The sim Furillen, curated by Serene Footman (read here) has become one of Second Life's most often photographed sims. Recently, photographers were encouraged to submit their best images to Dixmix Source, who has selected seven outstanding works to exhibit in his DiXmiX Gallery, and these — by iolanda weidman, MollyWolliDoodle, Hayel bracula, NikaLee, Oyona, Laura Mrs S, and Magic Maker — will remain on display in the Grey Gallery through the end of October. Additionally, in the White Gallery is a new show of striking images by Vallys Baxter entitled Women in Red. Additional exhibits are ongoing in DiXmiX's other gallery spaces.
20 October 2016
The ancient Nabataean city of Petra, located in southwestern Jordan, ranks as one the world's most dazzling sights — a majestic city carved from red sandstone rocks, its arresting façades still standing after more than a thousand years, justifiably considered one of the wonders of the world. Now, on LEA11, Fennet has created a virtual Petra, apparently intended to evoke the mystery and awesome grandeur of the original site. Sadly, the disappointing build does nothing of the sort.
Looking like something one might have encountered in Second Life back in 2007 or so, Petra is an arid region covered with swathes of sand sprinkled with desert animals and a few oases. (Rideable camels are available at the landing point.) We do indeed encounter stone structures, but, unlike the exquisite real life originals, these are entirely lacking in detail. Visitors are encouraged to click on things that generate scripted reactions — a genie provides a bag of gold, a leopard emerges from a dark cave and eats some food, a alluring bag of gold tricks visitors by submerging them in quicksand, a crocodile in a lake offers a bouncy ride, and the dais in the amphitheatre throws one into a pose of oration — but the interactions hardly contribute toward a satisfying experience. Does this belong on an LEA sim? Probably not.
16 October 2016
Now open at Berg by Nordan Art, curated by Kate Bergdorf, are two distinct but curiously connected exhibitions — The Joy Formidable by Livio Korobase, located on the ground level, and L’avion en papier by Mi, located in the small overhead gallery. The Joy Formidable, which rests on a square platform over a body of water, is home to seemingly unrelated elements — a giant cow covered in mystical symbols, the head of the Aztec god Xipe Totec (a life-birth diety who influenced agriculture, the seasons and other cyclical things), a cluster of small ladders on which one can pose, a circle of cats under a tree whose trunk is adored with words related to higher education, and so on. Be sure to click on the many objects, some of which provide poses or rides, and use advanced lighting model if possible — flying bicycles project images onto the giant head of Xipe Totec, but might be best visible in a darker windlight setting.
Livio notes that the installation was inspired by the song "This Ladder is Ours" by the group The Joy Formidable ("This ladder is ours/ This ladder is ours/ We can be anybody else/ Hold on to the fringe/ Jump through from the past/ ..."). While the work may not immediately be intelligible, even with support from the lyrics, Livio offers extensive thoughts on the nature of serendipity in his exhibition notecard, noting that, "The New Oxford Dictionary of English defines serendipity as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a satisfactory or beneficial way, understanding the chance as any event that takes place in the absence of any obvious project (randomly or accidentally), which is not relevant to any present need, or in which the cause is unknown. Innovations presented as examples of serendipity have an important characteristic: they were made by individuals able to 'see bridges where others saw holes' and connect events creatively, based on the perception of a significant link."
Overhead in the gallery, Mi's beautiful and often delicate images all make use of paper airplanes, but subtly, often in the background and often not recognizable for what they are — and paper airplanes lazily float about in abundance in Livio's installation below, thereby providing a visual and thematic link between the work of the two artists. (Moreover, several of Mi's images have been used by Livio in The Joy Formidable.) "This exhibit has given me the opportunity to work with the paper airplane," Mi says. "To me, the paper airplane symbolizes poetry and freedom. Most importantly, it is ephemeral; it takes off and flies. It is a gesture, a moment, a magical plane that eventually smoothly falls, but does not break and can fly again. A moment of dream and grace. The paper airplane can be created by anyone, anywhere; both children and adults alike recognize the transient poetry of this simple object. In my photographs, the paper plane is used as a paper airplane, but also as a sail, a wing, a hat, a boat hull, a safe keeper and it does not leave the woman as it is part of her." The exhibitions will remain on view through December.
11 October 2016
Now open is the 4th Annual Chamber Society Photography Competition & Exhibition, curated by Max Butoh and Lucy Diam0nd at the Dathúil Gallery of Art. During the month of September, members of the Chamber, located on the same sim, were invited to use the location for creative images, and to submit one item per photographer for consideration in the group exhibition. The curators received 60 entries; of these a first prize (L$12,000) was awarded to LoVeLy (lovelyxan), second prize to Annjalyk Storm (annjalykh2o), and third prize to Ravi Schou.
