31 May 2013

...there's no ground

Opening tomorrow, Saturday, June 1, at the sim Vella is a new installation, ...there's no ground, by Eupalinos Ugajin and Suzanne Graves. I don't think Eupalinos's work is intended to be understood, outside of understanding that it's not understandable, and I'm always more interested in art that I don't understand (in the Cagean sense of purposeful purposelessness). It is, to be sure, playful, and it invites us to play and to play with it, puzzling and delighting over its curious juxtapositions. You'll need to click on things (clothespins especially) and to move about to trigger interactions. Don't miss the camera tour at the landing point—step into the small boat and set your draw distance up to at least 512, and make sure also to explore the area underwater, where more awaits.

I don't mean to speak only of Eupalinos, but it's his work I see as I explore, and so I'm left curious about Suzanne's contribution. It would be interesting to know more about the collaboration between these two exceptional artists. Update: Suzanne constructed the central tube (the bottom of which is seen in the next image below), which involved some significant mathematical calculations. It's a beautiful structure, and Eupalinos says that he and Suzanne will be able to have "explosions" occur—we'll have to see!

To help the art connoisseur understand his work, Eupalinos suggests a visit to the artybollocks generator, which does a rather excellent job of creating artspeak. Here's the first bit of what its random generator had to say about Eupalinos's work: that it "explores the relationship between postmodern discourse and UFO sightings." That's quite possibly true.

In addition to the contributions of Suzanne Graves, Eupalinos singles out others whose artistic participation is of essence: YT Recreant (who provided the space, courtesy of a connection via Quan Lavender), Simotron Aquila, Takio Ra, Oberon Onmura, pallina60 Loon and other unnamed friends. And Eupalinos has recently added some music to the build, a set of 30 tracks. Throughout your visit, be sure to have local sounds turned up. The region's windlight setting is important (I believe created by Liqueur Felix), but I'm not sure what to suggest for those who use viewers that don't automatically accept the region's settings. Perhaps just find something close to what you see here so that you can see underwater.

Adieux, MadPea Creations

Today, as MadPea's director, Kiana Writer, puts it, marks the end of an era. If you haven't visited MadPea's Carneval or Lost Treasure of the Inca Warrior, you're just about out of time, because all MadPea creations on the grid will be "blown up" to make way for new creations. You can read more about this transition on the MadPea blog here, but by 12 pm slt today things will be in full demolition mode, and a big 48 hour long party will be underway, about which you can read more here. Wondering what's coming? Here's a teaser about UNIA.

30 May 2013

Indigo Aviary

If you've spent a few years in Second Life, your inventory is probably filled with thousands of things you've collected. (Mine has all sorts of art objects that never see the light of day, although I do have a few rezzed at the Avalon Collector's Circle gallery thanks to Rowan Derryth.) In the case of Owly Indigo, her inventory has accumulated a huge collection of birds, and she's created the Indigo Aviary on the sim Ctrl Shift H for the sole purpose of displaying them. You'll see everything from peacocks to geese and emus to owls. I gave up trying to count them, but she numbers them at more than one hundred, and I'm sure some are rather "antique" by SL standards.

29 May 2013


I'm not certain what to call the place above Inaka. The teleport from the ground says, "welcome kaso-cyo," and its creator's profile says it's "kaso town," a "japanese syowa town." (Probably if I spoke Japanese I'd know for sure—there's a town named Kazo north of Tokyo, and there are a bunch of towns in Japan named Shōwa, so perhaps it's one of them.) In any case, it's a gorgeous small Japanese village, or a piece of a town—just a few square blocks but beautifully created by dai Lageos and yutopian Burton. It's delightfully evocative.

The central tram that runs on tracks through the town is actually a teleport, which you can use to get to a mid-level platform and all the way down the ground, where shops by Kabuki Ewing and yutopian Burton sell goofy things and landscaping, respectively. If you're a photographer, you're in luck because the rez time for objects here is 180 minutes—and I'll be posting some images on my flickr stream.

