29 June 2013

Inspiration Chain

Now under development at LEA1 is a new work entitled Inspiration Chain, with artist Takni. Normally I wouldn't write about something until it's finished, but in this case it would be inappropriate not to, as the premise for this installation is that a group of twelve artists, each working for one month in turn, will co-create the eventually finished sim. Takni is the first, and she can recommend the second artist, or LEA Oberon Onmura and Werner Kurosawa, both affiliated with LEA, can as well.

Takni (pictured above with me on the right) has just commenced her work, and already in the past couple days it has begun to evolve, with some significant changes only in the past few hours. Beams of light and orbs populate what you'll find (at least as I write), and they're interactive: Takni showed me that one sits on one of the large orbs (as we are above), and then clicks on it again to get it to move in space, and its particle links will move accordingly. (No, there's no way to steer them!) One can also sit on one of the smaller orbs for a different experience. Keep an eye on the space as Takni continues to work. If you're curious about her work, go take a peek at Takni's Gadget Shop on the sim Sababurg.

28 June 2013


Opening today, Friday, June 28, at 1:30 pm slt, is a new installation at Mysterious Wave entitled Childhood. Built by Cherry Manga, with terraforming by Anley Piers and sounds by Morlita Quan, Childhood invites us to see the world the eyes of children again with a sort of wistful innocence.

We encounter children of all sizes doing things that kids do: blowing bubbles, flying a kite, eating candy, playing patty-cake, splashing in a kiddie pool. And everywhere are things we remember from when we were little: alphabet blocks (be sure to click on those, as well as other things!), rainbows, a merry-go-round, pinwheels, hopscotch, a toy airplane circling overhead, stars, paper boats—and even those things that cast a damper on everything—clouds and rain, with attendant umbrellas.

Childhood has been beautifully created, from its layout to its textures. If you're not using a viewer that accepts region environment settings you might miss some of the ambience, as the sim uses its own non-standard water and sky settings, so try to switch to something similar to what you see here. Cherry Manga's shop is overhead, with a teleport link at the landing point, and you can find lots of her work for sale there. If you enjoy Mysterious Wave, please consider leaving a contribution to support the sim at the landing point.

26 June 2013

Exhibition Presented by Tanalois Art and the torno Kohime Foundation

Opening today, Wednesday, June 25, at 1:30 pm slt, is an exhibition of my recent photography at the Red Lines Gallery, presented by Tanalois Art and the torno Kohime Foundation. (Sometimes I have to teleport a second time after arriving in the sim to reach the gallery, so try that if you don't arrive right away.) Two dozen large scale works are on display in this curious space, the walls of which, under the correct windlight settings, are a bright red, hence the name. I'd like to thank Tani Thor, the curator of the space, for the invitation to exhibit here. The show will be up until July 10th.

25 June 2013

Exhibition at Plusia Ars Island

Opening today, Tuesday, June 25 at 2 pm slt, is an exhibition of some of my recent photography at Plusia Ars Island, a space owned and curated by Marea Praga and Paolo Seaside. If you're not able to join us today at the opening, the exhibition, entitled distance/depth, will be up for a couple weeks. The exhibition begins at the landing point and then snakes around the walkway outside to a second glass pavilion, although there's nothing in particular that's linear about the show. I selected images in which I was exploring distance or depth, in the sense of panoramic landscape shots, depth of field, or in some other way.

24 June 2013

Akasha and Paradise Lost Remade

A couple days ago, Kean Kelly quietly slipped me a pair of landmarks to Akasha and Paradise Lost Remade, which turned out to a a conjoined pair of sims. Landscaped by Kean (Paradise Lost Remade), and Kean and Rob Danton (Akasha), they're a curious mix of rustic seashore, wetlands, urban decay, industrial, trailer park, show home, and you name it, all with a touch of humor here and there, and somehow it all works. (I'm not sure what the dramatic and gigantic statue of Lenin is doing in the southwest corner of Akasha, but I did find that you can stand on his head.) The sims can look significantly more cheerful than the rather sombre windlight setting I selected for these images.

Prairie Kawashima, who was loitering (as she put it) around Akasha during one of my visits, explained that Rob had used the sims for the set of his 2010 film My Avatar and Me (Min Avatar og Mig), but that eventually the set was largely torn down and replaced with the current design. In Paradise Lost Remade, you're permitted to rez objects for 15 minutes. (And I still haven't seen My Avatar and Me, but at least I remembered Bryn Oh's blog post about her participation!)

LEA Land Grant Applications Now Open

The Linden Endowment for the Arts invites artists to apply to its Artist in Residence program, which provides full sims to artists for a period of five months. Curators who wish to develop installations in partnership with multiple artists are also welcome to apply. The next round of grants will provide land from August 1st through January 1st, with applications due by Tuesday, July 16. More information and an application form are available here, and Bryn Oh has posted information on her blog as well.

22 June 2013


Opening today, Saturday, June 22, at 12 noon and at 12 midnight slt (the first already being past as I write this, but people are still here) is a new artist cooperative sim, Coppelia. Presently the artist members include Artée (Artistide Despres), FreeWee Ling, Glyph Graves, Gracie Kendall, Jo Ellsmere, Oberon Onmura, Pyewacket Kazyanenko and Stelarc, but a few more might be added over time. (If you're interested in joining, contact Jo Ellsmere.)

Each artist has set up one or more large-scale pieces, several being new while some being reprises of earlier installations. Pictured here at top is an area for shadow exploration by Freewee Ling called the ShadowLab (lots of fun interactivity), a work by Oberon Onmura (center photo, which doesn't capture the motion in the piece) and ANIMAanimus by Jo Ellsmere (bottom photo), which uses six bots that move about. Some of the pieces that use bots may not be running at all times, and displays will be changing. I'll write more on some of the other installations here soon.

21 June 2013


Nalena Fairey's sim, Zigana, where her store of the same name is based, is a longstanding favorite of wanderers and landscape photographers. As she does from time to time, she recently began to rework the design of the place, and a few days ago announced to me that she was finally finished with a new iteration. Although major changes have been made—the place really bears no resemblance to what was here before—Nalena's hand and style are unmistakable.

One arrives at the store (not shown, but it has many lovely things for sale!), and then can walk or bicycle down an enclosed path (the experience of which I couldn't capture very well in a photo) to reach the rest of the sim. Trees and lush vegetation encircle a large pond (top photo), a beachy area lies near the center of the sim looking out toward the northwest (center photo), and tucked in the southwest corner is a little village of Zigana gypsy caravans (lower photo). You'll also discover the ruins of a home, a mangrove forest and other lovely places.

19 June 2013


A couple days ago, as I wandered around SL10B, I bumped into my friend Naxos, and he handed me a landmark to a place called Seaweed. Since he was wearing diving flippers and has an impish sense of humor, I wasn't sure what to expect, but when I arrived I found a delightful place, and also my friend Wind, who remarked that she had in fact given the landmark to Naxos in the first place! If I were a surfer, I'd hang out at Seaweed all the time, and Wind tells me the surfing is first rate. (I will admit to hopping a surfboard for a couple minutes, but you're not getting any photos out of me—time to go bikini shopping!)

Seaweed: Surfing Away from Everything was designed by Love Repine. I haven't had a chance to talk with him, but he remarks in his profile, "3 of my 5 years in SL have been dedicated to building Surf Beach sims. I have enjoyed creating and capturing a unique beach atmosphere using movement, sound and subtle visuals." Here he succeeds admirably. Rezzing of items isn't permitted, but you can grab a ride on a board or other things, so come have some fun. As they say, a bad day surfing beats a good day at work.

17 June 2013

MadPea Art Festival

If you're too full from eating birthday cake at SL10B, consider a diversion: through June 29 you can enjoy the first MadPea Art Festival, featuring 24 visual artists and a host of performers as well. The MadPea blog, where you can catch the entire performance schedule, mentions visual artists Solkide Auer, Giovanna Cerise, Safi Farspire, Fuschia Nightfire, ArtWolf Eternal, Rhea Choral, Ginger Lorakeet, Yaiza Galicia, DavidWeiner Resident, Anrod Meads, Graham Collinson, Harter Fall, Rebeca Bashly, Fae Varriale, Moeuhane Sandalwood, Daruma, Jessica Belmer, Kylie Sabra, AniWitt, Rag Randt, MadPeas, voidheart mistwalker, Morlita Quan, FirleFanz Roxley and Noke Yuitza. Quite a few items are for sale, and you'll find a diverse assortment of immersive, three-dimensional and two-dimensional works. The event is sponsored by MadPea Productions, Branwen Arts, Cha Klaar and Sally Lavender.

15 June 2013


Happy 10th birthday, Second Life! Starting tomorrow at 12:00 noon slt, the SL10B sims will open to the public, with a long list of events and a great many things to see and do. Many people have already been blogging and talking about all the events, so I don't think I should do more than point you to the official SL10B Community Celebration website, where you're going to find tons of information. As you visit, you'll see dozens and dozens of displays created by residents.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have some advance access have had a delightful time watching builds go up, and one of the most impressive is the one you see here, a giant turtle built by Flea Bussy and Toady Nakamura that comprises two entire sims to the northwest—SL10B Impressive and SL10B Spellbound. It's really a huge structure—those are trees you see on the turtle's head! Resting on the turtle's back is the "Astr'a stage," which will host many events.

My friend and blogger Gogo and I wandered yesterday through a couple of other spaces of note. The Corn Field, a legendary and infamous sim of yore (old blog post here), seen here at night, has been rezzed on the western edge of the sims. And you must really go visit Bear Island, across on the eastern edge of the sims. If you're new to Second Life or just don't know the fun fact, each Linden supposedly creates a special bear to give away to residents. Here you'll find bears of Lindens who are long gone, as well of those still with the Lab, and many of them are available for you to pick up. SL10B will be open for two weeks, until July 1st.

14 June 2013


Recently I wrote about the re-opening of Dynafleur, a significant work of art by Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield that has just been re-installed at LEA11. And this weekend—Saturday, June 15 from 12 pm to 2 pm slt—another Story/Enfield work that has been missing from the grid, Ripple: a meditation on waves, will re-open in Avalon Town thanks to the assistance of Tricia Aferdita. In this work the creative duo add the collaboration of composer March MacBain (Emily Wilkins in real life).

Ripple is a highly interactive installation that allows the viewer to change textures and experience a changing audio landscape by moving about, and it's really impossible to capture it with still photos. These three images were taken inside the main large space to give a sense of the changes that can occur, but the exterior and other areas are striking as well. Here, I've created simple tiled textures, but you can go pretty crazy by clicking many of the individual tiles in quick sequence, too, to create a collage. And—be sure to read the notecard to discover a little hidden feature that lets you float through the space!

13 June 2013

Kingdom Of Jordan

At first glace, the Kingdom of Jordan might remind you of the sim Hazardous, with its horseshoe shaped terrain and high cliffs that encircle a deep gorge. And not undeservedly, as many of the landscape items are designed by Wendy Xeno and Mandingo Quan, the creators of Hazardous and proprietors of [we're CLOSED]. (Indeed, Wendy has provided some assistance at Kingdom of Jordan.) But here, hidden in recesses of the gorge, is a recreation of the ancient al-Deir, one of the great relics of the archaelogical city of Petra in Jordan (a place I've always wanted to visit in real life). It's perhaps a bit of a fanciful recreation, as the actual Petra is nowhere near a deep ravine filled with water, but that's besides the point (and probably the intention)—it's delightfully beautiful and captivating.

Surrounding the sim, far below the towering cliffs, are beaches, reachable by two great flights of stone steps on the north and south sides of the island. There, as on the top, are places to relax, explore, and photograph. The sim, which is "dedicated to Kingdom of Jordan and all Arabs in Second Life," is owned by Farah Loordes and is sure to become a frequent destination point. (P.S.: I first spotted Kingdom of Jordan on Charlie Namiboo's flickr stream.)

11 June 2013

UWA Centenary 3D Art Challenge: REFLECTIONS

The University of Western Australia (UWA), the great champion of the arts in Second Life, offers you an opportunity to participate in its current challenge, UWA Centenary 3D Art Challenge: REFLECTIONS. As it has many times in the past, UWA issued an open call to artists to develop 3D works of art (150 prims or fewer) for exhibition in its space. The deadline to enter has passed, 64 artists responded with works of art, and now a large international jury will select the winners, all of whom will receive generous prizes: L$100,000 for the highest award with more than L$600,000 to be distributed overall. If you have a good sense of aesthetics or love art, join in by picking your top 10—you'll be entered in the audience participation prizes and could win up to L$7,000 by matching the results of the jury. More information is available on the UWA blog. Kudos to Jayjay Zifanwe and FreeWee Ling for their extraordinary leadership of this and other UWA events.

The list of artists is impressive not only for its sheer number—and the depth and breadth of creativity—but also for its international scope. Some artists are well known and others less so. I'm one of the judges this round, so I'm not going to single anyone out (and don't take my photos here as anything more than a few shapshots of what you'll encounter—no favoritism implied), but I do encourage you to visit and see this extraordinary array of art. The deadline for audience participation ends July 10. Click here for a slurl. And here are the artists and their works:

The Thinker by Ama Avro (Strasbourg, France)
Once Upon a Time by Anley Piers (Parts Unknown, France)
Transcendental Squares by Artée, Artistide Despres (The Hague, Netherlands)
Quantum by Barry Richez (Toulouse, France)
Scene Reflexion by Bethlise Lorgsval (Sainte Tulle, France)
Reflexion on a Human Mind by Betty Tureaud (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Who Are You? by Blue Tsuki (Seattle, USA)
Looking Back by Carmsie Melodie & Struthious (Australia & USA)
Cogito ergo sum by Cherry Manga (Parts Unknown, France)
I Have Walked This Way Before by Chic Aeon (Corvallis, Oregon, USA)
The Scent of Her by Chuckmatrix Clip (Elizabeth, NJ, USA)
Reflection of Reflection by Claude Belgar (Margny-lès-Compiègne, France)
Wind Floaters by Comet Morigi (Tokyo, Japan)
Narcissus by Corcosman Voom (California, USA)
Reflections of a Star by Dusty Canning (Perth, Australia)
Choice by Dyzo (St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada)
Fishing for the Green Rose by Eifachfilm Vacirca (Zürich, Switzerland)
Reflection of Imagination by Elizabeth Spieler (Seattle, USA)
Sideral Time by Emilio Charisma (Salamanaca, Spain)
The Journey - Reflections of a SL Artist by Fae Varriale (West Wales, UK)
Family Tree by Faery Sola (Caboolture, Australia)
Darkly by Friday Siamendes (Denver, USA)
Planet of Knowledge by Gem Preiz (Paris, France)
The Room for Reflections by Ginger Alsop (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
I Thought I Hated Him by Glyph Graves (Sydney, Australia)
Dream Reflection by GnomeZen (Monterey, California, USA)
Genetic Mirrors by Jedda Zenovka (North NSW, Australia)
Timely Reflections by Jess Oranos (Cincinnati, OH, USA)
Mirror With 4 Virgins on the Shores of their Depravity by Jipe Loon (Haute Savoie, France)
Reflections on the Past by Judyblue Stand (El Paso, Texas, USA)
Bad Toy by Kaizersem Tenk (Paris, France)
Through Generations by Kamerina Kamala and Lemon Acidjuice (both of Paris, France)
Silent Reflections by Krystali Rabeni (Blackpool, Lancashire England, UK)
Ephemeral Reflection by Lalexl Devin (Perpignan, France)
REFLECTIONS - Through the eyes of UWA by London Junkers (London, England)
Reflections of a Diva by Luna Enigma (Illinois, USA)
The Race (Picasso in 3d) by Maddomxc Umino (Modena, Italy)
Science & Evolution by Martazul Zemlja (Madrid, Spain)
Rotation Model by Mcarp Mavendorf (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Distant Past Inspired Future by Mishawu Zuiden (Daleville, Alabama, USA)
Reflecting Pool by Misprint Thursday (New Hampshire, USA)
Thinking of Flower, Perhaps Autobiographic by Mitsuko Kytori (Tokyo - Aix en Provence,  Japan - France)
Sunreflections by Nexuno Thespian (Cagliari, Italy)
Riflessioni delle Onde (Reflections of Waves) by Nino Vichan (New York City, USA)
Don't Lose Your Marbles (Especially the Big One) by PeanutbuttahJellehTime Magic (Seattle, USA)
Fruit of Time by Rebeca Bashly (Belgrade, Serbia)
Hidden by Rose Borchovski (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Horizon by Rosie Dimanovic (Grenoble, France)
Inside the Black by Secret Rage (Texas, USA)
From There To Here by SerenVide (Shoreham by Sea, England)
Lines of Investigation/Reflection Upon by Serra Qendra (Melbourne, Australia)
Neuron Sphere by Shenn Coleman (Avignon, France)
Path to Self Knowledge by Silene Christen (Mahon, Mennorca, Balears Islands, Spain)
Reflexion by snoop acoustic (Parts Unknown, France)
Strange Oaks from Simple Acorns Grow by soror Nishi (Kent, England, UK)
Reflections of Life by Sunday Serenity (Melbourne, Australia)
Avatars-Reflection by Surfaqua Oh (Luzern, Switzerland)
Windows into Other Rooms by Takni Miklos (Figueres, Spain)
Emerging from the Chrysalis by Talia Sunsong (Berkeley, California, USA)
Inspirations by Tamashiirent Starsider (Rome, Italy)
Reflection AndroHumanoid by Thierry Lowtide (Popes, Avignon Vaucluse, France)
Better Days Ahead by Thor Effingham (Ohio, USA)
A Reflection on Reflecting Reflections by Thoth Jantzen (Boston, USA)
Reflexions of Reflections Carousel by Yepar Saez (Martinique Island, Carribean, France)

10 June 2013

Machinima - A Rusted Development

I'm not really a very good machinimatographer (owning a 3D mouse would help!), but I spent some time the past few days collecting footage of A Rusted Development and just stitched it together. The video is intended more as a documentation of the build than as a standalone work of art, and I hope I've captured the essence of the installation.

09 June 2013


Mention the DynaFleur to anyone who was around in Second Life in 2008, and most likely they'll immediately know what it was. One of the most frequently visited art destinations from years ago, DynaFleur - An Immersive Art Installation opened on 5 January 2008 at one of the Princeton University sims, Princeton South, and in 2011 was restaged at the sim StellaNova courtesy of MICA (the Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics). Created by the team of Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield, with music and sound by Dizzy Banjo, DynaFleur has now been restaged again at LEA11 courtesy of Vaneeesa Blaylock. It's best to have your sound turned up and environment settings on night (or use Phototools - No Light windlight setting for even better best results). I'm not going to try to describe the experience—just go visit if you're not familiar with it, and make sure to fly up to the edge of the huge pictures at end. DynaFleur will be up through the end of July.

08 June 2013

Adieu, A Rusted Development

For an installation that was only supposed to last six weeks, A Rusted Development has done pretty well—it opened more than a year ago on May 12, 2012. But now the time has come for it to be torn down, and curator Rowan Derryth has organized a closing party today, Saturday, June 8, at 4:00 PM SLT. So, if you haven't visited, it's last call! And please join us for the party if you can.

The main structure of the sim was created by Haveit Neox and features additional work by Rose Borchovski, Artistide Despres, Claudia222 Jewell, Bryn Oh, Scottius Polke, Ziki Questi, PJ Trenton, Blue Tsuki, Stephen Venkman, Eliza Wierwight, and Trill Zapatero.

