Laurie Anderson: A Virtual Reality of Stories

Please click the link below to see one of the most outstanding contributions to virtual art/machinima that I have seen to date, The Chalkroom, by Laurie Anderson. Thank you moonie, for making me aware of it.

Explore Laurie Anderson’s ‘Chalkroom’ – a new artistic discovery in virtual reality – and learn what it feels like to navigate through an exciting universe of drawings and stories while flying around disembodied and free.

Source: Laurie Anderson: A Virtual Reality of Stories

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Berg by Nordan Art Closing

I will close my gallery Berg by Nordan Art December 31. Until then, we will continue operating as usual; CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur have a new exhibit coming up October through December, as does moon Edenbaum. Gallery M, the permanent exhibit space by Mich Michabo, remains open. I hope to be able to extend at least a smaller version of Marina Münter‘s installation Non-Perishable beyond the end of September as well. More about this to come.

Berg by Nordan Art started as Nordan Art. The gallery operated as Nordan Art from 2010 through March of 2012 and then as Berg by Nordan Art from 2015 through 2017. The vision of the gallery has remained consistent; to offer the highest quality virtual art, both when it comes to large immersive installations on the ground as well as to virtual images in the gallery build. Thank you to the outstanding artists who exhibited in the gallery since 2010; they are, in chronological order, nessuno Myoo, Paola Tauber, freebee Withnail, Kicca Igaly, Natsha Lemton, Del May, Bliss Violet, typote Beck, Syn Beresford, Feathers Boa, soror Nishi, Betty Tureaud, Rebeca Bashly, Rose Borchovski, Helene Lytton, Simotron Aquila, Claudia222 Jewell, Shelina Winkler, Theoretical Afterthought, Igor Ballyhoo, Cherry Manga, Anley Piers, lalie Sorbet, Romy Nayar, Trill Zapatero, Artistide Despres, Alizarin Goldflake, Stephen Venkman, Robin Moore, Scottius Polke, Tutsy Navarathna, Piedra Lubitsch, Harbor Galaxy, Giovanna Cerise, Sina Souza, Haveit Neox, Mich Michabo, Imani Nayar, Maloe Vansant, Livio Korobase, Mi, Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu, Huckleberry Hax, daze Landar, Senna Coronet, Marina Münter and moon Edenbaum. Some of these artists exhibited twice and of note, there was a period in the beginning of 2012 where documentation about the gallery is not available. Please let me know if you exhibited then and are not on the list and I will make sure to add you.

Retrospective publications (Nordan Art: A Retrospective 2010 to 2011, Berg by Nordan Art 2015, Berg by Nordan Art 2016), machinima (Rebirth by Iono Allen, Penumbra Machinima by Erythro Asimov, Penumbra Opening at Berg by Nordan Art by Tutsy Navarathna, Berg by Nordan Art by Zarrakan the Cat, Berg by Nordan Art Opening 2016 by Tutsy Navarathna, Fading Mask by Haveit Neox, Berg by Nordan Art Opening October 2015 by Tutsy Navarathna, Harbor Galaxy at Berg by Nordan Art by Tutsy Navarathna), lectures, Nordan Art awards (both at UWA and at Nordan Art), inworld groups (Nordan om Jorden and Berg by Nordan Art), blog posts (The Bergdorf Reports and The Virtual Review) and Flickr groups (Berg by Nordan Art, Nordan Art Issuu Publishing and Non-Perishable) came about as extensions of the gallery. A special thank you to Igor Ballyhoo, Huckleberry Hax and Tutsy Navarathna. You were integral as creative collaborators and contributors.

Moving forward I will focus on my sim North, create my own virtual images and maybe write some art blog posts here and there. We will publish a Berg by Nordan Art 2017 retrospective next year. The Berg by Nordan Art inworld group, as well as the Nordan om Jorden inworld group, will remain open and active. I also anticipate that I will be involved in various art undertakings in the future, which will then all fall under the auspice of Nordan Art/Berg by Nordan Art.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Marina Münter: A Talk About Non-Perishable

Marina Münter’s Non-Perishable, currently at Berg by Nordan Art, has been up for about a week. We have received great feedback and there are some incredible images in our Non-Perishable Flickr group. We will have an informal talk about the exhibit on Sunday, September 10, at 11AM SLT, where Marina will discuss her work and answer questions. We would like for this to be a talk about Non-Perishable specifically, but also about art, virtual and otherwise.

Marina’s Non-Perishable strays from the traditional notion of a virtual art installation. She notes that I realized that I was putting up an exhibition that could have been done in RL and I actually searched for more realistic objects. The immersive experiences I’ve seen in SL tend to be more surrealistic. That is not what I am trying to do with my work. Marina has used objects by established SL content creators for her exhibit and successfully created with these both the inside stories in the five containers as well as the dock-inspired surroundings. She further notes that I’m not there to claim that I am the creator of these objects, I’m there to give them a purpose, insert them into a context. Taking the immersive installation process one step further, Marina invites visitors to take images using their own avatars within one of the five containers. The virtual images by visitor avatars in the containers have become an important extension of the exhibit.

Come join us if you can on Sunday at Berg by Nordan Art for what promises to be an intriguing art talk. Marina will speak about her work and answer questions and I will moderate, all in voice. We ask that the audience please write their questions in chat and we will answer them in the order in which they are received. See you then!

Poster created by  Marina Münter

Non-Perishable: An Exhibit by Marina Münter at Berg by Nordan Art

Marina Münter and I were just recently introduced by a mutual friend. Pretty much immediately after we had exchanged only a few words we embarked upon a whirlwind of planning and action for a new art project at the gallery. Marina’s exhibit, Non-Perishable, will open at Berg by Nordan Art on September 1, 2017, at 2 PM SLT. Her installation consists of five containers in different colors placed upon a cement slab attached to a floating pontoon. Each container holds various objects and all, except for one or two of them, are in the same color as the container itself. Throughout her work on this immersive project, Marina and I chatted intermittently. Below find excerpts from our exchange.

[2017/08/25 12:09] Kate: there are like little stories in each space?
[2017/08/25 12:09] Marina Münter: yes
[2017/08/25 12:10] Kate: great for photography too, little scenes
[2017/08/25 12:10] Marina Münter: yep
[2017/08/25 12:10] Marina Münter: it started like a photo project for myself, but then started growing

[2017/08/27 16:22] Marina Münter: I think working with the subject of memory is always interesting, makes it more personal
[2017/08/27 16:22] Marina Münter: and even with those objects I can relate to something from my life or a mood, feelings of a memory as well, if it makes sense for you
[2017/08/27 16:22] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 16:23] Kate: the objects become the language
[2017/08/27 16:24] Marina Münter: the green container is a trap
[2017/08/27 16:25] Marina Münter: once you get it you can’t go out
[2017/08/27 16:25] Marina Münter: literally
[2017/08/27 16:25] Kate: omg i thought it was my lag lool
[2017/08/27 16:25] Kate: heeeeeellllllp!!
[2017/08/27 16:25] Marina Münter: hahahaha
[2017/08/27 16:25] Marina Münter: need to fix that
[2017/08/27 16:25] Kate: mabye not 😀

[2017/08/27 16:32] Kate: have you showed art in SL before or is this the first time?
[2017/08/27 16:33] Marina Münter: it is my first time here in SL, but in RL I was part of a collective exhibition of photography back in 2009
[2017/08/27 16:40] Marina Münter: my mother is an artist, and I grew up between exhibitions and installations
[2017/08/27 16:40] Kate: so it’s in your blood
[2017/08/27 16:40] Marina Münter: and I have this thing that I don’t see myself as an artist because no one really want to be like their parents haha
[2017/08/27 16:40] Marina Münter: it is a real struggle for me
[2017/08/27 16:40] Kate: true you want to do your own thing lol
[2017/08/27 16:40] Kate: yes i can imagine
[2017/08/27 16:41] Marina Münter: for the first time, with this exhibition now, I am allowing myself to be an artist
[2017/08/27 16:43] Marina Münter: the moment I told myself “ok, let’s do it” was when I found out a way to take better photos with my laptop
[2017/08/27 16:43] Marina Münter: and then is labor
[2017/08/27 16:43] Marina Münter: repetition
[2017/08/27 16:43] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 16:43] Marina Münter: because if you have, for example, an empty glass
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: you can pour water
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: drink it, then maybe use this glass to organize pencils
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: or make a small garden in it
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: break it and glue the pieces together
[2017/08/27 16:44] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: pile a bunch of glasses together
[2017/08/27 16:45] Marina Münter: the possibilities are infinite
[2017/08/27 16:45] Marina Münter: and I really think that the choices you make towards the subject are who you are
[2017/08/27 16:45] Marina Münter: the luggage you bring
[2017/08/27 16:45] Kate: so once you start doing it you know at some point where it will end or what it will become
[2017/08/27 16:45] Marina Münter: oh no
[2017/08/27 16:45] Kate: yes a subjective process
[2017/08/27 16:46] Marina Münter: I never know how it will end
[2017/08/27 16:46] Marina Münter: but I know from the moment it is done I want to get rid of it
[2017/08/27 16:46] Marina Münter: haha
[2017/08/27 16:46] Kate: you need to rid yourself of it lol
[2017/08/27 16:47] Kate: a really meaningful process, also hard, that you are going through right now then
[2017/08/27 16:47] Marina Münter: oh yes
[2017/08/27 16:47] Marina Münter: I am really obsessed with it
[2017/08/27 16:48] Marina Münter: started working on it from the moment I received the containers
[2017/08/27 16:48] Marina Münter: and didn’t really stop since
[2017/08/27 16:48] Kate: and you’ve been writing about this also
[2017/08/27 16:49] Marina Münter: lines
[2017/08/27 16:49] Marina Münter: I write lines
[2017/08/27 16:49] Kate: part of poems perhaps
[2017/08/27 16:49] Marina Münter: not sure
[2017/08/27 16:49] Marina Münter: maybe confessions
[2017/08/27 16:49] Kate: but they belong with the containers
[2017/08/27 16:52] Kate: its like sorting through chaos somehow
[2017/08/27 16:52] Marina Münter: yes
[2017/08/27 16:52] Kate: there is really nothing like the creative process to sort your feelings
[2017/08/27 16:52] Kate: you just get so caught up in it
[2017/08/27 16:53] Marina Münter: yep
[2017/08/27 16:53] Marina Münter: you grab them by the horns
[2017/08/27 16:53] Marina Münter: I can’t remember who told me that the first time but I try to keep that thought with me
[2017/08/27 16:53] Marina Münter: grab by the horns
[2017/08/27 16:53] Kate: tackle things

[2017/08/27 17:06] Marina Münter: so the containers are what i ended up using because I was born and I live in a port city
[2017/08/27 17:07] Marina Münter: I always see those bad boys being carried away or at the traffic jam
[2017/08/27 17:07] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 17:08] Marina Münter: and I kept thinking what on earth are they carrying
[2017/08/27 17:08] Marina Münter: and have you seen a port before?
[2017/08/27 17:08] Marina Münter: it is amazing
[2017/08/27 17:09] Kate: well there are a lot of ships and a lot of hustle and bustle
[2017/08/27 17:09] Marina Münter: and the colors are intense
[2017/08/27 17:09] Marina Münter: the smell of fuel and salt
[2017/08/27 17:10] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 17:10] Marina Münter: so I decided to put stories inside those containers now
[2017/08/27 17:11] Marina Münter: make them home of beautiful and disturbing things
[2017/08/27 17:11] Kate: make them alive somehow i guess too
[2017/08/27 17:12] Kate: this is really about subjectivity again
[2017/08/27 17:12] Kate: making objects subjective
[2017/08/27 17:14] Kate: well i imagine the content of each container is a collection of memories that come together and each create a story that doesn’t really have a name, but there is a feeling
[2017/08/27 17:14] Marina Münter: yes, you got it
[2017/08/27 17:14] Kate: we don’t really need to name things
[2017/08/27 17:14] Kate: naming is overrated lol
[2017/08/27 17:14] Marina Münter: but it is all there
[2017/08/27 17:14] Marina Münter: haha yes
[2017/08/27 17:15] Marina Münter: one of the things I like the most about contemporary art is that you can relate to them
[2017/08/27 17:15] Marina Münter: you can feel something or not
[2017/08/27 17:16] Marina Münter: art is language for me
[2017/08/27 17:16] Marina Münter: so if they can speak to me through their work, fantastic
[2017/08/27 17:17] Marina Münter: sometimes it gets lost in translation

