31 August 2013


There are plenty of beach sims in Second Life, and most of those are tropical. At Binemist, designer Bine Rodenberger set out to create something different. "I wanted to create a place with a Nordic feel," she says in her introductory note. "I have had the tropical beaches with palms and lots of sand in the past, but now I wanted to create a more rough scenery—a place where this viking woman would feel at home." She also uses the sim to highlight a few objects of art—I spotted works by Bryn Oh, Cica Ghost and Cutea Benelli atop the high hill in the center of the sim.

You'll find more than a windswept beach in Binemist—the sim includes a farm, a church, a lighthouse (near which you can rez a rowboat), a windmill, and a skybox area with additional houses, with teleporters positioned here and there. (The beach, in fact, is only about a quarter of the sim.) Object creation is turned on for 30 minutes, and the region is rated adult. (P.S. Some time or other, I typed "Binimist" and began cutting and pasting, so the original blog post had the wrong name for the sim! Apologies to Bine Rodenberger, but hopefully it didn't keep anyone away!) (And a further update—after seeing what I wrote, she changed the name of the sim to Binemist, so I've changed it accordingly here!) ;-)

30 August 2013

Small town Green

Sim designer Mido (a.k.a. Mido77077 Liotta) has packed a lot into Small town Green, an island homestead. Tucked up on the northern edge is the town area itself, a quaint spot that's home to a few shops, including Ray's Pizza, and peaceful places to sit and relax. The town looks down onto the water that wraps around the entire sim, and from there you can spot a lone isolated house out at sea, and a sailing ship beyond.

There are some railroad tracks out there too, in the water, and as our eyes run along them we catch sight of a an apparently stranded and abandoned locomotive. The central part of the sim is more pastoral and quite picturesque: fields, autumn trees, a windmill, horse stables and a bed of cosmos. A high wooden bridge connects the peaks of two hills in the background, one of which is home to a little campsite. If you'd like to rez objects, just join the group.

26 August 2013

The Josef K Galleria dell'Arte

"Collecting art is no fun if nobody sees the art," says Josef K (a.k.a. apw990). "So I have turned my land into a non-profit open-air art gallery with a hangout joint." Indeed he has, and impressively so. The Josef K Galleria dell'Arte comprises three large areas—the Main Street (shown above), an old abandoned factory (shown from the outside in the center image), and a garden area (lower image). Tastefully placed throughout (even on the rooftops) is a remarkable collection of art from a broad range of artists.

I'm sure I'm going to miss some names in making this list, but glancing around, and also looking at Josef K's own list (which he admits is incomplete), I spotted objets d'art by Bryn Oh, AM Radio, Cica Ghost, Cherry Manga, Grey Kurka, Sabbian Paine, Jessica Belmer, Morgana Nagorski, Miso Susanowa, Jenne Dibou, Pandora Popstar, Xray Haller, Anita Witt, siestabril Nitely, Crystal Rehula, Maghda Whitewood, Molly Bloom, Anley Piers, Rose Borchovski, Kato Salyut, Ruki Ragu, Asmita Duranjaya, La Baroque, Paula Cadin, Valeri Carissa, Aino Beresford, Bloo Ansar, Monroe Snook, Melusina Parkin, Savoree LeDesir, Eupalinos Ugajin, Spiral Silverstar, Jim Slater, Max Bobair, In Inaka and Yours Truly as well. Pieces do get added and removed from time to time, so the list might be different when you visit. Click on The Beatles to get a notecard with more information.

25 August 2013

The Fetish Circus

A photo by Anita Witt caught my eye a couple days ago and sent me off to explore The Fetish Circus, a sim by Le Clown Gainsbourg (a.k.a. M0rgan Baxton). A delightful canvas of classic circus posters serves as the ground cover, and circus tents dots the landscape, each offering a different scene, and many are interactive. French is the predominant language here, and true to its name the sim has a few tents that are a bit risqué, including one with an extensive library (in French) on the D/s lifestyle and more. But even if that's not your kink, you'll certainly enjoy roaming around this delightful place, all bathed in golden hues.

On the other hand, if all that sounds fairly innocent and you're looking for more fetish than circus, head into the Cirque building and find the side door to the back, which opens into a suite of rooms with playful things (one chamber shown below), ranging from a pool table to various pieces of furniture with extensive menu options. You'll probably want to bring a friend, or make a new one while you're there.

