• Kat Johnston: A virtual world take on 'The Treachery of Images' - I call it 'The treachery of Second Life'. This is not a real life pipe.
  • I have not posted in quite a while, I know! Real life has just been busy busy. It always is. That is hardly an excuse though, don’t you think? So here was my little burst of creativity for yesterday.

    As many of you surely know, I play around in Second Life quite a bit. I enjoy the medium for creativity because of the great possibilities you have available to you – from detailed immersive¬† environments to the challenge of making something so incredibly tiny that it takes some really creative camming to see all of the delicious, glorious detail. It’s like writing your name on a rice-grain: seemingly pointless, but nonetheless awesome.

    Anyhow… I got to chatting to someone while in Second Life the other day about semiotics. Semiotics is the study of signs; it is a subject that truly fascinates me. When I was studying semiotics, a particular artwork came up quite a bit. It is now a personal favourite, and I could not help but do my own little spin of it following that conversation.

    Rene Magritte’s ‘The Treachery of Images‘ presents a seemingly contradictory statement: it shows an image of a pipe, with the words ‘ceci n’est pas une pipe’ (or in English, ‘this is not a pipe’ just below it, clearly pointing out the *ahem* treachery of images: the picture of a pipe is not a pipe at all, but simply a representation.

    So yes… this is my own little version, nicely customized for the world of Second Life. While I could have very easily left the text exactly as it was, I feel that it was nice to give it a touch more context. It makes me smile that in a universe such as this, people are quite willing to spend their money to buy a virtual representation of a representation of a representation. I wonder what Magritte would have said about that?