Tell Me a Story

It gives me great pleasure to write here about the new Delicatessen installation, Tell Me a Story, by Meilo Minotaur. The Delicatessen art sim, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, will re-open this Saturday, January 13, after having been closed for a while. Tell Me a Story is an interactive installation in the sense that visitors are encouraged to participate by telling their own stories and in doing so connecting various parts of the exhibit. Meilo explains that I ask you to tell me a story that links the various scenes of the installation. The characters of the island have their correspondence in avatars. They do not have names, you can give any name you think fit them. It will not be necessary to use all the characters or scenes, you will use those that you understand. The stories will be told as you please: only with text, text and image, video or whatever you wantTen avatars are available for free at the landing point, they can also be observed as part of the installation throughout the island. As with previous avatars created by Meilo, these are magical fantasy avatars (mythical animals, girls and boys, birds) that inspire the users who wear them to play and create.

[2018/01/10 10:50] Kate: look at the first one, the animal avatar, so stoic
[2018/01/10 10:50] Axiom: a king of an ancient saga
[2018/01/10 10:51] Axiom: I like the red one, next, the second
[2018/01/10 10:51] Axiom: so abstract
[2018/01/10 10:51] Kate: amazing
[2018/01/10 10:51] Axiom: the third is so Max Ernst
[2018/01/10 10:51] Kate: i often get choked up when i see their stuff for the first time
[2018/01/10 10:51] Kate: it’s so beautiful
[2018/01/10 10:51] Axiom: it’s all very surreal
[2018/01/10 10:51] Kate: yes

The installation is like an island, the ground surface sand-like, and parts are quite steep and hilly. There are black, bushy trees with thorns extending from small water pools and two groups of buildings; one is a cluster of small wooden houses up in the sky, the other a solemn, dark city, consisting of tall towers and spires, is nested into the hills. Placed on another part of the island is a thick, web-like, white fog, lending a misty and mysterious atmosphere. Disbursed throughout are small scenes consisting of avatars, figures and other objects. Wild geese glide low over shallow waters (click the water to ride a goose).

[2018/01/10 11:18] Kate: one really has to look at all levels, low and high, not to miss anything
[2018/01/10 11:19] Axiom: not a funny place this city
[2018/01/10 11:19] Kate: no, very dark
[2018/01/10 11:20] Axiom: perhaps she [Meilo] put a reference to the contemporary with this, or the future as she sees it, this town
[2018/01/10 11:20] Kate: could be, would make sense
[2018/01/10 11:21] Kate: these other little houses here, clustered together in a very uniform way, feel more ordinary
[2018/01/10 11:24] Axiom: one of the houses is different
[2018/01/10 11:24] Axiom: and the girl is there, she is looking into the flower
[2018/01/10 11:25] Axiom: maybe this whole thing really is inside the flower
[2018/01/10 11:25] Axiom: what she sees
[2018/01/10 11:25] Kate: that’s an incredible way of thinking about it 🙂
[2018/01/10 11:25] Axiom: this surely is complex
[2018/01/10 11:25] Kate: i think we have our story, it’s about a girl with a red flower

About a Girl With a Red Flower:
A story inspired by the Tell Me a Story installation, written by Axi and Kate

The girl with the red flower is not an ordinary girl and her flower is no ordinary flower either. Iris, her name, the girl is on stilt-like legs like everybody dwelling at her island-kingdom, to remain safe and protect herself from the zombie-like creatures that like the proverbial quixotic windmills keep attacking the waters that surround her. She wears a red and black dress, has the bluest of eyes and a curious little round, pale face. Iris owns a bright red poppy flower which she has planted on the ground at one of the far-most tree houses her family owns. She nurtures it secretly, with jealousy. Unlike any other flower in the island-kingdom, her flower does not die. The poppy flower contains little black seeds and every time she blows at them they turn into fluffy little seed balls and are carried away in all directions by the wind. Legend has it, that it is only the sweet breath of Iris that can turn a poppy-seed into a fluffy seed ball. Iris stands next to her wooden house in the sky all day long, arms extended in a perfect angle, dreamy, blowing her breath on the poppy flower seeds and watch them sail away. As the seeds touch land at various locations around the island-kingdom, they carry her imagination, her fears and her dreams. It is said that wherever the seeds catch good land, for days a translucent picture grows with characters from Iris’s lonely and imaginative life and it is made real for all to see.

Just like with any other Meilo installation before it, Tell Me a Story, will surely stimulate the visitor in many ways. This is one in particular captivated us to such an extent that we got completely caught up in creativity. Thank you Meilo for sharing your incredible magic with us, for inspiring us to dream a little and play.

Photograph 1 by Kate Bergdorf
Photograph 2, 3, 4, 5 by Axiomatic Clarity

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The Gallery

As readers of this blog are aware, my gallery Berg by Nordan Art will close tomorrow. It has been an amazing seven years (on and off, mostly on) with exposure to all kinds of art and, no doubt, it has been an experience that has enriched my life. One of the reasons I am discontinuing the gallery is that I want to shift gears and the other is that it has taken up too much of my time. But while my sim North is now my focus of attention, a part of me clearly also doesn’t want to let go of the gallery. I realized recently, I actually don’t have to and decided to open a much smaller version of it on North. The ground level of the Apple Fall corner store will be used for the new gallery, named Nordan Art (the original name of my gallery before I reopened it as Berg by Nordan Art). There will be four Nordan Art exhibits per year, each photographer will show for three months. Stay put for updates!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

 

A Male Eye. John Berger; a video by Marina Trigueros

Special art film correspondent for this blog, moon Edenbaum, made me aware of the video A Male Eye. John Berger, created by Mariana Trigueros. This film speaks to the male gaze and female objectification, a topic obviously just as relevant in our virtual world as in the real world. Ms. Trigueros, a Spanish researcher, audiovisual producer and archivist, notes about her work that [m]ost pictures are meant to be seen by a male. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. John Berger wrote his book ‘Ways of Seeing’ (1972) on this premise, which has been used as the script for this video essay aimed to be a tribute to his work. Take a look at this video, its beautifully put together, visuals, editing and music are a perfect fit. A feast both for the mind and for the senses.

A Talk About Mutual Respect: Perspectives on Empathy

There is a talk coming up, A Talk About Mutual Respect: Perspectives on Empathy, addressing the themes of the two Mutual Respect exhibits, both part of The G.B.T.H. Project, both curated by Marina Münter. The event will take place tomorrow, Saturday, December 23, at 3 PM SLT with discussants Huck Hax, Marina Münter, moon Edenbaum and myself as moderator, and will be held in voice. We will start with an introduction about the collective exhibits Mutual Respect, and also address the meaning of the talk itself, followed by discussions by the guest speakers and then open up for Q&A. The purpose of this talk is to make people in Second Life think, challenge themselves and for a moment ignore stereotypical societal rules when it comes to the opposite sex, with a focus on embracing flaws and empathy. Come join us, we look forward to your questions and comments!

Poster by Marina Münter

Private Sphere III

There is a new exhibit, Private Sphere III A Retroactive Installation, by artist Prairie Kawashima, curated by Toodles Telling, that opened on December 1. This is one of the most remarkable interactive installations that I have seen in Second Life in recent years and a must see. One teleports in to the landing point on a platform in the sky and stands in front of an apartment building created by Soy (many other items in the exhibit are also by the talented Soy). The two-story house contains several rooms, each consisting of various objects that fit into each particular room, as well as images by Prairie, taped on the wall or scattered on the floor. There are objects placed on the outside of the house as well. The attention to detail here is remarkable and one is left with the sense of having visited someone’s lived in home. Aran M. June, one of our most esteemed image creators, notes about the exhibit that having it seen it I know one thing for sure: Prairie is not an imaginary person. She actually lives there but has just gone outside to get some groceries. The installation is an open, interactive and very intimate space for visitors to take part in. From the exhibit note card we learn that [t]hrough this microscopic look on contemporary urban life, dissecting loneliness, isolation and desire, her [Prairie’s] work almost painfully unveils issues of female identity, sexuality, and psychology, placing her in the newly awakened feminist discourse of recent years. Head over and take a look before this work closes on December 17.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

the plant

There is a new installation, The Plant, spearheaded by Eupalinos Ugajin, that opens on November 1. The exact opening time is still to be determined. This is a remarkable project for several reasons. One, Eupa only rarely puts together projects like this and every time it happens, we know we are in for a treat. Further, the group of artists participating are a fantastic mix of talented creators, some of whos’ work we have not seen in a very, very long time. The artists, in no particular order, are Penumbra Carter, Dekka Raymaker, Suzanne Graves, Haveit Neox, Kikas Babenco and Marmaduke Arado, Art Oluja, Igor Ballyhoo, Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu, Moewe Winkler and Artistide Despres. This multi-level work addresses technology and its impact on humanity and earth. Upon arrival one finds oneself on a platform, surrounded by posters with information as well as quotes (see below). Please read the instructions as they will be helpful to optimize viewer experience. Also make sure to turn up sound as its an integral part of this. There are gifts distributed throughout, see if you can find them! Teleports are available to each of the levels that display works by aforementioned artists.

Untitled

I will not go into detail here about each installation, but I assure you taking it all in is a delightful experience. What awaits the visitor is at first glance a whimsical and even messy, yet also organized, chaos. Delving further into this installation, however, one is struck by the masterful executions and intricacies of each individual’s work (above contribution by Haveit Neox). Eupa notes about this work that [t]hey were brought up believing technology could solve any problem facing Humanity. The right glasses would restore the sight of the Blind Locomotive. Being a . . . (fill) specialist you were invited at today’s meeting at “The Plant.” Please make sure to attend the opening if you can and if not visit later, this important work should not be missed. Sim will be accessible to the public at the day of the opening.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

The Dreamers

The opening of the final Berg by Nordan Art installation, The Dreamers, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu will take place on Saturday, October 21, at 1PM SLT. The exhibit will be up until the last day of December, which is also the last opening day of the gallery. Like the preceding work by these talented artists, this promises to be extraordinary. To me, the description of this work alone reads like poetry.

Because violence will not take away our ability to dream!

When we were just beginning to create this project, the events of Charlottesville happened. Our hearts stopped. We cannot do this – we thought – we must alert to the political situation we live in! The danger of tyranny. The danger of environmental disaster. The danger of xenophobia, sexism, homophobia. The danger of hate! But then we stopped.

From within us came this beach, this horizon. This sea, this lake, these white clouds grew. No! We will not give up on The Dreamers. We will not give up on beauty. They will not steal the beauty of the world. They will not steal tenderness. They will not steal the life we have left. And so, our beach is our resistance!

Meilo and CapCat are again generously offering free gift avatars available at the landing. The gallery is temporarily closed now for installation until the opening and we will then provide the exhibit landmark via group announcements and Flickr.

Poster by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu

The GBTH Project

MUTUALRESPECT part1 poster draft-3.png

The G.B.T.H. (Grab By The Horns) Project, curated by Marina Münter, opens tomorrow, Sunday, October 15 at 12PM SLT. Marina notes that the project is a proposal of occupation of abandoned spaces in the city with exhibitions, taking them to public spaces in counterpoint of the closed environment of a gallery or museum. The first show, or edition, is a collective exhibit named #mutualrespect part1, in which 16 photographers were invited  to portray male vulnerability and asked to take a photo of a man they are close to, completely disarmed in a way only they can see. The photographers are, in no particular order, Marina Münter, Irina Fowrzy, Pari Dolia, Mich Michabo, Kate Bergdorf, Isa Messioptra, Catalina Staheli, Miu Miu Miu, Megan Prumier, Elodee, B. tomstone (aka Billie), kiki Ergenthal, Hillany Scofield, Wiona, Ania Baxton and Gartruth Garmonbozia. Marina explains about her project that the idea came when a friend that I adore told me that he can’t cry nor express feelings because it was not what people expected from him, and I am sure others can relate to itThe result turned out in an interest mix of images, from painful nudity to subtle sweet things like pollen allergy set up on broken concrete floor, hidden by tall buildings, ruins and sneaky, uncontrolled wild nature. The multi-talented Pari Dolia will DJ. Please be on the lookout for the G.B.T.H. Project poster on Flickr for the landmark that will be posted on the day of the opening.

Untitled

Poster by Marina Münter
Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Fear, she is the mother of violence: An Installation by Livio Korobase on LEA1

There is currently an installation, Fear, she is the mother of violence, on LEA1 by Livio Korobase. As is usually the case when it comes to this artist, there is no opening date; the installation is a work in progress and will close at the end of December. This work consists of a sim-sized space, the ground covered in a blackboard-like texture covered with scratches and partially with black and red text. Scattered throughout are groups of objects; clusters of people, statues, and a large TV. The TV displays, just as does the text on the ground, messages about violence and fear. Livio notes about his exhibit that I wanted to build a field of fears, where people can listen to little audio talks of people talking about fears, personal fears, anything related to fear. Livio will install invisible sound emitters and visitors will hear recorded voices talking about fears as they walk through the exhibit. He invites every one who is interested to submit a 10-second-long audio file about personal fears (the fears can be about anything). The audio will be anonymous. If interested in submitting your voice sample, please email an audio file to livio.korobase@gmail.com.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Laurie Anderson: A Virtual Reality of Stories

Please click the link below to see one of the most outstanding contributions to virtual art/machinima that I have seen to date, The Chalkroom, by Laurie Anderson. Thank you moonie, for making me aware of it.

Explore Laurie Anderson’s ‘Chalkroom’ – a new artistic discovery in virtual reality – and learn what it feels like to navigate through an exciting universe of drawings and stories while flying around disembodied and free.

Source: Laurie Anderson: A Virtual Reality of Stories