Hide&Seek

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There are several great sims with beaches in Second Life; one of my new favorite ones is one called {Hide&Seek}. This is a mellow place with plenty of stretches of sandy dunes that  just has a perfect summer feel. Small houses, beach chairs and a 24-hour motel with plenty of posing are available for visitors to enjoy. Part of the sim consists of deep woodland and nested within I found a little drive in with a few cars. For those of you who like to bike, bikes are available for free at the landing point. This is truly a wonderful place for photography and rezzing is permitted with a 30 minute auto return. This place is only open for a limited period of time so head over while you still can!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

The Cat’s House on the Hill

 

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Mich Michabo has opened for a short time period to the public a part of her Michabode land a small parcel that she has named The Cat’s House on the Hill. This is a remarkable place, a gathering of cats, that should not be missed. On a high hill, nested amongst mountains and trees, we find a little two-story cardboard house with a slanted roof and a chimney. Inside there are four rooms, connected by a staircase. Many, very many, cats of all shapes and sizes, live side by side here. Some are sleeping, a few are watching TV or surfing the internet, and others are up to some mischief. There is a Pippi-Longsockingesque feel to this lovely and whimsical place that must be experienced in person. Head over and take a look and if you take pics, please post them on Flickr. Thanks Mich for sharing with all of us this very unique kitty-extravaganza!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

A Place In the Sun

A place in the sun

★ Bikini: Peach Bikini (White) by Blueberry
★ Sunglasses: Baroque Frame Sunglasses by Glam Affair
★ Hair: Raquel Ponytail (Brunettes) by Rowne
★ Skin: Emma (*peche*) by Essences
★ Mesh Body: Lara by Maitreya
★ Freckles: Chocolate Splits by DeeTaleZ
★ Eyes: Look Eyes (Emerald) by Amacci
★ Eyebrows: Natural Eyebrows V by iGOTit
★ Location: It all starts with a smile

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Alone/Together

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The new show Alone/Together, curated by Doc (aka Murdock Beningborough), at the new Pretentious Gallery (former Broadstreet Gallery), owned by Isa Messioptra, opens tomorrow, Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 12 PM SLT. The organizers state that this show looks at the emotional myopia that exists in our public and private relationships. The loner in a crowded room, disconnected lovers, those in grief but surrounded by friends and family, and on. No one is immune. There is no vaccination that protects for life. Like physical pain, expressing sensation from past experience is inordinately difficult. Art in any form transcends the divide and the challenge for this exhibit is to express the isolation. The artists showing their work are Edie Horngold, Kato Salyut, Hills Scofield, Goodcross, Bay Addens, daze, Sabbian Paine, Isa Messioptra, MM, and Senna Coronet. This is another intriguing theme brought forth by this gallery and it will be interesting to see what each of these talented photographers come up with. Very much looking forward to this show!

Image in poster by Edie Horngold

UTSA ArtSpace

Cardinal Drone

UTSA ArtSpace, curated by constructivIST Solo of University of Texas, San Antonio, reopened its doors on June 5, 2016. This is a welcome addition to the Second Life Art scene with a fantastic gallery build created by the talented Igor Ballyhoo. The first UTSA exhibit, a multi-artist show, contains work by Igor Ballyhoo, Rebeca Bashly, Ini Inaka, Bryn Oh, and Eupalinos Ugajin. We see here seven photographs by Ini Inaka and a work each of the other artists (above see detail of Cardinal Drone by Bryn Oh).  The current show will be replaced by another exhibit with different artists starting August. Head over and take a look!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Gates of Melancholy

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There is a new place named Gates of Melancholy that is a must see. People have flocked to this sim since it opened a few days ago and posted incredible pictures on Flickr. I finally headed over today and I now understand what all the hype is about! Based upon the life and work of the American realist painter Andrew Wyeth (1917 to 2009), the place offers great opportunities for photography. The creator of the sim, Shelly (Shelly70 Resident), notes that [t]his sim is created to emulate and elicit the feel in the watercolor paintings done by Andrew Wyeth. Melancholy, nostalgia, starkness and the crispness of his work. You will find spots throughout the sim where you can find recreations of some of his paintings and you can pose, take pictures and create your own art work as you like it. Head over and take a look and post your photos in the Gates of Melancholy Flickr group.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

On Endings

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I’ve noticed that several Second Life couples ended their relationships these past few weeks. My relationship came to an end as well, perhaps that is why I am more attuned to other people ending theirs. It got me thinking. What are the types of intimate relationships we actually have here? What happens when these relationships end? And how do people move on? Second life intimate relationships of course mimic real life ones, but with obvious exceptions and limitations. As far as I can tell, there are roughly three different types of virtual intimate relationships; the sexual one, the romantic one, and the “everlasting” one. The sexual relationship can be a one night stand or an extended relationship where people usually agree to just be friends and have sex. No strings attached. The romantic relationship is a committed relationship that can last for years. People fall in love. The “everlasting” relationship is a rare one, a solid love relationship with a bond that does not seem to falter. All these kinds of intimate relationships represent forms of intensified human connectedness within the virtual world. I talk more about intensified emotional experiences in the virtual world here.

Seems to me that most couples in a virtual intimate relationship actually end up breaking up a few times before it is truly over. Once it is over, immediately following, I’ve noticed at least three kinds of behaviors (we see these behavior patterns in social media, like Flickr, etc., which are crucial communication tools for us Second Lifers); complete ignorance, tactful distancing or destructive hysteria. The complete ignorance kind of behavior is simply that. The couple stops speaking and interacting and it is, in fact, as if they ceased to exist. There is no longer any interaction in-world, on Flickr or other social media. The tactful distancing behavior can be thought of as a respectful farewell. There is an understanding that one will need time to heal, but may then be friends again at some point. This kind of couple stops communicating, but don’t completely disconnect, i.e, temporarily discontinue speaking in-world and may selectively continue commenting on/liking Flickr pics. Finally, the destructive hysteria pattern seems to be one signified by impulsivity and rage. People here engage in viscous seeming in-world and Flickr personal attacks that may lead to de-friending or blocking. Ultimately, all these kinds of break up patterns probably overlap in one way or another. They are our ways of dealing with loss.

In terms of moving on, I think people have very different ways of dealing with it. Some people may simply jump right into a new relationship because they don’t want to be alone. Others may really treasure their newfound alone time. People may immerse themselves in creativity or social activities. Some may even consider a virtual break up an opportunity to completely re-evaluate their virtual world existence and start cutting down on time spent in-world. Some may leave the virtual world all together. Whatever ends up happening, the processing of the ending of the relationship has begun. And then clearly, just like in real life, time heals wounds. Both sadness and the experience of loss will eventually fade, no matter how unlikely this may actually seem right after a virtual break up. With time we see people liking and commenting on their ex-partner’s Flickr photo postings and becoming friends in-world again. Virtual life goes on.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf