Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Missing

What makes Hopper an enduring and endearing figure in 20th century art has been hacked to death by writers, almost from his first encounter with fame, age 40, when his soon-to-be-wife, Jo Nivison, convinced him to show some watercolours at the Brooklyn Museum.
What makes Hop On Hop Oh, the installation at Solace Island, so interesting is that the builder, Saveme Oh, is in every way the opposite of what we have been taught to think of, when we think of Edward Hopper: flamboyant, to Hopper's repression; anti-establishment, to Hopper's conservatism; manically social, to Hopper's sense of solitude.
Hopper's early life resonates with the typical Second Life; it is one of lopsided aspirations, fragmented advantage, finally glued together by glorious good luck. His talent was obvious from a young age, and was encouraged by his parents who set him up with trips abroad, and the kind of solid education in the field that most aspiring artists would be delighted to receive.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pictures of Tani

The autumn has arrived here, and as the evenings draw in, so returns the desire to be somewhere warm, in every sense. What could be better then, than an attractive photo show, surrounded by kind and witty people, on a beautiful romantic parcel, Sorrento on sim Chefchaouen.
Tani Thor's photos are a great mixture of gentle landscapes and lively abstracts, I particularly loved this one, Altalena, and 'Tempio', taken on Japan Kansai.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Double Tour

Tournicoton, the French art Gallery on sim Metaversel, is closing this week, closing its doors for good. It's just too expensive, says Mariaka Nishi, who cofounded the artistic venue back in 2007 alongside her RL partner, Naastik Rau. To mark the end of an era, and to let people know that she's still fervently involved in VW art, she has organized one last show, Welcoming Woman, set for this Tuesday evening, French time (that's 12.30 SLT on September 25th). It's going to be a double event, held in Voice, held on both SL and Francogrid - the sims have the same name, Metaversel. Here's Mariaka, FG version, busy preparing the Francogrid side of the double show.
Why this departure from Second Life? It's just too expensive, in that it's about 290 euros a month to run a sim, so that even with a bit of help from others, it's just not worth it, especially as now they get less and less use out of it, as they spend more and more time on the beautiful, stable, and vibrant Francogrid. She has also allowed her son Louka free range, on an adjoining sim,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fair Play

In an hour or so, there's fun and dancing at the State Fair - wait, no, no pigs or pies competing, not this time, it's the Virtual State Fair Art Gallery run by Thynka Little and, in a lesser, none-of-my-business kind of a way, DFox Spitteler. Going by the IMs. Voting ends at 8 pm SLT  tonight.
The competition is interesting, not so much by the standard of  the art on show, which is nice - the theme is weather in SL, most people have gone with rain, or tornadoes - wow - but even more so for the fact that the organizers actively encourage, in the Notecard, the use of the dreaded Friend's Vote (though they draw the line at bots and groups).
It may seem a bit naughty, getting your friends over, but it's a nice way of meeting new people, and being hit

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.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wor(l)ds together: Noke Yuiza

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. 
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. 
I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. 
All those... moments will be lost... in time, like tears... in rain. 
Time to die."
'Roy Batty', Blade Runner
Noke Yuiza has been busy in SL. You may have seen her latest build, showcased at the Brera sim, and you won't be blamed if you think that she's all about the stage. It comes as no surprise to find that in her real life she has been both dancer and choreographer, and, perhaps most significantly, as a set painter in the theater. You probably saw her interesting take on Hoffmann's The Sandman, hosted at Arte Libera a while back.
Noke's build takes to new heights the extreme conflation of real and virtual realities that's been the hallmark of Imparafacile Runo's work in SL / RL. Impa, as you know, has been running learning and cultural schemes in SL for ages. His group Libriamo Tutti is pure reality overlap. His able and talented team organize meetings where a RL audience, meeting in libraries in towns across Lombardy, can listen, see and participate alongside SL residents in literary evenings where books are discussed, read aloud, explained, and generally celebrated. Impa's longstanding friendship with Professor Giampiero Moioli of Milan's Brera Academy of Art, and a close collaboration with Simba Schumann, led to a recent RL seminar in which students were able to make a virtual field trip to three installations on the Brera sim. Each build is based on a literary work close to the artist's heart.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Machinimaxed out

Sounds like you poor bastards stuck in SL have been having a bad week. Sorry to hear it. You really should try Open Sim. It's like Cloud Party only without the lameness and the capitalist imperative.
woo. Cloud Party. I may have to sit down.
Judging time for Machinima UWA!! 
Funky, impossible, varied, sumptuous, distubing, crafty, vivacious, studied, memorable. Those are the ingredients one yearns for. And there's plenty of it this year - yum!!!
Having just watched all 51 entries, how to choose a top 10?
Everyone starts out with full marks. You lose points for the following no-no's:
What does this film convey to someone who's unfamiliar with SL? We may be used to the sight of cheesy avatars, cheapo clothes and clunky poses but it really doesn't fit the theme here: the excellence that places like UWA foster. Nor does a low frame rate, and crackly or corny audio content. Luckily, the quality is really high, this year. No points for ma-cringe-ma.
The ideal machinima makes its point in 3 minutes or less. The ones that are 10, 15 or even 30 minutes long are acts of clueless arrogance. Brevity is the soul of wisdom. Because, whatever you write in the comments, people are just going to skip ahead through your exaggeratedly soulful headshots.
Voice overs are bad, unless you're a poet with a lovely voice. Hypatia and Karima both come out brilliantly, while most of the others sound like middle aged school teachers. Unwise. Those penguins are plain annoying for content and quality. Kill them.
If you've not arrested our attention in the first 5 seconds, you didn't do it right. Don't ask your friends, you know they're going to lie to you. This batch of beauties include many that have you riveted from the start, not always an easy task with such an ethereal subject matter.
Big fancy logos followed by low production values are self defeating. You're not Lion's Gate or Pixar, and your ludicrous logo invites us to draw an unflattering comparison.
Quotable quotes that stay on the screen forever lose their thrust. (OK, most of them are ghastly truisms that lost their thrust before appearing on the screen.) The average person can read 5-6 words a second. In the aeons it takes for your quote to fade off the screen, the audience thinking: 'Should'a spent less time coming up with that fancy logo at the beginning, and more time in the editing suite.'
Machinima that are just about you, and not about the theme, get a zero, also, I'm creeped out by child avatars in any context, and Papyrus font.
There are dozens of judges in this competition, and as happened last year, my top 10 won't make a dent in the actual final result. So this is a suggestion of what you should see, if you don't have the 7 hours necessary to watch them all through to the bitter end.
Bear in mind, THERE'S A CASH PRIZE FOR THE MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC whose top 10 is closest to the Judge's overall list. So this should at least get you started!!
Don't forget to turn up at the UWA on August 6th at 6am SLT to see which, if any, get the big prize. I hope it's you.
Tutsy Navarathna 's The Last Syllable of Recorded Time
Tikaf Viper's Run Ram
Arrow Inglewood's  ?
Lala Larix's  The 3rd Eye
and not really 'on theme' in a spiritual way, but the best businesslike,lively tour through the whole thing, capturing the spirit of the event in every way, is this little number by jjccc:

Back to the beach for me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A little night

Maybe next year
Stephen Sondheim
A dark, stormy night, too hot to think, much too hot to seek out crowds, or feign interest in upcoming birthday parties, is the best time to visit Carnevil. 
RaggedyMortis Haystack delivers a detailed, sinister atmosphere in a surprisingly small space, nay-saying the current mantra that you need a whole sim to make your point. Free bits by the likes of Arcadia Asylum and Chicanery Turnbull add to the awesome gruesome.

But if Carnevil exudes quiet cleverness, the quietness itself delivers something disturbing. What happened here, in this empty garden? Signs that might be omens greet the unhappy wanderer. Stains, glowing grass, a shrunken head in the pool. That kind of thing. Add a rubber duck or two, and you've got a metaphor for SL9B. But like, with some class.
Ought there to be clowns? You can't be sure they're not already here, phantasms of grunge existing at a slightly different resolution, just beyond what your viewer can see, a sort of spiritual mesh.
Carnevil is SL art at its best: well-crafted, avatar-relevant items curated with imagination. It's a perfect showcase for a  commercial venture (including Meat 'n' More in the Haunted Farm next door, and Pinkmares House) that leave you reaching for more, not reaching for Mute.
Wait. Did you hear that?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The eye, or rather the mind, 
is never long delighted with 
that which it surveys without effort
Humphry Repton, Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening
The LEA is like a raw onion: sure, it's juicy and multi-layered, but prolonged contact makes some people emit hot air, or tears, or both.
Open a window, escape from poseurs and schoolyard politics, and jump into the magical world of June Clavenham and Luke Vemo.
They live far apart. Luke is in England, June in Uruguay. They met on a rooftop sandbox, years ago. He made popcorn appear.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pod cast

list map = [
 251648.0,254464.0,256000.0,257280.0,"Bay City",
 290048.0,290816.0,268288.0,270080.0,"Western Blake Sea",
 291072.0,294400.0,266496.0,272128.0,"Blake Sea",
 286720.0,289792.0,268288.0,269056.0,"Nautilus City",
 291840.0,295936.0,284672.0,289280.0,"Gaeta I",
 296960.0,304384.0,276736.0,281344.0,"Gaeta V",

The Italians have an expression for it: 'casa e chiesa', by which they mean a life spent going back and forth between a small number of places, never adventuring further afield. Must be in our DNA or something, because the same habit informs most of our second lives too. At least in proportion to the possibilities out there, most of us just commute between a few shops, and a handful of music, social or artistic venues. And of course that Elephant Ear Fetish club, but I'm not supposed to talk about that.
Cast around for some place less claustrophobic, and remember that yes, there is fresh air in Second Life, and not Full Sim Installs, but actual normal countryside, a patchwork of homes and history held together by roads and rivers.
Which brings us to the Mainland. Zindra and Sansara, the newest and oldest continents, are names we all know, but have you heard of any of the others above? Throw down a prim containing this Continent Detector Script, by Dale Innis and it will tell you where you are. Something less than half of Mainland is Linden owned, much of that given over to woodland and such. A sizeable chunk is abandoned. If you're interested in statistics about it, you probably have already visited Tyche Shepherd's site. That leaves the rest in the hands of private individuals and groups. Having wandered here as a newbie, curious about houses and roads, it's eerily unchanged, reassuringly unchanged, reprovingly unchanged. So who are the people who live here?  Are they different to the rest of us?  Does the contiguous lifestyle have something to teach to those of us who aspire to the island life? Does the Mainland matter?
Yavanna Llanfair knows about mainland. She also knows a lot about scripting. Modest of her achievements, serene, and an immaculately beautiful oldbie, she is the creator of the Yavascript Pods, a series of guided pod tours that take all over Sansara, Jeogeot, Satori, Corsica, Zindra, and more.
Her pods transform into boats, skiboats and back into hovering road vehicles, depending on the terrain. Her biggest Pod Station is at Yavascript on sim Durango. She includes a HUD with commentary, so you can learn something of the history of the places (suggestions for additional commentary are welcome) and to see what speed at which you're going.
Yavanna Llanfair: When I was new, I still remember walking along the roads near The Shelter, and around a welcome area. I like maps, and exploring. Maybe not everyone has the same spirit of adventure But I hope I can kindle that in them, if they come and have a ride on one of the pods. The history of it goes back a long way! When I first joined SL in 2006, I saw all these scripting things around me, and thought maybe I should have a go at it. My first product, a smiler and winker, was a success. I bought my own land, in January 2007, in the days when first land was still available. I liked the idea of sky boxes, so I made one, but needed a way of getting there.
Initially I made a basic, a simple one-person, non-physical "pod" to get me to any point I put in a notecard. Then I realised it could be adapted,so that it would do a tour. The first two-seaters sold around July 2007. Non-physical worked well, it was simpler to control, and looked quite smooth. But within a year, something seemed to change, and non-physical objects didn't move so smoothly. I knew I had to move to physical, and spent a while learning about physics in SL.  I tried some of the standard ways, provided by the LSL language, but none were really satisfactory. I had to go back to basics. I didn't realise it at the time, but I was creating something that would cross sim borders reliably and more smoothly than most physical objects do. I had to brush up on a lot of maths, things like matrix transformations, vectors. I had to learn what a quaternion is, and how to use it. (A quaternion is a way of representing a rotation.) I rekindled a love for maths that I had had during my university studies. It took about a year to bring about the pod that you see before you. Around October 2010, I realised I could put these things on the road. I was lucky that the "first land" I had was by a road thanks to a kind land-swap with my then neighbour, and wonderful person, Annabelle Babii. Just a short tour or two along the roads around Monowai on Jeogeot, as a way of showpiecing my creations. But soon I realised that I had something that I could use to the benefit of the community, to provide something for people to do on mainland. I made a decision not to do any kind of advertising on the pods, even though sponsorship has been offered. This project that should be something many people can enjoy. I just maintain a small YS logo on them to identify them as mine.
Inside the Information centre, you'll find a huge map showing the tours - Yava will soon have the Zindra map up too. Moving buttons represent the pods out on the road. You can click on them and tp directly - be prepared to run a bit to catch up with the pod when you arrive!  Tours vary in length from around 30 minutes up to 2 hours 50 minutes, and many people use a hop on hop off method. We went round the half-hour tour together, running into AnnMarie O'Toole's random vehicles from time to time. What larks. The pods, and Yava's project seem far more interesting than that whole dramedy.
Yavanna Llanfair: There are two things that drive me to stay here. The most important one is my friends. But being able to be creative is another. It keeps the mind active. It's good to have something that you can do, to feel of value, to know people are appreciating what you offer. I don't think this necessarily applies just to scripting Though I suppose by its very nature, scripting requires more maintenance than most other creative things And more support! I script alone. I do have some scripting friends with whom I sometimes discuss scripting and share ideas though. Tom Woodget's boats are great, and I have learnt one or two things from him which have become incorporated in the pods.
 The road wound on past houses and shops  that recalled the old days when people actually flew or walked places. When was the last time you did that? No, me either. With so much experience, Yava seemed the obvious person to ask about favourite or memeorable places to visit on the mainland.
  Yavanna Llanfair:  I'd have to mention Calleta, on Heterocera, the railroad hub. I have a pod station there, with many thanks to Thinkerer Melville for allowing me to use his land, right by the Hobo reservation. It's an ideal site, and a privilege to be there. The continent of Sansara, where we are now, is special. It is the original continent, and has a character of its own. . I do love this area aound the Wengen info hub, I have always adored snowscapes, in RL too. This area is all Linden owned, and it's so good that they maintain this area, and don't sell it off. For me, this is the thing that distinguishes SL from other grids. The "Linden Department of Public Works" (LDPW), who maintain these areas, providing some sort of "glue", communal areas, roads, rivers, providing a more real feeling to the place. If I were setting up an alternative grid, in competition to SL, top of my list of priorities would be something like the LDPW. Though I think I would make it even more visible to the residents. Without this, there would be far less of a sense of community than there is, and I think it's why other grids feel so soulless.  Heterocera is a lovely continent, with some beautiful routes, but the roads are long, and I have not had time to do it all - yet. All of Corsica is covered now, including the islands to the west - and even - since last week - the "Old Route 11". I don't have a base on northern Nautilus yet, though I cover southern Nautilus from my base in Mãebaleia. And I don't cover Gaeta V, though I have the offer of a base there, thanks to Ada Yven, with whom I have also been working on tours of Zindra.

