Sunday, 23 May 2010


Raven has posted the idea that the type of art some of us do (those that aren't busy making poor reproductions of RL) could or should be called Virtualism.

This idea has been generally warmly greeted by most as a good idea, various blogs and associated comments seeing it as a pretty good name.

I like that it is concise and unpretentious.

A name can help to group a number of disparate efforts into a 'movement', which is what I see Virtualist Art as being.

I have long hated the term Immersive because... there is no Non-Immersive art, i.e. all art wants to draw the viewer/listener into the piece and involve them emotionally.... there are no non-immersive sims in VW' .....why call something immersive?

Virtualism, however, would obviously imply an art form rather than a method of reproducing RL in digital form, in a world where bits/bytes replace atoms.

It has certainly provoked some discussion and is symptomatic of the 'coming of age' process of any movement or culture that it becomes self aware and calls itself by a name. The success or failure of a name is the degree to which it sticks, i.e. how many of us will say, now...I am a Virtualist.



  1. I agree that Virtualism is about the style and intent of the works, more than the medium. I'm so glad this term is catching fire as it seems to be - it's how I've looked at things for some time.

    Woot for Virtualists!

  2. Maeve Eiren said...
    wow. The notion of needing a tag mimics how we have forever come up with and assigned categories to ourselves or our surroundings. So for me, the question for you is this: WHO needs you to have a tag? To whom is it beneficial? In my world, commercial publishing houses insist on categorizing writers and their work in order to reach and groom target markets. For those who write, this kind of "cattle branding" is constraining,

    So, here's my worry: you who perform daring feats of art and thought are all about pioneering. You do not mimic. Yet "Virtual" as your tag is mimicry. It is already over-used, confused, and abused as virtual memory, virtual conversations, virtual communities, etc. If you feel strongly that it is a good one, ask this: Will it "stick" because it is a brilliant fit for the tag-ee... or because it slots into the expectations of a market? If your answer isn't both, be wary. That's all I'm saying.

    ....just put this in the right place...:))