Visiting Bryn Oh’s The Singularity of Kumiko

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I visited Bryn Oh’s The Singularity of Kumiko today. The installation opened on February 14, 2014 and is sponsored by a media grant from the Ontario Arts Council. As expected, this is an art experience close to perfection. Not only the exhibit itself, but the directions on how to best experience it are impressive. At the landing point are detailed instructions on posters (for multiple viewers) on how to set light and sound. There are also small tables with more notes about sound and text. There is a head lamp to wear and use. There are instructions on how to open the door. While it is certainly time-consuming to read and take in all this information I utterly appreciate the effort to optimize the visitor’s viewing experience. Once one enters the exhibit itself through the round red door it is, as pre-warned and expected, dark. It now becomes clear why the head light is imperative as a guide. I comprehend the purpose of the darkness, but still wished for more light as I wandered (and fumbled and stumbled) through the installation. I get that the darkness lends to this work a sense of being lost and helpless and alone and together with the beautiful objects and stunningly narrated scenes by Bryn this has without doubt been successfully achieved. Sound, light, scripting, objects, juxtaposition and story-telling come together beautifully here to create a meaningful immersive whole. There is no question in my mind that this work is poetic. Still, too dark. Ultimately, of course, this is also  quality of artistic expression rarely experienced in Second Life©. Head over to Immersiva and take a look for yourself. This exhibit has been widely blogged about, here are some blog posts I like: Bryn Oh, Division Street/Divided PathHonour McMillan’s Post Menopausal View (of Second Life), Ziki Questi’s Blog, Prim Perfect. Below is a video trailer by Bryn Oh that does this work much more justice than the photo above taken by me.

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Becoming…

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For the French philosopher Pierre Lévy the virtual does not oppose the real. Virtuality is not about possibility, but about potency. The possible is just like the real but without an existence. There is no realization for the virtual, only the potency of what it may become. Virtuality is in the intangible moment between what was and what will be.

Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu at Lost Town.

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Spring 2014: The Jumpsuit

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A few days ago a new sim by Romy Rosea and Jac Mornington (creator of the lovely beach sim Baja Norte) opened. It is only available to the public for a short time period and then for members of the group only. One enters this sim, Santaurio, as part of the quite dramatic scene of a plane crash with inflatable life jackets available at landing. While the entering the island via a plane crash honestly left me a little shook up, I soon realized that the crash is part of an overall experience of this sim and the notion of ending up on a deserted island itself. The island is extremely well-done and beautiful with lots of intimate spots and plenty of places to take photos. In the photograph above, I am wearing a new jumpsuit by Monica Outlander from the recently released 2014 MIAMAI Spring collection. I love the flow of this garment, the length of the pants,  the neck line and also the belt (which comes with a HUD with several texture options). The jumpsuit costs L$550 and comes in many colors and patterns.

     STYLE CARD:

★ Jumpsuit: Bianka (Black) by MIAMAI
★ Shoes: Mae Platform (Black) by [Gos]
★ Earrings: White Diamond Earring by Paper Couture
★ Skin: Emma (*peche*) by Essences
★ Hair: Carol (Golden Brown) by Amacci
★ Eyes: Look Eyes (Shock Green) by Amacci
★ Pose: Stoic by Del May

Photography by Kate Bergdorf

The Sweetest Nook

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This is truly one of the cutest pieces of furniture I have ever come across in Second Life©. Shaped like a huge kleenex box, with a carved out cloud as interior, this little nook is just the optimal hideaway. It sort of reminds me a little of being a child again hanging out in a secret place built of chairs and blankets, using a flash light to read books. Created by Divine Falodir (aka Kyle), for Lame Furniture, the Skye’s Nook is 14 prims and costs L$599. The nook has  exterior texture wood options as well as interior fabric texture options and comes with singles (M/F/Uni) and couples poses. My only complaint is that the three lights inside are merely decor, they don’t actually provide light. Otherwise, I utterly adore this little hideout.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Four Installations Currently at LEA

The Linden Endowment of the Arts (LEA) is a Linden Lab sponsored entity that promotes artists in Second Life©. I am not always enthusiastic about the work that is being shown by LEA, but recently there have been installations that have caught my eye on LEA 6, LEA 10, LEA 12, and LEA 25. Significant about all these works, besides that they are all very different from each other and incredibly well done, is that they can’t really be shown anywhere else but in the virtual world. As several bloggers have already visited most of these installations I will not go into great detail commenting on them here, but rather add links to the blogs who already provide write-ups.

LEA 6: Heartseed The Wild Side (Jedda Zenovka)

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Heartseed The Wild Side can be found on LEA 6. Suggested sky setting is [EUPHORIA] bergamot and water setting [TOR] Placida brite (I used both for the photo above). This is the beautifully organic seeming and quite energetic work by the artist Jedda Zenovka.  Music is an integral part of her work, make sure to turn it on. Jedda Zenovka has her own space, also named Heartseed with the same name where she has been creating her spectacular work for years. Check out Ziki Questi’s post for more information on this work: Ziki Questi’s Blog.

LEA 10: Transit’t – Taciturnly (Selavy Oh and Mimesis Monday)

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The next work, Transit’t – Taciturnly on LEA 10, is a collaboration between Selavy Oh and Mimesis Monday.  Basically, this is a sim covered in constantly moving large white translucent round spheres. The viewer wanders through this field of moving bubbles experiencing all kinds of emotions, one of them, certainly, is a sense of constriction. But I also find this work captivating and rather beautiful, mostly I think because of the large-scale. Where, other than in Second Life, can one wander around in a field of humongous shifting bubbles? Check out Honour McMillan’s blog for more about this installation: Honour’s Post Menopausal View (of Second Life).

 LEA 12: Virtual interpretation of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (by theoxyz aka tomm.pye)

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On the neighboring sim to LEA 10 is LEA 12. It is unclear to me whether the current installation on LEA 12 is even open to the public since I don’t remember having heard anything about an opening. I took a look anyway and found a remarkable virtual interpretation by theoxyz (tomm.pye) of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. Since I am uncertain about whether or not this work is completely done, I will not comment on it here. Let me just say, the detail and thought that has been put into creating it so far is nothing short of astonishing.

 LEA 25: Sauce (Maya Paris)

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Last, but not least, I visited Sauce by Maya Paris on LEA 25. I have long been a fan of her work and Sauce does not disappoint. Maya Paris’ work is interactive (please take time to read card and follow instructions), filled with all kinds of sounds and funny poses, infused with humor and incredibly well-crafted. This particular installation is about love, dating and relationships, poking and making fun of all. Inara Pey, Honour McMillan and Ziki Questi have all written blog posts on this installation: Living in the Modem World, Honour’s Post Menopausal View (of Second Life) and Ziki Questi’s Blog.

Photography by Kate Bergdorf

Spring 2014: The Polka Dot Dress

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Spring has arrived and it is time for a fashion post. I headed over to the sim NorderNey earlier today and fell in love with the serenity of the place. Thought it might be a good spot for photo shot and totally lucked out with this doorway with the beautiful curtain that is moving in the wind. I just can’t get enough of this little polka dot dress with the wide powder-blue waist ribbon by Juliette Westerburg for Tres Blah that I picked up at Collaborator88 today. I am a little obsessed with dots in general right now, be it on a dress, a blouse or even a skirt. The dot is simple and classically pretty. I also found a gorgeous headband with a large white flower attached to a veil to go with the dress. The peep-toe fuchsia pumps I think gives this outfit a little bit of an edge.

      STYLE CARD:

★ Dress: Fluffy Dress (Polka Dots) by Tres Blah
★ Shoes: Lauren d’Orsay (Tourmaline) by [Gos]
★ Headband: Oversized Flower Headband Veil by Paper Couture
★ Skin: Emma (*peche*) by Essences
★ Hair: Bacall Bob (brown) by Paper Couture
★ Eyes: Look Eyes (Shock Green) by Amacci
★ Pose: Composed by Del May

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

 

Ebbe Altberg at VWBPE

Yesterday, Ebbe Altberg, the recently appointed Linden Lab CEO, spoke at the 2014 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education conference. While I was unable to attend this event myself, I found a video by Mal Burns, official videographer for the VWBPE,  that captures the entire presentation. Judging by the posts and comments on various blogs, it was an incredibly successful event that started off with an opening discussion by Ebbe Altbert and was followed by an audience Q&A. Please see below for the video by Mal Burns.

The FlowerBall

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The FlowerBall is a large round shape divided into five layers of macro photography with music. This Second Life© project is created by Douglas Story (photography, prims and general concept), Desdemona Enfield (scripts) and AldoManutio Abruzzo (soundscapes) and sponsored by California State University Long Beach. The installation is significant for many reasons, one of them being historical. The FlowerBall was first shown on the virtual campus of Princeton University in 2007. At that time, it was widely blogged about and nominated as one of the Top 10 Art Installations of Second Life by the blog New World Notes. It is such a treat to have this work back in Second Life. It is quite remarkable, considering the technical advancements that have taken place in Second Life since 2007 (mesh etc.), how current the project still feels.  But I digress, back to the installation itself. The FlowerBall really consists of two parts. The first part is an entrance of sorts where you will be provided instructions on how to proceed. First, walk through a tunnel and second, fly to the big ball (make sure to set to midnight and turn up volume). Once you are in the big ball, slowly fly upward from one level to the next. Being inside the FlowerBall is a zen-like experience; the gentle movements, the gorgeously subtle flower images and the sound (that also changes from level to level) come together beautifully. Douglas Story, in a notecard that is provided at the landing, notes that [t]he inspiration for FlowerBall came from the feeling that accompanies the best examples of my close-up floral photos: that of being inside the inner chamber of the flower. I think Douglas Story’s statement most accurately depicts a viewer’s experience of this project. There is a sense of being enveloped inside a magical space. Other bloggers have written about this work as well, make sure to check out the post by Ziki Questi, which I thought provided a nice overview.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf