25 May 2016

Rosemoor

Rosemoor, created by Arol Lightfoot and Krys Vita (the first collaboration between these two well-known sim designers), offers visitors a delightful variety of scenes all tucked into a pastoral island setting. Its sandy shores are home to tall sea grasses and various beach houses (as in the image above, all open and furnished), while further inland are fields of wildflowers and great rocky outcroppings that extend their shadows over the land.

A tiny island on the southeastern corner of the Rosemoor is home to an amusing collection of D-Lab characters (image above) who are very busy interacting among one another, moving this way and that, and this space alone is worth a visit. To the far northwest another curious scene awaits, that of a run down circus, its animals still wandering here and there through the elegant decay (image below).

Couples will find romantic spots in various locations. Rosemoor is open for only a limited time — Arol says she and Krys haven't decided when it will close to the public, but explorers probably shouldn't delay in visiting. Contributions in support of the sim may be left at the landing point.

23 May 2016

Gravity is a mistake: The Library

When Eupalinos Ugajin's Gravity is a mistake opened last month as a work in progress (read here) — although one well underway, with plenty to experience — the artist promised that the library, the terminus of the adventure, would eventually become endowed with books. The first several volumes have now begun to appear, created by Alpha Auer (Incunabula, image above), Giovanna Cerise (image below), Haveit Neox (lowest image) and Livio Korobase.

Click on the books by Alpha and Livio to be redirected to websites; the persistent explorer might discover the flying "E for Everything," an instant scene by Kikas and Marmaduke, featuring a passage from Jorge Luis Borges's The Library of Babel. Haveit's contribution, which is underwater, might not be a book after all: "Maybe some kind of archives for the library," Eupa pondered. Additional artists will be creating books for the library, so visit often to keep abreast of these incoming works.

22 May 2016

Arachnid

Now open is Arachnid, a new creation by artist Cica Ghost. The fanciful environment in this immersive sim-wide build is a misty, foggy land filled with spiders, webs, curious plant growths, and plenty of food for the spiders that lurk in every corner. (Visitors will immediately see a few trapped butterflies struggling in the sticky webs, as shown above.)

"Once you begin watching spiders, you haven't time for much else," remarked E.B. White, author of the classic book Charlotte's Web, and Cica has used this quote to describe her new installation. "I like what he said — I agree with him," Cica said as we chatted about her new build. And she described how she used to feed spiders: "I would catch a fly half alive, and put it in his web to see how he would grab her! I had a boring job, and there was a spider in the corner."

If the spiders in Arachnid seem friendly, they're not, as exemplified by two human victims who are trapped amid the dangerous filaments and likely to be had for dinner. Other people are out and about but are likely to retreat to their rooms to sleep, thinking themselves protected by the iron bars that make up their walls, much as the butterflies assume themselves safe in their nearby garden shelter. Visitors will notice a stack of washing machines, an extension of a small piece (also containing a spider) created by Cica for the MetaLES sim's Distrito Distinto last summer.

On the televisions located in the rooms, it's possible to watch music videos featuring a few songs of which the artist is fond — simply enable parcel media. Alternatively, one can activate the music stream, which might meld better with the pianist pictured below. Be sure to click on everything, as hidden poses are available throughout the build. If you enjoy Cica's work, please consider leaving a contribution at the landing point, or by visiting her shop in Appalachian.

Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor

Now open at LEA23 is Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, an immersive installation by Frankx Lefavre. It's a dark space that reflects a troubled state of mind, created as the artist grappled with a major bout of anxiety and panic disorder. Visitors need to be sure to turn on advanced lighting model, as otherwise the textures and materials in the build will be largely unseen.

"Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors," explains Frankx, "are the primary drug used to treat anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Last December I was given a LEA grant for 2016, by January I was suffering major attacks of anxiety and panic leading to depression. This is the resultant work and was built whilst this occurred. It is my interpretation of what I was going through and a symbolic art representation of the turmoil and chaos that engulfed me for months. It was a long and slow process, both the building of the sim and my recovery."

If the sim imparts a sense of information overload, or an inability to focus on anything, that's no doubt entirely purposeful, reflecting the onslaught of information that can heighten anxiety and panic disorder, and in the ride down through the build (provided by a bubble) one sees figures falling without control through the chaotic environment. In the center of the build, caged figures lean forward in despair.

But there are signs of hope, as well, pointing toward a possible recovery: a luminous Buddha sits by the east wall, and clusters of open hands seems to invite comfort. The build is thick with material, so visitors should take time to fully explore all its facets. Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor will remain on display through the month of June.

21 May 2016

Lollygagger Art Festival

Opening today, Saturday, May 21, from 12 pm to 7 pm slt, is the third annual Lollygagger Art Festival, curated by chrissssy (chrstenhp). Spread out over a number of spaces around Lollygagger are works by artists Fae Varriale (image below), Fanny Vermont (lowest image), Kake Broek, Kandece Weissbrod, Pepper Chaffe, Rob Barber, Sparkie Cyberstar and Ziki Questi (image above).

The exhibitions are in support of Relay for Life, with contributions kiosks throughout the area; additionally many of the artworks are available for sale. The festival will remain on display for approximately two months.

20 May 2016

MECHANISMUS and Black & White

On display at Berg by Nordan Art, curated by Kate Bergdorf, is a pair of installations: MECHANISMUS by Igor Ballyhoo, located on the ground level, and Black & White by Imani Nayar, installed in the intimate overhead gallery. The former, in keeping with Igor's frequent style, is massive and filled with disturbing imagery. Visitors arrive at the base of a towering edifice, and are invited to climb seemingly endless flights of stairs up to a high circular platform.

There, an enormous gear slowly rotates around a surrealistic scene, with giant ships swaying in the wind and airplanes entangled overhead. Other elements in view aren't entirely appealing, and may set many viewers off: dolls hanging from the branches of a lifeless tree, disembodied breasts spurting milk into buckets, the top half of a mouth with teeth hanging from wires in the front and a uvula dangling at the back, and a peculiar looking baby marveling at a set of gears.

But all that's intended to emphasize a theme conveyed through the artist's notes. "MECHANISMUS is a metaphorical story about symbiosis of human and technology from the beginning of both entities till the present day," says Igor, further explaining about the breasts, for example (the notes being extensive), "Milkmobile is MECHANISMUS that runs endlessly on mother’s milk. Today humanity uses low paid, very often even child labor to produce as cheap products as possible. Milkmobile is my way of cutting out even that one inexpensive link by feeding modern industry directly with life energy, most precious food."

In the overhead gallery, Imani displays twelve photographs in black and white, carefully composed and often suggestive of real life images. "I started taking pics in SL out of sheer boredom. But step by step I realized that taking pics changed the way that I saw things," offers Imani. "The best way for me to capture emotion is in black and white." The exhibitions will continue through the month of June.

18 May 2016

Farewell, Binemist

Earlier today, Biné Rodenberger announced the closing of her sim, Binemist, about which I originally wrote in August, 2013 (see here), and then in September, 2014 (see here). Long a favorite of photographers and explorers, the sim is now on its fourth iteration and is celebrating its third anniversary.

The current installation is an arid and often spare landscape, with a few buildings, objects and scenes rezzed here and there, allowing one's eyes to look clear across from one side to the other. At the landing point, a doorway can take you to a skybox house with several rooms (the attic in the lowest image), and a hole in the ground will transport you to a floating rock in the sky.

Binemist should remain open until around the end of May, but fans of Biné's work shouldn't be too concerned: the reason for its disappearance is that Biné has purchased a full sim (now called Binemust) from Mimi Juneau, and plans to begin building there soon.

16 May 2016

In the spirit of...

Now open at the Broad Street Gallery at Crestwick Island, and guest curated by Senna Coronet, is In the spirit of..., a group show featuring artworks by Amona Savira, Bay Adens, Dr. Strangelove, Isa Messioptra, Jordan Giant, .kiki, Lyndzay Melli, Paola Mills, Senna Coronet and Tutsy Navarathna. "Whether consciously or not we are often guided by the work and style of others," says Senna. "We asked a few artists to think about those influencers and to develop work that would pay homage..." And that they have, with fabulous and fascinating results, ranging from Dr. Strangelove's homage to Mark Rothko (above, left), to Isa Messioptra's homage to Man Ray (below, right) and more. The exhibition will remain on display for about a month, at which time another in a series of guest curators will stage a new show. Contributions in support of the gallery are welcome.

15 May 2016

The Path

Now open at the Split Screen Installation Space, curated by Dividni Shostakovich, is The Path by Cherry Manga, the artist's first work to be displayed in Second Life in more than a year. The scene is a dark, celestial space in which pulsing wireframe forms suggest constellations in the night sky. Slowly drifting through everything are the words "Creativity is contagious. Pass it on," a quote attributed to Albert Einstein. Be sure to sit in various locations throughout the build, and to have local sounds turned up.

The installation is actually a small version of a much more substantial artwork that will be realized on FrancoGrid, opening on September 7 as part of Fest'Avi, an event that focuses on full permissions avatars. The display at Split Screen "doesn't render the bigger project," Cherry told me, "but I give a small idea, and the main idea is to offer full perms free avatars." Along with the free "Light of Light" avatar (to the right in the image below), visitors can acquire a free sculpture (to the left below), simply entitled The Path. (An early version of The Path gift contained an accidental extra (and obviously out of place) prim; the correct version is now available at the Split Screen landing point.) The installation will remain on display until the end of July.

13 May 2016

Mistero Hifeng at The Living Room

Now open at The Living Room is an exhibition of works by Mistero Hifeng, whose distinctive art pieces are immediately recognizable through their unique style and composition. The works on display — usually human figures whose forms are stretched or dramatically shattered — are numerous, covering several floors of the gallery space.

Given the spatial limitations, artworks sometimes collide in one's light of sight, but Mistero has done an admirable (and often playful) job of arranging the various sculptures, incorporating the gallery's architecture and furnishings in his layout. The Living Room is curated by Daallee, Owl (Owl Dragonash) and Nora Elfm, with space contributed by Hippie Bowman, who owns the sim (Lagrange Point Spaceport) on which the gallery resides; contributions may be left at the landing point. The exhibition will continue until May 31, and several related music events will take place before then — see Owl's blog, Through Owl's eyes…, for details.