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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bananas by Moonlight

Earlier this summer,with her install 'Destruction', Asmita Duranaya challenged artists and builders to come up with a modern fable.
The result, or at least the top of the iceberg, from a creative point of view, was unveiled last night at Space4Art in the form of the winning entry, 'Fleeting Captivities' by Lilia Artis and Haveit Neox.
 This lovely construct is a 3D interpretation of their charming morality tale which exudes all the best values of Second Life, impossible climactic conditions, bridges over infinity, and unexpected friendships in the face of adversity. It's a must read, and if you do nothing else, TP over to and pick up a copy. But no, hang around a little longer on the sim, and try out Asmita's Destruction word-game-with-a-message. Looks like sinister fun.
 Center stage is the build by Haveit and Lilia, who took their tale and fitted it into quite literally a 'space for art'. last night was the dance-filled vernissage, and Lilia read the story out in both German and English. She has a clear, bright delightful reading voice. It was like a sort of bizarro crap mariner event, put it that way.

Lilia Artis: Second Life offers the opportunity to illustrate a story in 3D, and as in good books, we tried to let each of the media stand for itself so that the 'illustration' would sort of become independent of the story, and begin a life of its own, telling yet more levels of the fable. It was a challenge to come up with a fable in a modern, urban setting, and like all collaborative processes, the presentation of the story grew and changed as they went along.I am a writer in RL and art is sort of more in the background now concerning earning a living. I use SL to fill up my creative wells, and indulge more in art again. Haveit is an artist in both worlds, but he also is a talented writer, as we found out working together.
'Fleeting Captivities', subtitled 'Monkeys and Octopuses' has a simple, yet fresh feel to it. The build is especially strong in its jewel like textures, which achieve the impossible task of implying the ocean, infinity and a circus tent all in one glassy go.
Haveit Neox: The hardest part was assembling parts in an enclosed area with so many alpha layers. It was real easy to continually select the wrong prims ! I really only have 2 or 3 scripts, so I'd have to say my favorite aspects of building are the prims and the textures. I guess they kind of feel like body and mind, the two go together. Photoshop is my very good friend, we go everywhere together :).
A surreal fable that makes sense in an urban environment, with 'bananas by moonlight' thrown in for good poetic measure, is not an easy trick to pull, off. Looking around at all the builds now in SL which take popular or classic novels as their starting point, I wondered if they thought it is it 'better' or 'worse' to try to recreate an original story in SL?
Lilia Artis: Well, in a way everything has been told. You can only try to tell your version of life, your point of view, deliver your personal interpretation of things going on in our world. However the reader might find even another angle to interpret your story.
 Lilia Artis: I met Haveit rather early in my SL existence. I first noticed him in the chat of the Builders Brewery. He told with such a touching enthusiasm about an exhibit he just had explored that I suggested to exchange LMs to interesting places, which we did and over the time a friendship developed and we noticed that we were able to work smoothly together, without any effort. It was on the contrary inspiring and encouraging mutually. I always dreamed of that kind of teamwork in RL, but it never worked out. I had to come to SL to find it :)
Haveit Neox: Working with Lilia is inspiring. We pass ideas between ourselves, and the installations we do together just grow naturally that way. This exhibit had an extra enjoyable challenge because Asmita built the two domes in which we installed our exhibits. For each, she made the exterior walls, so I wanted to make my installation in a style that would complement what she has here. Adapting to an environment is something I really enjoy. In RL, I've done installations in galleries, but SL is a very different kind of installation. It's something I could not have imagined before SL. SL is grand. I've made several films here, which you can see on my YouTube page, Virtual Cement. The ability to create almost any size presentation is something I'd always wished to try. My imagination has always taken me to places where I could build a village, a landscape, etc, but until SL, I could only do this in miniature. I hope SL stays intact for decades to come!
Can't speak for SL's longterm future, of course, but 'Fleeting Captivities' will be open at Space4Art for the next few weeks. Do not miss it!

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