced and seen at Syncretia has been added into the environment by friends and such additions have been kept in situ since the island is considered to be a living warm entity that welcomes such interventions. Not an artistic object to be examined as one such, but instead an immersive location for a “Second Life” to fully be lived and participated in. Following up on the theme of the integration of objects created by others, metanomic activity is also brought into play through the integration of objects both found and purchased in Second Life. Thus, Syncretia can also be viewed as a virtual experiment in objet trouvé or readymade art.

A concerned effort has been made by to integrate Syncretia both with the geography as well as the climate of Second Life. Thus, the island has not been conceived of as an artistic abstraction, superimposed in defiance of the virtual terrain upon which it has been rezzed but instead very much as a natural extension of the virtual geography itself. Terraforming, which can be considered as the virtual re-incarnation of Land Art, constitutes the primary tool of a building system which attempts to take advantage of vertical space through the usage of geographical strata. While a considerable part of Syncretia is submerged under the ocean of Second Life, much else makes usage of a steep central mountain as a structural backbone into which huge cantilevered platforms have been embedded, raising some parts of Syncretia high above water levels. There are 4 distinct domains, defined by compass directions, although thought has been given to creating transitional spaces between these as well. Climate is brought into play whereby these domains have their intrinsic climactic properties, created through the implementation of various scripted weather systems.


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