Natural History Museum of Vienna

I visited the ‘Natural History Museum of Vienna‘, this morning. It’s many years since I was here last, but it’s not changed much. I don’t think the Bryn Oh exhibition was here, then, she wasn’t very famous when I was here last, though, I could be wrong, and it may have been here; that’s how long ago I visited here, though, so long ago it’s all a bit vague*. This is a very old-SL-style build, three dimensional aspects represented by two dimensional images applied to the faces of prims. This looks delightfully dated, now, but has, for me, the same appeal as remembering what sound sounded like from a valve radio (yes, my human remembers that)…

… it’s worth a visit here, just for the hallucinogenic optics of the place. Several of the rooms aren’t actually ‘rooms’ with 3D objects and real (SL-real) dimensions, they are actually photographs that you step into. This is a wonderfully, though odd, trippy experience…

… you step from a prim faceted reality, into a very weird, slightly disorienting visual illusion. I have no idea how these rooms are actually constructed, just that it’s pointless trying to adjust your ‘hover height’ to cope with the sudden experience of hovering above everything. As you move into a room, your mind kind of compensates for the disparity of the visuals, and it all begins to feel right…

… the rooms themselves are a delight. Being photos of real museum rooms, they feel incredibly like every such room my human has ever been in, right down to their gorgeously fusty datedness. The human has found that every museum environment it has ever experienced was stunningly modernised… 25 years earlier!…

… the dinosaurs are out in the actually constructed rooms. These beasties are obvious labours of painstaking craftsmanship. This Diplodocus is 157 prims! All the skeletons have similar prim counts, which is probably why most of the building itself is just textures on flat prims…

… there are some lovely wall displays…

… to inspire wonder and thought…

… but I have to confess to becoming fixated on the more hallucinogenic aspects of the place. At times I felt like I was Alice, and this was Wonderland, which, I guess, is a fine way to feel in a museum…

… climbing to the roof was like emerging into the set for ‘Inception‘…

Inception meets Alice in Wonderland. When photography is your passion in SL, you soon notice that SL has very strange visual dynamics, very similar to video game visual dynamics… perspective is very plastic in SL. On the roof of the Natural History Museum of Vienna, the rules of perspective crash into the rules of reality, including backward inscriptions on the building face…

… I loved it!…

… careful cropping can get interesting results…

… less careful cropping gets even more interesting results (:

*Annie Brightstar kindly informed me that Bryn Oh’s installation was there, 11 years ago. Just as well I know not to trust my defective memory (:

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