We reached the top of the mountain pass. Snow was falling and it made me shiver. Of all the skills of SL, scripting is the most eternal, economical, pure, and truly virtual activities. It's a never ending labour of love for Yava. She's always testing, coming up with new commentary, updating notecards and tweaking her scripts. She has her own server, to make communication with pods more effective. When pods fail, as perhaps only one in a hundred will do, it's usually due to a sim crashing because of griefing, and that takes time too. **Add your own, much-repeated rant about the vicious cycle of Linden Lab's apathetic Customer Service record here.** 
Yavanna Llanfair: I could not have imagined back in 2006 what SL would become for me personally, but as a whole, I don't think it's changed all that much, in many ways. It's a lot bigger, but in terms of size it has not really grown for a couple of years, as far as I can tell. This is a problem, and I think the community feel of mainland is something that can attract people in. I think that, to survive in the long term, we (both established residents and LL) should be thinking about ways of getting people interested in what SL has to offer. And it has a lot to offer, but what will get people here who will stay here is the sense of community, and mainland is key to creating that. I do get quite a few comments from people, and to be honest any comments of the sort "I like your tours" are very much appreciated. Without them I probably wouldn't have the motivation to continue Someone did say that after riding my pods they felt like moving back to mainland, having appreciated again what it has to offer. That was a great compliment.
Yavanna Llanfair: When I am riding, I see the environment, but I always have half an eye on the tour - has the land changed a bit? do I need to tweak something? For example, on this tour, a couple of months ago, I noticed it was heading through the road at one point, because someone had re-built part of the road, at a higher level. There is always more to do. In the past month I have created a number of extensions to existing tours.  I've been asked to provide the official transport system for SL9B - I did SL8B last year. So I'm going to be very busy once the sims open up. It was an honour and a pleasure to be asked to do that last year. So this year, well, I couldn't really say no!
Visit the Yavascript  Pod Station any time to cast virtual body and soul back to simpler, healthier times. And of course, check out Yava's transports at the party in the middle of June.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Juniversal appeal

