Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wall to Wall

Teacher: Get on with your work.
Pink Floyd, The Wall.
About an hour north of Beijing, draped along the the dry mountain ridges of Luanping county, is the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China. In the 1500's, under the watchful eye of the great General Qi Jiguang, tireless militarist, writer and poet, the wall was reinforced and manned by soldiers from Zanjiang by the South China Sea, where the winters are mild and the summers are long and languorous. So far from home, guarding the Northern Frontier from the Mongol hordes, the soldiers renamed the towers in memory of their home, and retold the legends of this most ancient borderland, legends rich with the threads of history, spread out across all the space and time of real history and into the virtual world of myth. There is nothing new under the sun.
Second Life's Great Wall is part of the Hosoi group of sims, and as you would expect, is beautifully crafted. The Welcome area is heavy on ads for modular and light on interpretive material, which is a shame, and if you're tall like Thirza you may have trouble getting through the doorway (I ended up flying over the wall, very Crouching Tiger). Not unreasonably, there's lots of non-realworld ocean around - I like to call it the Metarranean - but that just makes the photos pretty in windlight. Despite the proximity to the always busy sims of Hosoi Ichiba and the Edo period village on Japan Kansai, sim Mao has captured limnal loneliness one associates with the Great Wall, or even Hadrian's little version: it is easy to imagine a melancholy watcher up here, waiting for the action to start: speaking of that, at another wall...
This time at Diabolus, where Josina Burgess, Velasquez Bonetto and the rest of the C.A.R.P. gang are into their third incarnation of The Wall, the original soundtrack, with, and I quote, " an extravaganza of sound, light, dance, giant animated puppets, effects and many other surprises". The Wall is the rather miserable story of the descent into madness of a failing pop star, whose childhood, wracked with troubles - open vowel syndrome has always been, to my mind, at the heart of his problems- is brought to the brink through a series of flashbacks and fantastical set pieces... first an album, then a film with the Great Unwashed Bob Geldof, now in gorgeous virtual splendour and judging by the texture-rich set you see here, one can hope for much more than a Saaf-of-the-River accent, and smashed up Hampton Suites.
This pic is borrowed from Josina, for I fell off the sim before the show got underway, underlining once again the huge problem of lag. I know LL want to go in lots of new exciting directions, like getting behind the newish social networking site for avies of all worlds, AU, but really, solving a boring problem like lag would be much more valuable use of time and effort. Anyway, The Wall will be repeated every Friday at 2.00pm SLT for a few weeks, so hopefully we can go and see it in the near future... TP me if you get a good seat!!
Speaking of carp, once kicked from Diabolus, I ended up at another smashing show, by graphics tablet artist Alizarin Goldflake over on one of the Pirats sims. Isn't that a brand of tropical fish food? ...may be where she got her inspiration for these wonderful piscine specimens. You can admire her scales and fins, even swim among them: there are games of proportion and perspective to be played on both sides of the perspex. Visit Alizarin'studio to get the full picture, or if you're in the mood, take the Youtube complete novice tour, it's always fun to hear someone explain prims to the uninitiated. Her "Real identity" site is OK now I suppose I put this all in again in the Other Language...
A circa un'ora da Pechino, disposta come una boa gigante sulle aspre montagne del Luanping, è la parte della Grande Muraglia denominata Jinshanling. Dalle belle torri di guardia oggi sono i turisti a sorvegliare la panorama ma nel '500 erano i leali soldati del Generale Qi Jiguang a tenere alta la guardia contro le incursioni mongole. Erano ragazzi nati nel lontano Zanjiang, una terra lambita dal Mar Cinese, non lontano dal VietNam. Queste secche rocce devono aver provocato una forte nostalgia nei cuori du uomini destinati a lavorare con grande disciplina e progetto per il loro Generale, poeta, docente di storia militare e arti martiali. 
C'è poesia tra queste mura: e se ti fermi e ascolti bene, forse sentirai le leggende del Imperatore di Giada, e del Maestro Ubriaco. Qui alla versione SL della Grande Muraglia si sente quella nostalgia, e il vuoto nello stesso tempo sprigionato e confinato che può esistere solo in un luogo liminale, come qui sulla frontiera... o nel cuore d'un uomo. Qui a pochi passi degli altri sim di  Hosoi Ichiba (da non perdere anche il paesino di epoca Edo!) è possibile trovare la serenità d'un mondo passato ma sempre presente,  dove in un certo senso il muro siamo noi...

