26 April 2016

The Wall (images NSFW)

Now open at Nitroglobus Hall, curated by Dido Hass, is an exhibition by GoodCross entitled The Wall, featuring a selection of impressive photographic images. "This project is my work documenting the emotional walls that we build in and around us, especially true in case of our lives in second life," says the artist. "I came in to Second Life on 8/31/2011, the bug of photography in SL soon caught up on me, and I have just been absorbed with it and all skills around it. I spend almost all my time in Second Life, creating and documenting little stories to fit inside the 4 sides of a frame."

A checklist that accompanies the exhibition provides titles for each of the images, details on the models who appear, and external website links to music videos. Each image is available for purchase for L$500. The Wall has been open during the month of April, and is likely to close within the next several days to make way for a May exhibition. Sculptures by the late Nitro Fireguard are also on display throughout the gallery. If you enjoy your visit, please consider leaving a contribution for support the Nitroglobus exhibition series.

18 April 2016

Gravity is a mistake

Now open is the first part of Gravity is a mistake by Eupalinos Ugajin, to which two additional components will eventually be added. As is typical with the artist's work, the installation is highly interactive and playful, with generally unpredictable and often absurd results, and includes a puzzle to solve. As visitors arrive, they should accept the experience that's offered, thereby allowing the attachment of a simple HUD.

After leaving the landing point (which is hidden away in the curious object pictured at top), visitors are deposited at one end of the base of a long canyon filled with all sorts of miscellaneous objects (image above). A good rule of thumb in any build by Eupa is to click on everything, and Gravity is a mistake is no exception — objects will teleport you, change your camera angle (the fourth image in this post is one likely to be seen), animate your avatar, shower you with gifts (be sure to visit the bar), load web pages, interact with one another, and attach objects to you. (This last effect is seen in the image immediately below, where I found myself wearing an odd hat and an assortment of lines that moved, continually changing directions. There is a simple way to remove these attachments, which you'll no doubt discover.)

The greatest puzzle, and one that had me stumped for a while, involves getting past the dragon at the end of the walkway. He defiantly guards a large circular pool that lies beyond, unwilling to acknowledge that the once-private space is now a public library. Eupa suggested I share a tip from artist Kikas Babenco that might help those who find themselves stumped: "The hint is trying to catch your attention." (Watch out for the several red herrings, too, that might lead you astray.)

After navigating past the dragon, visitors enter the public library, the tall stacks of which line the walls (image below). For now, it's devoid of books, but that's the next section of the build, and something that will feature works by multiple artists. (A third planned element of Gravity is a mistake, to be situated along the sides of the island, will include additional games by Eupa.) Visitors should also be sure to see Maya Paris's Le Cactus (read here), which is rezzed in the sky of the sim — a teleport available on the top of the island.

15 April 2016

Moonlight

Now open is Moonlight, the latest in a series of immersive sim-wide installations by Cica Ghost, following quickly on the heels of her recent Strawberryland. Evoking magic and enchantment, the surreal scene is situated on a rocky island enveloped by a deep teal night sky.

Visitors arrive at the foot of a flight of stone stairs that ascends towards a little town of quirky homes, with clotheslines lined with socks and underwear strung between the houses. Some of the square paving stones rise and fall, as if alive, and starry particles drift from the swaying grasses throughout the scene. (These unfortunately disappear as one zooms out, but can be seen in the lowest image here.) A curiously solo giraffe passively surveys it all.

Over everything hover some stars and a giant moon that lights the little village, low to the homes and so close it seems as if one could stretch up and touch it. Perhaps its nearness is what has prompted the town's children to sleepwalk, exiting their bedroom windows and climbing onto the rooftops, gazing upward with somnambulant wonder toward the glowing crescent. One rooftop is empty, and we surmise that the child comfortably perched on the edge of moon with her cat has somehow managed to climb aloft.

For visitors, Cica has provided some small and quirky wireframe beds that lazily float in the sky, drifting this way and that over the island — click on one for a sleepy ride. Those who enjoy Cica's work might consider leaving a contribution toward Moonlight and future projects at the landing point, or by visiting her store.

13 April 2016

Queen's Gambit Declined

Now open at MetaLES, curated by Romy Nayar and Ux Hax, is Queen's Gabmit Declined, a major installation by Rebeca Bashly. As is typical with the artist's work, it's bold, thematic and emotionally charged, in this case centering (at first glance, at least) on a enormous heart in sky, its bulging surface wrapped and held fast by ropes that are tightly anchored nearby, while thorns project from the organ's top, lending a crustacean-like appearance to its arteries and veins. The artwork's title refers a well-known opening in the game of chess, and one that can be harnessed by black to attempt to gain an advantage by declining an offer of a pawn from white (the Queen's Gambit, which is either accepted or declined).

Visitors arrive on a stone platform suspended high in the air, and look up to see the heart. Far off in the distance is a sister platform, and between these structures rests a large hedge maze over which the heart hovers; in the center of this maze rests a nude female figure (in a pool of blood, perhaps?), curled into a fetal position with the exception of one hand raised upward, gesturing at the vine growing from her back that reaches toward the sky (image below). (Curiously, the piece is called Magic Beans.) If one crosses to the second stone platform, a click on a black pawn offers a transport into the interior of the heart, where a beautiful and far more serene scene awaits, filled with black, bronze and emerald green (lowest image).

Although Rebeca's work probably defies conventional narrative, and its interpretation will no doubt be highly personal for each visitor, she and I had an interesting, if brief, exchange about it (all with a dose of tongue-in-cheek humor). "You know what it is about, the first few moves, and how much they count," she remarked. "Yes, if you're playing black," I replied, to which she cheerfully countered, "I always play black," adding, "That is the point, gaining advantage in inferior situations." "Yes, and there is beauty within," I suggested, to which she replied, "Challenge." Be sure to collect the free gift waiting at the landing point. Queen's Gabmit Declined should remain on display for at least a month.

12 April 2016

Farewell, Kaleidoscope

Yesterday, Krys Vita, the designer and owner of the lovely and seasonal Kaleidoscope, announced that the sim will be closing its doors this weekend, mostly likely on Sunday afternoon. "I want to thank all of you for all of the support, love, laughs and pics you've given me — but, like all good things, it's time to close the doors to Kaleidoscope and find new exciting adventures," she posted in her notice on Flickr.

The sim was last featured in this blog when it was winter (read here), but now summer has arrived, and the sandy island is home to shady trees, cozy dwellings, quiet beaches and sea birds that drift overhead. It's a beautiful place to wander, feel the breeze, and to take in the panoramic views.

For extra fun, rez a scooter near the photobooth and gas station, and ride it around the region. Kaleidoscope is now bathed in a calm blue, shown in these images, but many other windlight settings will bring it to life as well. Thanks to Krys for having shared her sim with the community.

11 April 2016

Windlight Magazine Spring 2016 Art Show

Now open is the Windlight Magazine Spring 2016 Art Show, sponsored by Windlight Magazine, featuring works by more than 50 Second Life artists, including some of considerable renown. Many of the artists have opted to entered their works in a juried competition that will award more than L$20,000 in prizes. The show has been curated by Windlight editor John (Johannes1977 Resident), joined by Eleseren Brianna, who curated the Edge Gallery on the sim.

Artists presenting two-dimensional works in the juried pool include Carley Noonan, cherrycarr, eeraftr resident, GlitterPrincess Destiny, Honey Bender, ilyra chardin, Jarla Capalini, Journey McLaglen (fourth image, on left), Judilynn India, Kayli Iali, Layachi IHNEN, Margo Hollak, Miele Tarantal, Myra Wildmist (lowest image), Richie Narstrom, Roffellos, Ronin1 Shippe, Sandi Benelli, SAULGOODiE, Shakti Adored, Sheba Blitz, Sparkie Cyberstar, Syphera Inaka, tripleplaynitely, Warm Clarity, wild Alchemi and WrenNoir Cerise. Three-dimensional juried works include those by Theda Tammas, Slatan Dryke and Peli Dieterle.

Artists participating in the non-juried two-dimensional portion of the event include Antartica Slade, Boudicca Amat, Eleseren Brianna, Hana Hoobinoo, Inara Pey, Jamie86 Resident, Jarla Capalini, Johannes1977 Resident, Skip Staheli, Tempest Rosca, Wicca Merlin and Ziki Questi (second image). Those displaying three-dimensional non-juried works include Bryn Oh, Betty Tureaud (image above, left side), Cica Ghost (top image), Haveit Neox and Secret Rage. (Check here for a comprehensive list of participants.)

Many of the artists have set their items for sale. The show is accompanied by various performances and other events — see the calendar here. The region's default environmental setting is on the darker side, which works well for many artworks (especially those that use projected light), but visitors may want to explore additional options as well. The show will remain open until April 17.

08 April 2016

I like for you to be still (images NSFW)

Now open at the the DathĂșil Gallery of Art is the first solo exhibition of photography by Kate Bergdorf, entitled I like for you to be still. "This exhibit is inspired by the poem 'I Like For You To Be Still,' by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904–1973)," says Kate. "The poem is part of his poetry collection Twenty Love Poems and A Song Of Despair, published in 1924. With the works in this exhibit, I attempt to transmit emotion by using both words and images; each image corresponds to a sentence or words from the poem. An expression of silent love."

Indeed, the warm and beautifully-composed atmospheric compositions do convey a sense of love, even those that in some other context might seem plainly erotic. The complete Neruda poem is displayed next to an photo, "it is as though you are absent" (each image bears a title that can be viewed in edit), that depicts a young woman playing the cello; nearby we see a physical cello and hear the prelude from the first Bach solo cello suite. The exhibition will remain on display until April 30.

04 April 2016

The Hell's Haven

"Let this world refresh your soul and melt your worries away," say Snoob (snoobjohnson) and Clarity Johnson (Clarity Hartle) of their sim The Hell's Haven, designed by Snoob with contributions from Clarity and a few friends. It's a stunningly beautiful creation in tones of brown, deep green and grey enveloped in a low-lying fog and blanketed by blue and orange skies, offering an ethereal and otherworldly feel.

Visitors arrive outdoors on a wooden walkway leading to a home perched on a tiny bit of land that rises from the surrounding waters, which are filled with tall grasses, shady trees, little vignettes, and bits and pieces of (often decaying) debris. "I will change the scenery from time to time," Snoob says, so explorers will want to revisit often. "The garage [image below] I built two days ago — I'm a buildaholic!" Toward the northwest, the imposing rocky sides of a mountain jut straight up from the sea, and a path leads to a striking interior ravine.

The proprietors say nudity is welcome (it's an adult sim), especially for photography, but ask that visitors refrain from outright sexual behavior. And photographers who wish to rez props may enjoy a 45 minute period, as long as the items are consistent with the nature of the sim. Contributions to The Hell's Haven may be left at the landing point.

03 April 2016

Tatakai Tochi

Shen Molinaro, designer of the recently blogged Suomi, has just completed a new sim, Tatakai Tochi (meaning Fight Land in Japanese), owned by Regina Mills (HeatherFury). The result is a stunning region that evokes the mountainous lands of rural Japan, with tremendous opportunities for photography. "It's my best sim so far," Shen offered a couple weeks ago as we talked while he was building.

"When I set out to make this sim," Regina/Heather says, "my intention was to create a peaceful and serene place where I could come and hang out with my friends without any distractions or bothers. I sought out a very good friend of mine, Shen Molinaro, who is an amazing sim builder and has built many sims previously. I toyed with the idea back and forth about whether or not this would be a roleplay sim, or just a place for people to come and explore and take pictures, before finally deciding that the sim is much more enjoyable without the roleplay aspect. I want to keep the environment as peaceful mentally as it is beautiful physically."

Visitors arrive near the top of the rugged landscape, which hosts several small buildings and looks down through swirling flower petals and clouds to the land and seascape below. There is a way down: look for the windmill, and take the zigzag path nearby down to the ocean's edge, there following the wooden walkway that hugs the stones until reaching the valley floor. Here, a delightful display of floating lanterns awaits, and explorers can take a couple of different stone paths to continue their journeys. The lowland interior of the sim, often dotted with shrines or places of reflection, is filled with pastel trees in bloom, thick bamboo, and gently winding streams fed by high waterfalls.

Shown in these images is Tatakai Tochi's default environmental setting, a dreamy and hazy sky that evokes the soft early morning sun. For full effect, visitors should raise their draw distances, as the sim provides some striking panoramic views. Repeated visits may be needed to fully explore all of the winding pathways in the sim's interior and to enjoy its many fine details.

30 March 2016

Clockwork Skimmer (images NSFW)

Photographers Fanny Vermont and Io Bechir have opened a gallery, Clockwork Skimmer, to showcase their works. The intimate multi-floor space is a brick warehouse or loft, well furnished and decorated, that provides an ideal and intimate home for the artwork. Currently, an untitled exhibition by Io graces the lower floor, nine self-portraits that are mostly nudes in her distinctive style (image above); Fanny's exhibition, Balance, occupies the upper space, and features nine black-and-white carefully composed images (image below) "taken in my studio, which is not much more than an ample, empty hall," Fanny notes. "I wanted to be able to use a tele-lens and also to get more possibilities where to place the light projector. For six images I used a large, white backdrop with a rather wide dimensioned cove, which creates nice results in combination with the spotlight." All the images are available for purchase, and the artists plan to rotate material and spaces for future exhibitions.