Additional works are on display by (in no particular order) Andrea DeLauren, Megan Prumier, Erika Xaron, Scarlett Rhea, Ivy Rose Autumntree (candygunpowder), Lake (laketower), J A Y (jaysondaaussie), Martissima (Marta Gabardini), Serena Marabana, Muse (Multimuse), REGGIETOROS, Mimi Duffield, Kismet Faith, Humpti, sa M oorsider (Samuel Moorsider), Sedona (Sedonajane Silverpath), and Dena Dana. While most of the images reflect the erotic themes prevalent at the Chamber, others are more introspective, exploring a mood or location. The exhibition will continue through the month of October.
06 October 2016
If Lorin Tone's untitled installation at LEA19 isn't much to look at, that's beside the point — it's a place for listening, for our ears rather than for our eyes. Visitors wander through an ever-changing sonic landscape with contributions from Lorin, Meriadne Merlin, Nance Clowes and others. "You will find soundscape environments, interactive music machines and a number of other audio demonstrations," says Lorin in the exhibition notecard. "We suggest that your sound effects volume control in preferences be turned all the way up. Wander around, play with the displays and most importantly, listen!"
The sim is divided into numerous small parcels with titles such as Super Deluxe Noise Spewer, The Harps, SLoog Synthesizer, Sci-Fi Demo, DOM-75 Ballad Emitter, Masai Percussion and Chants Emitter, Mayan Drums, and so on, each providing a different sonic experience. Sounds are restricted to the parcels from which they emit, providing a private and contained listening experience at each location. In some instances, sounds might be generated by one's avatar colliding with an object. (A Spook Shack, presumably to feature Halloween sounds, will open on October 11.)
Second Life is such a visual medium that a sound-oriented exhibition or installation is a rarity (excluding, of course, the many live musical performances around the grid). But while LEA19 provides some excellent examples of the ways in which local sounds can be generated within Second Life, it's more of a demonstration area than an artistic experience, perhaps akin to visiting the Ivory Tower of Primitives to learn how to manipulate basic prims. A visit might leave one wondering how Lorin and his colleagues could extend their work by creating a truly immersive environment. The sim will remain open through the end of December.
05 October 2016
The new paired scenic regions of Summers Wind and Winters Wind, designed to serve residential, commercial, artistic and recreational needs, offer spectacular views and vistas from nearly every vantage point. Summers Wind, located to the south of Winters Wind, is the more heavily developed and landscaped of the two (Winters Wind being a homestead and primarily residential), with Romanesque themes — a gorgeous landscape with towering rocks into which a few store façades and other spaces have been constructed.
The sims are owned by Caterina della Rovere (Catweasel Ohanlon), who asked Mexi Lane, previously the proprietor of the now-lost sim Imagin@rium (with which the new regions share some similarity), Rumegusc Altamura and FixGel Planer to design the overall environment; original meshes were created by Rumegusc and FixGel while Mexi created textures and the landscape. In describing the inspiration for the sims, Mexi cites various locations in Italy — "A bit of the southern islands, the Amalfi coast, the Ligurian coast of the Cinque Terre ... a mixture."
Although flying is a necessity to see everything, visitors would benefit from travel on foot as much as possible — views often unfold in unexpected ways, and openings in the rock faces can lead into caves or tunnels, as well as the Peperoncino Disco Club, cleverly encased in the tall rocks of Summers Wind. (Near the entrance to the Pepe Club, one can also rez a bicycle.) On Summers Wind, a teleport system is available (watch for urns half-buried in the soil) that transports visitors to many of the key destination points. Cultural and artistic events, including exhibitions, are forthcoming. Explorers, photographers and those searching for romantic locations will all certainly delight in the new opportunities these sims present.
02 October 2016
In a pastoral setting, Holly Kai Park's Art in the Park series continues with a new exhibit of creations by Anibrm Jung, Giovanna Cerise (image below), Inara Pey (image above), John Brianna and Wildstar Beaumont. The artworks, which include a mixture of two- and three-dimensional pieces, and real life and Second Life photography, are all available for purchase. Visitors may want to include Inara Pey's nearby gallery, and later return on Sunday, October 16 at 3 pm slt, when Seanchai Library will present Stories at the Park, which will feature 100-word stories and poems inspired by the art on display.