...e da un muro ad un altro, la nuova produzione CARP Diabolus Josina Burgess, Velasquez Bonetto
e i loro collaboratori hanno perfezionato la loro versione del musical The Wall, di Pink Floyd, la storia della tragica esistenza d'un rock star Pink, drogato e sull'orlo della follia. Prima un album poi un film, ora rinato in SL con pupazzi giganti come vedi in questa foto. Tantissmi presenti per lo show di venerdi, non sono riuscita a rimanere al mio posto, ma spero di tornarci presto - la notice promette una replica ogni venerdi alle ore 14.00 SLT.
Fa meditare su una nuova versione del ritornello fanciullesco di The Wall, 'We don't need no education', forse se cantiamo ai Linden, con quello stesso accento orribile, 'We don't need no lag' si arrenderanno e risolveranno il problema, invece di perdere tempo promuovendo iniziative carine ma inutili come Avatars United.
Infine, una visita a Pirats dove non manco mai, e alla mostra di Alizarin Goldflake. Bravissima artista digitale, crea con Corel immagini molto delicati, e anche divertenti, ha portato in SL deliziosi pesci e piante acquatiche, grandi e piccoli. Puoi nuotare nel acquaio o semplicemente studiare lo squame da vicino... per conoscere meglio tutte le opere di Alizarin sia su Youtube che al suo studio inworld, basta un clic. Uffa... che voglia di fish and chips.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quick Lit

I am part of all that I have met...
Alfred Lord Tennyson

What a fab day in SL... there was a mind-bending session at Tuna Oddfellow's regular mindbendathon, - I gots me a free hat, too - then it was off to Bookstacks to be part of the audience at Kghia Gherardi and Simeon Beresford's fascinating podcast about publishing - they interviewed the RL team who run Jackson Street Publishing. It is also available on Radio Riel, as you probably know, so you can listen from the comfort of your own octopus. After the show, I went to another favourite haunt of mine, the inworld studio of  Patrick Faith, in SL Kolor Fall. He has a new dancing primmobile that allows you to float purposefully around the canyon and waterways of his beautiful wilderness at KolorFalls, and he let me take a test ride: no pictures, I was showing my knickers in an unseemly manner. Oh well, what the heck, you've no doubt seen worse. If you've not been to  KolorFalls and its sister sim Kolor
yet, well, you should go, but I'd have to say pants are a must. To take the ride, click on one of the cubes rising from the water near the waterfall, also look around carefully and you'll find little gifties by Kolor, 'drawable' earrings, that you'll love.

More about Tuna and his magic music mixes in a future post, this man's Got Talent (and a million bucks...) Other adventures followed, but one of my best 'discoveries' of the day was the new Inksters website, they have abandoned Blogger for the much more swanky Wordpress site Virtual Literary Salon - stunning photos supply the visual imagery intended to cue literary inspiration ! Even if you aren't able to join in the writing competitions, you'll love their photos, they made me realize for the nth time how many places I've not yet been inworld...

wow so many more parts to be part of... and so little Sunday in which to do it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fruit of the Boom

Ever had something just show up unannounced in your inventory, and, in a moment of multitasking meltdown, found your finger hovering above discard? To dismiss or not to dismiss, what adventures might await...This is one of those stories, an unsolicited LM that opened a new horizon of art and friendship. The NitroglycerinE art gallery is the home of the fantastic Natsha Lemton, French artist and inspiration, and her band of friends including Loki Glas and Casta Oh.

It's a sandy, oceanside sort of a place, perfectly in tune with Natsha's personality, in RL she lives in Brittany, just metres from the sea shore. Her pictures are both beautiful and edgy, an explosion of colour and questions, under a glorious sky full of bright flying objects and meteors raining down. The first thing I noticed here was the Barbie theme, in my schoolgirl French (alas the only part of me still resembling a schoolgirl) I asked what that's all about.

Natsha Lemton: It's a bit complex. It all started one day here when a girl was treating us like Barbie and Ken, and I thought to myself, that's a concept that really works in SL- it's full of Barbies and Kens, when you stop and think about it. I realize I'm sort of like my avie, I dress her up and I do her hair, but behind her (and every other avatar) there's a real person bringing it to life. It's a theme I've been thinking about a great deal recently, so you'll see a lot of it here.

