31 October 2011

Two Fish: The Susa Bubble Story

Rose Borchovski's brilliant installation, Two Fish Art Landscape: The Susa Bubble Story, is a complex immersive space that, as it suggests, tells the story of Susa Bubble. Clearly a young female—asexual despite her naked portrayal—Susa goes to bed one night and wakes up with a double. As time progresses, more and more Susas come to be, forming something of a community.

When you arrive, make sure you're listening to the ambient sounds of the sim. To start your exploration, head over to read the story itself, either by winding your way east along the watery path or by clicking on the door that says Door to Susa Bubble Story. You'll find an illustrated narrative, beginning with:

This Is the Story
Of Susa Bubble
Who went to bed single
And woke up double

Woke up as two
In her single bed.
Who are you? Who are you?
She said, she said,

There was no holding on after that
Some were happy, others sad
They all came in the same tiny size
Had short little fingers
And blue round eyes

All of a sudden it stopped finally
And they ended up with thirty-three

What happens at that point in the "savage but sweet" story is more than a little disturbing, because the anticipated Susa 34 doesn't arrive. What does arrive is puzzlement, sadness, suspicion, fear and eventually violence. (I'm not going to give it all away, either.)

Rose's telling of the story employs recurring elements that you might see in other works by her—eyes, fish, water, chairs, trees, flowers, writing, numbers, occasional pigs, and, of course, Susas. This is a rich sim that deserves more than one visit to explore, and in fact the story has grown such that you can find continuations elsewhere in Second Life—some are listed on the notecard you can obtain as you arrive.

From the landing point there are some other teleport opportunities, including one to SaveMe Oh's space higher up overhead and another extraordinary installation by Eupalinos Ugajin, Someday my Cow will Come (both worth a visit on their own).

Oh, and I always say this: please leave a tip if you're able to! :)

25 October 2011

The Path

Many bloggers have already written about The Path, the beautiful new collaborative artwork on the LEA2 (Linden Endowment for the Arts) sim. In particular my friend Inara Pey offered an extensive post that excellently summarizes the delights in this three-month-long installation. But just in case you haven't seen any of those write-ups, I'll say it here: go!

Featuring artwork by Bryn Oh, claudia222 Jewell, Colin Fizgig, Desdemona Enfield, Douglas Story, Marcus Inkpen, Maya Paris, Rose Borchovski and Scottius Polke, The Path was created using the "exquisite corpse" concept whereby each artist worked in turn, a story or concept handed off one to the next. Your guide is the inventor (pictured above)—a click on his head will teleport you to the next installation. Be sure to have your sound turned on, and, if you can, set your windlight settings to change as you move from place to place. To begin your journey, click here.

And as you travel through The Path you might want to zip back and forth a little—or come back to revisit favorite places—so here's a handy teleport guide for your travels.

#1 - Bryn Oh (pictured here) - http://slurl.com/secondlife/LEA2/213/131/21. You'll have to walk a little ways to the main area, and then you can also step outside to the watery tree world.

#3 - Marcus Inkpen - my personal favorite because it reminds me of dreams I have :) - http://slurl.com/secondlife/LEA2/37/173/1003

#4 - Desdemona Enfield and Douglas Story - http://slurl.com/secondlife/LEA2/55/124/525

#6 - claudia222 Jewell - wow - http://slurl.com/secondlife/LEA2/223/50/39

#8 - Rose Borchovski - and be sure to zoom out and look down from the platform - http://slurl.com/secondlife/LEA2/56/64/1423

So there you have it. Plan to go back—I sure have, many times. And thanks to both all the artists who have shared their amazing work with us and to the Linden Endowment for the Arts. If this is a harbinger of things to come, we're no doubt in for some incredible artworks down the road.

20 October 2011

Cherry Manga's Aerie

In the great art sim of Per4mance MetaLES ..O.., curated by Ux Hax, Lanjran Choche and Romy Nayar, we are currently treated to a stunning installation by Cherry Manga entitled Aerie, on display through November 7th. (The sim's exhibition changes on a regular basis, offering women artists in Second Life the opportunity to have the full sim for a month at a time.)

On the ground of the island, tranquil grasses sway gently in the wind while a huge tree towers overhead, its branches occupied by mysterious and surreal shapes. But central to the entire installation are the birds (swallows, perhaps), which quickly swoop around the tree in an astonishing cascade of movement. There are spots where you can click to catch a ride amongst them, as my partner Lexi is doing above (you're looking up at her). Don't miss the opportunity to catch this remarkable work before it disappears!

P.S. A special thank you to Draggy Convair for tipping me off to this lovely exhibition. :)

19 October 2011

SL Flickr Pic of the Day

Back on September 6th I was fooling around at AM Radio's The Quiet, working with Shoji Kumaki's Camera Lock HUD, and took seven images that I later combined, producing this photo. (Click to zoom in.) I thought it was neither very interesting nor representative of my best work, but I posted it on flickr anyway.

I was surprised (I'm honored, really) that the photo was selected today as the SL Flickr Pic of the Day. But...this sim is closed, SL photo editor! The posting on Second Life's Facebook page even gives an SLURL, saying, "Visit inworld at http://pdx.be/f13a." :)

I do hope though that you enjoy my flickr stream—I don't usually cross-post photos between here and there, so go take a peek.

18 October 2011

Halloween Hunt, Toyland Style

I do hope you've been to Toyland, about which I've blogged before. Your childhood will come roaring back as you explore a huge sim of games and toys, all enormous and brightly colored.

The Humdingers, keepers of Toyland, have announced a Halloween hunt, Toyland style: Pacman. It's easy to do and runs until November 5th. Just look around for the "power pills" or pulsating little yellow spheres. Clicking on any one of them will then let you click on a corresponding Pacman ghost (they're wandering around), each of which gives out a different prize. (Hint: the ghosts aren't far from the spheres.)

The impressive list of creators who have contributed to the hunt include Cutea Benelli, Gfresh Botha, Scottius Polke, PeanutbuttahJellehTime Magic, Jeanette Doobie, Huntress Darkfold, Thumper Boucher, Yohane Rockett, Lakhesis Nikolaidis, Photon Pink, Yohane Rockett, Green Hawks and Blueboy Huckleberry. Click here for a teleport to a good spot to start, and have fun! There's also a Halloween Bash on October 29th from 12:00 to 16:00.

17 October 2011


I'm glad I discovered the blog of Alicia Chenaux, Ch'know? (after being entranced for some reason by this photo on flickr—I love how natural she looks), because that's how I found out about Choice!2011, a cool hunt that lasts only another week, until October 24th.

Twenty different shops have banded together for this event: Body Language, Love Soul, Feather, Picnic, DP yumyum, Vooner, Edelweiss, mocha, Ninoko, Yabusaka, Sick, chronokit, HPMD, grasp, Zero Style, Y's House, Kami-Hitoe, Honey kitty, Hanuata and tram. I knew most of these shops already, but a few were new to me, and that's often the fun of participating in a hunt.

The process is simple: you get a card at any one shop (catch: you have to buy something to get a card, but it's all cool stuff), then carry the card to all the shops and get it stamped at the little machine you'll see at each place. When you're done, you can collect your choice of a prize. I grabbed three I had me eyes on—a hugh mesh dollhouse (which I haven't even rezzed yet!), a cool Chemical Light AO from Kami-Hitoe (it's really fun, believe me—top photos) and the Floating Jar from HPMD (pictured below). Plus in the process I did some shopping, of course!

You have to get one card completely stamped for each prize you want, but if you're sneaky you can carry around more than one card at a time. ;) Have fun!

16 October 2011

Gracie Kendal's 1000+ Avatars

Last year a Second Life artist, Gracie Kendal, embarked on a project called 1000 Avatars: portraits of a thousand avatars, all shot in the same surroundings, and all from the back. The human behind Gracie, Kristine Schomaker, published these as a printed volume in real life, but they're also available for viewing in the sim Coyote, and they're a remarkable sight. Having some time ago reached her goal, she decided to keep going, and as of this evening hit 1,613 portraits.

I stopped by today to be included, and then I hung around for quite a while, watching. It's an interesting situation: You've got one opportunity to have your avatar photographed—so who are you, and how would you like to appear? Gracie will select one photo of you (you pose however you would like, she shoots and then selects whichever photo she likes). The guy right before me came out with two huge guns firing, one in each hand (we covered our ears, and my partner Lexi quipped, "No one uses silencers anymore these days"); I danced a dance called Kiss My Buttons (pic below, click to zoom in); and then Lexi did a one-armed handstand for her photo. It takes maybe around ten minutes for each person, and although you might have to wait a bit it's fascinating to observe. Some people need a little coaching from the very friendly Gracie, and others come in knowing exactly how they want to show themselves. Many of the photos, of course, aren't of "human" avatars—there's even one of a plywood prim.

Looking at the photos on the walls is mesmerizing. (Mine's on the west wall near the northwest corner and is of course the best of the 1,613 haha.)

Gracie is interested in trying to capture the essence of each person in those brief ten minutes and does a remarkable job. She's written much about avatar identity both on her own blog, My Life as an Avatar, and on the project blog, 1000+ Avatars, which also includes a history of the project, an artist statement, and links to some of the many articles and interviews that have been published about Gracie and her work.

Everyone is welcome to be included. You don't need an appointment, but Gracie's shooting on an irregular basis, so the best thing to do is to join her mailing list by touching the subscriber board at the project landing point. There's also a donation box, so please chip in if you can. Oh, and if you want a printed image in real life you can even buy one from her: just head here, and you even get your portrait from the front too!

15 October 2011

The Mask: a syncronicity

This evening when Rose Borchovski urged people to head over to the Odyssey Arts and Performance Simulator for an event called The Mask, I happened to make the right choice by going. There are so many arts events in Second Life that it seems impossible to attend them all, but this was something else, something extraordinary. Created by Jo Ellsmere, Pyewacket Kazyanenko and Kai Steamer, "The Mask: a syncronicity" is a multimedia performance utilizing movement and music to express the theme of Carmen Auletta's poem, "The Mask."

It's a stunning piece of choreography that last about eight minutes. Three dancers, one white, one black, one red, do something that can't be done in real life: they occupy the same space at the same time, their bodies melding in an intersection of textures, and then break apart, sometimes completely or sometimes only partially—an arm or leg for example will leave the fold for a moment and then return.

Judging by the accolades from the audience, I wasn't alone in my reaction—I was enthralled. But this piece is only here through Sunday, October 16th—you have to go right now! Click here for a teleport link—you'll arrive on the ground and will need to click on the nearby box for a tp up to the platform.

Although the performance this afternoon used "live" performers, Jo and her colleagues have set the entire piece on a continual loop using bots—you'll see a note in open chat as it begins and ends. When you arrive, change your Windlight setting to [Euphoria] monochrome, and make sure the media stream is turned on, which provides Morton Feldman's haunting Rothko Chapel, fitting beautifully with the choreography.

10 October 2011

New door at HuMaNoiD

If you haven't been to Wendy Xeno's HuMaNoiD recently, it's time to return! Every now and then she adds a new door at the landing point, opening into another little world to explore, and this time offers "cirque"—just look for the door with the raven perched on top. An elaborate display (pictured above, as best as I could capture it) offers you a chance to swing, pole dance in a cage or just relish in the brilliant red textures.

I found as I looked around at all the doors that there were a couple others that were new to me too, including "lost generation" (below), which requires media to play to really see it. I love this sim.

09 October 2011

Kitty redux

This evening when I logged in, I was greeted by this message from Gogo: "hi there! ... I'm sendin you my extra girl cat"—and yes, there in my inventory was a kitty named Pinky Spice. (If you've been reading my blog, you'll know I recently purchased a cat from blogger Gogo of JuicyBomb.com, not that I had any intention of acquiring another!) Plus, it turns out Pinky Spice is sick! ... "she's a bit sick, (starving) but she's getting better," calmly remarked Gogo as I rezzed the kitty, who appeared in a basket with a thermometer in her mouth. I was already laughing pretty hard before that fact came out, but I'm happy to report that Pinky Spice—who looks exactly like Kool-Aid, the famous JuicyBomb cat—is recuperating and should soon be back to health. While I was really delighted to receive this unexpected gift, a word to the rest of you: don't even think of it. :D

06 October 2011

Rodvik's ... pony?

Everyone knows that each Linden creates a bear, and some of us have quite a little collection of these oddities, which exhibit remarkable variety and craftsmanship. So it was a curious moment yesterday evening when Jayjay Zifanwe, the esteemed owner and curator of the University of Western Australia sim, piped up and asked to the UWA group, "ummm did anyone receive anything from rodvik linden?" and then, "Rodvik Linden has offered you 'Rodvik's Pink Pwnie' in Second Life. Log in to accept or decline the offer." To which the masses, suspecting trickery, shouted, "Don't rez it!" "Place it in a Linden sandbox!" "Throw it away!" and so on. (Yours truly included.)

Undaunted, Mr. Zifanwe rezzed the item, which turned out to be "Rodvik's Pink Pwnie" ... whatever that was! Upon further investigation, Rhett Linden confirmed with Jayjay that this is indeed Rodvik's "bear"—so clearly there's a radical at the helm, threatening to buck tradition! A pony?! (And hopefully Jayjay will accept this as Rodvik's entry to the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge!) :)

If you want to go investigate the critter, head over to the UWA sim—Jayjay has rezzed her (or him?) for all to see!

UPDATE: Jayjay and others have now started a little collection of bears there, including M Linden's bear, Philip Linden's bear and Governor Linden's bear! Read more on his blog.

05 October 2011

Thanks, Steve.

It wasn't unexpected news, but was of the saddest variety. I feel silenced for the moment. What can one say?

04 October 2011

soror's Boogaloo

We haven't seen much of soror Nishi (pictured below) in Second Life lately, as she's been busy in Inworldz, where she maintains two sims. So it's nice to see her back by way of invitation from Dividni Shostakovich, the curator of owner of the Split Screen Installation Space, which occupies half the region of Beleza. Usually artists here are granted a quarter-sim space for a month, but this time Dividni has offered a half-sim, and soror has created Boogaloo: A Visual Mash-Up, which, as soror put it, is "a bit of a mash-up of some of my bigger builds ... one was called Magoo ... and Boogaloo sounded good."

Most of the items you see here—the trees, plants, and so on—are actually for sale, and since soror closed her Second Life shop some time ago this represents a rare opportunity to acquire some of her creations. Don't wait too long, because this lovely place is only here through the month of October! Please make a contribution if you can to ensure that other exhibitions continue here. (And this place is on the Destination Guide, so of course lots of new residents are arriving and wondering what to do, so it's a great opportunity to lend them a hand too!)

03 October 2011

Cutea's Halloween Special

Boooo! Yeah, it's only October 3rd, but why not get in the mood, huh? Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore the work of Cutea Benelli, the mastermind behind Grim Bros., and how much her stuff makes me laugh with delight (literally with the "murdered bunny toy"—what is going on in that brain of hers?). For Halloween this year, Cutea has already rolled out a special place to explore, with two sides: turn right for "Harmless Halloween (you know, pumpkins n cauldrons n stuff" or turn left for "Really Scary Halloween (you know, with severed heads etc.)." And I was even more delighted when turning left (of course dear readers!) to discover a big ol' haunted house designed by my bestest pal Martin Ren, architect extraordinaire and former proprietor of the original Flashmans.

Of course there are some things for sale up here too, and I'm sure you're going to be delighted with anything you might happen to select. If you're in the mood for even more, don't hesitate to visit the main Grim Bros. store just below—there's a teleport right there at the, um, merry-go-round if that's what it is! (Oh! It is ... just have a seat and then click the main pillar!) :)

P.S. As I'm exploring, I'm discovering that some things are for free, too, so click on stuff! Almost everything is for sale.

02 October 2011

Meta_Body: Delicatessen

If you're like me and enjoy changing your appearance in major ways from time to time—I don't mean putting on the latest awesome hair from Truth, I mean transforming into something really different—then pop over to Delicatessen, where CapCat Ragu and meilo Minotaur have not only made a ton of cool avatars for you, but also they've made them available for free. Delicatessen itself is a trip, but these "Meta_Body" avatars are just sheer delight, and a real gift to the Second Life community. I grabbed all of them (I count 18 unless I missed one!)—each is a complete package with shape, skin and all attachments. There's a Meta_Body flickr group, so be sure to post your images there, and don't forget to leave a tip at Delicatessen for these uber-generous creators!

01 October 2011


Yes, it's Boobie-Thon time! Organized by artists Rowan Derryth and PJ Trenton, the inworld Boobie-Thon is an opportunity to raise awareness of and contributions for breast cancer research, with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. 37 Second Life artists have contributed artworks that go up for auction later today, with bids closing on October 6th. Stop by the RoHaus Gallery in Magna Carta today (Saturday, October 1) at 7:30 SLT for an opening reception, and please consider placing a bid on one or more items! Many of the items are one-of-a-kind, and the artworks vary from 2D photos (like the one I offered) to gorgeous 3D and/or animated works—I love the one by Glyph Graves in particular. Click the poster for a larger view.