Tomorrow Saturday May 19th at 12 noon SLT why not TP over to Lavender Field  for a concert in a good cause. Junivers Stockholm will be playing a benefit for Feed a Smile. It's a charity that reaches out to people in need in Kenya.
junivers Stockholm: It's a small charity; they have a way of accomplishing more with the money they get than the bigger ones. And that's a very good thing.
It may be small, but it's well organized in SL - a glance at their notice board reveals a stellar lineup of SL musicians who contribute time and talent to raising funds for the cause. But what does it feel like for a musician to do a charity gig?
Junivers Stockholm: My work in SL is a lot about trying to create more awareness about that and start finding solutions. Right now we worship money but the only thing money can do is to buy "hands and minds". "Hands and minds" can create and produce services and products. Money can't do that.  So it's all about how we organise "hands and minds". So to make a long answer short, I feel that raising money isnt enough for me. Of course im happy that i can contribute in a direct way - like helping raise a little something. But to be honest... We need a long term change. I love the native Americans' "7 generation idea". Our planet has the possibility to be here for a very long time - it also has so much beautiful and exciting things to experience. Our system - a "competing growth demanding monster" that enslaves us all, has to change if we want to survive. The resources are not finite.
juni has a distinguished and long musical career in SL. He has been inworld since 2006, and has collaborated with a number of memorable bands and, as a talented composer, with groups like theMedora Chevalier's  Imaginals, and  Diabolus CARP. Right now he's working on a new show for CARP, called The Change, which I'm pretty sure is not going to be about what the name suggests. He's written lyrics here and there, but he's really all about the music - improvised, original, and always different.
junivers Stockholm:  Some people listen more to the lyrics and some people listen more to the tones. For me personally it has always been the tones. I do appreciate lyrics too nowadays. Its a personal thing i guess. My earliest memories in life are all about music. My mother loved to sing "light classical" music. My father loved more "heavy classical" music. Rachmaninoff made a deep impression. Later in life, when I learned about physics and chemistry, my intuition told me that music creates waves which carried atmospheres that affects our subconscious. Since I have these early memories of music, I could relate to the scientific knowledge and recognise the deep impact music had throughout my whole life.
The idea of an international platform, and the huge amount of people who like to experiment with new possibilities, along with the infinite technical possibilities of  the virtual world all led juni to SL.

junivers Stockholm: I do like to do RL music performances, but that means, for me, to play without any other musicians. So my best memories from SL is from the very old days when I only used SL instruments - playable ones. There were lots of people participating in jams - that was so great. We also formed some bands. Once we had a jam and the creator of the instruments we used, Robbie Dingo, came by. He so much liked what he heard, and the way we used his instruments, that he gave us a unique not for sale instrument - the whisperbox. That was nice, but i have to say there are many many nice memories. Music has this unifying power - I love that :)

With so much experience in Second Life, what kind of advice would he give a new musician?
 junivers Stockholm: Hmm... who am I to give advice? I need them myself! hehe. I can try though:. Maybe this is OK: Don't make yourself depending on an income - play because it brings you and your audience joy.
Don't miss junivers' concert tomorrow 12 noon SLT at  Lavender Field.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

All Most Blue

You can't rush Jazz. It's night music, made for those hours of slow meditation slipping towards sleep and dreams, or else the delicious contortions of body and soul, in dance, in love, in life. And so it is with Aloisio Congrejo's install The Colors of Jazz, at La Baroque's Colore! Gallery till next Tuesday.
A blood red skybox encircles spiky white prims, all akimbo, like exotic plants in an alarming conservatory. Aloisio built this over a couple of weeks, late at night, with his beloved Miles Davis playing in the background. The album, and the song had to be Kind of Blue and, initially the build was coming out kind of blue, too.

Aloisio Congrejo: This technique is not a new one for me. I use prims with a blank white texture and light them. That way as you walk among them you get different lighting effects. The first idea, to use only blue lights, gradually changed, and I introduced red lighting effects, so that when the beams cross each other you get patches of purple in the middle.
It's no good hurrying here, you'll miss the point. No two visitors will end up with the same impression, for all is a game of light and shadow, entirely in the eye of the beholder. More a few feet, and a different shaft envelops you.  In a busy metaverse where people press in on all sides, Colors of Jazz harks back to calmer days when the prim was king. At the same time, layers of tonality remind us that nothing is certain, that there's more than one way to see yourself and all that surrounds you. It's a place where, if you turn on some jazz and just chill a while, you'll soon find yourself feeling a little less blue.

Colors of Jazz is open at Colore!  until the 22nd of May.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


It may be the nearest thing to a scientifically accurate boredom /idle curiosity index, how long it takes you to decide if you'll click on an unbidden TP to an art opening. The funny part is that you'll almost always find little there to relieve either sensation.
The person who tp's you in will definitely not speak to you, they are way too busy sending IMs and group messages, and let's face it, you're nothing more than a single steer in the giant cattle drive of worshipers.
The artist, woozy from all that ego massaging, will spare you a comment perhaps, but rarely anything cogent.
The other people present are mostly interesting from a sociological, rather than artistic, point of view, and usually break down into the bitchy schoolgirl cliques, fawning Empty Nesters, wonderfully dry sarcastic IM'ers, and characters rather like un-moored Zeppelins with 'Don't You Know Who I Am?' stencilled on the side. A colossal, lonely, largely insubstantial presence. And then of course, there's you. It's always nice to run into you at a show.

Of all the curators who've come and gone over the years, and omg there have been many, Asmita Duranjaya is one of the few who doesn't feel like she is a woman of little talent (beyond trumpeting) basking in reflected glory. She has real credentials, in art, and music, and community building. Her invitation to the MBK Gallery seemed worth a gamble. The show is Hearts on Holiday by Reezy Frequency. OK the guy with what look like breasts and panties over his brown jean, I have no idea what's going on there.

Asmita's a good bet, and the Meisterbastler (how is that not a double entendre??) chapel did look a treat from the outside, almost along Jennifer Steinkamp lines. Hearts on Holiday is what it sounds like, joyous, positive, alluring. The sculptures were of the notsomuch kind that almost any Resident can find in their own inventory from the days when they first discovered how to twist a torus. But the 2D work is interesting, jumping from sunshiny swirls to blue nudes.
I completely get it that some people need to bask in immediate praise to feel like they're making something worthwhile. It's not true, as DC Antonelli tried to insist the other day, that unseen art isn't art at all. A Leonardo in the cupboard is no less a piece of crafted beauty than an overexposed Color Field (aka paint drying pointlessly) - in fact, surely more. Unseen brilliance is like a tree falling in the forest -yes, it does make a noise, regardless. If you could deduct from his fans all the people with minimal talent in painting and drawing who have delusions of fame and fortune, Mark Rothko would have been popular with like 2 people, both within his immediate family. His charm is the same as that of the Lottery, and appeals to the same class of folk.

