At the end of the last week, an idea came together for another machinima, this time located in Furillen in Second Life. A bleak, open sim, it’s based on a real life place – an island off the northeast coast of Sweden, where a limestone factory was turned into a hotel. Furillen has been recreated by Serene Footman, who has encouraged photographers and other creatives to make art there. And they do.
So above is my main contribution. I also have quite a few photos on Flickr, mostly reference shots taken from the 68 video clips (and with nearly an hour of film I had to do something different this time to be able to keep it all in my head!) in my Furillen folder. I think of the 14 machinima so far, this is the most controlled in it’s pacing and emotional feel.
So what is it that makes Furillen special as a place? I think there are two things, the second of which follows on from the first.
The first is that there is a beauty in its sparseness – a bleak aesthetic. It is quite different from anywhere else. There is also a backstory based on its real life existance that is intriguing and feeds that sense of bleakness. It’s impossible to feel neutral about it.
The second is that it is not a completed sim. This is a place with an ongoing story extending from the backstory with no conclusion. The sim description, ‘remote, bleak, beautiful’, is more of an invitation than a concluding statement, and reflects the visual sparseness that almost demands filling in. Anyone who goes there is welcomed to add to it (personally if Serene is around), and there are many, many directions that can be taken.
Sometimes I arrive at new builds and I feel that everything has been said already. It’s more of a statement and a spectacle; I can get some nice pics, but it’s difficult to build on the story. This perhaps reflects where I am creatively too – last year much of my photography was about trying to capture the different facets of places. My Flickr stream this year has been more about incidents or situations, or related to my machinima, or trying to push the edges of image capture.