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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rezzurrection

May thy Ka live! Mayest thou spend millions of years,
Oh thou who lovest Thebes,
seated with thy face turned to the north
and thine eyes contemplating felicity.

Inscription on the tomb of Tutankhamun

It was the kind of Egyptian outing you could only find in Second Life, me dressed for an English garden party, a person in a Pompadour wig, and a couple of ladies sporting horse tails, one of them heavily pregnant. The style mashup met at the landing spot of the new King Tut exhibit at King's Rezzable. The Tut show is actually still at the preview stage, who knows what more goodies the good folk of Rezzable.com have up their sleeves. To say the balloon part was my favourite bit really doesn't give the rest the credit it deserves, but as you can maybe partially tell from these pictures, it is breathtaking. You click on the balloon to ride above the curve of the world, with Egypt directly below you. The view changes from a satellite view, to an atlas, the kind of thing perhaps Howard Carter drooled over as a small boy; in turn the atlas gives way to a map showing the surprisingly large scope and layout of the ancient burial grounds. I'm not making myself clear, you have to go and see yourself.The aerial view is however not even among the four attractions advertized at the landing point. Among the names that deserve mentioning are world-renowned photographer Sandro Vannini, whose photos of the artefacts (check out his book Omaggio all'Egitto) form the backbone of the sim's textures. No less noteworthy Alejandro Rosenthal one of the scripters, who kindly posed for a photo for this post which my puppy ate, also My Mackenzie, Beatrix Newt, as well as technical advisor and builder Foolish Frost, whose profile mentions an 'avatar song' I intend to get to the bottom of at my earliest convenience. Littletoe Bartlet "I traded a cow for a handful of magic beans" and partner Pavig Lok complete my roll of honour though I am sure others had more than a hand in the making, apologies to any left out.
The King Tut exhibit has been in the works for over a year and although it isn't quite finished - Alejandro was making some repairs when I ran into him - it is one of the best assembled tours you'll take in SL. The notecard belonging to the exhibit says: "We believe that the online, 3D, immersive environment can be an amazing way to experience the ancient world. Explore time and place. See amazing details from stunning artefacts. Enjoy this unique experience with friends and archeology experts." Which is what I'm doing now.

Once I was done cooing over the balloon, I tp'd down to the 'excavations' which recreate a sort of 1920's atmosphere with little white tents that make you think Lord Caernarvon just stepped away for a moment to do something patronizing among the palm trees, and will be back any moment to say hello. Enter the tomb (there's even an iron gate, which thank goodness opens, and you will see some of the gold funerary items that first met Carter's gaze, eliciting that famous diary entry: "With trembling hands I made a tiny breach in the upper left hand corner . . . widening the hole a little I inserted the candle and peered in . . . at first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle to flicker. Presently details of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold - everywhere the glint of gold." The 3D items on show include a chariot and chairs, there's a photo in the Italian bit... worth noting that the builders haven't let the joy of prims get the upper hand here, there are enough items to give a sense of wonder, without producing a whole load of counterproductive lag. I like the wall paintings from the tomb site, of a crisp unmissable beauty. Also, one wall is all monkeys: say no to that, if you dare. Next stop is the Special Pieces Gallery, which is special in its own right, a wonderfully intuitive and stylish design. The main chamber holds the two gigantic gilded shrines that originally held Tut's mummy, while the side rooms hold copies of tinier but equally impressive pieces from the treasury. Cam in tight to see the exquisite workmanship, ancient and modern, or press the Enlarge button and see the objects in extraordinary detail.

A third chamber houses 'King Tut' himself, the familiar funeral mask in context, a boy in his tomb, all the gold and glory in the world no consolation for the cold smallness of death. As I passed my cursor over the funeral mask, I noticed that Alejandro's name came up: odd, I thought, I know he's a scripter, not a texture guy. So I clicked on the mummy and wonder of wonders, it opened up before my eyes! ...you guessed it, the picture is in the Italian bit. I'm telling you, you have to go see this place it is very cool. I should also mention that throughout you can click to listen to audio commentary, along with some beautiful music. Breaking away from the subterranean, I used the TP to go up to the Cosmic Gallery. Here Egyptian artefacts fill the night sky. Either cam out to see the pieces, or walk down the nebulous helix (yes, it is a walkway, trust me) to view pieces in person.Finally, on ground level is the Amarna house and an interesting shopping area - this should be your first stop if you're the kind of tourist who likes to look epoch-apropriate while getting your dose of world-class culture.
It's that time of year where so many of us are getting a little monitor-weary, with good reason. Time, then, to contemplate some felicity. Perhaps a visit to King Tut - and the energizing website of rezzable.com, with over 30 sims dedicated to entertainment and exploration, not to mention a mighty presence on Youtube, twitter, and flickr - may be just what it takes to breathe new life into your love of SL.
*******

Possa il tuo Ka vivere, possa tu passare milioni di anni,
O amante di Tebe, seduto affacciato verso il Nord
i tuoi occhi contemplando la felicità.

