By Bixyl Shuftan
On Sunday October 20th, Gracie Kendel, known as Kristine Schomaker in real-life, ended her "Binge and Purge" art exhibition. Originally done for artistic reasons, with the Terms of Service controversy, the exhibit was taking a new meaning. It could also very well be Gracie's last exhibit within Second Life.
The event for the exhibit's close was announced on her blog
for 10 AM. At the time, a number of residents dropped in at the LEA16 sim where "Binge and Purge" was. Gracie was in her "painted maniquen" skin which she started wearing when her "This is Not a Painting" exhibit was up. Among those attending were Any1 Gynoid, Crap Mariner, Fuchsia Nightfire, and Tuna Oddfellow, whom earlier had made news by moving his "Odd Ball" performance from Second Life to Inworldz. Without terrain, the sim was just open ocean with a barrier for walking on, and of course Gracie's inventory.
Not all of her inventory was rezzed. Landmarks and notecards, which often make more than half a resident's inventory, of course could not be brought out into the open. She would delete those last. But her list of friends, she would certainly not erase. She also planned on keeping her skin, shape, and AO.
What was in her inventory? Much of it was what one would expect in that of most resident's, vehicles such as a dune buggy and a place, Christmas decorations, furniture, etc. But there was some Relay for Life related items, and an award given to her. Among those objects she considered important, one was from the late Artistic Fimicloud, a pink foxgirl known for her work with the Relay for Life.
For a while, we hung around with her as she went around deleting objects. There was something odd going on at first as only those near us could be seen, even if we extend our range. Someone poked fun at Crap Mariner's name, by joking Gracie was eliminating the "crap" from hers, which got chuckles all around.
I had to leave before long, but came back a few hours later to see everyone but Gracie was gone, and she was still getting rid of her inventory. She explained she was still rezzing items, and it could take many hours before only Landmarks and notecards were left.
Gracie explained this art project started out as a statement about consumerism and dieting, hence the name "binge and purge." But after Linden Lab's recent moves, It became a statement against the TOS. This was the last exhibit she was planning to do within Second Life until Linen Lab changed their Terms of Service to remove the language content creators found objectionable.
Gracie explained she was standing up to support fellow artists whom had taken actions in protest. But she had some genuine concerns as she worked in Second Life as well as real life. Could the Lab sue her for duplicating content in real life? Maybe not, but she didn't want to take chances.
So what would get her to do another performance? Linden Lab would have to change it's terms. While They did issue a statement, it wasn't legally binding. Would she move to InWorldz? Gracie answered she had no plans to make performances there, as that alternative world lacked the history Second Life did, "I've been where for seven years. I love Second Life. … I'll come in socially, but I won't be creating in Second Life any more."
Before I left, Gracie expressed hope the Lab would change it's mind, "I hope they realize content creators are the ones who make Second Life what it is, and they're just shooting themselves in the foot.."
On her blog post for October 24, Gracie announced the job was done
, her inventory was finally empty, aside from what she planned to save. "It was a rather liberating feeling letting go of all the stuff," she wrote, "I felt like I did when I had my hair shaved off. I felt free." But looking back at old photos, she felt sad about some things what were gone.
And so, Gracie Kendel joins the list of those making a statement against Linden Lab's new Terms of Service. Will the Lindens be persuaded to change? Time will tell