2011F Art Cafe@Second Life

College students created 3D virtual art spaces that respond to social issues

In Dr. Lilly Lu’s technology course, art education students in teams created 3D virtual art spaces that respond to social issues. They also designed and hosted real-time events for global audiences to participate in and explore their virtual spaces. 

Student Project Example#1: Environmental Holocaust

These students’ created an “environment” that focused on the effects disasters have on the environment as well as on humans (or what the environment/we could become) because of our (human) lifestyle/activities. More specifically, the oil spill in the Gulf and the chemicals used to disperse the oil are having disastrous effects on humans, plants, and animals. There is also the radiation from the nuclear plants in Japan. What will happen as a result of exposure?

Their project was to make visitors become aware of how our lifestyles are affecting our planet and also what our actions are doing to ourselves. Hopefully, visitors can think of the long-term effects instead of only the immediate point in time.

Student Project Example#2: Hunger in a Wasteful World.

This student project was to introduce the problem of hunger in the U.S. Visitors/ avatars traveled through different scenes like they are watching a movie being acted out. Each scene will depict a different aspect of hunger, whether it be the problem, the solution, or the vision. In each “space” station, avatars will follow a very sequential teleport system.  Each station led up to the students’ final vision for a better future in regards to hunger. The goal of this project was to bring awareness, inspire interest, and call the viewers to action- in regard to making a difference. Students stated that “We as Americans are wasteful, and this project is our hope to draw attention to that, and to try and give some applicable solutions, and ways in which the general public can help alleviate the problem.”

Student Project# 3: Olga Goes Into a Coma

The story begins with Olga interviewing for the annual charity she hosts, the Race to End Athlete’s Foot. Olga was the main character; she is a controlling and self centered person who many fear. The race begins and Olga is running; then all of sudden she falls and disappears into a dream like world. In this world she embarks on many paths where she must face the actualities of her personality and learn to change herself. She runs into characters such as Hannah who show her vitality of life through her garden. She also meets Ashley who shows Olga how she compares to the largeness and smallness of the world. Olga must face a final challenge after hearing about the truths about her; it is a way of testing if she has learned her lesson. In the end Olga makes the wrong choice and chooses to go back to her old ways, and as a result she is transformed into a two dimensional object.

The primary objective of this movie is bringing to the surface issues that many people have. Some of the issues Olga addresses are judging people based on their appearance, treating people as if they are smaller than you, and learning modesty and humility.  Another important part of the story is the fact that in the end Olga makes the wrong choice and continues to do wrong. Many storylines show people changing themselves for a happy ending; however students in this project felt that having Olga be resistant to change teaches the viewer that there aren’t always happy endings.

Students stated in their learning journals “It’s important that people find their identity, that’s why was having Olga face so many issues. As artists, we know that a lot of times our artwork is a reflection of us as artists trying to figure out who we are. We felt that bringing this idea to the surface in our film shows that everyone goes through their search for their true self.”


Last Updated: 12 May 2016