Navigating Syncretia

If you are not already in Second Life, as you are reading this, you can use the following SLurl to teleport to Syncretia directly from here:

This will place you at the entry point of the island, on the northern end of the western shore. If you look behind you, you will be able to see the other islands of the archipelago that Syncretia is actually a part of: The Synthetic University, directly across and the Chris Marker exhibit of the Gestaltungsmuseum of Zurich, entitled Ouvroir, to the NorthWest. The rest of the island of the archipelago are under the jurisdiction of my friend and colleague MosMax Hax and I would definitely tour them while you are here, since MosMax’s builds are absolutely spectacular specimens of virtual architecture.

If your hardware and your bandwidth settings are up to the task I would recommend that you go to your preferences by pressing Ctrl+P on your keyboard and then raising your draw distance to as high as you possibly can by checking the custom settings radio button on the Graphic tab of your preferences. Again, if your hardware is up to this, also check water reflections as well as all shaders for a really good viewing experience of Syncretia.


Important Note:
Syncretia has been built on a vertical as well as a horizontal axis, through utilizing the geographical terrain. Thus considerable portions of the island have been submerged underwater and these are not immediately noticeable/visible when you stand above sea level. You should therefore make a point of going underwater at every shore.


When you enter the island you will see a copy of the map above on your left. The orange dot on this map shows you your current location. From here you can head in which ever way you choose. The center of the island is a black mountain which is uninhabited except for the huge cantilevered platforms for which it is a structural aid, so sticking to the shoreline and making sure to plunge into the water as well as fly up to examine what is on the platforms is really all you need to do.Although you can proceed in a clockwise or counterclockwise manner, my advice would be to follow a counterclockwise route.

Make a sharp left past the Syncretia map and then plunge right into the rectangular pool located there. This will make you land straight inside the underwater domain located on the Western shore of Syncretia, the so called Erotic Lightbulb Basin.


The Erotic Basin is linked through an L-shaped corridor, festooned with naked light bulbs to the underwater domain of the Northern shore, “ears, tail and furr…”, the specialized gym and spa for the Neko and Furry nations of Second Life.


Once in the gym, you can also access the Burial Chamber annexed to this location thorugh a narrow corridor of black scarab beetles. And when you wish to continue your journey you can exit the underwater either by flying through the hole located in the roof of the gym or by using the main exit to your left, which will bring you to the periphey of the sim, from where you can either fly up or use the staircase provided to gain access to above water levels.


Once above sea level, you will be on the Northern Plain of Syncretia, with Citrinitas, the alchemical power plant to your right and Cappadocia, the water purification facility on your left.


Continue your journey on foot or by flying, keeping in the counterclcokwise direction. Go past Cappadocia and over the hill, to reach the Eastern shore of the island. Here, building has been undertaken by utilizing vertical space, thus you may wish to fly up to the platform of the Angry Monkey Tent or to examine the floating Botanical Garden. At sea level is Port Desiree, with the same named Submarine in harbor, The Yucca Plantation at various levels and the Swan pool. The underwater of the Eastern shore is currently under construction.


Continuing above sea level, either on foot or through flying you will now be reaching the South coast, and here again is a fully developed underwater domain. Thus once here you should make a point of diving into the water once again. Above sea level the South shore is more of a transitional space providing access from the east (back) of the island to the west, the entry point; the one notable exception being the Hookah Parlor, rezzed on a platform facing the eastern side of the island.


Your sojourn at Syncretia draws to an end as you approach the Western shore, by walking or flying over the hills on the western end of the South shore. Here you can examine the various pavilions and the 5 storeyed townhouse (again the basement is under the water!), as well as fly up to the Shakespearean Sonnets. And then, if you wish to, you can jump back in the Erotic Basin and start all over again…



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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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