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Why is there something rather than nothing? (2007-2008)


(From the original text. 2008)

Why is there something rather than nothing?

This is the question that Leibniz poses while wondering about creation.
Entering in the Metaverse, the question remains the same. Why is there something rather than nothing?  How will the future landscape be? Where will our avatars pose their feet?

This artwork is a series of photographs of a new land called The Grid, the net of the servers that hosts the Second Life world simulating physical surface geography. This land is the basic structure underneath all of the Second Life world, the earth where millions of avatars start to live. Marco Manray, like an Ansel Adams in Second Life, puts his tripod in the middle of the wilderness areas of an ideal West, exploring what is still left of the wild, the untouched segment of the natural-not natural environment of the Metaverse. 


Marco Manray artist and photographer in virtual worlds


He started to travel and take photographs in the Net since 2003, after the publication of "Net Photography Manifesto” where he set up the concept of net-photography.
In 2005 he published ARENAE, a b&w reportage from the battlegrounds of the net.
Like a modern-day Robert Capa he entered as "embedded" reporter in war games like Quake III, Enemy Territory and Half-Life Counter Strike. The photos look dramatically like real war photos, like real war photos looks like videogames.
From february 2005 he is resident in Second Life as Marco Manray, an artist-photographer who documents the evolving of the metaverse with his stories and his images.
His images from Second Life have been published by international magazine as Liberation (paris), El Pais (madrid), Repubblica (milan), Elle (madrid-milan) , AD (milan).
Author of the book “Io, Reporter In Second Life”, Shake Ed., Milano nov 2007
The book starts with the story of the making of the reportage for Liberation, "Votez Virtuel", during the presidential election in France in 2007, when a photo from a virtual world went on the first page of a newspaper.
Left the interest for reportage, in 2008 Marco Manray starts a research about landscapes in virtual worlds, with the black and white series "Why is there something rather than nothing?", photographies taken in Second Life wild areas still untouched by man, where Manray roams, wearing Ansel Adams’ shoes in a metaphorical West. 
In summer 2008 he left form Second Life to explore the chinese virtual world HiPiHi, for his project: “Der Neue Wanderer”. Lost in a far corner of the metaverse like a new Friedrich’s “Wanderer” he went back with a series of artworks on paper inspired at the Maoist propaganda posters and a video.
The project “Remap Berlin” deals with different levels of reality, mirroring back a mirror world from virtual to real. The photos shot in the virtual Berlin of Twinity, are then geo localized in google maps, re-mapped from virtual to real, and many of these photos were selected by Google for Google Earth and by this became little geographical virus.


Solo Exibitions
- Der Neue Wanderer - Overfoto Gallery, Napoli – solo exhibit, september 2009
- Remap Berlin - Odyssey art+performance sim in second life, solo exhibit
- I am not afraid - Shake Edizioni, Milano, march 2009 - part of the Festival “Border”
- Marco Manray in China - ARENA Call for Artists, dec 2008 – Second Life
- REPLICA Galleria Overfoto , Second Life - may/jul 2008
- MARCOMANRAY@Photography Museum Moya -Second Life, oct 2008

Group exhibitions
- Atopic Festival, Paris oct 2009 
- Marco Manray in China AREANA Call for Artists, Second Life dec 2008
- Reality Festival - Festival international d'Art dédié aux mondes virtuels, oct 2008, Door Studios, Paris
- Rinascimento Virtuale Museum of Natural History at the University of Florence oct 2008 –
- Allarmi, Caserma De Cristoforis, Como, May/jun 2008 
- Shooting Pixels – Galleria Overfoto, Napoli dec 2007-feb 2008
“NetSpace: viaggio nell’arte della Rete” Paesaggi elettronici, MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo - may 2007 Roma
The Diamond, PEAM Pescara Electronic Artists Meeting, Pescara 2006


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