Sunday, March 1, 2015

Medici University in Second Life

I have recently joined Medici University (MU) in Second Life as an artist-in-residence. The opportunity to join the University and make a life for myself there has many upsides. As a lifelong learner, its natural for me to seek out education spaces. As an educator for 20 odd years, the relative comfort of a virtual space makes "a day at the office" a creative endeavor. At Medici University, the titles of "teacher" and "student" have been abolished and everybody is a "learner". So far I have had the opportunity to meet just a few of the learners at MU, and it is truly an exciting endeavor. A combination of inworld and web-based interactions make the community rich, if slightly difficult to wrap one's head around. MU and its students have blogs, Flickr photo accounts, a forum, and other venues for interaction. Having had much experience teaching and learning in the classroom and in and about Second Life, I bring that experience to the table as an artist-in-residence. I have already begun collaboration, experienced some inspired art and talented artists, and continued my own research there. I've been asked to teach classes, but for the moment I find the social interactions enough. Some of the learners at MU seem to be at the early stages of their second lives, others quite comfortable in their avatar skins. I have already made some art at MU, and will continue doing so at least until the University's "lease" runs out in the summer. MU is a Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA)-granted build. I imagine the community may stay together after that in another space or form. My little plot, which I call my studio is showcasing some of my work, new and old, and I plan to continue rotating things in and out of it, resurrecting some of my older in-world work, and also creating anew. The MU space has 60 or so studio plots, and includes the hilariously named Katyperryopolis dance club, a bar, a coffee house, and interesting builds reflecting quite a variety of interests and skill levels. Medici University on the web can be found at, and you can start your 3D virtual world explorations at Medici University in Second Life here

RMarie Beedit, Mistress of Ceremonies for Medici University Convocation

Photo at Medici University Convocation parade