07 June 2013

Changes at Split Screen

Five days ago, art curator Dividni Shostakovich quietly announced the closure of the visiting artist exhibition program at his venerable space, Split Screen. Since its opening in November 2010 (preceding the inauguration of the Linden Endowment for the Arts sims), this half-sim environment has featured major installations by an impressive list of Second Life artists: Alizarin Goldflake, Artistide Despres, Betty Tureaud, Blue Tsuki, Bryn Oh, Cherry Manga, Douglas Story & Desdemona Enfield, Eliza Weirwight, Eupalinos Ugajin, Giovanna Cerise, Jo Ellsmere & Pyewacket Kazyanenko, Kolor Fall (Patrick Faith), Maya Paris, Miso Susanowa, Misprint Thursday, Oberon Onmura, oona Eiren, Pinkpink Sorbet, Pixels Sideways, Rose Borchovski, Selavy Oh, Scottius Polke, shellina Winkler, Simotron Aquila, soror Nishi, Trill Zapatero, and Yooma Mayo. Dividni's decision to close wasn't a financial one, as he explained on his blog, but more a need to refocus and move in new directions. Possibly the space will resume its guest artist exhibition program after a time.

But delights still await at Split Screen, as Dividni has created something of a sculpture garden or installation park, showing works by Blue Tsuki (windmills from Adagio, to the left on the bottom image), Bryn Oh, Cherry Manga (Chessboard, top image), Eliza Wierwight (The Satirical Polemicist, bottom image), Kolor Fall (Patrick Faith), Maya Paris, Miso Susonova (Time as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones, middle image), Oberon Onmura, Scottius Polke and Trill Zapatero (cheese grater street lamp (among other works), to the right on the bottom image). Many of these pieces are interactive and have sonic components. Walking through the park is a pleasant experience: the pieces are beautifully and carefully arranged so that we can see several in our field of view, but far enough apart that we're able to enjoy each on its own. Appreciation is owed to Dividni for having hosted remarkable exhibitions over the past several years and for having helped launch the careers of so many artists.

05 June 2013

Standby, World Makers

I have rarely written about machinima on this blog, but it's a powerful medium for sharing inworld experiences and narratives. Recently, Bryn Oh posted a new work that's essential watching—Standby (above), the creation of which was supported in part by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council/Le Conseil des arts de l’Ontario. The work is, in her words, "a trilogy of poetic narratives hosted by IBM in a virtual environment. The trilogy began with The Daughter of Gears, followed by The Rabbicorn story and ending with Standby. Here I have combined all three into one story." At more than 38 minutes long, this remarkable video isn't really about Second Life—rather, it uses SL as a film studio, resulting in a standalone piece of art and masterful storytelling. Standby features music composed by Travis Amaterasu, with additional music by Tasuku Ghost.

By contrast, Draxtor Despres's most recent offering, The Drax Files: World Makers [Episode 7: Rod Humble] (below), is very much about SL, and has been much hyped because of the appearance of Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble, both in real life and via his SL avatar, Rodvik Linden. We even get a few peeks inside the Lab. Inworld, Rodvik visits a number of locations, including one with which I've had the pleasure of being involved, A Rusted Development (which is coming down this weekend!) from about 1:00 to 1:23 or so. Plenty more awaits on Drax's YouTube channel.

03 June 2013

Melusina Parkin: Pixel Factories

Opening Tuesday, June 4 at 11:30 AM SLT at the Dizzy Art Gallery (that slurl may not take you directly to the gallery) is an exhibition of new work by photographer Melusina Parkin entitled Pixel Factories: Views from Second Life Industry. As I've said before, Melusina possesses an exceptional eye, able to capture patterns, shapes and edges, bringing forward things we might be looking at but not really seeing. In Second Life her body of work is unique in this regard, and for the new exhibition she has turned her attention toward industrial settings. She says, "Industrial landscapes have been hated in Real Life. They are dirty and polluted, messy and distressed," but that in Second Life we find sims dedicated "to show chimneys, machines, warehouses, engines, designing an underworld where the sky is always dark grey, oil and smoke stains makes surfaces dirty, working or abandoned huge devices clutter spaces." She makes excellent use of the opportunity in these striking grayscale images, all of which are available for sale.