Crestwick

1As the reader who regularly reads this blog knows, I tried to visit the beautiful Crestwick Island the other day but was distracted by The Broad Street Gallery, located close to the town landing point, and didn’t get very far. Almost the same thing happened today, this time with a book store, Saffronia’s Used Books. I could have spent hours in that used book store!  Luckily, I was not alone and was pulled away and we could continue on our way.

2I haven’t been this impressed by a place in Second Life in a really long time. Crestwick falls in the same category as other stellar Second Life locations like Roche, Basilique, and, the now unfortunately no longer existing, The Colder Water. One can immediately sense that a lot of love, effort and time have been invested into the making of this little town and its surroundings. I know how hard it is to put something like this together, I’ve spoken about it before in this blog when I was working on Leka; there is a constant struggle to find a way to make something different and personal. Most sims look the same. But the creators of Crestwick, Isa Messioptra and Cipher (Ciphertazi Wandin), have succeeded in creating something unique and very cool.

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I think it is safe to say that Crestwick is full of surprises. And I am not just saying that. I will not get into it too much here; I don’t want to spoil it so you have to find out for yourselves. The attention to detail in this place is remarkable; winding country roads, careful placed trees and seating areas, adorable little stores and street corners. I also really like the layout of the sim itself; there is a seamless integration of the town, countryside and water areas that works well. The ground textures are really, really good. I could go on and on. What ultimately also makes this place work so well I think is that it is a lot of fun and there is plenty of interaction between people visiting. I know I spoke to at least five people I had never spoken to before today and I can’t remember when that last happened in a Second Life location like this. Head over and take a look if you haven’t already.

4Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

Obedience

1Obedience opened on LEA 1 this past week and we headed over and took a look, but did not have enough time to see the entire exhibit. Then I watched the captivating machinima on Obedience by Iono Allen a few days ago, inspired I decided to return today. Obedience, by Jo Ellsmere and Bryn Oh, is a Second Life installation that is simultaneously also on display at The Jewish Museum in Berlin, there created by Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke, aka Rose Borchovski in Second Life.

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This installation is based on a biblical story about Abraham and his son Isaac, in which God instructs Abraham to sacrifice Isaac but then ultimately at the end withdraws his command. There is a modern twist to the story as presented here and contemporary objects created by Bryn Oh serve as symbols throughout. Towards the end of this work are the astonishing twenty-four elders, also part of the biblical story, created by Jo Ellsmere. There is a constant shifting of movement amongst these avatars as they read, move around in their seats or take turns to get up and walk. To me, this was without doubt the highlight of the exhibit as I found myself in an almost trance like state observing these figures. This monumental work will be open until mid-September. Head over and take a look.

3Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

Art Is Image

Snapshot_002I’m falling a little behind and need to catch up on art exhibits and installations. My first visit is at the Art Is Image exhibit at the gallery Trésor de l’Art by art director Duna Gant. The opening was this past Thursday, I missed it, but was informed by a reliable source that the opening was a great success and very crowded. The exhibit provides an interesting combination of sculptures by Second Life veteran artist Nessuno Myo and machinimas by master machinima-makers Holala Alter, Wizardoz Chrome, Yesikita Coppola, Gregory Kappler, Tutsy Navarathna and Mary Wickentower. Nessuno’s sculptures are placed throughout the circular space of the gallery and large film screens, one for each machinima-maker, are positioned along the surrounding walls. This is an interesting concept, mixing sculpture and film, and it works really well. Head over and take a look.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

The Broad Street Gallery

Snapshot_001Intrigued by numerous blog posts and Flickr photographs, I headed over to the newly opened sim Crestwick Island for a quick stop before calling it a night. I didn’t get very far, however, as pretty much immediately a little gallery, The Broad Street Gallery, caught my eye. Partial to small galleries and, most recently, also to Flickr photographs, I ended up spending my entire time in this intimate exhibit space. Presently, there are eleven fine images by Isa Messioptra to be seen here. The build by Eku Zhong for Culprit is ideal for a gallery. Well done, looking forward to visiting again!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Additional Thoughts on Flickr

Snapshot_004I’ve been thinking some more about the meaning of Flickr for those of us who are in Second Life. What follows are additional thoughts on virtual world communication (see also The Importance of Flickr) and then some comments on creativity and Flickr non-user-friendliness.

Meaningful experiences in Second Life are captured in photographs and then posted on Flickr. The responses to our photographs from other Flickr members are important to us and an extension of our Second Life communication process. When posting our photographs we want to share our Second Life experiences with others and we want their feedback.  We also want to see what others are experiencing by looking at their images and provide them with our feedback. This photograph-feedback-loop process is an attempt to make sense of our virtual experiences.

One of the main reasons I am in Second Life is because of creativity. I thrive on being creative and also on experiencing and promoting the creativity of others. I find this is indeed true when it comes to Flickr as well. I enjoy tremendously spending time taking a photo in Second Life, thinking about what I want to do with it, processing it using an image-editing software and then posting it on Flickr. The entire time I spend doing this I am being creative. It involves generating new ideas, problem solving and communication of values. I also derive much pleasure from looking at photographs by others on Flickr. When I come across a photo I like, I am usually significantly moved by it in some way or another.

Lastly, however, let me also just say this: as much as I enjoy it, Flickr is not particularly user friendly. I am struggling at times, just as I did initially in Second Life, to figure things out. For instance, how does one include photographs in a private group without other Flickr members seeing them? In the photograph comment section, how does one include in a thank you response the icon of person who commented on the photograph? How does one create a gallery? I’m still fairly new to Flickr, but still, these seem like fairly standard actions that should not be too complicated to figure out. I am excited about learning more about Flickr and also about the Flickr/Second Life connection. This is all for now on this topic, but there may be more in the future. Keep on posting those photographs, I know I will.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

The Importance of Flickr

Snapshot_002I am quite overcome by Flickr at the moment. I didn’t use to be. I had created an account several years ago and it just sat there. I didn’t really get what all the hype was about. I remember thinking even that it was just a futile narcissistic exercise; a repetitive posting of images of the self, propelled by a staggering amounts of “likes.” And maybe that is part of what it is, but it is certainly not all. There are at least two noteworthy reasons that make Flickr important for us in the virtual world; one is communication and the other one is art. Communication in Second Life is about expression with images and with Flickr we have discovered another way to communicate in this way. Flickr has become an extension of Second Life itself. In terms of art, there is a new kind of art being expressed and developed on Flickr. I think there are still no obvious guidelines and only very little sense of what kind of direction this new art photography form will take. But it is there.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Bijou

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STYLE CARD:

★ Top: Dorothy Shirt (White) by E-Clipse for Shiny Shabby
★ Shorts: Cuffed Denim Shorts (Dark Blue) by Aphorism for FaMESHed
★ Shoes: Sandra Sandals (Blue) by Pure Poison for Shiny Shabby
★ Necklace: Bijou Collection (Tigers Eye) by E-Clipse for Shiny Shabby
★ Sunglasses: BAIA Sunglasses (White) by Tabloid
★ Hair: Raquel Ponytail (Brunette) by Rowne
★ Eye Makeup: Kat Eyes (Black) by :Little Pricks:
★ Skin: Emma (*peche*) by Essences
★ Mesh Body: Lara by Maitreya
★ Freckles: Chocolate Splits by DeeTaleZ
★ Eyes: Look Eyes (Emerald) by Amacci
★ Pose: Melancholic Flower by Del May
★ House: Neva Chapel by Scarlet Creative
★ Location: Leka

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Eyerotica at dathuil

Snapshot_001The exhibit Eyerotica by Ashratum at dathuil Gallery of Art is open until the end of May. I headed over today, curious, didn’t want to miss it.  This is without doubt one of the most elegant galleries with one of the coolest exhibits in Second Life right now.  The erotic photographs by Ash are stunning; sometimes playful, sometimes beautiful and sometimes just raw. Strategically disbursed throughout the gallery space are cameras available for the visitors to use. When clicked, each camera provides a close-up erotic image, also by Ash, providing a right-in-your-face sort of erotic moment. Very clever and an important part of the general voyeurism-themed exhibit experience.

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The gallery itself, housed in a 1930’s distillery, is outstanding. Built by Loz Hyde of Meshworx and owned and curated by Max Butoh, it stands in a class of its own. The building is large and perfectly suited as a gallery space. A large wall with floor to ceiling windows faces the water and provides light. A few items, a group of copper whiskey stills, desks and seating areas, are placed in such a way as not to interfere with the photographs of the exhibit. Great job putting together this space, my compliments. Head over and take a look at the gallery and the works by Ash before it closes by the end of this month. You will not want to miss it.

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Top and bottom photographs by Kate Bergdorf
Middle photograph by Ashratum photographed by Kate Bergdorf