‘We are simply pixels’, 2nd winner thoughts on virtual nudity


Photo by George Shuba

Molly Montale interview

Dear Molly,

following up your outstanding performance at RMB City “Naked Idol” event, we would like to ask you a few questions. Are you ready to undress your imagination once more?

1. What does nudity represent to you both in the real and the virtual dimension?

“Would you let me walk down your street
Naked if I want to?” – Moby Grape, 1967

I think of the soldier standing naked at the entrance to the asylum in the film Le Roi de Coeur.

I think of Jim Morrison surrounded by police on stage after being suspected of exposing himself.

I think of the covers of “nudist” magazines on city newsstands years ago. They always seemed to be playing volleyball.

Considering Second Life nudity the first thing I think of is the inevitable noob walking around naked.

I have seen nude beaches in Second Life where no one is naked. Nudity in Second Life is I think something that every resident has thought about. We are simply pixels yet nearly no one would allow themselves to be seen without clothing.

I remember logging on once. Many sims were down. People were rezzing in welcome areas instead of their normal locations. 40 people in one place. Lag making it impossible to move or teleport away. Nearly nothing was rezzing. I snapped some pictures and posted one on the SL Flickr group. My photo was removed by a moderator for violating the no nudity rule in spite of the fact that those there looked like dozens of grey, featureless mannequins piled into a closet.

My own first experience with public nudity in Second Life occurred while I was setting up a snapshot. I was making an avatar parody photo of Duchamp’s painting Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. I was adjusting poses in the set I had built for the photo when I thought I had crashed. Actually the sim had gone down. I restarted and rezzed naked in the Ahern Welcome Area rather than my previous location. I quickly flew up 300 meters and put on some clothes.

2. How would you describe your Naked Tour through RMB City and what do you think is the true and bare nature of the island?

I have been interested in RMB City since it was first announced. It’s cosmopolitan mixture of old and new and of east and west is exciting. Still emerging from the time of Mao yet facing the future. This is the sense I have of RMB City and it influenced my choice of avatar I used for the naked idol event.

3. What do you think a ‘Naked Idol’ is or should be? A moment of transgression, embarrassment, freedom or what more?

I approached the event as a “fun” event. I wanted to participate and I wanted to see what others would do. I had planned to have a Guan Yin like avatar riding on a bed of swirling clouds and carrying auspicious objects. The event was for me a challenge rather than a contest. I was disappointed that I didn’t finish what I had planned. I instead arrived to see what the others had done.

I feel the event did allow the participants to explore the idea of what does it really mean to be naked in a pixelated world.

-Molly Montale

Blog,Events,SL Events — Gianna Yebut, July 21, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

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