Scritto sulla tomba di Tutankhamun

Sole, sabbia, e sacre scritte: arrivato l'estate, ora di fare una bella gita in Egitto, ma senza soffrire il caldo e i posti di blocco o i prezzi salati... andiamo alla mostra King Tut a King's Rezzable, uno dei trenta sim del gruppo rezzable.com ideati e realizzati con tanta professionalità e fantasia. Se clicchi sul link che ti ho appena dato, ti porterà (salvo errori di battitura mia) all'inizio del percorso della mostra dedicata al più famoso dei faraoni, Tut Anch Amun. Ci sono quattro zone da visitare, la tomba, la galleria di articoli speciali, la galleria cosmica e la casa di Armana tutti naturalmente collegati da TP. Ma prima di lasciare il punto di atterraggio, prendi un momento di contemplare anche te tutto l'Egitto, in mongolfiera ... Una panorama straordinaria che muta da immagine satellitare a mappamondo - una di quelle mappe scholastiche da fine secolo, forse come quella che lo stesso Howard Carter avesse da bambino, all'epoca in cui nacque la sua passione per l'Egitto... da mappamondo il paesaggio muta di nuovo; ora è visibile l'imponente rete di necropoli. Quanto lavoro, quanto tempo, quanta vita... La vita continua, e anche la gita: si scende con il TP nella zona scavi, dove troverai le tende bianche stile anni venti, e la tomba di Tut, naturalmente. Oltre ai bellissimi affreschi (una parete intera dedicata alle scimmie, da non perdere) ci sono alcuni articoli quale il carro da guerra reale dorato, come si vede nella foto riportata qui sopra. Hanno preferito mettere solo pochi oggetti anziché ricreare l'intero allestimento funerario, ma ci hanno regalato quanto basta per farsi un'idea (privo di lag) di ciò che ha visto Howard Carter quando per la prima volta in tremila anni, occhi vivi si sono posati sul tesoro di Tut.

E' invece nella Special Pieces Gallery che troverai i pezzi speciali della collezione reale. Si tratta di una galleria molto bella, fatta come una tomba, nella sala principale trovi due sarcofaghi di legno dorato, nelle stanze attigue oggetti piccolissimi ma di grandissimo pregio. Tocchi il cartello Enlarge, e l'oggetto acquista 100 volte le sue dimensioni 'naturali' come si vede nella foto; sono cartocci e contenitori per cosmetici fatti in alabastro, e sembrano vere. Un miracolo sia della tecnica degli antichi artigiani che dei builders di rezzable.com -scripter Alejandro Rosenthal e la bravissima My Mackenzie, Beatrix Newt, una sim builder straordinaria, consulente tecnico Foolish Frost, Littletoe Bartlet e Pavig Lok. Le immagini da cui sono state elaborate le textures sono del fotografo italiano Sandro Vannini, autore del bellissimo libro Omaggio all'Egitto. Rezzable.com offre una vasta gamma di servizi e divertimenti in SL, gestisce oltre 30 sim, è un gruppo molto energico di artisti tecnici e fans di SL. Se sei un po' stanco del metaverso, o pensi d'averlo visto tutto, pèrova a visitare il loro sito principale, oppure Youtube, twitter, flickr - ti sentirai rinascere.Sempre nella galleria di oggetti speciali toverai la mummia di Tut, uno dei volti più famosi del mondo ma qui vedendolo in contesto, ci si rende conto quanto poco vale tutto l'oro del mondo dinanzi alla piccola fredda certezza della morte. Toccare la mummia e si trasforma in maniera meravigliosa, come in questa foto.... La galleria cosmica offre un modo molto originale di visionare molti dei tesori di Tut, tra le stelle tanto amate dagli egiziani, puoi percorrere un'elica doppia per vedere da vicino le opere giganti. E infine, al 'piano terra' del sim, troverai la serena e bella casa di Armana, e un negozio Tutto Egitto: avatar, skin, mobili e gioielli, per chi vuole vivere l'Egitto sulla propria pelle.

4 comments:

xlent1 said...

thanks for thoughtful and interesting notes about your visit to king tut on SL. You might also want to check out the alpha on the next release by registering over at http://heritage-key.com and taking a peek there. ;p cu on a grid

xlent1 said...

flashed this post over at our site: http://rezzable.com/blog/rightasrain-rimbaud/rezzurection-covers-virtual-king-tut-sl-grid thanks again!

Lokum Shilova said...

excellent tour ! great details many thks

for Paisley Beebe said...

Rightasrain Rimbuld will be appearing on Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe this Sunday the 24th May to talk about King Tut's Tomb and why this is just a preview....Paisley www.tonightlivewithpaisleybeebe.com