one family and art

Having an art sim I am fortunate enough to get to know the people who exhibit their work there. Everybody has a story and for a short moment we become part of each others’ stories. Some of the stories linger, or come to an end, others keep evolving. As of late, I find myself becoming a small part of a story so rich and meaningful that I want to share a part of it here. This is the story of a Portuguese family consisting of Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu, Takio Ra and Rita Eustáquio. Meilo, in the middle in photo above, is the mother of CapCat, left in the photo. CapCat and Takio (right in the photo) are married and have a daughter, Rita. Rita does not yet have an avatar, and is not depicted above, but rumor has it that she is thinking about creating one soon. Meilo  and CapCat have been producing art in Second Life since 2008. Most of you probably know them as the creators of the sim Delicatessen. As of this year, they are also permanent resident artists at Berg by Nordan Art. Their first installation, in January 2017, was Penumbra and opening tomorrow, The Swamp. Remarkably, all four contribute to these installations. It is a joint family art project. While CapCat and Meilo create the visible work (terraforming, building, avatars, etc.), Takio is responsible for the sound and Rita does voice. The Swamp is dark and unsettling, a powerful metaphor for fascism inspired by Cap’s and Meilo’s first hand revolution and post-revolution experiences in Portugal; I’ve been told that sound and voice are a particularly important aspect of this work, so when you visit, please make sure to turn it on.

CapCat (Catarina Carneiro de Sousa) successfully defended her thesis Virtual Corporeality and Shared Creativity and received her PhD in April this year. She also published an article, Mom and Me Through the Looking Glass, in Metaverse Creativity in 2012. Her article examines the collaborative work of CapCat and Meilo in Second Life, integrating the notion of shared creativity; [t]he aim is to describe and analyse their cooperative creative process from the perspective of one of the artists/authors, walking through three artistic works that were made in the Second Life® region of Delicatessen: ‘de Maria, de Mariana, de Madalena…’, ‘Petrified’ and ‘Meta_Body’. These projects reflect two aspects of the artists’ work on the one hand avatar art, and on the other the creation of virtual environments. The text also reflects on the concept of shared creativity, which the artists propose through their avatar creations. The article is worth reading in its entity as it is a great source of information for Second Life residents, artist and non-artists alike. It is also beautifully written and in so many ways mirrors the work by Cap and Meilo that we see in-world.  To me, the work of these two women (and Takio and Rita) reflects the essence of metaverse creativity and, no doubt, they are virtual world artist pioneers. I leave you here with a quote from the first part of CapCat’s article:

We are two metaverse avatars. We are also mother and daughter; I am CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur is my mother in real life. We are both artists, and as artists it seems that all through our lives we have been dealing with the same issues that we are now working on together in the Metaverse. When I was a little girl I used to love the Carnival holiday. In Portugal this is a time to dress up, and to imagine ourselves as the other… I remember my mother staying up all night working on these amazing seethrough butterfly wings for me. I think that these were the first avatars we ever made together.

 

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

coming up at berg by nordan art

There are several new exhibits coming up at Berg by Nordan Art . First in line is the new installation The Swamp by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, which opens on Sunday, June 4, at 10 AM SLT. The Nordan om Jordan sim will be closed to the public on June 2 and 3 for installation so please make sure to check out Penumbra before then if you haven’t already. The Amona Savira Memorial will be removed at that time also. About The Swamp, the artists note that it is a metaphor for fascism, from the point of view of Meilo Minotaur’s actual experience of fascism in Portugal, the Carnation Revolution, and the actual lived experience of CapCat Ragu from post-revolutionary Portugal. At a time when the crisis is trying to push us back into obscurantism is the moment to resist, to fight against the totalitarianism of capital, but never to return to fascism! Sound installation is by Takio Ra and voices by Rita Eustáquio. As is also the case with the current installation, The Swamp avatars will be available for free for gallery visitors.

