West (above)

The Western shore is also the designated entry point of the island. A good portion of this shore is submerged underwater and has been given a separate page on this blog. In order to access this underwater domain the visitor should make a sharp turn left from the entry location, jump into the pool of water and continue from there.

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What is above ground largely comprises a flat plaza with a maritime themed textured floor upon which have been placed a huge geosphere as well as a number of separate pavilions, the largest of which is the Townhouse. This was originally built for alpha.land, Alpha Auer’s mainland home at Klein, however in time was transferred to Syncretia in its entirety.

The Townhouse. In the foreground are the wireframe slascars created by Hardwarehacker Hoch.


The townhouse is a 5 level construct, 4 of which are above ground, while one of them is a basement which is submerged under water. At this level are a number of burnt sculpty trees designed by Steph Da Silva, a disco light and a number of dark duplicate swaying panels, with a nautical texture picking up on the maritime theme above, as well as a set of white glow curtains, these ones picking up on the theme of dead tree branches, which are a continued thread throughout the island.

The townhouse is constructed around a spiral stairwell, a somewhat difficult undertaking to traverse for inexperienced avatars. Indeed, whether staircases are necessary or not, is subject to a lively debate in the builders community in Second Life, given that avatars can fly. And in this construct too, thanks to the surrounding phantom walls of the individual storeys, one can omit the usage of the stairs entirely by flying directly into the floors from the outside of the building.


Inside an attempt to recreate some of the fundamental emotional needs of human dwelling have been attempted. Thus the townhouse has a hearth…

Located at ground level is Alpha’s favorite pastime, a virtual baby grand piano created by Mifune Thibaud, on which she loves to play Claire de Lune and the Goldberg Variations

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One of the smaller pavilions is the Cornelius Doorn House, so named after the creator of the chaise longue…

The Fish Pavilion plays back a continuous animated collage of antique line drawings of fish.

Inside the geosphere: The Cyber Widow is actually an avatar, a gift from Skills Hak, rezzed here as a somewhat ominous pet, drinking from the small pool called the Goodbye? pool, the bottom of which shows an RL/SL self portrait of Alpha Auer.

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A platform with huge black boulders and typographic panels rezzed some 50 meters or so above ground level, constitutes the only “art” at Syncretia: This compilation of Shakespearean sonnets was specifically created for an exhibition in Second Life. The avatar skin in the above photographs has been created by Pandora Wrigglesworth and the Steampunk arm and legs by Lucia Cyr.

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The Neko Crime Scene (a creation by Cinemaniac Voom): Crime is rife in the metaverse! Alpha, herself a neko, shudders at the taped off area where a heinous act of murder – as yet unsolved – has recently been perpetrated… .
;-)

Rezzed on the mountain range separating the West from the North is “The Singularapture is Near”, an immersive enivironment by Truthseeker Young, given to Alpha as a present.



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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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