Natsha, whose been part of artistic initiatives like the Chaos project at Pirats has in turn given space to artists on her island paradise, including Bustabugsmetropolis Robonaught (known universally as Sam, thank goodness!) and Andromeda Klees who writes poetry - beautiful, melancholy French poetry which is displayed in the most original ticker-tape form at NitroglycerinE  in these interesting poles on the seashore. She's on show at PiRats and also has a furniture-and-more shop is called MandMM Exclusive Land. Camming around the land, I admired Loki's work, and got this gallantly Gallic reply.
Loki Glas: Merci, moi tout ce que je fais c'est pour ma Natsha... she is the one who encouraged me to make art. Natsha makes art in RL too, but before I met her I was mostly in SL involved in role-playing games. Now I know everyone can make art... tout le monde a un artiste caché en lui.
Natsha Lemton: I love that. I really believe everyone can create something artistic, and I am always glad to help and nurture that in others, like Loki, to find within themselves the creative force, and let it express itself. For me art is not just pictures, whether paintings or photography, it is all art, it is all possible here, poetry, and music are just as important to me as the figurative and abstract work I have made. We are art ourselves, our avatar is the first work of art we make in Second Life, and so from the very start, we make interactive art...
The nurturing has borne fruit. There's so much to choose from here, you just have to TP over to get the full effect. NitroglycerinE is more than an art gallery, it's Loki and Nat's home, and a hangout for their friends. They have two 'boites' or clubs, if you will, one like a greenhouse, where Casta Oh's fiery artwork shoots overhead, and another underwater lair 'un endroit pour les garçons' Loki says, which has a 'seventies warehouse-psychadelic look, and lots of erotic SL art on the walls, pictures taken, Natsha told me, 'in some of her favourite places in SL'. Soirees and contests are held down here, although they didn't tell me what kind of contests, hmmm... something very French I bet. Boom boom.

  Ti è mai successo, arriva all'improvviso e da fonte sconosciuto un LM, e non sai se accettare oppure cestinarlo... oggi racconto uno di quelle occasioni in cui ho detto sì quando il primo istinto era un 'no' secco... Mi sono tippata a NitroglycerinE la land di Loki Glas e Natsha Lemton e i loro amici tra i quali anche la bravissima fuocoartificiera (questa parola l'ho inventata io) Casta Oh. Natsha in Real è francese, della Bretagna, figlia del mare; in RL non si definisce artista, anche se ha studiato alle Belle Arti, qui in SL ha creato molte belle opere, esposto anche a Chaos di PiRats e altrove, la prima cosa che ho notato era una spiritosa polemica su Barbie... ma siamo o no delle bambole Barbie? ho voluto sapere di più.

Natsha Lemton: Nasce questa mia piccola ossessione con le bambole da un incontro con una ragazza che ci ha definito Ken e Barbie, ho pensato che è un concetto per SL - infatti ne è piena. Trovo che io assomiglio a una bambola, la vesto, la concio - ma dietro ogni pupazzo c'è una persona che lo fa vivere. Penso molto a questa idea di recente, e viene rispiecchiata nei pezzi che ho scelto di esporre in questo periodo.
Sulla land, una serie di isolotte tropicali immerse in un mare limpidissimo, troverai anche le opere di Casta Oh, Bustabugsmetropolis Robonaught (meglio conosciuto come Sam) e la brava Andromeda Klees Oltre al suo negozio di mobili e articoli da sogno, MandMM Exclusive Island, Andromeda si occupa di poesia, (anche a PiRats ) e troverai i suoi versi esposti in maniera molto originale a NitroglycerinE... direi quasi occultati in piena vista dentro i pali piantanti nella che si vedono nella figura sopra. La land di Natsha non è solo galleria, ci sono anche due locali da ballo, uno come una serra gigante, l'altro sottomarino, une 'boite' suggestiva dove fanno feste e tengono gare (di che tipo non ho chiesto!!), le pareti sono piene d'arte erotica, fotografie scattate nei posti più amati di Natsha.
Con il cam ho visto anche le opere di Loki-molto belle.

Loki Glas: Merci, moi tout ce que je fais c'est pour ma Natsha... è stata lei ad incoraggiarmi a creare. Lei è artista anche in Real, io invece creo soltanto per divertimento. Prima di conoscerla facevo parte di giochi di ruolo, ma ora vivo SL in maniera diversa... grazie a lei ho capito che come dire... tout le monde a un artiste caché en lui.
Natsha Lemton: 
Questo mi piace moltissimo. Ci credo davvero che c'è un artista in ognuno di noi, e sono molto felice quando riesco a spronare e coltivare il talento in altri. er me l'arte è esprimersi non sotanto sulla tela, amo molto la musica, la poesia, e circondarmi da tutte le forme d'arte come vedi qui a NitroglycerinE. Se ci pensi, ciascuno di noi quando siamo nati in SL abbiamo subito cominciato a fare arte, creando il look del proprio avatar... una forma d'arte interattiva, unica, stupenda....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not Kidding About Writing

