31 July 2013

Black Basalt Beach

After I blogged about Jac Mornington's sims Sol Existence and Baja Norte, he mentioned to me that he had an additional space under construction, Black Basalt Beach. I stopped back from time to time, checking on its progress—it's a collaborative effort with sim owner Rosy Highwater, who's very welcoming—and finally it's ready for prime time.

The beach itself is really only a quarter of the sim, rolling along it western edge, with a lighthouse, walkways, bike rides, pelicans, cormorants, and of course plenty of sand and sun. The remainder of the sim is a rocky outcrop thrust from the sea, quite beautifully landscaped, with a striking glass house by Van Auster perched in its center. (I hesitated to enter the house—although it is a glass house!—but noticed a tip jar inside, so I think it's fair game. And the views of the beach from inside are stunning.)

On the other side of the sim, a waterfall cascades into a deep ravine that cuts the island into two, the smaller part accessible only by a rickety handmade bridge. Heron wade in a nearby pool, while deer forage in a meadow. Throughout you'll find places to pause and enjoy the view.

30 July 2013

Photography at The Chamber (possibly NSFW)

The Chamber, a "secret sex society themed club set in a vintage hotel room," (about which I've written here) recently held a photography competition, the results of which, not surprisingly, are tastefully erotic. The winning entries are now on display at the main landing area, which is accessible to the general public, and among them are not only works by several well-known photographers, but also by names that are new to me. First prize went to Coral Lacey, second to Finn Zane (the violet-hued image, top left) and third to Herzkoenig Actor. Among the honorable mentions are works by ZieklingBunnyhug, Vampirelicker201, Rix Spyker, Heaven Demina, Rachel Swallows, Copernico Ferraris, Keely Mistwood, JJ Domzarjs, Telemaco Treves, PollyAnna4, Lemon Artemesia and Stormesque. I don't see a posted closing date for the exhibition, so go enjoy it soon just in case it closes in the near future.

29 July 2013

17th Bienal de Cerveira

Now open and continuing through September 14 is a major exhibition of work by ten artists (or teams of artists) at the Second Life portion of the 17th Bienal de Cerveira, organized by the Cerveira Biennial Foundation in Portugal. Covering the entire sim, as well as in the air, are works by Alpha Auer (a.k.a. Elif Ayiter) (of alpha.tribe), Bryn Oh, CEELeste Serra, Eupalinos Ugajin, Holala Alter, Kikas Babenko & Marmaduke Arado, Patrick Moya, Maya Paris, meilo Minotaur & CapCat Ragu, and Osederatus Haven.

In real life, a display room at the Bineal in Portugal will broadcast images from several sims in Second Life (including the exhibition sim, Immersiva and others), and visitors will be able to use any of three avatars to explore on their own. It's an impressive attempt to introduce the arts in Second Life to serious artists who may not be familiar with virtual worlds. More information on the Bienal is available on its website.

Among the more interesting of the works are Maya Paris's installation (a name for which I don't see), filled with clever interactive elements and free objects (top image); Bryn Oh's partial restaging of Virginia Alone, which will keep you busy for a while reading correspondence littered on the floor (lowest image); the lovely Hommage a Pessoa by Alpha Auer (second image); Eupalinos Ugajin's enormous structure; and the playful and funny work of Kikas Babenko & Marmaduke Arado (third image), all presented on a delightful structure created by designer Medy Spore.

28 July 2013

Study for Mechanical Circus Revisited

Several months ago, I blogged about Yooma Mayo's extraordinary installation at Lost Town (La Città Perduta) entitled Study for Mechanical Circus, which preceded the construction of the new (and soon to close) Mechanical Circus at LEA24. Fortunately, the curators of Lost Town have invited Yooma to restage the first work, and it will be on display through August 31.

In revisiting the Study, one can see where Yooma was headed, with his parade of enormous elephants (what better animal to use for such a gesture?) on high legs overstepping the city. Although the earlier piece doesn't contain nearly the complexity of the final Mechanical Circus, its integration with the town is remarkable: we view the artwork not as something superimposed but rather an integral part of the overall city—something also achieved recently by Haveit Neox with his Lost Alphabet.

27 July 2013

Openings at Gallery Assis (possibly NSFW)

Opening today, Saturday, July 27, at 12:00 noon slt, is a new exhibition at Gallery Assis by resident artists Benjamin Glendale, Lincoln Garnet, Maloe Vansant and Darius Kragin. Assis presents "tasteful erotic art from diverse sexualities and genders," and this mix of male and female forms and embrace of varied sexual orientations is expressed in the excellent work of these four artists (and throughout the entire gallery, curated by Eli Wallace). The opening reception has a theme—international flair—so you're invited to come in an outfit reflecting your country's colors, national dress or heritage. (Or, for that matter, I'm sure you could arrive wearing nothing at all, which would fit in quite nicely as well.)

There are additional exhibitions throughout Gallery Assis that merit a visit. One that opened recently includes work of resident artists Jessica Belmer, Emaline9, and Isa Messioptra (image below, showing some work of the first two artists). Other works on display include those by Tomais Ashdene, Jeanne Sahara, Domatalia Jinx, Sydney Bonde, Darius Kragin, Jipe Loon, Joseph Nussbaum, Erik Bayn, Burk Bode, Ray D, Flora Clayflower, Petra Messioptra, Corinne Helendale, Driscol Byron, Gregor Tenk and Whiskey Monday.

26 July 2013


I've been meaning to write something about Blue Tsuki's Float=Nought for quite a long time—it opened several months ago, commissioned by Eli Wallace and installed adjacent to Gallery Assis. In a few weeks, Gallery Assis will move to a new location, and Float=Nought will have to come down, so this large-scale artwork is reaching the end of its lifespan (at least for now). Visitors familiar with Blue's earlier works might notice a stylistic similarity to The Hall of Lanterns or The Theatre of Memory, but this is a strong and impressive work that more than holds its own.

The artist writes, "Float=Nought is a piece made after a hiatus from SL art making. It revisits some familiar memes and tosses some on the fire to make way for the new. It is a transition piece to the next direction of images and dreams. As always, little explanation here, I prefer people bring their own interpretations as those are always more powerful. That said, as a starting point the piece is a slow meditation on transience and almost remembering something forgotten."

The installation consists of three major spaces, shown here in order: the opening (and smallest) area, on the water, a large, slowly spinning form that might remind one of a carousel; the second space, a fantastic assemblage of light and line (walking or camming around to change perspectives is a must); and finally the mysterious third space: arched walls filled with vases, chairs and masks (click on the red one in each) surrounding a watery space filled with boats and a bonfire of chairs. I'm oversimplifying and, like Blue, I'll refrain interpretive thoughts, but do go take a look before Float=Nought has to disappear.

25 July 2013

Mechanical Circus

For several months, artist Yooma Mayo has been building Mechanical Circus at LEA24 (one of the Linden Endowment for the Arts sims), and finally it's finished. Officially opening today, Thursday, July 25, it's just in time, as the exhibition must end on July 31, so we have only a few days to enjoy this remarkable and glorious build. Those who visited Yooma's installation at La Città Perduta earlier this year may notice a few motivic similarities—elephants, acrobats and the like.

The structure itself is immense, and you won't be able to see all of it unless you turn your draw distance up—the build rises nearly 300 meters up into the air and stretches hundreds of meters across the sim. The number of objects in the artwork—and their level of detail and interconnectedness—is staggering, as is the sheer inventiveness of these half-animal half-machine circus performers. Mechanical Circus is not to be missed.

24 July 2013


Opening tomorrow, Thursday, July 25 at 11:00 a.m. slt, is Cica Ghost's Ghostville at Per4mance MetaLES ..O.., curated by Ux Hax, Lanjran Choche and Romy Nayar. Following in the path of the artist's two previous sim-wide installations—Black and White and Rust (the latter of which is still up for a short while longer at LEA13)—Ghostville employs an unmistakably similar form and style but focuses on different materials. Both earlier installations are referenced here.

Black and White, a playful stick-figure world of people, hills and houses, and Rust, a brown-tinted world filled with quirky machines and animals, are taken a logical step forward. In Ghostville, a ground color palette of browns and black is peppered with vanilla and jasmine colored partial buildings (they stand as though they are finished, just not complete), all set against a slowly drifting steel blue sky. Throughout, despite the surreal and sometimes stark landscape, are touch of Cica's sense of humor and playfulness. The installation will remain up for two months.

23 July 2013


If you're in the mood for tranquility, venture over to Leroy, a sim designed by landscape architect Quark Fallen. At the landing point you'll find yourself on the deck of a brig sailing on a glistening wintery sea. Walk down the gangplank to venture to the sandy island, or follow the path of icy evergreen trees to a quaint little cafe. It's a beautiful, expansive setting with a steady flow of visitors and lots of options for landscape photography.

Back on board the ship you'll spy some teleport options, and from here you can venture to three different places. The first is Quiet after evening, a lush Japanese garden landscape (middle image). The second, Hydrangea, says it's open July 10-15, so it may disappear quite soon: a colorful land of hydrangeas, dense rain and a giant snail. And for a small fee you can rent a tiny little private chamber as well, the Chateau. Teleporting around in Leroy can be a bit of a challenge, as there's a fixed landing point—sometimes fellow explorer Ada Iolo and I had to teleport out of the sim just to return to the boat. But don't let that stop you, and keep an eye out for many free items available here and there.

22 July 2013

Sailing Away at Calas Galadhon

About four months ago, I began blogging my way through the many Calas Galadhon sims, but I never finished and always meant to return. Now, as many people are aware, Calas Galadhon owners Ty Tenk and Truck Meredith, because of real life challenges, will temporarily close the sims in about a week. When Calas reopens, in early September, four sims will be gone: the Bay of Balfalas (about which I wrote here), the water sims Belegaer (pictured above) and Sea of Nurnen (middle photo), and the lovely Eryn Vorn (about which I wrote here, lower photo) will disappear. My photos of the water sims are all above water, but there's plenty to see below as well, so take a dive. There's a new cabin on the Sea of Nurnen that Ty and Truck are particularly fond of, and so they may move it to another sim.

Despite the changes, Ty and Truck are confident that Calas will emerge as lovely as ever. "It's not a tragedy," remarked Truck when the three of us talked yesterday. "It will still be Calas." Ty added, "Once we get into changing things, we have fun with it." There's some possibility that portions of Calas could become members only, and other changes are possible too—check their blog for updates, and feel free to send suggestions. Please consider leaving a contribution if you can.

21 July 2013

Space 4 Art

Opening today, Sunday, July 21, at 1:30 slt (or possibly at 1:00 slt, as I see two different times posted) are a couple of installations at the sim Space 4 Art, curated by Giridevi and Asmita Duranjaya. The first, shown above, is Shipwrecking - Direction Home by Asmita Duranjaya, a reflection on her quest for a new home and her experience of finding a location in Sri Lanka.

The second installation, by ChapTer Kronfeld, is a contemporary interpretation of the Seven Deadly Sins from Dante's Divine Comedy (second image) in which one encounters a series of vignettes depicting pride, envy, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust. Experiencing the entire installation might take some time, as at the end one is invited to climb the Stairway to Heaven ascending hundreds of meters into the sky.

If neither of those installations grabs your fancy, then head to the MiniContest Black'n'White, a contest in which artists were allowed to use up to five monochromatic prims to create small artworks. The entrants include Celestine Ghiardie, Walt Ireton, Haveit Neox, Louly Loon, Kayly Iali, Mathilde Vhargon, Xirana Oximoxi, Sisi Biedermann, Andy Burroughs, Sina Souza, Gitu Aura, Moewe Winkler, kjs Yip and CaraMia Quan. The entire sim includes a remarkable number of galleries and other installations, so be sure to broaden your experience by exploring its many other offerings.

20 July 2013

The Farmhouse

Sometimes people create modest personal oases in Second Life—just tiny little spots with charm and grace. Such is the case with The Farmhouse. A couple weeks ago, my friend Naxos Loon dropped me a landmark to this place (he's pictured below, relaxing against a ladder with an iguana on his head (this, if you don't know Nax, is entirely normal), which turned out to be a creation by our mutual friend and photographer Wind (a.k.a. WhoFliesWithTheWind Writer).

It is, as its name suggests, simply a farmhouse, surrounded by an assortment of crops happily growing in a nearby garden, plus an assortment of animals, ranging from feathered foul to a donkey. Chirping birds abound. For now, Wind plans to keep the space open to the public, but she might close it at some point in the future, so do stop by to enjoy it just in case.

17 July 2013

The Legion Project

The Legion Project is wonderfully photogenic spot nestled into a corner of the sim Port Said. The parcel description says, "All Are Welcome - Two stages open to the public, ask on group to send notices," by which I take it to mean that the stages (there are two) are pretty much up for grabs, like open mics. The scene invites comfortable and informal social interaction, with sofas rather than chairs, and the rather bohemian Central Perk coffee house is perfect for a relaxed conversation over java.

A few boutique shops dot the landscape, as do a couple galleries. I particularly enjoyed the works by Rodriguez Munro at the rainy Grey November Gallery (shown below). Be sure to explore, as The Legion Project is spread out over several seemingly unconnected islands and parcels. A quick glance around found that the most of the build was contributed by lakua Arriaga of ionic (which has a shop here), but almost everywhere are objects owned by different people, suggesting this is truly a collaborative endeavor.

14 July 2013

Resonant Osmosis

"Some ideas enter the mind for a moment but soon depart leaving a vague, enigmatic imprint," says Johnas Merlin of his large-scale work, Resonant Osmosis, on the sim LEA26. "This work is based on a collection of these thoughts, each a possible key, opening a door to another." One can certainly see that theme in the elements here, linked with a predominantly monochromatic palette and texture. Most impressive to me in the installation is the visually striking collection of hundreds of variously sized spheres along the eastern edge of the sim. It's difficult to see in a still image, but the spheres are laid out in a complex pattern, evident as one cams across or travels through them. Many forms that would appear static at first glance are actually in motion, and, as the word "resonant" suggests, there are sonic elements to the build as well.

On a side note, I encourage the Linden Endowment for the Arts team to proactively announce the status of builds like Resonant Osmosis. Because the sims are open as artworks are being built, it's often unclear (unless the artists post a notice on the sim, which some do) whether or not projects are "finished" so to speak. In this case, I stopped back from time to time over the course of several months, not having seen any mention of the build on the LEA blog, and finally contacted Johnas, who replied that the project had been completed.

13 July 2013

The Avatar Games

Are you especially nimble, able to jump from one tiny spot to another, and walk along something the width of a tightrope? If so, venture over to The Avatar Games by Bryn Oh, which runs along the eastern edge of LEA3 and the western edge of LEA8. It's something like an obstacle course: when you arrive, you'll find yourself on a high ledge, and you'll see a short distance in front of you a monarch butterfly. Your goal is to jump to the butterfly, then to the next, and the next, until you reach the seat of an enormous penny-farthing, and so on until you reach the end on a shelf quite a distance away. You'll need to traverse across a roll-top desk, a piano, piles of books and other odds and ends. If you fall, there are ways at times to get back to where you were—otherwise, start over and practice, practice, practice. (Note: at the moment, fly is turned on, but it usually isn't, so don't cheat!)

Now, as you glance across toward your right, you'll see a bunch of chairs—what looks like a place for an audience (photo below on the left hand side). That's just what it is. You see, just to make your task all the more difficult, the audience (the official games occur at scheduled times) gets to shoot at you (the guns are called the "grand wallopers") for the sole pleasure of trying to knock you off your delicate perch. There's a scoreboard that keeps track of the best avatar times to complete the course, and also the best walloper. Right now there aren't any future games scheduled, but if there are I'll certainly post the times. In the meantime, get ready! Even if you don't participate in the course itself, you're sure to enjoy the amazing scene and work by Bryn Oh.

12 July 2013

Art Box

I don't know about you, but I'd rather be standing next to Jules Winnfield than be opposite him, even if he is only brandishing a banana. Pop on over to Art Box, and you can stand in Vincent Vega's shoes, or any number of situations, ranging from famous paintings by Leonardo or Andy Warhol, or famous sculptures, or films, or just silly stuff. When I arrived here today, I remembered being here years ago and was surprised to see it again. It's a fun place to fool around, and clearly isn't meant to be taken very seriously (and we're probably talking all sorts of intellectual property issues).

There are dozens of scenes to select from, and you can rez up to one per minute. Hop on a poseball and snap your picture. If you're with a friend, some scenes have places from two or more people, but you can only rez one scene at at time. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go walk the earth.