places to visit now

la-digue-du-braek

There are several interesting places to visit right now. One is the the very recently opened La Digue du Braek, created by Serene Footman and Mlle Jade Koltai Jacuzzi, who also put together Furillen and Pravum Est. Teleporting in to this sim, one lands on sand. There is is a sense of not knowing where to turn and what to do next as no directions are provided. I really appreciate this opportunity to explore, to find my own way. Nice touch. Walking up to the top of a small dune then, one then stands in front of a waterway, on the opposite side industrial builds, completely unexpected. My curiosity peaked. About La Digue du Braek, Jade and Serene note that [i]nspired by La Digue du Braek, a 7km long road near to Dunkerque, flanked by a beach on one side, and heavy industry on the other – a perfect tension between nature and machine. Head over and take a look and if you bring your camera don’t forget to post your pics in the La Digue du Braek Flickr group. The other intriguing place that recently opened, and which has already become immensely popular, is the sim One Caress by the talented sim designer duo Squonk Levenque and Miuccia Klaar (the two also previously created H22O, 2304 Rain, and Treptower Park). One Caress is rainy and dreary, just like most of us love it for SL places to be. Gloomy-looking trees, bears, rusty furniture, and whimsical builds come together here to create a beautiful photogenic whole. Bravo Squonk and Miuccia. Head over and take a look and don’t forget to post your pics in the One Caress Flickr group. The last place worth a visit is Mineral Ridge, a grungy old mining town; a town once booming in the mining industry a now eerie place to visit. Come explore the unknown because the biggest fear in life is the fear of not knowing what lurks around the corner or just a few feet down the street. There are plenty of things to explore here and many photo-worthy corners. Head over and take a look!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

flickr and art

flickr-and-art

Now and then we notice in our Flickr community commentary about certain photographs not being art. Some of these comments are nice, some are not so nice. These comments generally posit that images of nudity and sex are more popular and as they are thus favored more often and get more comments they must then not really be art. I will not get into here what is art and what is not art, but just suggest that images posted on Flickr are both and neither. Flickr is a unique modern phenomenon that is hard to define. It is a platform for creativity and some photographs are clearly better than others. It is also a community, a place where we exchange and express our experiences in the virtual world. Flickr has different meanings for different people. Personally, I like Flickr because others inspire me; I learn from them. I post my photos for feedback and it is unimportant to me whether or not my images are considered art or not. It just doesn’t matter that much. Many of us get excited when we see an image we like and can relate to and we give it a comment and a star. Why is this perceived by some as being so wrong? It has perhaps something to do with the strange phenomenon that the images created by people who consider themselves artists usually get less stars and less comments. I don’t know why some of the more artistic pictures get less attention on Flickr and I have wondered about it myself. Could it also be that some virtual world artists feel frustrated by a general lack of recognition, not only on Flickr but also inworld, and are in fact envious of some Flickr photographers getting more attention (i.e, Flickr stars, comments, followers) than they themselves do? Just saying.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

art in november

from-here-on-there-be-dragons

There is plenty of art to be seen in SL in November. Currently at my own gallery, Berg by Nordan Art, we have The Joy Formidable, by Livio Korobase, and L’avion en Papier, by ◦⊱Mi⊰◦, both open until the end of the year. My first stop on my gallery tour this morning then was the recently opened From here on there be dragons, by Alpha Auer, curated by Dividini Shostakovich, at Split Screen Installation Space. The installation will be open until the end of January 2017. First off, let me just say, nobody does gold in SL like Alpha Auer (previously covered here). This installation consists of several large golden dragons, mirrored in the renaissance map surface below, and surrounded by modern geometric black structures. Alpha notes that [w]hen Medieval and Renaissance map makers got to the edge of the world, they used to write “beyond this place there be dragons,” meaning dangerous or unexplored territories that sailors should beware of before attempting to cross into them. This was expressed by the visual practice of putting dragons, sea serpents and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps. In this installation I have used a Renaissance map, a leaf from Abraham Ortelius’s “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum,” as the floor of a dark, geometric architecture which floats high in the sky, depicting an abstract, reflected world guarded by tangibly real-looking dragons. Alpha Auer, aka Elif Ayiter, is a designer, educator and researcher, you can read more about what she does on her website.

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My second gallery stop was the exhibit Always Closer, by the French artist Lil’ Frenchie elo, curated by Dido Haas at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery. The exhibit will be open until the end of December 2016. Here we find sixteen large photographs, mostly studies of BDSM, beautifully put together and quite expressive. Elo notes that [s]ubmission is the ability to give the best of you to the one you love, without any questioning about the reasons of this love. It’s there, that’s all and you must show it, you must say it, and get Always Closer to it, because life is too short. Great job putting this together Elo, congratulations.

untitled

At MetaLES, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, is still open on the ground the installation Tumor by Igor Ballyhoo. In the MetaLES sky space can be found the exhibit, Tout Est Allume, by  Tutsy Navarathna. This is a compilation of 16 machinima and 19 animated shorts by Tutsy. About this exhibit, he notes that [a] friend of mine, Etienne Armand Amato, once mentioned this: It’s because we only have one life we need . . . several. Virtual reality, augmented reality, virtual life, immersive worlds … These new words describe a part of our future. My movies in Second Life try to show how virtuality is part of our reality. The influence it has on our thoughts, our artistic creations, our friendly or romantic relationships. A phenomenon still very young, virtual life has a bright future and like all major revolutions it is worth to see more closely, trying to understand, even flying too close to the sun and burn your wings . . . The show will be open until the end of the year.

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Lastly, we have an exhibit an multi-artist exhibit by Maloe Vansant, Fingers Scintilla and Dixmix Source at the DIXMIX Gallery, which opens tomorrow, Wednesday, November 23 at 12 PM SLT. Head over to the opening if you can, it promises to be a great exhibit by these three talented photographers.

Photograph on top by Kate Bergdorf

amber dress

amber-dress

New Amber dress in colors Burgundy, Cocoa, Herringbone Black, Herringbone Blush, Herringbone Brown, Herringbone Bronze, Herringbone Hunter, Herringbone Navy, Onyx, Tartan Grey, Tartan Heather, Tartan Rust and Tartan Steel by Clef de Peau for Shiny Shabby. Pose by Le Poppycock.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

best second life galleries 2016

best-second-life-galleries-2016

As the year gradually comes to an end, it is time for my list of the fifteen best second life art galleries again. Just like my Best Second Life Galleries 2015 list, this is a completely subjective compilation, which includes both in-house galleries and large sim-installation spaces showing only SL art. I am considering for the gallery list the quality of the art shown in the gallery, the curator investment and dedication to the gallery itself and, finally, the uniqueness of the gallery build or space. Like last year, I am only including galleries that exhibit artists on a rotating basis. Some of the galleries that were on last year’s list are still there. Others have been removed to make room for new ones. Just like last year, I apologize in advance for not having included all galleries and I also may have missed some that in fact should have made the list. If anyone thinks that a gallery should be on this list, but it is not, please contact me. Let me just mention here also that the arts are still alive and kicking in SL! Noteworthy for the year of 2016 is I think that we have seen an influx of excellent smaller galleries showing photography and, sadly, a decline in larger spaces showing installations. Below please find in alphabetical order the Best Second Life Galleries 2016 list.

Name: ArtSpace at UTSA Gallery
Curator/Owner: constructivIST Solo
About: Gallery space and full-sim installation area

Name: Berg by Nordan Art
Curator/Owner: Kate Bergdorf
About: Gallery space and full-sim installation area

Name: Crossworlds Gallery
Curator/Owner: Fabilene Cortes
About: Multi-gallery complex

Name: DaphneArts Gallery
Curator/Owner: Angelika Corral and Sheldon
About: Gallery Space

Name: dathuil Gallery of Art
Curators/Owners: Max Butoh and Lucy Diamond
About: Gallery space

Name: Hills Gallery
Curator/Owner: Hills
About: Gallery space

Name: KaFu Ato gallery at Hafenviertel
Curator/Owner: Katy Amano/Wintergeist
About: Gallery Space

Name: Lollygagger Art Center
Curator/Owner: Chrissssy
About: Gallery Space

Name: MetaLES
Curators/Owners: Ux Hax and Romy Nayar
About: Full-sim installation area

Name: Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (former Nitroglobus)
Curator/Owner: Dido Haas
About: Gallery space

Name: Split Screen Installation Space
Curator/Owner: Dividni Shostakovitch
About: Half-sim installation space

Name: Tart Gallery
Curator/Owner: Byrne Darkly Cazalet
About: Gallery space

Name: The Galleries (NORTH, WEST, and EAST)
Curator/Owner: Ernie Farstrider
About: Multi-gallery complex

Name: The Pretentious Gallery (former Broad Street Gallery)
Curator/Owner: Isa Missantropa
About: Gallery space

Name: The White Canvas Gallery
Curator/Owner: G o o d c r o s s
About: Gallery space

winter trace

winter-trace

The Winter Trace sim, by renowned landscaper and decorator team Kylie Jaxxon and Elvira Kytori, is now open. It was fun visiting today, bumping into many Flickr photographers who most I assume were there for the same reason that I was, namely to take photos. There was actually a kind of tangible excitement in the air, at least I thought so! Some of us were not at all dressed for the cold weather and zoomed home and put on proper attire and then returned, inspired. A gentle but steady snowfall falls over hills and valleys here, covering roof tops and trees with a gentle layer of snow. The trademark Trace sim combination of various kinds of grass, trees and other kinds of vegetation mix beautifully here with fabulous builds. There are of course plenty of poses to use here too. Head over and take a look, enjoy and make sure to post your pics in The Trace Flickr group.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf