clef de peau holiday season gifts

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New Gigi jumpsuit and Sophia sandal in Croco Onyx and Jane bag with color HUD, all gifts for the holiday season by Clef de Peau. Pose by Del May.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

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merry christmas 2016

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I am sitting here at my desk in front of the laptop with a very sleepy dog on the carpet next to me. It is snowing outside my window. It is the first heavy snowfall this winter and I can’t help but feel like a kid; there is this pull to run outside and play in the snow. But I’ll save that for later and focus on this post… As the year comes to an end it is time to reflect on time past and what lays ahead. Much happened at Berg by Nordan Art in 2016; we had remarkable exhibits and installations, exciting openings with music by DJ Eif (aka d-oo-b), machinima made by Tutsy Navarathna, and the Gallery M showing Mich Michabo‘s art was added as an integral part of the gallery. We held the monthly Paper Crown Passing Ceremonies, which were so whimsical and fun. Still to come this year, as usual a collaboration with my friend Huck Hax, the gallery retrospective publication, Berg by Nordan Art 2016. The gallery will continue to evolve in 2017 and there are several important changes planned, the most significant being a change from single to joint leadership when it comes to administration and curating. The gallery will also reduce in size; we will no longer be showing installations on the ground, a new gallery build will instead be situated on the ground and we will show photography only. What will remain the same, however, is our continued commitment to only showing the highest quality SL art. But more about this to come in the next several months. 2016 also brought other exciting things for me; an increased focus on Flickr photography, I joined the junk. and Clef de Pleau blogger teams, and worked together with Mich Michabo on the lovely Paper Crown events. I will be happy to continue devoting my time to all of this in 2017. Finally, on a more personal note, I made many meaningful connections with people in our virtual world this year, something I know will also continue happening in 2017. Because as we all know, even though we are all busy and sometimes don’t find time, it is ultimately the connections with others that make our individual SL experiences priceless. So Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa everyone and I hope 2017 will be just as great as 2016!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

blue orange art corner

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I just returned from a packed opening at The Blue Orange Art Corner. This vibrant art and music venue, put together by artist Ini Inaka, introduces today art by Theda Tammas, Indigoclaire, Miu Miu Miu, Eupalinos Ugajin, and Igor Ballyhoo (see his sculpture Sacrificed Angel above)  and music is provided by DJs  Gitu Aura, Khaz Rotaru and Niels Koolhoven. Ini notes about her place that [a]t first it was an idea to mix urban style with something classy and create bohemian underground music club where people could hear a lot of different music styles, starting from underground alternative, industrial, grunge, indie, noise, psychedelic, folk punk and ending with jazz, neo-folk, instrumental and classical music. Sure counting in a lot of music without labels and maybe not very popular music as well. Later came an idea to invite creative people who would be happy to share love for art, this how they understand art, how they express themselves and to show how second life as virtual place let to us share it. Photos, drawings, paintings, 3D installations and much more as SL is amazingly open and full of tools to do this. I was very happy to find and invite such music lovers or SL Djs who were glad to help to me to express and create bohemian mood in club. This is a great and welcomed addition to the SL art scene and I am very much looking forward to future events.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Tout est Allumé by Tutsy Navarathna

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For those of you who have not yet seen the exhibit Tout est Allumé, by French artist Tutsy Navarathna at MetaLES, there is still time. This spectacular work, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, with technical assistance by ChimKami and Yoon, will be open until the end of the year. What we find here are six stories of machinima art, 35 movies all in all, made up of 16 machinima and 19 short animations. It would be a mistake to think of this as simply a retrospective of Tutsy’s machinima as there are several new shorter animations to be seen as well. All films are displayed on several levels and to me they somehow feel both separate and connected. The space surrounding the machinima consists of geometric shapes, some of are moving and some static. Translucent staircases connect the different floors. Crucial to the experience of this multidimensional work are of course the animations and music, which are set in continuous loops. There are poses and props, rain, umbrellas, a grand piano and much more, all contributing to a most unique and playful immersive experience.

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This is a monumental installation and well thought out in its complexity. The visitor will want to come prepared to spend time. Tutsy has with this work integrated sound, movement and animation to create a sophisticated immersive whole and with it beautifully displays the notion of the virtual; 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 . . . Bravo Tutsy, this is truly a groundbreaking contribution not only to our SL world of art but also to the virtual community at large. Noteworthy is also that visitors to this exhibit will likely not have any technical difficulties at all. The machinima themselves are easy to play; simply place the cursor on the bar on the movie screen and press play, replay or stop. They can also be viewed on the web. It quite remarkable to me how these films can be played simultaneously inworld without the sound or the visuals of each machinima interfering with the other. Quite the technical challenge, congrats to all involved for mastering this aspect too. The recommended WL is midnight and draw-distance 200. There are illuminated lines and large arrows on the ground showing the way. Head over and take a look before this installation closes to the public in about two weeks. You will not want to miss it!

Photographs by Tutsy Navarathna

art in december

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There is a lot going on in the SL art world in December! Here is a selection only as I unfortunately don’t have time to cover all installations and exhibits. I wish I did. First, the new work by Canadian artist Bryn Oh, Hand, opened a few days ago. This is a complex installation, complete with  instructions on WL, and other settings provided at the landing point. It is well worth the effort to follow these basic guidelines, as they significantly shape the overall impression. There is also a HUD provided, which will further enhance the visitors’ experience. As always with Bryn’s works, there is a narrative, this time it is a story about a girl named Flutter. We follow Flutter along with the HUD chapters as she explores the whimsical world on this sim. It is as usual a great pleasure taking in the work by Bryn; the narrative, the carefully crafted original objects, the layout, sounds, and the WL are all magnificent. Make sure not to miss this.

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Also recently opened to the public is the newest installation by JadeYu Fhang, OpeRaAnxiEty, at MetaLES, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar. This exhibit replaces the installation Tumor, by Igor Ballyhoo, while the work Tout est Allumé, by Tutsy Navarathna, remains on the display until the end of the year. This is a large immersive sci-fi inspired work, beautifully laid out with various webs, mist and android shapes. As a large spider nursing half-human eggs in its web, we witness a sense of busy anxiety here, reminiscent perhaps of the weaving of our own confounding webs.  Many photographers have already found their way to this build and we have seen some fantastic images on Flickr. Head over and take a look.

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In my humble opinion one of the most talented SL photographers, Isa Messioptra (also owner of the sim Crestwick, which includes The Pretentious Gallery) has a new show, Cerebral Frame, curated by dixmix source, at the DixMix Gallery. This is a compilation of thirteen older works by Isa, both in color and black and white. There is a captivating narrative in all of this artist’s images that draw the viewer in, leaving us wanting to know more. Bravo Isa, it so great to see your work on display.

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Last, but not least, we have a new show coming up on December 17 at 12 PM SLT at the Blue and Orange Art Project (venue will open on the day of exhibit opening), curated by Ini Inaka and Gitu Aura. There is an incredibly talented group of artists showing their work here; Theda Tammas, Indigoclaire, Miu Miu Miu, Eupalinos Ugajin, and Igor Ballyhoo. My curiosity is peaked for sure! I have unfortunately not had a chance to visit this gallery before, but will most definitely try to check this out.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

L2 studio & LHOOQ gallery

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I always liked the work by Lindini2. She is foremost a designer of buildings, but a talented landscape designer and photographer as well. Her beautiful sim L2 studio & LHOOQ gallery has now been given a makeover and it is just stunning! A quite elaborate landscape consisting of sand-dunes, beaches, all kinds of stately trees, carefully selected grasses and animals surround the buildings designed by Lindini2. The houses are fully furnished and decorated and all are welcome to hang out and enjoy. The builds are also for sale in the demo area in she sky. Tucked away in one part of the sim is the LHOOQ Gallery, also build by Miss Lindini2 and currently showing works by Jessica Belmer. The gallery space is incredibly well constructed and fits perfectly in this tranquil setting. Do head over and take a look at all this and don’t forget to bring your camera.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

places to visit now

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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