30 September 2016
Kaelyn Alecto's sim, It all starts with a smile, has broken away from its tropical jungle summer theme and has reopened for autumn, now displaying vivid fall colors. (The sim has been featured in this blog a number of times, most recently here in July.) Amid earthy browns, deep reds and golden yellows, a dirt path gently wraps around a small lake; houses, a barn and other buildings are set further out looking inward on the bucolic scene.
The dwellings and other structures are elegantly furnished and can be entered and explored, and visitors who wish to explore by bicycle can rez one near the landing point, where a group joiner offers the possibility of rez rights for props and other objects. Couples will find plenty of places to relax and take in the view, and photographers will not doubt delight in the sim's beauty. If you enjoy your visit, please consider leaving a contribution at the landing point.
28 September 2016
"Every single person I talk to can relate in one way or another," said Tahiti Rae as we spoke about the premise behind her new build on LEA27, EVRE. "Are we everywhere, at all times?" she asks. Through the exploration of this vast sim, which features a ground level and fourteen additional locations ascending into the sky, visitors can explore that very question, and in more than one way. If fifteen distinct environments sound like a lot to cram into one sim, they are — and the results are impressive. (Tah asked that bloggers avoid spoilers, so this post only scratches the surface of what visitors will encounter during their exploration.)
"On EVRE, travel in time, and then out of it," encourages Tah. "The purpose of EVRE is to present new evidence and to encourage the experience of what we don't yet quite understand. We can see 13 billion light years into the past via the Hubble space telescope, but what is it like now? Are the little gray men us, in the future? Is our deja vu a real memory out of order, or a wink from the universe that the timing is right? When our sleeping dreams come true, did we tap into the super string field? What if time is a misconception? What if reincarnations are little errors we're not supposed to discover? What if we travel from dimension to dimension, and always exist? We are capable of having a good or bad feeling and it comes true, seeing strange images awake or asleep that materialize, communicating with others on a level we don't understand, feeling we've known someone forever, constant deja vu, feeling the pain of strangers across the world, having flashes of memories from the far past, and experiencing anomalies in the present we don't understand."
Visitors enter EVRE on the ground level, where a sparse but beautiful landscape of gently undulating hills conceals a dozen or so antique "memory clocks," each of which serves as a transporter to one of the fourteen levels. The clocks are numbered and have names that correspond to their destinations (Monastic, One Room, Pass, Cruisin', Boomerang, Pride, and so on), and each destination depicts a different moment in time ranging from the distant past to the future. Two clocks are prominently visible as one enters the space: one in the sky (which differs from the other clocks, and points to a location that should be visited at the culmination of all other visits), and one with a large welcome sign that explains how the clocks work — this one, #1, goes to the Psi Pavilion and the Events Venue. Start here, where an orientation to EVRE is presented. Throughout the Psi Pavilion (top image), which functions as something of a library, one can read and watch videos about subjects ranging from telepathy to precognitive dreams, from telekinesis to reincarnation. Visitors can also participate by sharing their own experiences.
Each of the levels is an exquisitely created and photogenic space, a small world unto itself, with remarkably independent content, look and feel. At the culmination of your visit (or visits, as your exploration is likely to take more than one trip) a surprising pair of final destinations tie the various levels together with the build's overall theme. (Tahiti provides a notecard so that visitors can keep track of the destinations they've visited, and using this is almost a necessity. To return to the landing point with the memory clocks, simply click on the two runners who are present at each level.) EVRE will host occasional events and facilitate group projects — join the group at the landing point for additional information — and will remain open until December 31.
27 September 2016
Now open at MetaLES is 5Y Smoking, the premiere exhibition of photography by Lan (lanjran Choche), who along with Ux Hax and Romy Nayar is one of the sim's owners. Uncharacteristically for MetaLES, the exhibition ventures into the realm of fashion photography — often erotic, often avant garde, and consistently well shot. With rare exception, a slender cigarette is a common element in all the images — sometimes in the mouth, sometimes in the hand, and sometimes visible only by a gentle spiral of smoke — and the exhibition's title is short for "Five Years Smoking," with one diptych near the landing point contrasting images from 2011 and 2016. "It's a mood," said Lan said with a laugh as we talked about the exhibition and the constantly present cigarette. "Femme fatale."
The gallery, designed and constructed by Lan, is minimally lit (thereby letting the artwork stand out), so visitors should use the occasional trail of red dots to help navigate through the exhibition. Those who are curious about the impressively diverse fashion can discover more information through Lan's flickr stream, although there are no direct links between the images on display and those on flickr. 5Y Smoking should remain on display for the next several weeks.