South (below)

This basin was the very first part of the island that was submerged and as such proved to be a massive learning experience in Second Life terraforming and building.

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The underwater domain here is called the Whale Basin and houses the mother and daughter team Or and Ka created by Buns Liberty, for the two whom an appropriate eco system complete with its own fog, generated through a fog machine designed by Dimitrio Lewis has been attempted. The white trees are indigenous Second Life trees created by Linden Labs, free to copy and transfer. As a rule Linden Lab’s default trees leave much to be desired, this white tree being very much the one exception to the rule.

A credible soundscape is of vital importance in a virtual world: These two sing the most beautiful whale song ever…

Looking back towards the Whale Basin, en route to the conference table: Wandering east, along a black slabbed footpath will eventually lead you to a submarine meeting room, passing some of Alpha Auer’s black tree sculptures on the way (left).

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The detritus of a lamentable accident: Hardwarehacker Hoch crashed a plane in the basin. These plane and car crashes are left in place, adding to the landscape. Remnants of delightful past play activity, redolent with memories, these provide a most welcome opportunity as far as the voluntary relinquishment of design control is concerned for Alpha, a fussy and perfectionist graphic designer in Real Life.

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The Public Baths of Syncretia; Alpha Auer states: “So, it certainly gives me great pleasure to introduce the Syncretia public bath facilities! The fact that they are already underwater should please not deter avatars in taking advantage of the considerable power of the additional cleansing properties… Has been tested to work very well on clothes, shoes and most other prim attachments too, I might add…”

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The basin provides a playground for the enactment of fantasies. Alpha becomes a Smoke Succubus

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Finally, a deep underwater canyon joins the underwater domain of the South shore with that of the Eastern shore.

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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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