24 August 2013

Tokyo 3.1

Tokyo in the year 2085 doesn't look all that appealing, with tanks rumbling down the streets and a hazy brown wind blanketing the city. Still, the roadways are clean, bright neon lights make the buildings glow with life, and a sign indicates the location of a children's park, even though it's a nothing more than a rough patch of asphalt. The scene is in the sim Lust, recently rebuilt as Tokyo 3.1 by owner Sey (a.k.a. Sei Ixtar), who wryly says it was "built to become a haven of peace in a disturbed world."

Clearly Tokyo 3.1 invites roleplay, and allows a generous 50 minute object rez time. Many of the buildings—from traditional to contemporary in style—can be entered, and the streets and alleyways are complimented by other locations—a tunnel, refining tanks set in a cornfield, a missile launch site and so on. Just watch your step. Thanks to my friends Naxos Loon and Wind for inviting me.

23 August 2013

Maria Lynn Falls

Creators Mz Marville and Autom Nightfire have opened their region, Maria Lynn Falls, to the public for a peek until August 28, and possibly longer. Inspired by Kerala, India (located on the very southwestern edge of the country, on the Malabar Coast), the sim includes lush vegetation, fields of flowers, quiet waters and tall waterfalls, and a good use of a wrap-around extension.

You'll spot innumerable animals wandering or flying about, ranging from elephants (middle photo) to lions to varieties of birds. A couple of homes are open and a worth exploring, and if you really hunt around you might discover the hideout, shown below, which my friend Lexi spotted while I was taking photos. (Click on any image to zoom in.) Do consider leaving a contribution if you can.

21 August 2013

Echoes in the Garden

Many people are familiar with Rose Borchovski's great works The Inevitability of Fate (which you can visit here), and The Arrival, which was on display at LEA23 and subsequently MIC - Imagin@rium. Preceding these was the sim-wide installation The Susa Bubble Story, about which I wrote here back in 2011. A smaller work based on The Susa Bubble Story, Echoes in the Garden, is installed in the sky at Two Fish Too. As with the other installations, scripter Caer Balogh lent her expert hand.

Rose's materials will be immediately familiar: the Susas (two at least), pigs, interactive walkways, gentle sounds and voices, and a great sense of space and staging. It's quite essential to have your sound turned up and to walk through the space (rather than flying, which should be turned off), so that your movement triggers walkways to form that will lead you up to the top. The yellow drops, while visually part of the scene, are also poseballs, so be sure to try each of them. As always, Rose's work is a mix of playful and disturbing, beautiful and painful at the same time, and exquisitely wrought.

19 August 2013

Le Bain se Meurt

Currently on display at the Galerie des Machines at Paris 1900 is a large room installation by Haveit Neox entitled Le Bain se Meurt, or The Dying Bath. The installation opened several weeks ago, and I'm not certain how long it will continue, so you might want to visit soon. Combining elements of the artist's real life and virtual artworks, the scene uses familiar materials: slowly moving large textures, overlaid transparencies, and narrative elements. Here too is an expression of environmental concern. I don't usually post artist statements here verbatim, but in this case the wording speaks particularly well to the artwork:

"Many years ago, I remember seeing an ancient, frail man, being helped into the shallow end of the pool by an assistant. The extreme delicacy of his health gently wrapped around his skeletal frame, and the deliberate slowness in which he was lowered into the water, was the essence of grace. His pale skin soaked up the bright sunlight from the glass walls, and a smile came over his face as the water displaced gravity. This image remains in my head. I made a multi-colored clay sculpture based on the old man for an exhibit in Real Life, then recently, photographed my sculpture to bring into Second Life®. I also included other scenes that I've sculpted and painted over the years, including a clay town which I portray as human culture burning itself into the soil. Having been one of the artists invited to display at the Galerie des Machines in Paris 1900, I felt this theme would work well for the large room I was offered.

"The man being dipped into the water takes on a secondary related story for my installation. The idea of one's life coming close to the end is symbolized with the bath. The water is not pristine and clean, it is acidic, glowing unnaturally, and is contained within polluted walls. The bath here represents our dying oceans, the fragile state of the man is the weakening life in the seas. The room is flooded with light. The smoggy air is hot to breathe, and we see two centaur angels ready to carry the dead to the next world. At its last breath, each angel will be followed by their armies to carry the dead planet to its burial ground: the sun." —Haveit Neox

18 August 2013

Scribbled Hearts Revisited

The sim Scribbled Hearts, which closed late last year, has returned, built anew, and is now open to visitors. Home to Snowy Melody-Deluxe's *. emm [shop] and Noel Ryhann Kennedy-Deluxe's Little Closet Mainstore, the sim was largely designed (in keeping with past versions) by Randi Lenroy. It's a beautiful, tranquil place, with frequent visitors who take advantage of the region's inviting character. A group of low-lying islands surrounded by a calm sea that reflects the trees and buildings, Scribbled Hearts affords panoramic vistas.

The sim, which is rez-friendly (for two minutes at least) features several walking paths and places to visit, including a beach and a café (photo above). In the past, the landscaping has radically changed with the seasons, so I hope we'll see a fall iteration of Scribbled Hearts as cool weather begins to arrive.

17 August 2013


The Port and Labour District of Rougham Town, in the beautiful Isle of Britannia (as the land information says), first caught my eye in the blog of Caitlin Tobais and the photography of Anita Witt. I wasn't too taken with it when I first visited, but the Edwardian era homestead sim has grown on me. The photogenic region was designed by Facemelt Loon, whose items are for sale here and there, and you can also find some things for sale by Orchid Zenovka in a shop called Deco.

The first thing that might catch one's eye at Rougham is the small beach around which the entire scene wraps, but it hardly dominates the sim, which includes two rows of small shops, cafes and homes on walkways lit by gas lamps. Towering behind, its smokestacks belching, is the Rougham Workhouse, on which twice is inscribed in stone its promising motto, "You will eat the fruit of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours," although one might suspect the factory workers aren't among the people enjoying the beach. Large banners proclaim an upcoming appearance (on Monday, April 25, which places the year at 1910) by Harry Houdini and his voisin biplane, which Houdini did in fact bring to England but never flew, despite promises. Please consider leaving a contribution if you enjoy Rougham.

14 August 2013

Melusina Parkin at the Rose Galleries

Photographer Melusina Parkin, whose work I admire, has an exhibition of new images continuing at the Rose Galleries, a space curated by Kylie Sabra. The show opened several weeks ago and continues until August 20th, so be sure to see it soon if you haven't. Previous exhibitions of Melu's about which I've written have featured primarily monochromatic photos with a focus on light, shadow and form, but here in several images she makes more use of color, and the effect is (dare I say) somewhat more poetic. A total of sixteen images are diplayed, all on sale for L$400 each. If you like what you see, there are many other galleries to explore at the Rose as well.

10 August 2013

Binge and Purge

As I write this, there are 35,831 items in Gracie Kendal's inventory. (35,832, actually, because I just handed her something.) But soon there will be next to none, because over the course of the next six months, during her installation Binge and Purge, everything will be deleted. The process itself will be simple: she will rez as many items as the sim (LEA16 in this case) can hold, and those items will remain there for a couple weeks, and then they'll be permanently deleted. Then the process begins again, with another set of objects (up to 15,000 prims), and so on until there's nothing left. The artwork will commence tomorrow, Sunday, August 11, at 9:00 am slt. (I'm sure it will take quite a while for each set of objects to be rezzed, and Fuschia Nightfire will create video documentation of each wave.)

It seems a drastic thing, to delete one's entire inventory. In a sense, our inventories are our histories: the objects we have collected are reminders of people, events, and other things, but in most cases we probably haven't seen them in months or years—we really might not even know what we have. (Gracie remarked, "I have a wedding dress in here somewhere...the one time I almost got married in SL.") We also associate value with all these objects: while some might have been free, many others we've paid for, and the thought of erasing them might be painful. Then, too, are those unique items, those treasures, whether special gifts, one-of-a-kind items, or artwork, that we might think twice about placing in the trash. Such is the case for Gracie with the middle item shown here, The Red Queen Teahouse, a little item given to her by Zeality (Zealous Nightfire), an "amazing Japanese piece my friend made...years ago...and it is really beautifully done," adds Gracie. To read more about this project, visit Gracie's (or Kristine Schomaker's—her human's) blog here.