Marina will be exhibiting in the same Non-Perishable exhibit space photographs that she took of the five containers. She will be inviting photographers to take pictures and we will show some of these images also. Visitors are welcome to take pics too and we are creating a Non-Perishable Flickr group for people to show their work. In an effort to make this project as interactive and immersive as possible, poses will be available in addition to the chairs that are already in the containers.

Finally, a special thanks to, in alphabetical order, Agustkov, Irina Forwzy, Lux Chiantelle, Megan Prumier, moon Edenbaum, Pari Dolia, William Weaver and Zygo Decosta, all of whom were integral parts in putting together the exhibit. Hope you are able to join us for the opening of this extraordinary installation on Friday. Please be on the lookout for in-world announcements as well as Flickr posting for details. Landmark will be available on the day of the opening.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

art in august

isa

As readers of this blog know by now, I like to start my monthly art reports with updates on my own gallery, Berg by Nordan Art. We are currently showing the installation The Swamp, by CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur, the photography exhibit Loss, by Senna Coronet, as well as the exhibit The Other (Gallery M), by Mich Michabo. All shows are accessible via teleport from the main gallery. Coming up in October, CapCat and Meilo have a new installation planned, one that will correspond with a real life exhibit. moon Edenbaum will show a photograph exhibit from October through December. More about this to come.

I finally visited Welcome to My Brain, by Isa Messioptra, curated by Lucy Butoh and Max Butoh, at dathuil. Essential to this exhibit are Phototools settings and detailed instructions are posted on the wall at the entrance. I’ve been wanting to see this exhibit for a while now, but have simply been too busy to make it. Upon arrival then, standing in front of a red wallpapered room containing a large brain, it hits me that dathuil has been completely transformed! This show is set on two levels, a new floor, walls and stairs have been installed. Isa notes about her work that [e]ver wanted to take a journey through the human brain? No, not really? Eew? Well too bad because I am going to make you. This new exhibit at Dathuil is different than anything I have worked on before. It is not just images but is intended to be an immersive experience. As you walk through the exhibit you travel through different chambers of the subconscious each completely different from the next much like a Fun House. In this exhibit I use light projection, reflective surfaces, mesh builds, photography, video, physics, animated textures etc. etc. The exhibit consists of several little scenes exploring unconscious experiences and corners of the brain. Intricately constructed displays and outstanding photography, bright colors, shiny textures, and light contribute to this being one of the most stellar exhibits I have seen this year. I bumped into Isa while I was visiting and she said about her work that I started experimenting with reflections and different animated surfaces so I figured I would pick the brain as a subject because it gives me license to do anything. Head over and check out this amazing exhibit, it will be open until the end of August.

The exhibit Selfies, by Burk Bode, curated by Fuyoko Amano (aka Wintergeist), at Club LA Gallery, opened July 30. The show consists of 16 large color portraits, contained in a large black box (suggested WL settings are Midnight or Ambient Dark). The photographs displayed here are sheer and layered, leaving the viewer with the sense of being in a labyrinth surrounded by multiple faces. About this exhibit, Burk notes that [c]hanging my look constantly as shapeshifter some of my shapes last for a day, for one picture, and some stay. A constant change, hard to keep as is this show. Hard to look at. Every look translucent and overlain by former or future versions of the “me.” I met up with Burk at Club LA, took some pics and we talked about his work.

[08:03] Burk Bode: I thought it would be nice to show some of the faces I made
[08:04] Burk Bode: as I was thinking of how to fill the box, I had the idea of making the pics translucent
[08:04] Burk Bode: so that you can see one face behind the other
[08:05] Burk Bode: like I do in my head
[08:05] Burk Bode: always the next idea already there while I still work on the actual one
[08:09] Kate: so this is really a representation of the images you see in your mind of people
[08:09] Kate: at the same time, multilayered
[08:09] Kate: its like thinking
[08:10] Burk Bode: yep
[08:10] Burk Bode: the split personality me
[08:10] Kate: well i think we all think that way somehow
[08:10] Kate: constant stimuli

A very cool exhibit and a must see. Head over and take a look before it closes in a week or so.

Split Screen, the installation art space curated by Dividni Shostakovich, received a six-month LEA Artist in Residence grant starting in July and is now located on LEA15. Congrats, Dividni! Currently on display as of yesterday are two new installations, EveryWhere and NoWhere by JadeYu Fhang, and The Games We Play by Krystali Rabeni. JadeYu’s work is the larger of the two and located on the ground level. Consisting of several small scenes on multiple levels, this complex work is made up of fantasy figures, ladders, metal beams, and chromosome-like shapes. There is movement, light and fog. The installation initially felt haphazardly put together to me. After a while, however, my impression of it being unfinished and random was replaced by a sense of immersion, a beautiful and purposeful chaos. Really well done, Jade. This installation can’t be rushed through, make sure to spend some time exploring. The work by Krystali consists of a huge chessboard, on it silver and gold chess pawns. Winged chess pieces are part of this installation as well, lending it a sense of movement and intrigue. Head over and take a look at these two installations before they close at the end of September.

There are a few other art events that should not be missed this month. Cica Ghost’s Future opened a few days ago. Her installation consists of a small, grayish island on which are positioned tall cement buildings, a large sea-animal observes the scene from the water. Cica provides about her work a quote by John Greene, “If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.” The installation Ripple, A Meditation on Waves, by Douglas Story & Desdemona Enfield (sonic environment by March Macbain a.ka. Emily Wilkins in RL), is a small visual sonic space where the visitor interacts with the environment. The Holly Kai Art in the Park August 2017 event features Dido Haas, Diamond Marchant, Cecilia Nansen Mode, Jes Mode and Fuyoko Amano (aka Wintergeist).

I know of at least two new shows scheduled to open at the end of August, both of them group exhibits. One at DaphneArts Gallery, curated by Sheldon BeRgman and Angelika Corall, and the other at IMAGO Art Gallery, curated by Mareea Farrasco. More of this to come in next month’s monthly art write-up!

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

north is open

I’ve been working on North for about two months now. There are still things that need to be finished, like windlight, music stream and some tweaking here and there, but I am more or less done. What started off as a desire to depict the Shetland Islands, over time turned into a northern landscape themed contemporary space. One trusted astute observer noted that “it’s an odd mix of city and country.” I think that is true. You will find on North wide open spaces, nature and ocean, but also a scruffy skateboard park and a garbage dumpster which at some point may turn into an anarchist headquarters (kidding). Still, overriding all this is a northern theme meant to induce an experience of something unspoilt, raw and serene. For optimal experience when visiting North, please set draw-distance to maximum and make sure that the LOD Factor is not too low (Advanced – Show Debug Dettings – RenderVolumeLODFactor), it should be between 4 and 8. Join the n o r t h inworld group in order to rezz (20 minute auto return). Feel free to post pics from North in the North Flickr group, would love to see your photographs.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

art in july

art in july

There is so much going on in the Second Life art world right now, it’s hard to keep up. Besides the installation The Swamp (image of Bloody Hands – The Church avatar above, free at landing), by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, the photograph exhibit Loss, by Senna Coronet, and the permanent Gallery M show The Other, by Mich Michabo, at my own gallery Berg by Nordan Art, there are some excellent art shows all over the grid.

There are two new shows at UTSA ArtSpace, curated by constructivIST Solo and Igor Ballyhoo; a collection of photographs by ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ and an installation by Romy Nayar. The new nineteen large mostly color, and a few black and white, photographs on display here by ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ are taken at The DNA Tower (Igor Ballyhoo), The Sacrificed Angel (Igor Ballyhoo), The Joy Formidable (Livio Korobase), Penumbra (CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur) and Empty Minds (Romy Nayar). They fit so well in the beautiful gallery build created by Igor. To me, each of ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦’s images has a dream-like quality, which draws me in and consistently holds my attention. There is a painterly quality to her work, which I think at this point has become a major aspect of her style. Bravo, ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦, such a strong collection. I never tire of looking at your photographs.