27 May 2013

DangerInEvolution: Reload

I first wrote about DangerInEvolution, an installation by Kicca Igaly and Nessuno Myoo, back on February 17 during its stay at LEA27. Now, Chinon Beaumont, director of the Inspiritum Gallery, has offered the artists a chance to restage it, and they've done so with some modifications that amplify and clarify their message. We're provided with two additional spaces, one of which presents a sometimes gruesome video on the horrific aftermath of the 1986 meltdown at Chernobyl, and the other a history of the development of atomic weapons. Overall I found the presentation more convincing, although the constrained gallery space doesn't give Nessuno's atomic carousel quite the monumental impact that it had previously. We're also invited to view a machinima by Lion Igaly (which you can also watch here)—Stravinsky's Le Sacre works surprisingly well as the sound score.

26 May 2013


Rarely have I seen a landscaping element get so much use in so many places as Alex Bader's Skye Enchanted Tree Tunnel, but its frequent appearances speak to its captivating design. When you arrive at Miniascape, a sim designed by Yazoo Rang, it again will be the first thing you'll see—in this case quite a few of them strung together to form a long winding tunnel that curves gently down a hillside, letting us out at a vast field of grasses and flowers that's host to a stately tree in full bloom.

But Miniascape has a split personality—on the second half of the sim stands a decayed city, its empty buildings toppled over onto broken highways. And back at the landing point you can click on a teleport to take you to Death Valley, situated overhead (photo below—and you can click on all these to zoom in), a barren and somewhat surreal landscape punctuated by a single dead tree. Yazoo tells me that he might remodel the sim soon, so don't wait too long to pay it a visit.

25 May 2013


Yesterday I wrote about the sim of feast, and to the northwest lies the sim of PinkSpider, a homestead that looks to be cut into four parcels, all open to the public and quite lovingly designed. I'm somewhat hampered by my inability to speak Japanese, which seems to be a common thread among the sim's owners, but the northwest corner is the Cafe Bluebird (not really a cafe, but you'll see), on the northeast corner is C-Amber (where you can rez things for a few minutes), on the southeast is feuille, and on the southwest is Isha no ie.

Each of these quarter-sim parcels is surrounded by water and elegantly landscaped. I'm always impressed with what's possible with 937 prims. I assume these are private residences, and it's a great gesture to leave them open for everyone to enjoy.

24 May 2013


Somehow my images of the sim feast have made the place look far darker and more brooding than they should, because the place is awash in bright colors. (I guess it was just my mood, ruminating on flickr's new interface.) With the slurl here you'll land in a large field of flowers—poppies, cosmos, dianthus and others—surrounded by magnolia, ginko, apple and other varieties of trees. These are all items for sale in the nearby shop of Miki Morigi and her alt Mikatsuki Matova, forest feast.

To the south is the sim Aught, and on the border between these sims is an overgrown area (top and bottom photos here, click to zoom) co-created by Miki and Alirianna, who has a branch of her shop, alirium, here as well. They remark, "People should accept the invasion of green. Because it is a correct recovery." And so it is: we see nature gently destroying what had once been the human footprint. The region as a whole is very graphics intensive, and getting everything to rez cooperatively can be a challenge. My friend Padani, who was also in the sim exploring, quipped, "It's not a place for people in a hurry." He's right, but we agreed it well worth the visit.

19 May 2013

The Naked Sky Gallery

For the longest time, Jessica Belmer kept wondering why someone was purchasing just about every image she set out for sale in her gallery—after all, most people have only so much wall space in their homes to display artwork. The answer, as it turned out, is that collector The Cat (or Catredivivus) has plenty of space for them at her gallery, The Naked Sky Gallery, on the sim Naked. The Cat says, "None is for sale, it's just a celebration of artists high in the sky above SL's most elegant nudist resort. No need to be naked to view the gallery!"

It's a pretty impressive survey of Jessica's work, and the gallery is nicely designed, providing good lines of sight and ample space for each object. Also on display here is a smaller collection of works by Harbor Galaxy and a space devoted to images by Mi (Kissme). You'll also spot works by Amona Savira, Anita Witt, Andy Burroughs, Kato Salyut, Ivoni Miles, jerideana Francois, Morgana Nagorski, Winter Nightfire, Jeanette Janus, Milly Sharple, Jim Slater, Hillany Scofield, Moni, Van Caerndow, CaraMia Quan, Crystal Rehula, Freyja and others.

18 May 2013

Gehena Vampire Clan

Both ARnnO PlaneR and Juno Angerona nudged me to visit Gehena Vampire Clan, and I'm thankful that they did. Designed over the past several months by LouLou Teichmann with some recent assistance by Neva Crystall, the mysterious feeling island sim opened this week and boasts a sumptuous landscape, richly detailed at every turn. You'll probably need more than one trip to fully explore all the area has to offer.

A dark castle towers over sim, perched on a rocky outcrop to the southwest. Save for a small nightclub, which features a swimming mermaid, the region evokes a time from perhaps a couple hundred years ago, an "old world" sort of feel, and affords many opportunities for photography. In case you're one of those who aren't fond of vampires: although it's a vampire sim—complete with a cemetery, decaying church and bats—one has the sense that visitors are very welcome here, and no one accosted me during my several visits.

15 May 2013

Bryn Oh at the Vienna Museum of Natural History

Tucked away on the sim Forum Europe is Das Naturhistorische Museum Wien, or Museum of Natural History Vienna, and it's something of a relic, seemingly untouched for quite a long time. The second floor is the location of an exhibition of works by Bryn Oh, and she tells me the curious steampunk animals and insects on display are among her first creations. The exhibition, which opened in late 2007, was to last for a month, but now more than five years later the artworks are still on display, sort of frozen in time along with the museum itself.

The very 2007ish backgrounds on the walls don't make it easy to grab images here, so I'm not sure these photos will do the works justice. The objects bear Bryn's unmistakable imprint and style, all but one of them (the Steamclock) some sort of animal. Save for the largest assemblage, =^.^= (second photo here—a cat sculpture, not surprisingly) they're all for sale.

Don't miss the rest of the museum. Aside from a gallery full of dinosaurs (well, it is a museum of natural history!), there are some really fabulous trompe l'oeil rooms that I greatly enjoyed. Designed by Marso Mayo, they must mirror the museum spaces in real life, but the experience of moving through them is delightful and fascinating. So be sure to see those as you explore. (Photo below, but you really have to move through the spaces to see what I mean.)

14 May 2013

Whiskey Monday at Kelly Yap

Opening tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15 (no specific time) and continuing through July 15 at the Kelly Yap Art Gallery in the mainland sim Healy is a modest but very worthwhile exhibition of recent works by Whiskey Monday entitled E-SCAPES. If you don't know Whiskey's work, you should, and one of the best places to experience it off-world is her flickr stream. She also sells items commercially and maintains her own gallery, The Viewing Room.

Whiskey tells me, "SL is my escape, and these are my landscapes...The landscapes themselves are meant to evoke solitude, but not so much the quiet and pensive kind. More the restless and intense kind. But I decided to just let everyone enjoy them as they see them, rather than impose my own mental meanings."

13 May 2013

Miuccia Klaar at Colore Art Gallery

Opening tomorrow, Tuesday, May 14 at 5 pm slt is an exhibition of works by Miuccia Klaar at the Colore Art Gallery. This is a photographer whose work is almost painterly and always evocative, with a command of her palette and sense of composition. Works featured in this exhibition include landscapes and portraits, but even in the portraits the landscape competes for our attention. The gallery has posted a video previewing the exhibition, and you can enjoy Miuccia's work on her flickr stream as well. The show will continue though May 28. And there's more...

...because two other artists who are resident at the gallery, Lookatmy Back (middle image in this post) and La Baroque (lower image) have extensive images on view as well in three additional galleries. So there's a considerable amount of material here to see. All items are available for purchase, and there's an opportunity to contribute to the gallery as well.