The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.
George Orwell

I dropped in at the Virginia Woolf House the other day, it's by Written Word, the well-known group organized and built by Hastings Bournemouth (pictured below in his trench coat and looking very film noir) and the lovely  Jilly Kidd, in RL Adele Ward MA  an author and freelance journalist, shown here on the set of her podcasting show, Meet the Author - drop in to be part of the audience, or check out archived episodes at Treet TV. Adele's poetry collection, Never-Never Land, was published last year, she's working on a novel, and  she also runs the writtenword.ning, a social network for writers.
Outside, a flamboyant garden hedged about with Slprivet softens the flinty Kentish brickwork of the old oast house, an essential part of the scenery in any interpretation of the Garden of England, not to mention a key element in the making of that most important writerly fluid - beer. A few metres away, the sun shines on a perfect sea, which if you squint could almost be a July day on the English Channel. Inside the cabin is a very large table set with conference chairs, and the first'edition covers of Woolf's books grace the walls, along with several photos of Virginia, while the fabric on the sofa is a texture designed by the writer's sister, Vanessa Bell. I asked Jilly what made her choose this theme for the cabin.

Jilly Kidd: This is one of three author-themed cabins we've made Woolf is such an important novelist, one of the main Modernists and also a good example of somebody who started her own press with her husband to write in the experimental way she wanted. The George Orwell House was the first building with an author theme we built at Cookie, Thinkerer Melville's sim. We built a copy of it at the LSJ sim - they also have a a cabin themed around the work of F Scott Fitzgerald, and the rooms are used for distance learning by the school.
All three are icons of 20th century literature, and if the current style of use to which these rooms re put would seem to preclude a more adventurous or interactive  interpretation of their books, the front covers certainly liven up the board-room appearance of the cabins. The photo above is of the Woolf cabin, this one below is of the Orwell House. Like everything in SL, this is a work in progress, and Jilly's keen to bring more materials into the project, so that visitors can get an even better idea of the work, life and times of these important artists.

Jilly Kidd: George Orwell's message seems very relevant to Second Life, his vision of the future in the novel 1984. Big Brother watching everybody seems very apt in a virtual world where everything we do can be observed by others or by the admins. We have a community of equals at the Written Word where I like everybody to join in and use the area how they want to, so that also goes with Orwell's message. The issue of copyright is very important. I'm developing resources in the author-themed buildings to let people read ebooks via sources like Project Gutenberg and Virginia Woolf Society on Facebook.
Jilly Kidd: The writing community and projects have really flourished during the 3 years I've been here. Good writers like Casey Simpson and Dennis Tafoya get noticed by publishers, in these two cases, by Wild Shore Press and St. Martins respectively. I give publishers free space on our areas to make it easier for them to justify staying on SL. Good writers can use SL to improve by sharing their work and overcoming stage fright - important since publishers expect us to be able to perform our work these days. There are all standards of writing here, just like RL, but I find the SL open mic events more international; people are lively and they're fun, with a good mix of ages - and no-one is excluded, since you don't need to leave your home!
There are a lot of reading and writing groups in the metaverse, and I've noticed a wonderful sense of camaraderie and sharing among them, which keeps multiple notices to a minimum, and offers a clear panorama of literary events going on during the week. There's so much to choose from, it's a real source of education on every level!
Jilly Kidd: SL is excellent for education. Voice events makes it ideal for lectures, workshops and tutorials. The London School of Journalism came inworld in 2008, they provide excellent free lectures by RL faculty members, and recently I began managing the sim myself which has involved rebuilding the island and organising new events. We have fiction workshops led by published author Rae Lori on Saturday and Sunday now as well as the free lectures, and also an exhibition of authors, publishers and publications in a space station above the island. We'll be having an Author Convention and Exhibition in a few months. Organizing events is a lot of hard work - in many ways off-world social sites like our .ning are more effective for our members. Also, I'm very interested in the Save The Presses project, designed to help writers beat the recession. Witten Word's group meeting place is at Muse Harbour - but we're very happy to be part of the family of writing groups in SL. Now that writers are so well catered for with so many events and venues it doesn't matter if we get a big crowd or a small one. The important thing is that writers can find what they need, whichever venue they choose to go to. I'm in this for fun and to help writers.