The installation Lamento by Romy Nayar consists of three parts. There is a small build in the gallery itself and two other parts accessible via teleport. Each little build consists of various figures, mostly women I think, that are part of a scene, displaying some form of metaphor. It’s hard to immediately grasp the meaning of these scenes, which all seem quite subjective, all in one way or another perhaps dealing with sadness or grief. To me, Romy’s work is becoming more and more surreal, which I like. There was always something magical about her installations and that has not changed.

There is a new exhibit, Creatures of Light, by Harbor Galaxy, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, at MetaLES. There are twenty large color images on display by Harbor in the intriguing MetaLES space. The space consists of a floor and walls enveloped in a solid, black velvet-like texture and a ceiling adorned with black and white geometric 3D shapes; dispersed in rows throughout are tall, white street-light-shaped poles. Ux and Romy, the talented curators of this place, continue recognizing that the environment housing the art plays an integral part of the overall display and presentation. Love it. It’s very modern and very much immersive virtual art. It struck me, when first viewing Harbor’s images from a distance, that they remind me of something the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock could have created. Looking closer, however, there is much more to it than that; the subject, lines, light and colors merge invisibly somehow. This is a change for Harbor from her previous style. She notes that [f]or those of you who are familiar with my work through Flickr or shows here inworld…CREATURES OF LIGHT may be something of a departure from my usual style. My objective was to use an avatar devoid of ornamentation and to only utilize poses, light and color to create these pieces and to give myself permission to play and to step outside my comfort zone. So great, Harbor; I am in awe of your utterly new and courageous  approach to virtual images.

There is a new exhibit, Absences, by Melusina Parkin, curated by Dido Haas, at Nitroglobus. Most of us know the images by Melusina from Flickr, where she regularly posts series of five or six photographs that display various themes. Her work is minimalist and I believe barely processed with any kind of photo-tools outside of Second Life. There is something incredibly captivating about viewing her series as each image provides a hint of an idea, but it is really the whole, all images in the series together, that leaves one with a lasting impression. The twelve large color images on display in the Nitroglobus address lack, specifically as it pertains to Second Life. Melusina notes about her exhibit that [a]bsence is a negative concept: it means that something should be there and it doesn’t. So, when we look at an empty place – a room, a seashore, a road or even a chair – we can’t avoid thinking of something or somebody who has been or will be there. That’s even more true when a world, including nature and landscape, is entirely made by humans, like Second Life does…[o]n the other hand, looking at empty spaces is stimulating: when humans aren’t there they can be everything. I love imagining what has happened in a place when people has gone. Or what will happen when it will be populated by people. Spaces and objects shape our behavior: they are the limits or the starts of our actions and of our imagination. This is a wonderful exhibit that should not be missed. Melusina’s photographs fit so beautifully in the Nitroglobus gallery, both compliment each other. Head over and take a look.

Let me end with a few comments about other noteworthy art events. The talented Imani Nayar has a new show, My Furillen, curated by Serene Footman, at Furillen. The exhibit Her and Him, by Hillany Scofield, at dathuil, has been extended over the summer months. There is a new multi-artist show, Beautiful Bizarre, at DaphneArts Gallery. DiXmiX Gallery had an opening of a retrospective group show, Best of 2016-2017, yesterday. There are regular rotating exhibits and weekend-themed events at the gallery Blue Orange, the most recent one, Vintage Circus Freak Show. Last, but not least, the Itakos Gallery has been awarded a LEA grant and the gallery relocated to a new sim, the LEA16 Itakos Project. The opening of the new location will take place tomorrow, Sunday, July 16, at 2PM SLT, make sure not to miss it.

As always when it comes to these monthly art reports, I feel I need to point out that there just is not enough time in the day to cover every exhibit. So there are great Second Life art shows out there that I didn’t cover, my apologies. Let me mention here also that I have rarely experienced as vibrant an art world as we see it right now in our metaverse. More than ever before, we see sim-sized installations and photograph exhibits of incredible quality, all pulled together in collaboration by visionary artists and compassionate curators. We are not getting any kind of monetary reward for doing this, we are all driven simply by the pleasure of creating and sharing art. Bravo, thank you to all and keep it coming!