11 May 2013

Bates Motel Apocalypse

"Shriek! Shriek! Shriek!" go the violins. Who doesn't love a good murder mystery now and then? If you do, then stop by the old Bates Motel, where Norman will be waiting for you right behind the counter—you can catch a glimpse of him in the bottom photograph, eager to book you into Room 1, the convenient one right next to the office. It's dark outside, with a big old foreboding house looming overhead. So just step in and, well, take a shower.

And it's all here, the hotel, house and '57 Ford, faithfully recreated. I'm not going to say whether there's blood in the bathroom, or whether you'll run into Marion or Mother, but at least Norman is here, reading some interesting magazines tucked under the counter. The entire scene is Bates Motel Apocalypse, created by Soulkeeper Dreadlow, and the house itself is available for purchase via his marketplace store. Oh, by the way, you might get attacked by a few zombies when you arrive, but they're relatively harmless. Maybe.

10 May 2013

It all starts with a smile

This morning, Kaelyn Alecto mentioned on Plurk that her sim, It all starts with a smile, will likely close on May 15, the unfortunate victim of the recent changes in the ToS. It's not that the new terms prohibit her from operating the sim, but that (if I understand correctly) the cost of the sim was being underwritten in part by an employee of a third party Linden dollar exchange business that has had to suddenly close. I visit quite a few sims every day but had never visited It all starts with a smile, so I finally did today.

It's a pretty place, with lots of natural scenery—ranging from sandy beaches to fields of flowers and more—and a tidy row of shops and storefronts tucked in the southwestern corner. (There's nothing for sale—it's not a commercial sim.) As you can see from this flickr group, it's a popular spot for photography and socializing. If you'd like to see more of Kaelyn's work, she and her partner, maxxster (who is also co-owner of the sim and a photographer), blog at SweetSexyCrazy. I'm sure contributions to help keep the sim afloat would be very welcome.

09 May 2013

Ocho Tango

I pulled up Honour McMillan's blog the other day (which I do every day)—Honour's Post Menopausal View (of Second Life)—and there were some lovely images of Ocho Tango, which had been on my list of places to visit for a long time. I gather that it had temporarily disappeared and has been rebuilt, and that's a good thing because it's a serene and delightful place. Its centerpiece, not shown in these images (as usual, click to zoom in, and I'll post more on my flickr stream), is the Ocho Club, a dance hall with a distinctive exterior, and I hope to get back when a crowd is there (dancing tangos no doubt).

Surrounding the club on all sides are the pampas, where the fertile fields produce tall grasses through which you'll discover a number of paths and this and that. If you'd prefer, there's a bicycle rezzer. And if you're in the mood to dance outside, there's a little area for that as well, shadowed by the towering power lines that cut across the plains. (Somehow, here in Second Life these power lines look evocatively romantic and appealing.) Way overhead all of this is the shop DaD Design, where you can find things for home and garden, including some lovely tropical trees.

07 May 2013

Hobo Amusement Park

It's just what an amusement park should be: tacky, cheap, silly, blazes of flashing neon, sounds, rides, and so dense that you can't decide which direction to turn next. I arrived at Hobo Amusement Park this evening entirely by accident—I was looking for its creator, Judy Muircastle, without knowing that this was where I'd find her or even that it existed. And that, for me, is one of the joys of wandering around the Second Life grid, always finding myself surprised by things.

This sort of took me way back to earlier in Second Life (pre-Ziki even!)—just the overall design and craziness. But here everything is kept up to date, and Judy's here maintaining things with a sharp eye. There are rides and activities galore—get chased by zombies, ride things that will have you spinning so much you'll really get dizzy, race cars or bikes on the track, head into the Tunnel of Romance, tramp through the Haunted House, bang into your friends in the huge bumper car pavilion and just generally have fun being silly. (And do bring a friend, because it's that kind of place.)

Don't miss the platform overhead, with its demolition derby (my favorite thing as a kid!) and the Wild Thing roller coaster. Tacky freebies are all over the place. Judy says, "This Park is dedicated to the Memory of my late rl Husband Bill who loved amusement parks. He was taken at 28 years old in an auto accident and I know he is looking down at this park and laughing his head off!!" Bill, I have no doubt that wherever you are you're laughing.