The FlowerBall is a large round shape divided into five layers of macro photography with music. This Second Life© project is created by Douglas Story (photography, prims and general concept), Desdemona Enfield (scripts) and AldoManutio Abruzzo (soundscapes) and sponsored by California State University Long Beach. The installation is significant for many reasons, one of them being historical. The FlowerBall was first shown on the virtual campus of Princeton University in 2007. At that time, it was widely blogged about and nominated as one of the Top 10 Art Installations of Second Life by the blog New World Notes. It is such a treat to have this work back in Second Life. It is quite remarkable, considering the technical advancements that have taken place in Second Life since 2007 (mesh etc.), how current the project still feels. But I digress, back to the installation itself. The FlowerBall really consists of two parts. The first part is an entrance of sorts where you will be provided instructions on how to proceed. First, walk through a tunnel and second, fly to the big ball (make sure to set to midnight and turn up volume). Once you are in the big ball, slowly fly upward from one level to the next. Being inside the FlowerBall is a zen-like experience; the gentle movements, the gorgeously subtle flower images and the sound (that also changes from level to level) come together beautifully. Douglas Story, in a notecard that is provided at the landing, notes that [t]he inspiration for FlowerBall came from the feeling that accompanies the best examples of my close-up floral photos: that of being inside the inner chamber of the flower. I think Douglas Story’s statement most accurately depicts a viewer’s experience of this project. There is a sense of being enveloped inside a magical space. Other bloggers have written about this work as well, make sure to check out the post by Ziki Questi, which I thought provided a nice overview.
Photograph by Kate Bergdorf