09 August 2013

Bogon Flux

One of the great masterpieces of virtual art has returned for a temporary installation at LEA20 and is not to be missed. Bogon Flux by blotto Epsilon and Cutea Benelli has been brought back by invitation of Eupalinos Ugajin, recipient of the region through the most recent LEA artist in residence awards, and Cutea tells me she anticipates that the Flux will remain up for three to four weeks.

If you're familiar with its successor, a Petrovsky flux, which remains on display courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas (about which I've written here, although quite a while back), Bogon Flux will resonate immediately. The structure seen here slowly grows over time, and never quite in the same way, only to eventually fall apart in a dramatic gesture. (Hard hats are available at the landing point.) One can wander and fly through tubes that interconnect throughout the work, although sometimes things move or change as you're exploring, and there are teleports available as well. It's fabulous to see this work once again after many years, and it has lost none of its impact (literally).

08 August 2013


Now open at the R&D Art Gallery 1 at Diotima is an exhibition of new works by Romy Nayar. Sombras (or "shades" in English) comprises five mesh artworks, each an exploration of form, light and shadow. Presented in a darkened space, the sculptures extend perhaps a meter or two from the black walls on which they're mounted, so that they appear to emerge from the shadows. The composition and detail are exquisite.

The challenge with wandering around in a darkened space is that, of course, you can't see where you're going. So, as you visit, do be sure to locate each of the five spaces, hopefully without bumping into too many walls. All the pieces are for sale for a modest L$500. For another perspective on Sombras, Ux Hax has created a machinima of the same name that documents the exhibition. Thanks to Dividni Shostakovich for shooting me a teleport to visit Romy's works.

07 August 2013


Mitosis, a new sim-wide work by DaveSearbyMason, opened yesterday at LEA6 and will continue through the month of August as part of the LEA Full Sim Art Series. The artist states that the work "was inspired by cell division and by the beauty of transparent deep sea creatures." Throughout, there's quite a lot of motion, so photos can provide only a small impression of the experience.

One arrives underwater at the lowest stage of the installation, where transparent, luminescent shapes and objects—perhaps animate—emerge and disappear from view. Above, on the land level, we're surrounded by large human faces that gradually transform over time, as cell-like objects drift through the space, all centered by a cyborg-like statue that holds aloft a glowing cylinder, as if in gesture to the gazes that encircle us. On the top level, perhaps we're inside some simple living entity, seeing cellular structures from within. Be sure to venture close to objects to hear the accompanying soundscape.

06 August 2013

Butterfly Dream – Mechanical Circus

No sooner did Yooma Mayo restage his Study for Mechanical Circus at Lost Town (La Città Perduta), which was to remain until August 31, than he thought otherwise and tore it down. For those of us who caught a another glimpse of this huge construction it was no doubt an interesting opportunity to compare it to the larger, completed, Mechanical Circus, about which I've just written. In its stead at Lost Town is a new work, Butterfly Dream – Mechanical Circus.

While arguably less complex in design than the Study, Butterfly Dream is no less striking. In this entirely prim-built work, a large airship—about 100 meters in length—is pulled along by three butterflies, each gently tethered by long white strings. A few winged acrobats also lend a hand, while some of the little musician figures who appeared in Mechanical Circus here ride aloft on the butterflies and otherwise seem to be in charge of the workings of the ship, which is decorated with a great lotus blossom. Butterfly Dream remains on view until August 31.

05 August 2013

The Mechanical Circus Returns

It seemed all too short a time, those seven days we had to enjoy Yooma Mayo's colossal construction, Mechanical Circus (about which I wrote here for its brief run at LEA24). Thankfully, Yooma has arranged for an extended display at the sim Ponkotsu, where it officially opens tomorrow, Tuesday, August 6, will remain on display until August 31.

One benefit of the new location—other than the obvious extension of time to enjoy the artwork—is that, unlike LEA24, Ponkotsu is a free-standing sim. So as one zooms out to take in the entire work, one's eyes aren't met with competing works on neighboring sims. If you're not using a viewer that accepts default environment settings, Yooma's preferred windlight setting is Bristol, although for photography I often have better luck with Places Annamaria or Phototools Breakwave Building Light.