Saint Pete City

Sainte Pete City

After much waiting and high expectations, Saint Pete City finally opened yesterday. And let me just tell you, Neva Crystall did it again! This location is like a step back in time; a beautiful little town center with a fountain, water front homes, a book store, stately homes, and a hotel amongst other things, adorn this gorgeous place. Neva has successfully integrated here the best items by many of our favorite content creators. There is a way in which she puts a space like this together, the positioning of a dog or the location of an object on a table, that is just different and beautiful in a very meaningful way and I think speaks to all of us. I really don’t know how she does it, her sims are incredibly inspirational. We visited earlier this morning, we were stuck at the fountain since we couldn’t move because of the lag. This is of course a very popular place already; it was really nice to just hang out a little and say hello to some Flickr photographers one really rarely encounters in Second Life otherwise. I returned later today and it was much better in terms of the lag and I could move freely. Thank you Neva, for providing us with such sweet and beautiful places!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Advertisements

Changes on Nordan om Jorden

Changes on Nordan om Jorden

I removed Leka today and the sim Nordan om Jorden will be closed for the next two weeks. During this time the Berg by Nordan Art gallery and L’annexe will be closed as well as we will be putting up Giovanna Cerise’s new installation on the sim on the ground and installing Sina Sousa’s new exhibit in the gallery in the sky. These are exciting times on Nordan om Jorden! We are looking forward to the opening of Berg by Nordan Art on Nordan om Jorden on October 11 and hope to see you then.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

September Song

September SongSTYLE CARD

★ Dress: Juniper Maxi Sweater (Black) by Dead Dollz for Shiny Shabby
★ Hair: September Song (Browns) by Vanity Hair for Shiny Shabby
★ Skin: Emma (*peche*) by Essences
★ Mesh Body: Lara by Maitreya
★ Freckles: Chocolate Splits by DeeTaleZ
★ Eyes: Look Eyes (Emerald) by Amacci
★ Pose: Hippy Bitch by Del May

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Le Mont Saint Michel

Le Mont Saint Michel

Yet another popular sim, Mont Saint Michel, is closing by the end of this month. The Second Life Mont Saint Michel, a replica of the island commune with the same name in Normandy France, has attracted crowds of visitors over the past years. Truly a gem as far as Second Life destinations go, the closing of this place has already been heavily blogged about. I visited several times in the past, walking up and down the little roads, camming in and out to take in the full view of the grand abbey. While this construction is certainly an impressive build as far as craftsmanship and details go, it also reminds me a little bit of old times in Second Life when high quality textures weren’t readily available and most trees felt “too green.” Wandering around for a last time today, I felt a bit nostalgic. Head over before the month is over to take a look for your self.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Metamorfaces

Corridor

There is something remarkable that has happened on LEA 10. The installation Metamorfaces, by Art Oluja. I haven’t been as impressed by a LEA exhibit in a very long time. The opening is on Thursday, September 24 at 7AM SLT and you really don’t want to miss it. This is the work by one courageous woman who used creativity within Second Life as a process to transform. I met with Art tonight and she was kind enough to walk me through her installation. She eventually revealed to me that she had a while back unexpectedly suffered severe facial palsy. Here is Art’s comment from the note card available at the exhibit landing point: One morning, I woke up to troubled dreams, and realized, I was in a state of metamorphosis. Like a spider trapped under skin, paralysis slowly crawled across my face, suffocating the sensation in my lips, then taking away my ability to taste, swallow, or speak normally. For the following months the distortion continued; I couldn’t smile, frown, laugh or cry, and had become hyper-sensitive to sound. At night, I would tape down my eyelid to sleep, and think about how to accept my new face, my new mask. I had to learn to express myself despite my lack of facial expression. I had to learn to be me, transformed. (…In the meantime, I was quietly wandering SL’s landscapes, exploring and observing the loss of prims in SL, a transformation that resonated with me, as more and more prims faded away, and the grid’s face also went through a phase of distortion as it was gradually injected with more and more Mesh.) My face was a Bonsai tree, raw and torn out of place; submitting to doctors, to technology. Organic roots shifted, branches pierced with wire, twigs tamed, leaves refined. 6 months of drugs, electric therapy, and facial exercises later, I began to heal. Now, almost two years since I woke up on that Kafkaesque morning, I present Metamorfaces as a metaphor of my story, my journey of transformation. 

Bedroom

One initially teleports in to a landing point and stands in front of a long corridor, an optical illusion of sorts. A heads up, before starting to walk; there are whispers and all kinds of sounds throughout the installation, make sure to turn on sound (all voice narratives and sounds have been created by Art as well) and also don’t forget to click objects as you wander through. Teleports are small green boxes. There are several destinations, the first one is the bedroom. Art explained to me that this is where it all started and prompted me to click on the book on the bed and a quote by Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis) emerged; One Morning, as Gregor Samsa awoke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed, into a monstrous vermin. In the bedroom, and throughout the installation, are blackout writings by Art that correspond with the sounds and the environment.  When clicking the large painting of the two female faces in the bedroom, a door slides open and one finds oneself in front of a large green prim landscape.

Primlandscape

This is the first of many transformational experiences when one somehow feels transported from one state of mind to another.  This effect is achieved by optical illusion as well as a sudden change in environment and sound. Integrated are also Art’s writings, quotes by her favorite authors and many symbolic representations of her mind-blowing experience of her facial physical transformation. Art speaks of the green prims as a metaphorical landscape that were part of a transformational experience just like she was. One enters from the green prim-landscape a room named Illusions, consisting of large white columns, in which silhouettes of faces can be seen. I had a hard time noticing them at first, but when I eventually did, I was stunned (just think of the familiar illusion a vase/two faces and they will emerge). There are soft voices whispering in this room and the blackout writings on the wall are echoed in the sound.

Illusions

The journey continues to the places Shattered, Stroke of Luck, Still Life, Skin Cells, and, the final destination, Heal. I could go on and on about this incredible installation, but will stop for now (below see images of Still Life and Heal).  Let me just mention here also that Art has never before used mesh, scripts or animations before she put together this work. She revealed to me finally that she has now thankfully completely recovered from her facial palsy and that the exploratory creative Second Life experience of putting together this installation had in many ways probably been instrumental in her recovery. Bravo, Art.

Still LifeHeal

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

Is She a He?

unnamed

Huckleberry Hax has written a new story. Most of you know Huck as a blogger of What the Huck?, a writer of several Second Life inspired acclaimed novels, novellas, short stories and poetry, as well as an avid in-world reader at literary events. For the past year or so he has also been a contributing writer and an integral part of my other blog, The Virtual Review. I just published there his newest, previously unpublished story, Is She a He? This work taps into issues surrounding gender and questions about sexuality, the setting, of course, is Second Life. Thank you, Huck, for contributing this!

Photograph by Huckleberry Hax

Best Second Life Galleries 2015

Best Second Life Galleries 2015

Maintaining this blog I visit many Second Life galleries and I thought it might be helpful to compile the galleries that I like the most, with brief descriptions and locations, as a guide and reference. So I have put together a list of the Best Second Life Galleries 2015. It is a completely subjective compilation and I have included both traditional in-house galleries and large sim-installations. Of note,  I am only including places here that exhibit artists on a rotating basis. I may put together a post about permanent art exhibits and installations at a later time. My apologies 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. Many thanks to Tutsy Navarathna and Igor Ballyhoo for consulting. Thanks also to Dirk Wüstenhagen for the texture used for the logo above. Below please find in alphabetical order the Best Second Life Galleries 2015 list.

Name: Avalon Town
Curator/Owner: Tricia Aferdita
About: Multi-gallery complex

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

Name: Broad Street Gallery
Curator/Owner: Isa Missantropa
About: Gallery space

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

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

Name: Gallery 33
Curator/Owner: Monroe Smithson
About: Multi-gallery complex

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

Name: Holtwaye Art Space
Curators/Owners: Holter Rez and Wayne
About: Multi-gallery complex

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 Gallery
Curator/Owner: Dido Haas and Nitro Fireguard
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: University of Western Australia (UWA)
Curators/Owners: Jayjay Zifanwe and FreeWee Ling
About: Virtual presence of the UWA, hosting art challenges

Gents Beauty Salon

1Back in January I met with Tutsy Navarathna at his installation Gents Beauty Salon at the Galerie des Machines by Olympe Rhodes to take a photo for the blog post announcing the The Tutsy Interview in my other blog The Virtual Review.  We returned today to take a few more pictures as the installation will be removed next week. This is not your typical Second Life installation but a clever and artistic depiction of Indian culture, consisting of a mix of collages by Tutsy, rugged steel containers and various little cool builds, including a small temple and several cows. Above, the Krishna and Rada. There is a space devoted to the Mahabarathna, the epic novel of the story of the Gods, which contains several collages with a little bit of a comic twist. One of my favorites, Laksmi, the wife of Vishnu, depicted by the established Indian painter Ravi Varma, can be seen in the background in the last photograph. This installation has been up for close to a year, since November 2014. Thank you to Olympes Rhode of  Galerie des Machines for making it possible.

3

2

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

Never Totally Dead

Never Totally Dead

Never Totally Dead is a place with old manors, furniture, haunted decoration, ghosts, skeletons, animated paintings and curiosities, all by the talented Mister Silex. Then there is the haunted mansion. Both the exterior, which looks a bit like a replica of an old stone Victorian home, and the interior with its large rooms with skeletons and ghosts popping out of nowhere, are exquisitely put together. This is not a house where you will find bright orange pumpkins and Halloween decor in every corner, this is a place with a little bit of a darker side. Head over and take a look, there are some really great things to photograph here.

Ghost Bride

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf