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Ars Virtua

By James Morgan 



The simulacrum is never what hides the truth—it is truth that hides the fact that there is none.
The simulacrum is true.  
Ecclesiastes --Jean Baudrillard The Precession of Simulacra

What is Ars Virtua?
Ars Virtua is a new media center and gallery located entirely in virtual space. It was created to provide a venue for new genres of work, and as a platform to highlight working artists creating virtual sculpture, architecture, or applying scripts to extend these and explore the interaction of avatars with in 3-D space.  Our purpose is to bring the museum into "new media" as opposed to vice versa and provide a platform for work that would otherwise not be accessible.

Where is it?
Located at the border of Butler and Dowden in Second Life's virtual environment, Ars Virtua's 3000 square meter two story building is divided into a main gallery space, a lounge and shop and residency space.  The courtyard provides an excellent space for workshops, or gatherings. In order to visit Ars Virtua you will need to create a free account at Second Life and need to be running the current client.  Once you have this properly installed you should be able to follow this link directly to Ars Virtua - secondlife://Dowden/20/40

Why is it?
Ars Virtua is a new type of space that leverages the tension between the 3-D rendered game space and the real, between the simulated and the simulation.  It is the first in a series of projects that explore the virtual as the new real. 

To these ends Ars Virtua is instituting several programs: the first is the creation of an artist in residence program and providing 400 prims for the use of the selected artist. The second is to host an Ars Virtua New Media Conference early in 2006. 

Ars Virtua Mission Statement:

  • To enhance understanding of virtuality, to develop the medium as a force for art production and provide a platform for transvergence with the intersecting media and knowledge fields.
  • To provide a venue for development of work that cannot exist anywhere else and create a focal point for media and media industry.
  • To promote the development of a commons in virtual space, a place where ideas can be exchanged across physical borders.
  • To stimulate economic interest in virtual work and create a foundation for the exchange of goods in a new economy.


Ars Virtua is an unprofitable volunteer run organization for more information or if you are interested in renting the courtyard space for an event please contact

About Second Life
Second Life is a virtual world - a 3D online persistent space totally created and evolved by its users. Within this vast and rapidly expanding place, you can do, create or become just about anything you can imagine. Built-in content creation tools let you make almost anything you can imagine, in real time and in collaboration with others. An incredibly detailed digital body ('Avatar') allows a rich and customizable identity. A powerful physics simulation running on a backbone of hundreds of connected computers and growing with the population allows you to be immersed in a visceral, interactive world that as of April 2005 covers more than 12,000 acres and 20,000 owned plots of land. The ability to design and resell 3D content, combined with the ability to own and develop land and a microcurrency, which can be exchanged to real money means that you can build a real business entirely within Second Life.

To join Second Life visit: