My first attempt to realize my idea of a central repository for art and culture from around the world was the creation of a virtual museum and library in the 3d Internet world of Second Life. Though not a complete failure, I never really managed to advance it to the level that I imagined. My main fault has probably been that I overscaled it. I was more busy with paying the tier than with extending the exhibitions and event schedule. It was just too big to be managed and funded by a single person.
When I was forced to heavy-heartedly close my SL site a few months ago, I was already determined to move the whole project to the Web in order to reach a wider audience. For some weeks now the new Web-based World Culture Hub is online. What it is can probably best be explained with the short description on the About page. Let me quote the main points here:
The goal of the World Culture Hub is, generally spoken, to present the artistic and cultural heritage of mankind in all its richness and diversity, without temporal and geographical limits, not uncritical but as open-minded as possible, including all genres and traditions, forms and media, from ancient cave paintings to digital video art, from Bach to Ligeti, from Rembrandt to Picasso, from romantic poetry to cyberpunk, from John Dowland to Zakir Hussain – as long as they are original artistic achievements and not produced with the sole purpose of fitting into a commercial market. The Hub will not provide another promotion stage for dubious bestsellers such as Dan Brown’s but it may tell something about Munif’s Cities of Salt trilogy, John le Carré’s thrillers or the short stories of Steven King. The Hub is intended to be a source of discovery not just for scholars and specialists but for open-minded lovers of the arts in general, presenting information, works and work samples in a coherent framework with the most flexible and accessible search and browsing interface.
Classic European or contemporary American culture will not be excluded but the focus is on the other, on neglected or unknown works and traditions that are rarely comprehensively and unprejudicedly presented elsewhere. The World Culture Hub is, first of all, an online repository, collecting articles, essays, images, audio, video and other information. But it’s also intended as an event hub, casting its net into various real and virtual worlds. We plan events, among others
- locally in Germany, also at international locations with the help of local agents whenever the occasion arises
- in virtual worlds such as Second Life and InWorldz and in coming, more advanced virtual environments such as High Fidelity and Sansar
- via video live streaming on Youtube or Vimeo
- via audio live streaming using Shoutcast
And this all is just the beginning. If you have any ideas and like to contribute, your suggestions are warmly welcome by e-mail to WCH@iwoleit.de