13 March 2008

Gone but not forgotten: Cotton's Dystopia

Dystopia: An imaginary place or state in which
the condition of life is extremely bad,

as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.

-American Heritage Dictionary

I was planning on writing about this place at some point, but not in this way. I just found out today through the Second Life Art News blog that Cotton's Dystopia (formerly in Moneta) was recently deleted. Had to happen at some point, I suppose, since Cottonteil is gone from SL, but it's still sad; it was a brilliant, beautiful, surreal build.

Cotton's Dystopia was a perfect brooding place. It was made up of huge monoliths of old concrete surrounded by water; it seemed to be an abandoned construction site, but I never could tell what was being built. Random windows and jagged edges broke the stark lines of the concrete slabs, a long-unused crane loomed overhead, and rusted beams and pieces of fencing stuck out here and there. In the middle of it all was a small patch of grass, with a few young trees; the last time I was there, glass globe lamps and intricately-constructed power tools were hanging from the branches. At various times, statues, musical instruments, stacks of shipping pallets and old rusted signs appeared; eventually they would disappear again, just as mysteriously. It was a beautiful place, in a bleak and melancholy way; I always found myself wondering why the construction crew abandoned it and what sort of building it was meant to have been.

Lessons learned: take lots of pictures of places you enjoy, because nothing in SL is certain. Explore a lot, and share the good places with friends. I'm glad I saw this place while I could. Thanks to Cottonteil, wherever she is now, for building it, and to those who helped preserve it after her departure. It'll be missed.

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