The visual artist esentially has one main purpose. To make the viewer look at or interact with their creation for as long as possible. When the viewer has moved away then you may have lost them so essentially don't let them leave. A good artist will subtly employ different techniques to keep the eye of the viewer traveling within the piece. For example, generally (and all art "rules" are general) the viewers eye will enter a painting starting in the bottom right hand side. The eye tends to travel counter clockwise in a circular manner moving from focal point to focal point. The artist will then try to lead the eye to areas of importance. This can be done through colour theory, composition or a multitude of other methods. The artist wants to capture the viewer and suspend thier disbelief. Make them feel like they are within the painting. I like to work on large paintings to block out the viewers peripheral vision. Don't let them see a light switch or another painting or even another person in thier peripheral because that only anchors them to the knowledge that they are in fact within a gallery setting looking at a 2D image. Those elements prevent the viewer from becoming fully immersed. And this is where Second Life comes in.
I believe the next big art movement will be immersive art, and I think second life is the start to this. We still look at a computer screen and can be distracted by our peripheral, by the need to use a keyboard, by our cat or by the phone ringing. But we have taken the step to be immersed in a 3D environment rather than viewing a 2D image. When space is available I create a story to catch the viewers attention. I create mysteries or environments for participation, and I am constantly trying to think of other ways to further immerse the viewer. We are at the beginnings now but I imagine the art of the future to be when someone comes home from work and plugs into an environment. They might be transported to a canoe on a lake with calling loons or their grandmothers kitchen. But perhaps the real test of an artist will be drawing out the shiver one feels when thier virtual lover caresses their cheek. The feeling of love for an entity which does not exist in the real world, but was able to draw forth such an emotion due to the viewers full immersion into a storied environment. Please come soon Immersiva because winter is coming and I am so tired of Mr. Bush.