La tragica e brillante Virginia Woolf  fu una delle più brave scrittrici del ventesimo secolo, e sono andata a vedere la Virginia Woolf House questa settimana, per vedere come è stata interpreta nel metaverso da un gruppo di scrittori, appunto il Written Word... la Parola Scritta. Il build è stato eseguito da Hastings Bournemouth  sfoggiando, come vedi nella foto, uno strano capotto che ricorda i gialli degli anni trenta, insieme alla attuale manager del sim della London School of Journalism, Jilly Kidd, in RL Adele Ward, scrittrice, poetessa (suo libro Never Never Land è uscito l'anno scorso) e impegnatissima organizzatrice di eventi inworldinterviste con autori metaversali e un sito .ning dedicato alle opere del gruppo.
Jilly Kidd: Abbiamo scelto di dedicate tre case, che sono in effetti aule per lezioni  di giornalismo, a tre grandi autori di lingua inglese. Ho voluto avere una casa Woolfe, perché la ammiro molto e anche perché lei ha voluto aprire una casa editrice proprio per poter sperimentare con un tipo di letteratura nuova, era una pioniera. Tra le foto della scrittrice, e le copertine dei suoi libri, ci sono anche opere d'arte eseguiti da alcuni suoi amici, persino lastoffa del divano ha una fantasia disegnata dalla sorella di Woolf, Vanessa Bell. Abbiamo anche una casa per il grandissimo scrittore statunitense F. Scott Fitzgerald. L'altra casa è per George Orwell, anche questa è una oast house una tipica costruzione del sud dell'inghilterra, parte integrale della produzione di quel liquido tanto amato dagli scrittori - la birra... Orwell l'abbiamo voluto non solo perché ammiriamo molto il suo stile, ma anche perché ci sembrava opportuno ricordare il papà dell'espressione Grande Fratello - ricordiamo che in SL tutto quello che si fa e si dice può essere osservato da altri. Infatti ci sono due copie identici della George Orwell House una sul sim Cookie, di Thinkerer Melville, e l'altra sulla land della LSJ.  Siamo molto felici di portare anche le opere fuori copyright alla attenzione dei nostri visitatori, tramite fonti come Project Gutenberg e la Virginia Woolf Society on Facebook.

Ti stai forse chiedendo,  ma come può un mondo virtuale - un 'gioco' come SL aiutare autori 'veri'? Jilly ha messo spazio a disposizione di varie case editrici, e tramite questo luogo d'incontro, scrittori come Casey SimpsonDennis Tafoya ora sono pubblicati. SL dà anche la possibilità di presentare le proprie parole ad un pubblico accogliente e pronto ad aiutare con suggerimenti - e dà anche l'occasione di leggere ad alta voce, in preparazione per quelle reading in RL che seguiranno il tuo successo... le serate open mic (= aperto a tutti) in SL sono belli perché ci si trova uin gruppo animato, internazionale, di tutte le età, e sono alla portata di tutti! I gruppi dedicati agli scrittori e lerroti di lingua inglese sono tanti, ma sono ben organizzati e communicano tra di loro con un minimo di rivalità e questo vuol dire che i notice sono molto ben gestiti, e puoi sempre trovare qualcosa di interessante da fare, partecipare a una discussione in voice, ascoltare poesie, oppure la lettura di un racconto, leggere un brano tuo, o l'incipit di quel romanzo che volevi finire, oppure semplicemente stare in compagnia con persone intelligenti e colte. Jilly organizza molti eventi, sia a Muse Harbour  che nella land della London School of Journalism, che di tanto in tanto propone discorsi gratuiti pronunciati da veri professori RL. Ci sono corsi di scrittura, e c'è anche una mostra dedicata agli scrittori di SL... chissà un giorno ci sarai anche tu!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shortlist, hard workers

In praise of hard workers.
With the festive season behind you, the new year beckons full of promise and surpises, and what better time to stop and remember all the hard-working individuals who provide so much delight. Below are just some of the people and places that have caught my eye, I bet you can think of many more. Why not drop me a note inworld about your favourite place or group, so we can give them a shout-out here on SLArtsParks? Prefer to leave a comment? You can do so at the bottom of this post, or go over to our ning site and join us there!
First call, the incredibly hard-working Madmaninc Zapatero, seen here in his green lenses.

Do not miss the Festival of Short Film at Phantasmagoria Theater  GOING ON RIGHT NOW! Madmaninc has put together an extraordinary display of talent. Dozens of new short films, from mystery to docu-steampunk, to animation, to abstract art, the choice is yours, 24/7. What a treat! It's a brilliant way to see new talent and expression in bite-size form. You might also want to check out Phantasmagoria's presence on myspace  and at you can see a video of their New Year's Eve party - these people know how to have a good time!) or subscribe to the podcast at itunes. (Make sure you have the latest Quicktime download, other wise you won't see anything.)

 On the musical front,  Nasus Dumart and the team over at Molaskey's Pub have put on some wonderful music, including the great Frets Nirvana and the past few months have seen a return to the music scene of my personal music-god, Von Johin.

May his tunes last forever!! Thanks to Votslav Hax, BobbiJo and the rest of the Symbiotic team for their unceasing efforts to bring us great talent. There are dozens of gallery owners who deserve praise, I'll just mention PiRats' super-duo Newbab Zsigmond and Merlina Rokocoko, supercool Zachh Cale over at project Z and the truly tireless Lion Igaly whose Diadem gallery just found a new home at sim imparafacile.

In the literary world, the variety of venues, genres and types of activity open to readers and writers is really breathatking, and the amazing work of people like Kghia Gherardi, Harriet Gausman, Jilly Kidd, JJ Drinkwater and the beautiful people over at West of Ireland deserves a standing ovation (though they might prefer a nice sit down and a cup of tea). Much praise goes to the hard work of the team behind the Antica stamperia Il Faro, which produces virtual books in Italian, and the fascinating series Scienza on the road, presented by Giovanna Delphin who, together with Marjorie Fargis brings many an Italian event alive with professionalism and good humour. Not always easy to do with the vagaries of SL performance!
Such a short list, for every name here mentioned there are dozens more, I'm aware... who springs to your mind? Let me know! Links, landmarks, hints and ideas all gratefully received! and with your contributions, what an exciting new year of discovery it's going to be!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

State of clay

It's the end of an era, and the beginning of another in several ways, over at the Tanalois gallery. The popular Italian gallery run by Tani Thor and Aloisio Congrejo is closing its doors, but going out on a high note with a two week showing of the ceramics of Sicilian artist 63d41marion Zeplin. The work of marion proves the pointlessness of the wordy, self-involved 'artist statement' (tooting their own horns in the worst possible way...)  that gets thrust into the face of showgoers at many vernissages. Marion's work speaks for itself, it is full of bright childlike confidence and bold ageless symbolism. She has a ceramics shop in Messina called Azimut, she opened it with renowned painter Ranieri Wanderlingh. Marion's been working with ceramics for over a quarter of a century - it makes her feel old! - and has been in SL for a couple of years, together with RL husband, the goldsmith Markus Nakamura show in the photo here.
63d41marion Zeplin: Ceramics is my art form, I see the clay as my canvas, and  plates and pots I make are like my children, every one of them is special. I put all of myself into the work, and I hope that they show the way I see the world, as a hopeful, happy place. I try to put the innocence, the childishness perhaps of my world view into them. I've been in SL for a while, but it was only recently that a friend, Florence Magnifico suggested I import some of my stuff. I find my creativity pollinated by both SL and RL, and the imaginative process combines and blurs the lines.
As simple and childlike as the pottery first appears, every part of it carries symbolism.
63d41marion Zeplin: There are certain symbols that are repeated in many of the pieces, for example, in the plate showing the two sheep getting married, (shown in the Italian part) the heart stands for love, of course, and the moon is romance, the apple desire, the mushroom is a phallic symbol and the flower the symbol of femininity. Above them, the stars, which are my symbol for dreams, for many years I worked late into the night on my art, and nothing could distract me, so I think of myself as a nocturnal person, a dreamer.
There's a beautiful dreamlike playfulness to many of marion's pieces. The lace-like roundels with their noticable 3d effect hint at the incredible control and attention to detail required to make this art. The dragon in love is another stand-out item, but pehaps the most striking is her map of Sicily, with the sun at the center, and all the main cities given their own symbol, from the mini-Etna down in the South, to the orange groves near Palermo. If you don't know your Sicilian geography, this would be a great way to learn it!

63d41marion Zeplin:  There's a swordfish to mark my home-town of Messina, but the greatest symbol in Sicily has to be the sun. My island is a warm place, full of love passion and ough we have our problems - and they are many - it's really the love that shines through. I added a butterfly to this picture, because it represents the ethereal to me - freedom as well as beauty. The bee, well, that's me! I am the bee - at times the queen, but always the worker.

L'ultima mostra a Tanalois, non posso quasi credere che la bella land di Tani Thor e Aloisio Congrejo chiuderà tra pochi giorni. Ma  regalarci un'ultima mostra meravigliosa, piena di luce e colori viv assolutamente inediti in SL le immagini delle ceramiche di 63d41marion Zeplin. In RL marion ha un negozio di ceramica a Messina, Azimuth, aperto un po di anni fa insieme a Ranieri Wanderlingh.

63d41marion Zeplin: La mia tela è la terracotta; lavoro in ceramica da oltre 25 anni. Sono entrata a nov 2008, volevo volare un po' qui; è presente in SL anche mio RL  marito Markus Nakamura orafo in rl, builder in SL ma è solo di recente che ho portato le mie ceramiche in SL. Un'amica Florence Magnifico mi ha molto invogliato  inizialmente. volevo portare un po' di sl nel mio mondo... è un  tutt'uno, la trovo qui la creativita' ma la sviluppo in RL. Qui io porto la mia RL e nella mia RL porto SL, e' come una finestra che ti porta in un'altra dimensione. Le mie ceramiche cono come le mie figlie, ognuno è un'idea mia, ma sono delle persone per me, e nella mia 'famiglia' troverai molti simboli. Qui ad esempio, le pecore sono gli sposini, si prendono per mano... la luna è il romanticismo,  il cuore è l'amore e la mela il desiderio. Accanto allo sposo, il fungo è il simbolo maschile e il fiore il simbolo femminile.. le stelle sono il sogno... spesso faccio i paesaggi notturni perch è è come entrare dentro il sogno, Io vado a letto un po' tardi. Mi immergo nel mio lavoro e spesso lavoro fino a tardi, mi isolo da tutto e tutti e lavoro sulla 'tela' la terracotta... non vedo l'aspetto commerciale, mi piace mettere su questa tela quello che provo, mi piace tantissimo far uscire i sogni e infantili, il fanciullino che c'è dentro di noi... ho un carattere solare, mi piace la gente, communicare, mi piace far stare bene e aiutare gli altri.

63d41marion Zeplin: Questa invece è la mia Sicilia, isola solare calda piena d'amore, anche se abbiamo tantissimi problemi. Mia città Messina ha come simbolo il pesce spada, ho cercato di dare un simbolo ad ogni capluogo dell'isola dai templi ad Agrigento alla conca d'oro piena di agrumeti. Ho voluto aggiungere l'ape e la farfalla, mi sento io ape, regina e operaia... la farfalla è eterea, simbolo di liberta' e bellezza anche se dura poco; Sirena e Nettuno i nostri fondatori marini.. E anche qui trovi la stella, la stella marina, anche sotto acqua si sogna...
Ho chiesto Marion chi sceglierebbe se dovesse costruire un parco d'arte dedicato a qualche artista o scrittore a lei caro. Ha scelto subito Picasso.
63d41marion Zeplin: Picasso riusciva a darci sensazioni, riusciva mettere su una superficie emozioni il maestro ha fatto cose incredibili, le sue sculture.. lavorava in vari a mteriali riusciva a trasmettere quello che aveva dentro; se dovessi scegliere un musicista, sceglierei John  Lennon. La land assomiglierebbe alle sue canzoni, ci si troverebbe la musica dell'anima.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Phantasmagoria Theater