Currently on view in the main gallery since the beginning of April is the show MYdigliani by daze Landar. daze’s show will be on display until the end of June. Beginning of July we have an exhibit by Senna Coronet, followed by a show by moon Edenbaum in October.  Mich Michabo is finishing up her new exhibit for Gallery M. As always, all parts of the gallery are accessible via teleport from the main Berg by Nordan Art gallery. Please be on the lookout in-world, as well on Flickr, for reminders and landmarks as we get closer to the opening dates. Lastly, make sure to post your photos taken at the gallery in the Berg by Nordan Art Flickr group.

Poster of The Swamp by CapCat Ragu
Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Art in April

In addition to our own exhibits at Berg by Nordan Art, Penumbra, by CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur; MYdigliani by daze Landar and The Other, by Mich Michabo, we have lots of stuff going on as usual in our virtual art world this month. But I will start of with work created outside Second Life in this post, namely the fine art by talented painter and photographer Indigo Claire. I usually don’t blog about non-virtual art here, but I am making an exception because I fell in love with Claire’s pictures. I am so glad she decided to open her own little gallery, .indigo box, in Second Life. Its a very dreamy two-floor exhibit space in a white box, showing 20 images, containing in the center a few clouds with rain, seating, a few poses and some Queen Ann’s lace bunches of flowers. Congratulations Claire, really well done, everybody should head over and visit!

We have a great new group exhibit, The Endless, at Daphne Arts, curated by Angelika Corall and Sheldon BeRgman, that opened on April 8, 2017. Angelika notes about the theme of the show that The Endless are a group of fictional beings appearing in the comic book series The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman, and published by DC Comics. The characters (Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Delirium) embody powerful forces or aspects of the universe. The outstanding group of artists contributing to this show are Ariel Brearly, Awesome Fallen, kiki, Maloe Vansant, Nevereux, Paola Mills, and Whiskey Monday. Let me also say here that the gallery space itself gets better and better. I just love the way this pair of curators continuously evolve in the way they consider art display. Great work.

Then we have once again a stellar exhibit at dathuil, this time by Lulu Jameson, as usual curated by Lucy Diamond and Max Butoh, that opened on April 9. I love everything about this show, the images, as well as the set-up. We find here 30 photographs by the talented Lulu, a mix of color and black and white, a selection of studies of avatars and portraits. Lulu provides a quote by Roald Dahl that captures the dreamy quality of his exhibit; And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. The images in this show are carefully displayed, they come in various sizes, all beautifully framed with the title of the photograph noted separately below. Great ambience here, really well done. Head over and take a look before the show closes on May 5.

Last, but certainly not least, we have a new installation, Glass Jars, by Art Oluja, displayed on LEA11. This is a large underwater installation, filled with places to explore. Art describes this work as follows: This is an experiment in containing thoughts, emotions, and memories into visual and aural landscapes for you to explore. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I have creating it. Much of the inspiration for Glass Jars comes from G. Bachelard’s “The Poetics of Space,” R. Grudin’s Time and The Art of Living,” and a short animation film called “The House of Small Cubes.” Sound is an important aspect at Glass Jars, so please turn your sounds on (and up). All of the soundscaping and musical effects you hear around the region are the result of a collaborative experiment with Klaus Bereznyak, who uses percussion and woodwind to creatively reflect the vision and concept of Glass Jars. We used Audacity, a free open source digital audio editor, to manipulate the sounds before uploading them inworld. They are layered across the landscape in a way that the experience becomes uniquely different to each person, depending on how you explore the installation. These organic expressions literally echo the metaphors and emotions of the work. The rain washes over you, tapping away your thoughts, the wind inhales your uncertainties. Take a deep breath, dip into the water. and drift away under the tides. Head over and take a look and be prepared to spend some time exploring this underwater space. Region windlight is suggested for optimal experience.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

Coming Up at Berg by Nordan Art

Time flies, it seems. We have already come to an end of the first exhibit period for photography shows in the gallery. Many thanks to Huck Hax for the exhibit lacrimioare; I have received feedback from so many visitors who adored the show. The gallery will now be closed for a week as we are setting up a new exhibit by daze LandarMYdigliani, which will be on display for the next three months. The opening is on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 10AM SLT and as usual our Nordan Art DJ Eif will provide tunes. The time has also come to bid farewell to the old gallery building, a build I put together myself a few years ago. The Berg by Nordan Art gallery will now instead be housed in space by Abiss that I think is incredibly well suited.

The installation Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, will be up for another month or so and then replaced by a new installation by CapCat and Meilo. The Amona Savira Memorial, put together by Senna Coronet, and part of Penumbra, will be taken down in May as well. The same is true for Mich Michabo’s The Other , which is on display in Gallery M; a new show by Mich is in the works and will also open some time in May. The gallery retrospective book Berg by Nordan Art 2016 is close to going to press and we hope to publish within the next few weeks.

We have seen blog posts, Flickr photos, and several machinima about the gallery, as well as received much positive feedback from gallery visitors themselves. Thank you. Thank you also for rating and commenting on the gallery using the Second Life Art kiosk located at the entrance; its rewarding to read the comments you write! As a reminder to new visitors, all parts of the gallery can be accessed from the main gallery in the sky and the teleports are located at the door. Please join our group Berg by Nordan Art inworld for updates and announcements about the gallery. Please post your photos taken at the gallery in the Berg by Nordan Art Flickr group

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

Penumbra opening at Berg by Nordan Art: A Machinima by Tutsy Navarathna

Tutsy  Navarathna has put together a machinima of the recent opening at Penumbra at Berg by Nordan Art that is nothing short of astonishing. The clever editing, combined with the gentle Indian composition Bombay Dreams by A.R. Rahman, beautifully capture the magic of the installation by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu. I know you will fall in love with this little film just like I did.

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

Livio Korobase and ◦⊱Mi⊰◦ at Berg by Nordan Art

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We have two new exhibits coming up at Berg by Nordan Art, The Joy Formidable, by Livio Korobase, and L’avion en Papier, by ◦⊱Mi⊰◦, lasting from October through December 2016. The opening is this Sunday, October 16 at 10 AM SLT and our Nordan Art house DJ, Eif, aka d-oo-b, will spin tunes as usual. It is such an honor for me to host these two artists as they are both close to my heart. Livio Korobase’s installation is inspired by the music by the group The Joy Formidable, specifically by the song This Ladder is Ours. Livio suggests that another clue about his work is “the trick is to go the cats circle near the big Luna cat, and look at the blue girl… .”  ◦⊱Mi⊰◦ notes that this exhibit has given me the opportunity to work with the paper airplane. To me, the paper airplane symbolizes poetry and freedom. Most importantly, it is ephemeral; it takes off and flies. It is a gesture, a moment, a magical plane that eventually smoothly falls, but does not break and can fly again. A moment of dream and grace. The paper airplane can be created by anyone, anywhere; both children and adults alike recognize the transient poetry of this simple object. In my photographs, the paper plane is used as a paper airplane, but also as a sail, a wing, a hat, a boat hull, a safe keeper and it does not leave the woman as it is part of her. The Nordan om Jorden sim will open to the public again on the day of the opening. Please be on the lookout for group announcements. And look forward to seeing you all this weekend!

fall gallery updates

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Fall is upon us and there are several Berg by Nordan Art updates I would like to share here. First, the two exhibits by Maloe Vansant, Close Ups of a Doll and Memories: Retrospective, will come to an end the last day of September. I will miss seeing these beautiful photographs, and also the doll houses, in the gallery so much. Come and check this out if you haven’t already. The Nordan om Jorden sim will then be closed to the public for the two first weeks of October while we install two new shows by Livio Korobase and by ◦⊱Mi⊰◦. The opening will be on Sunday, October 16 at 10 AM SLT and as usual Berg by Nordan Art house DJ Eif, aka d-oo-b, will provide music. More about this to come! The two other gallery parts, Gallery M, permanent exhibit space for Mich Michabo, and L’annexe, where I show a collection of my photographs, are easily accessible via teleport from the main gallery. Also in the main gallery, you will find general information about Berg by Nordan Art, the Paper Crown events, as well as link access to join the Berg by Nordan Art group, Flickr group and my two blogs. Finally, the October Paper Crown event will take place on Sunday, October 2 at 2 PM SLT. As I am on vacation then, the ceremony will take place at the Michabode this time. If you would like to attend, please contact Mich Michabo separately for access.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Berg by Nordan Art updates!

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We have a few exciting new Berg by Nordan Art updates. First, in the main gallery are on display still until the end of September the beautiful portraits by Maloe Vansant; her two exhibits Yesterday: Retrospective and Close Ups of a Doll, should not be missed. Coming up, from October through December, we then have ◦⊱Mi⊰◦ showing photography in the gallery and Livio Korobase an installation on the ground. More about this to come, please be on the lookout for announcements. Secondly, I’m very excited to share here that Berg by Nordan Art has established a permanent gallery space, Gallery M, for the artist Mich Michabo. Her first exhibit, The Other, inspired by the poem with the same name by Sylvia Plath, will open on Sunday, September 4, at 12 PM SLT. We will send out group announcements and also post announcements on Flickr as we get closer to the opening date. Finally, the paper crown royalty have all returned from a much deserved two-month vacation and will gather tomorrow, Sunday, August 28 at 2 PM SLT to crown our new queen! Come and join us if you like, these crown passing events can get pretty interesting. That is all for now. Hope to see you in the gallery soon!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Art Highlights in July

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The arts are alive and kicking in Second Life. There are several installations and exhibits on display at the moment and I figured I’d compile some of them here. This is by no means a complete list, but merely a few suggestions. Most of these events have already been posted by myself and other bloggers and I provide links when this is the case. So here are some of the SL July art highlights, listed in no particular order at all.

Gallery: MetaLES
Exhibit: Bury your fears – Bury your dreams
Curator(s): Ux Hax and Romy Nayar
About: See Ziki Questi’s Blog
Artist(s): Selavy Oh
Time: Last day is August 8, 2016

Gallery: Berg by Nordan Art
Exhibit: Yesterday: Retrospective and Close Ups of a Doll
Curator(s): Kate Bergdorf
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): Maloe Vansant
Time: July through September 2016

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Gallery: The Pretentious Gallery (former Broadstreet Gallery)
Exhibit: MEN
Curator(s): Isa Messioptra
About: Men. Some are strong, some are sweet. Some are slobs with smelly feet. Men come in all varieties, handsome, sexy, dashing, sensitive, brilliant, brave, pompous, bastards, pigs, assholes etc. For this months exhibit Isa Messioptra asked ten women to submit an image depicting men through their own experiences.
Artist(s): .kiki, Jammeh, Amona Savira, imani Nayer, Tatiana Easterwood, Maloe Vansant, Kate Bergdorf, Isa Messioptra, Jordan Giant, Oakley Foxtrot
Time: Opens Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 12 PM SLT (open for about a month)

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Gallery: dathuil Gallery of Art
Exhibit: Inked
Curator(s): Lucy Diamond and Max Butoh
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): ElizabethNantes
Time: Open for the month of July 2016

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Gallery: Furillen Gallery
ExhibitWorks by Ini Inaka
Curator(s): Serene Footman
About: Photography by Ini Inaka
Artist(s): Ini Inaka
Time: Closes sometime in August 2016

Gallery: LEA13
Exhibit: Snarl
Curator(s): Mac Kanashimi
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): Mac Kanashimi
Time: Open until the end of the year 2016

Gallery: The Good Days Gallery
Exhibit: [in the dark]
Curator(s): G o o d C r o s s
About: Photographs by Mr. Gausman
Artist(s): Cicciuzzo Gausman
Time: Ends early August 2016

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Gallery: Nitroglubus Hall
Exhibit: All_Most Real
Curator(s): Dido Haas
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): MM (Mysterr)
Time: July and August 2016

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Gallery: UTSA ArtSpace
Exhibit: Reopening of UTSA
Curator(s): constructivIST Solo
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): Rebeca Bashly, Igor Ballyhoo,Eupalinos Ugajin, Ini Inaka, and Bryn Oh
Time: Closes last day of July 2016

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Gallery: Dixmix Gallery
Exhibit: The Bearable Lazyness of Being
Curator(s): dixmix Source
About: Photographs by Maloe Vansant and Burk Bode
Artist(s): Maloe Vansant and Burk Bode
Time: Unknown

Top photograph of MetaLES exhibit by Kate Bergdorf