Second Liveness

Cook, Nicholas and Gagen, Justin. 2014. 'Second Liveness'. In: Creativity, Circulation and Copyright: Sonic and Visual Media in the Digital Age. CRASSH, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Concerts in Second Life generally aim to reproduce the conditions of live music in real-world venues. The music itself, however, is made in the real word and streamed into Second Life, which problematises the idea of ‘live’ music. Rather than seeing it as irrelevant, Second Life residents have developed their own understanding of what liveness means, and the extensive debates through which this understanding has emerged illustrate the social construction of liveness in action. At the same time, technological limitations of the Second Life platform undermine the whole approach of reproducing real world concerts: the variable lag that is a permanent feature of Second Life means that accurate and predictable synchronisation of images, gestures, chat, and streamed sound is impossible. This paper argues that the most effective way to create liveness in Second Life is not to reproduce the conditions of real world performance, but rather to reconstruct liveness based on the technological affordances of virtual reality.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing > Intelligent Sound and Music Systems (ISMS)


28 March 2014UNSPECIFIED

Event Location:

CRASSH, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2014 12:08

Last Modified:

16 Jan 2020 09:50


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