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf
Exhibit posters by respective galleries and artists

Senna Coronet at Berg by Nordan Art

Opening this Sunday, July 9, at 11 AM SLT, at Berg by Nordan Art, is the exhibit Loss, by Senna Coronet (in Second Life, Sennaspirit Coronet). I am pleased that Senna and I also found time for an interview, which is now published in my other blog, The Virtual Review. Senna has been active in SL since 2006. An avid, and one of our most outstanding, virtual world photographer, he notes that I once thought this image making thing in SL was a bit embarrassing, however, after 2 extended “holidays” away from SL I realized that I loved this part of my life and returned in both instances because I missed making images in SL. That’s the absolute truth. I missed my friends for sure, but the image making part was at the root of my return. I studied art in college and was always interested in the arts even from a young age. So, now that I’m not so young, I’m impressed that I’ve been consistently drawn to creative type endeavors and quite happy that Second Life provides a unique forum to get quench my creative thirst and do so with some really fantastic friends and creative types. No doubt, most of us creatives can relate to these words of wisdom about the virtual world and photography. I know I can.

Senna’s exhibit Loss is a deeply personal one, consisting of fourteen new images and dedicated to his friend and photographer Amona Savira, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Amona had agreed to show at Berg by Nordan Art for the period July through September 2017 and Senna graciously agreed to exhibit in her stead. About Loss Senna states that [t]his show is dedicated to my good friend Amona Savira, who left us earlier this year quite unexpectedly. Her passing was an absolute shock to me but sadly it was just one of a few losses I suffered this year. When Kate asked me to fill in this show slot that had been intended for Amona, I was happy to try and do it justice, even though other pressures didn’t seem to want me to complete it. I think what I experienced this year with all the events in my life, is that regardless of how tragic and harsh things can be, you cannot let things consume you and paralyze you. Suffering, remorse, sadness are all healthy emotions but they must not take over your life. Come join us in the gallery for the opening on Sunday. I will send out group announcements with information as we get closer to the date.

Exhibit poster by Senna Coronet

North

draw me a sheep...

I am putting together a new sim called North. It all started as an inspiration based on an ever-stronger desire to live away from the big city and move to rugged nature somewhere in the remote north. I created two other places a few years ago, one was Winter and the other Leka, both of which, looking back, I think I put together too quickly. So I knew I wanted to take my time with North and I have.

Inspired by the Shetland Islands in Scotland, where Scotland meets Scandinavia and the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, I envision North as raw, serene and still. While I want it to be as true to the original islands as possible, I am not set on having it be a perfect replica. Open space, remote buildings, nature, and ocean are themes, not part of a perfectly constructed reproduction.

I learned going through this virtual sim creating process that there are both practical and emotional aspects involved. The tangible characteristics require some virtual world technical expertise, like, for instance, terraforming. The emotional aspects of sim building have to do with introspection and personality.

Those of you who put together sims already know what the practical initial tasks at hand are; terraforming, ground textures, layout. Then the adding of objects; rocks and stones, grass and flowers, buildings and objects, animals and animate objects. It is important to me that the sim is unique and different and this, truthfully, becomes the greatest challenge of all. I keep reminding myself that less is usually more. If I can avoid it, I don’t use popular objects that are immediately recognizable. Not always possible, but I try. I am also selective when it comes to the quality of the items I place on the sim. This involves digging deep into my inventory and also a lot of running around looking for things that might fit.

Taking time to create provides the opportunity for things to enfold. Just like when creating a painting, or when editing a virtual photograph for that matter, things look different on different days. There are days when my imagination seems to know no bounds and my creativity flourishes. These are the days when I excitedly add to the sim an incredibly detailed sewing room or a dilapidated urban skateboard park. Then there are other times when I am overwhelmed by the entire process and just want to throw in the towel. On those days I seem to just be aimlessly shuffling things from one place to another.

When putting together a sim and the practical and emotional are thoughtfully integrated, I think the end-result becomes a meaningful and inspiring sim ambience that in one way or another reflects the creators persona. I hope to get this project done soon and I look forward to sharing it with you then.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf