Friday, September 18, 2009

Particle Princess Colemarie Soleil

Last week I went to an extraordinary event in Second Life. It was an hour long particle show put on by Colemarie Soleil at Inspire space park. I have, in the past, seen a few events using particles for things such as firework shows etc but generally they have not been that impressive. I think the reason is that particles are often used to try and mimic a first world event. Thats fine, but at a certain point we need to branch out and say to ourself that we are in a virtual environment with no rules. Using particles to create say the fire in a campfire, is trying to keep a hold on first life. I appreciate the technical skills needed to create these things but the real impressive ones to me are those that create content for the new virtual world. Things that come into existence as a result of the new environment we live in. Colemarie isn't trying to mimic anything in first life, she emotes particles as an expression of her being. They express her emotions like a form of language. Watching her perform was a hypnotizing experience. Particles undulated amongst the crowd sometimes violently and at other times a slow mesmerizing caress. The crowds emotions reflected in the tempo.
What makes this a unique second life experience is that she is not separate from the performance. Everything emanates from her avatar. And her avatar is a character. She is not off to the side directing, but rather part of the narrative itself. I am having a hard time explaining but the show is about a character, Colemarie the faerie, and the particles are, if you know Colemarie, not an addition to her character for one night but more an exhaling of her avatar. Her natural ability. Its just Colemarie breathing.

This was a portion of the show....

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