All ready to curl up in front of a really good film, and after much surfing you find there's nothing worth watching? Fret no more, and tp over to the Phantasmagoria Theater where you can see early films like Metropolis, Faust, the Hunchback of Notre Dame with Charles Laughton, to name but a few. How to watch at the theater: take a seat and touch the camera, a series of instructions and options follows, its all quite simple... except, at first I couldn't get it to work, until I realized I'd turned off my streaming media.. /me blushes which time I had called a friend to see if 'it was just me'... thus spreading the word of my ineptitude just a little further. Sigh. I really didn't want to watch THoND I was much more keen on seeing Sherlock Holmes... I'm all Holmes all the time this yuletide... mmm RDJr... mmm Basil Rathbone... As soon as my friend had gone, I decamped to the Drama screenroom, where Conan Doyle's Dressed to Kill was showing, stopping only briefly in the lobby for some of the world's cheapest cinema popcorn, and cool items on offer, both freebies and paybies including the steampunkacious Wax Cylinder 'Gramaphone' which "comes with a selection of real recordings from 1880-1910!". If you own a parcel, you can even pick up gratis and for free a camera and screen that will generate all these greats on your own land, how's that for extraordinary. The man behind all this is Madmaninc Zapatero. He came into SL two years ago with the idea of using it as a storefront for his refurbished Apple laptop business, Madmaninc. When the economy crashed, along with his company, he found himself at a loose end. He'd always been interested in Steampunk, and so gravitated to New Babbage, where the first person he met gave him a mad scientist outfit, sort of sealing his fate...
Madmanic Zapatero: That's when I really got interested in SL, I thought 'hey these people are pretty cool.' I visited Caledon and bought some land there with no idea what I was going to do with it. I had noticed a lot of art museums in SL, so I googled 1800-1900 museums. This brought up P.T Barum's American Museum. I collected pictures of sideshow performers and built the Museum of Curiosities and Oddities. Then I found out that you could show video in SL, and put a small theater in the basement of the museum - the first movie I showed was FREAKS. Eventually I bought a larger parcel and the Phantasmagoria Theater was born. This was the name of the first "movie" theater ever in RL. It was a place to show magic lantern shows - they are images painted on glass and shown like slides.
Madmaninc has a web design background, and picked up building from youtube tutorials.
Madmaninc Zapatero: Building came very easy to me, but it is still being updated and changed. I am still learning and adding more, mostly making it more detailed. I love film, and took what I love into SL and share it with as many people as possible. We have five screens and over 300 films that can be seen 24/7. All these films are in the public domain as to stay legal. My top ten films? 3' oclock high, Man Bites Dog, Kiss Me Deadly, Seconds, Brick, Klute, Zardoz, Chungking Express, Cemetary Man, and Sunset Blvd.
There's no shortage of events at the Phantasmagoria. They premiered a reanimated version of the Night of the Living Dead - a triumph of virtual irony - and last October's Horror Film Fest showcased Italian Horror Directors. But more projects are in the pipeline. Madmaninc Zapatero: I am now getting involved in filming movies to show there. Also, I'm seeking actors to re-enact 1930's radio dramas in SL. We invite Indie film makers looking for a place to show their work to come here - the Phantasmagoria is a huge opportunity for them to get their film in front of a movie-going audience! We're also working on translating our films into all languages. And we have a festival of shorts starting shortly - come and join us!

BENVENUTI AL Phantasmagoria Theater il più grande teatro in Second Life! Con oltre trecento film nell'archivio e cinque sale, il Phantasmagoria offre la possibilità di rivisitare alcuni dei più importanti film di tutti i tempi, quale Metropolis, Faust e Il Gobbo di Notre Dame di Charles Laughton. Il teatro è opera di Madmaninc Zapatero un specialista in IT arrivato in SL circa due anni fa. Appassionato di steampunk, ha voluto creare un museo di curiosità, tipo quello di  P T Barnum : approfondendo la sua ricerca in Google, Google,  Madmaninc ha saputo che il primo 'cinema' - un locale con lanterna magica - si chiamava Phantasmagoria Theater, in suo onore. All'inizio il teatro era nello scantinato del suo museo, ma presto Madmaninc ha voluto creare un teatro più addatto ad ospitare il suo pubblico. Gli eventi al Phantasmagoria sono molto belli, e vari. Hanno fatto una versione 'rianimata' del Night of the Living Dead e a ottobre, il teatro è stato vetrina per il Horror Fest con molti film italiani del genere.

Qui vedi il classico Lobby, dove si compra il pop corn, ma anche oggetti come un gramofono con cilindri in cera, la musica 'genuina' degli anni '20. C'è anche una maglietta e... la macchina da presa! Un gratuito per tutti, molto bello, e se sei owner di una land, puoi proiettare tutti i film del Phantasmagoria a casa tua. Io sono entrata nella sala 'Drama' un bel film di Sherlock Holmes, Dressed to Kill... Invece ho chiesto a Madmaninc quali sono i dieci film più importanti di tutti i tempi. Ecco le sue scelte... sei d'accordo?
3' oclock high, Man Bites Dog, Kiss Me Deadly, Seconds, Brick, Klute, Zardoz, Chungking Express, Cemetary Man, and Sunset Blvd...
Madmaninc Zapatero: Abbiamo molte iniziative che possono interessare i tuoi lettori. Stiamo cercando attori per una versione metaversal e di vari drammi radiografici degli anni '30. Offriamo uno spazio a registi nuovi indipendenti, per far conoscere le loro opere attraverso il teatro e il nostro gruppo. Un progetto che ho molto a cuore è quello di tradurre i  film in tutte le lingue. Abbiamo un Festival di cortometraggi durante il mese di gennaio... l'anno nuovo sarà molto importante per noi, speriamo di vedervi numerosi nelle nostre sale!