Gallery openings are better than watching paint dry, but not always. Much better to drop in later, and check out Reezy's art for yourself. And don't forget Asmita and co's Sim, Space 4 Art, where dozens of talents have their studios.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Water wheels

The sinking last week of the Ryou-Un Maru - better known as - off the coast of Alaska is just one more reminder of the literal fallout from last year's tsunami. The 'Japanese ghost ship'  met an ironic end at the hands - or rather cannons - of the US Coastguard, in the frigid waters of the Gulf of Alaska. The trawler had been slated for destruction in the shipyards of Hokkaido; instead its watery fate is to lie six thousand feet below the surface, where the experts say it will become home to sea creatures, although nobody asked them if they needed any spare habitat. Life sometimes just falls on your head, and you have to make the best of it.
The double bill at SplitScreen, Dividni Shostakovich's gallery, reminds us of that. Alizarin has a much bigger version of this build in Inworldz, where she spends most of her time nowadays; this build has some new elements but is essentially two of the four chapters you can find on her IWz sim.
Alizarin Goldflake: The time limit would have killed me if I had to start from scratch. Acquarella in IWz took me over eight months - for Split Screen, I pre-built everything in IWz, and then on my sky platform.

The build feels huge; it's roamable and as such a lot of fun, but Ali also makes it easy to follow the story via a walkway of burning coals. The fable, which illustrates man's careless treatment of the environment - in particular the sea - has been widely covered, including in a video by machinimist Chantal Harvey. Hey it's even available in Chinese if you're one of the six people on the planet who didn't go to Shanghai last year. OK seven if you include me.

There are some great spots in which to sit and reflect on how much we've pissed off Acquarella, and no end of Tetras and lovely, lacy seaweed (all Ali's original drawings, of course), not to mention her sea snake and scary not-quite-jelly-monsters.  But just when you think that these two parts of the story end on a high note...
Alizarin Goldflake: Follow the searchlight up! The nymphs have been cursed, and Homeland Security up there is taking down everything you say!
What goes around, comes around.
On the other side of the Split Screen is a build by Blue Tsuki. Ali showed me around.
Alizarin Goldflake: This is a memorial  although Blue doesnt make a point of letting you know that. The lavender flowers are called Sab flowers, and this is a memorial for Sabrinaa Nightfire. It really moves me.
The urns are very ornate : and they are spilling out glowing particles. It is about mortality and transcendence. The windmills are like witnesses or mourners, and everything here moves up and away. The viewer is just enveloped in this, like a mediation. The way Blue used the sim water here is also really good. There are textures just under it texture with glow, and it turns the SL water red.
It's a dreamy place, as repetitious as a prayer wheel. The border blends into the sky perfectly - there are no constraints between heaven and earth here in the shallows. And as such, it makes a great contrast to Ali's watery deep.
Alizarin Goldflake: I think the two builds are good foils to each other, although while we were setting up, we hardly exchanged a word.
Like many builders, Alizarin is torn about continuing to build and show in Second Life with rental prices for the kind of real estate she needs still in the "Ouch" range. Certainly there's wider exposure in the bigger audience-pool of SL, but more recently she's found sales are better in InWorldz. The possibility of getting free land from the LEA committee is also appealing. But she's also looking to another chapter in her virtual art career.
Alizarin Goldflake: With the Intergrid Metaverse Arts Biennial coming up I may show stuff in more than these two grids.
The IMAB, organized by a committee headed by Josina Burgess and Velasquez Bonetto, aims to unite art and artist from all grids, opensim and the closed worlds, by providing both a long-lasting festival, and a website where artists will be able to explain both what they do and where they are. More soon, I expect.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Out of the blue

Fuschia Nightfire has done it again, with a lovely install in the sky above the Tanalois group gallery, better known as the  Torno Kohime Foundation , of course, in honour of that lovely patron of the arts.
Fuschia calls this one Water Music, and the discrete sections of the build, piano, ballerina, and crashing waves. This is a hybrid build. You can enjoy most of it even in a non-mesh friendly viewer, and still have all the hilarity of seeing people wearing odd boxes on their head. But you'll miss these horses, if you do.
Water music, in Fuschia's masterful build, means the fluidity of the body in movement,  liquid notes in a melody, and the percussion of hooves beating on the beach.
Fuschia Nightfire:  It's really a bit of mishmash that I threw together. The horse is my first mesh sculpture upload, and took me ages to make, so I didn't have time to work on much new stuff for this show.
Modest as always, her apparently simple approach reveals more layers than perhaps she knows.
It's a swirling, lively, yet pacific-chilly build, the icy elements set off nicely against a dark background. In this Italian gallery horses and waves were never more appropriately conjoined, than these 'cavalloni bianchi che si inseguono nel mare'   as Baglioni would say.
But it is the piano that is the star of the show. Walk up the cascading keyboard, linger on a chord or two.

Fushia hereself, resplendent in greeny blues, welcomed us all and in her lovely down to earth way, continued to thing of ways she might just tweak the build a little more. A true artist.
RAG Randt, who's currently getting to grips with mesh, admired the build very much.
RAG Randt: Fuschia is one of the most innovative artists I know.
He's right. The wonderful Tani Thor and Aloisio Congrejo find themselves once again with a splendid build on their land.  My only question - in all this blue, where's the fuschia?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rain of thought

Who says recycling don't pay.
Machinimist and artist Ian Pahute is rocking the foggers on his sim Isles Las Avies (hmm... deliberately bilingual, or just an anagraphic balls-up by the Lindens?) with his composition, The Loneliness of Being.
This is some random guy, I always feel sorry for people stuck with Resident as a last name, don't you? This dude doubly so; he'd managed to miss-spell the word 'Wisdom' in his name. That has to hurt his chance of dating the moderately unchallenged. Meditating on blogs and Twitter, especially SL generated material of that kind, is like eating Pringles, you probably should get a grip and cut back your intake.
Anyway for some reason this instal has been spammed by the login screen. *Has Ian been comin' on strong to unnamed Lindens?? More in a Tweet later*.

You saw this a couple of years back, at the Identity exhibition at Caerleon, floating above a very impressive set of dioramas by Fuschia Nightfire in a cupola built by FreeWee Ling. Now, the same, yet eternally different, build is floating over an attractive bay.
Lonely, the Tweeter? Surely not. Lonely people have no outlet for their minutiae, that's the whole point, isn't it? I suppose he's got me thinking, after all.
The cloud of words, outpourings recycled, a rain-of-thought. Not to be mist?

Ess Ell

...went to bed single, and woke up double...
Saskia Boddeke, The Story of Susa Bubble

Sex sells, in all worlds; you only have to go to Zindra or to the many BDSM sims of OSGrid to see that, and hey, you clicked on this link, didn't you? Perhaps in no other field of human endeavour does Sod's Law of Inverse Proportion more poignantly apply; the more a person talks about it, the more you know they're not getting good quality action at home. Where does that leave virtual nookie, then?
The new show at ZaZu'Z gallery, raises as many questions as it answers on that score. It's a small show, in a gallery with an earthbound, West Coast commercial lanai look; discreet, almost anonymous, with a little cloud of trash circling the entrance.

But ZaZu is no trailer trash masseuse.  The perfectly-put-together avatar with a French twist and photounrealistic skin sends the mind racing to transgenderrational conclusions, of course, but she takes her work seriously, in every way. People were making some pretty raunchy remarks, as they strolled among the larger than lifesize canvesses, but she let none of that get to her. No nipple police here, no strident voices, none of the hypocrisy of the art community.
ZaZu Susa: Is there a SL art community? *smiles. The most stupid thing people say is "you use photoshop as well " because I don't, they are all snapshots, not staged images. As for the gallery, I have made several. This one I built for a very short time. The detail is important. The photographs are just a selection, I took thousands of pictures, while having sex in SL, so as to have this. I love all of them, I can't choose a favourite,  it depends of the day. I chose these ones first because they are good pictures, but they represent 6 months of work.
In an environment where the word 'fantasy' takes on vivid, vivacious forms, these photographs are orthodox,  even old fashioned; like Marilyn, ZaZu's lovely avie has the same anatomy as other women. Serving and being served, she is firmly portrayed as subject, never object, in compositions more tasteful than explicit, if a little repetitive. There are few surprises, except perhaps the one with the Doberman. A wet nose in the frame  raises the question of censorship and sensibility.
ZaZu Susa: I don't have limits, when it comes to my art. It just has to be a good picture. If someone wants to think this is tacky - well, art is made of tacky things. RP sex is a huge part of SL! You don't make art with cute things or maybe, not me. Most people don't say anything when they look at my art. I think the biggest compliment they pay me is to purchase one piece.
It's hard to say, looking in from the outside, what it means to share these fragrant fragments of a virtual sexlife. Like all art, the meaning intended and the message conveyed remain, as the protagonists on the virtual bed, inseparably locked in a shared isolation, and in that, we each grasp what beauty we can find.