art in june

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There is certainly no lack of art exhibits in Second Life during this first month of summer.  Besides the recently opened The Swamp , by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, the photograph exhibit MYdigliani by daze Landar, the permanent works at Gallery M by Mich Michabo, all at Berg by Nordan Art, there are several exhibits, as well as at least one major new sim-sized installation, to explore.

My first stop today is at dathuil where we find the exhibit Her and him, by Hillany Scofield, curated by Lucy Butoh and Max Butoh. This collection of photographs is the second part of a collaboration with moon Edenbaum, who showed his exhibit me_you here last month. I think there are sixteen color images here; some of them are very creatively mounted in the ceiling, I got dizzy counting, but I think I got it right. I really like this exhibit by hill.s. Not only do the images beautifully correspond with the works by moon, but they also convey a completely different kind of intimacy. hill.s notes about her exhibit that [o]n a day like any other she walks into that little café on the corner. She knows it`s never crowded at this time of day. when she grabs a coffee and her favorite lemon pie on her way home. But this day is unlike the other days and this man is unlike any other she had seen around here. And his presence felt different to all the others…. Each picture here truly does offer a peek into what feels like a deeply personal moment that is part of a story. There is also something homely about these photographs that I utterly adore. Head over and take a look before the exhibit closes on June 30.

There are two exhibits, one by Cipher and the other by Peep Sideshow, curated by CrankyGrit, in two small galleries on the newly opened sim The GoodLife.  The little galleries are located right after you enter the sim, nested in decayed builds, one on the left and on one the right hand side of the street. Both spaces are intimate, displaying a handful of really good images by each photographer. Looking forward to more art exhibit on this sim, this is a great start.

Sina Souza is showing a collection of her own most favorite photographs at the Art Gallery The Eye. I’ve seen all these images before, but honestly,  I never really tire of Sina’s work. Her painterly surrealist style always leaves me wanting more. Head over and take a look at these photographs, I am not really sure how long they will be up. Make sure to also check out Sina’s new work Mental Levels currently at MetaLES if you haven’t already.

Last, but certainly not least, there is an incredibly complex and beautiful installation, Flash Forward/Flash Backward, by Giovanna Cerise, curated by Dividni Shostakovich, at Split Screen. This is a multi-layered work, consisting of six connected parts; Dream, Point of View, The Desire, Lightness, The Impossible Choice and The Birth.  All parts are accessible either by walking through the build itself or teleporting from one part to another. Extensive information about the exhibit, including landmarks to each space, is provided at the landing point. Wandering through this maze-like structure made me feel like I was part of a dream. There were times when I took a wrong turn and felt lost, but then found my way again. The surrounding flickering, shifting images and colors further contribute to the experience of being in a dream state. Giovanna notes about her work that it encompasses imagery from the past, present and future: Everything appears and disappears, in a game in and out, in the will to create alienation effects, restlessness, suspended in an allusive and visionary atmosphere. In this wandering, however, intimate glimpses appear as flashes that isolate and force them to stop. They are moments of stasis, breaks that interrupt the anxiety of trying. Objects that are reflected or evanescent figures metaphorically produce in the present vague suggestions. The installation, formed for the most part from simple geometric elements , is thus presented as a destructured form, almost shapeless with the intent to create chaotic and changing moments. Inside there are spaces that vanish in the complex but depending on the angle they are perfectly visible. A fantastic show, great in every detail, bravo Giovanna, really. Head over and take a look before the installation closes on July 31.

There are many other exhibits I did not cover here because there is simply not enough time. Let me just mention here though Itakos Art Gallery and DixMix Gallery, both of which always have regularly rotating photography exhibits by great artists. Also, rumor on the street has it that there is a great new group show coming up at UTSA ArtSpace (I know my friend ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ will part-take) so please be on the lookout for announcements.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

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

art in february

the-haul

In addition to the two shows currently at Berg by Nordan Art, Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, and lacrimioare by Huck Hax, there is some incredible art to be seen in Second Life right now. First, we have to most recent installation, The Haul, by Haveit Neox, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, at MetaLES. We visited The Haul without any prior knowledge or information about it. And rather than attempting to interpret it here, I will share with you part of our conversation from when we visited the installation earlier today.

the-haul

[05:41] tutsy Navarathna: for me haveit is always in same time messy and poetic
[05:41] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): yeah, well put
[05:41] tutsy Navarathna: i like what he does
[05:41] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): a poetic mess
[05:41] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): me too
[05:42] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): he has his style, we know it is by him
[05:42] tutsy Navarathna: i don’t mind not to understand something
[05:42] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): i agree, its just a feeling
[05:42] tutsy Navarathna: we can let our imagination going on
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): aww look at those figures above us
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): soo beautiful
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): i want to take a pic, just a sec
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): the colors, the gentleness
[05:43] tutsy Navarathna: yes all details are very well done just as by a painter
[05:43] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): yeah does feel like a painting
[05:44] tutsy Navarathna: organic, vegetal
[05:44] tutsy Navarathna: mythologic
[05:44] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): he puts his soul into this
[05:45] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): this is really tremendously beautiful
[05:46] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): the longer i look at it, the more i see
[05:46] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): the figures that are part of this emerge
[05:46] tutsy Navarathna: yes need time to see all details and personnages

Head over and take a look at this latest work by Haveit and make sure to check out the installation Illogism by ChimKami Resident as well. Thank you Ux and Romy for all the incredible works you show at MetaLES!

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We have a Pink Floyd themed event at Orange Blue that opened this past weekend and will unfortunately close later today already. Curated by Ini Inaka, we find here sculptures by Igor Ballyhoo, animated textures by Willem Koba and walls by Ini Inaka and LeeAllison. I was lucky to bump into Ini as I was standing around putting together this post and she gave me some hints on how to experience this work; use Advanced Lighting and Midnight WL and wear the Record Thrower object provided and use mouse-look to crash walls. Following these instructions is indeed vital for an optimal experience; suddenly light is moving and flickering and walls come crashing down! Noteworthy here are of course also the older works by Igor Ballyhoo, My Lovely Wife, From Green Into Red and Red Into Green and Frozen Brain, amongst others. These sculptures so clearly have stood the test of time; I have said it before, and I will say it again, Igor’s works are Second Life classics. When I asked Ini to tell me a bit about this Pink Floyd themed event, she responded that the idea here was to let people destroy walls. And she noted, “Pink Floyd said it all:” Another Brick in the Wall. Thanks for showing me all this Ini and thanks also for refreshing my rusty mouse-look skills!

naninona

Another remarkable show currently on display is NaniNona, by Romy Nayar. I haven’t seen work by Romy in a while and was pleasantly surprised to see this little exquisite installation. About her work, Romy states in her note card, Nani nona na ni no na nani nona na ni nona naninona na ni nona na ninona na nino na na nino. Na ni nona naninona, na ni no naninona, na, ni nona ( nanino na nani no) na ninon a, which made me smile for the entire period that I wandered throughout this enchanting show. The exhibit consists of several rooms connected by doors. In each room, there is a display of a simple scene, all scenes seem to me to be little whimsical parts of stories, all remarkable in their own way and how they are displayed. All comes together here, Romy’s colors and her genial use of magical little figures and objects. Bravo, bravo, bravo Romy!

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Finally, we have another installation, Frogs, by Cica Ghost, that opened a few days ago. I am happy to see that Cica is back on a roll again and showing installations on a more frequent basis. Frogs consists of a hilly landscape, a few trees and the ruin of what once must have been a house. Situated on the ruin, there is a girl who is drawing on a wall; the drawing is of a girl dreaming of prince. On the other side of the wall there is another girl at a table watching TV and eating a lollipop. The TV is broken and the scene depicted inside it is very similar to the one in which the girl at the table finds herself outside of it. These two girls, with their dreams and fears, are at the center of the installation. Surrounding them, are a number of large frogs, moving gently in place. This installation feels a bit more hopeful than Cica’s last one somehow, more playful. And I always love seeing her  little figures, dressed like dolls, in knitted sweaters and socks. Great detail here, head over and take a look. There is a free frog avatar available at the landing point, make sure to click the sign.

Top photograph by Tutsy Navarathna and all others by Kate Bergdorf

berg by nordan art: gallery changes

gallery-changes

As mentioned in a blog post a few weeks ago, there will be several changes made to Berg by Nordan Art, all effective starting April. First, I am happy to officially introduce Tutsy Navarathna as my co-manager and co-curator. Tutsy has already played an integral part in the gallery for the past years and it seems only fitting that he should now take on a more visible role. Our shared goal continues to be presenting you only with outstanding virtual art; photography, installations and machinima.  Gallery M, the permanent exhibit space for the artist Mich Michabo, will remain as is. Mich has been working on a new exhibit and I anticipate we will have the opening in a few months. The format of the Berg by Nordan Art gallery in the sky remains the same; we have four photographers per year, each showing their work for a period of three months. We will replace the current a bit dated gallery build with a new building by Abiss. L’annexe, which I have been using to exhibit my photographs, will become a space where Tutsy and I present collaborative work a few times per year. We have already started work on a new machinima. Last, but not least, I just received word that Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu have graciously agreed to permanently exhibit their installations on the ground. We will see two or more new installations by them per year, the next one some time in May or June. I have been an admirer of the work by Meilo and CapCat since I first came to SL in 2009. It is a great honor for me that they accepted our offer to become resident artists. That is all for now. Please check this blog, or join the group Berg by Nordan Art inworld, for updates and announcements.

Photograph 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.

Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu and Huckleberry Hax at Berg by Nordan Art

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We have two new exiting exhibits coming up at Berg by Nordan Art; one, the installation Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, and the other, a collection of photographs, lacrimioare, by Huckleberry Hax. The opening for both is on Sunday, January 8, at 9 AM SLT and the exhibits will on display until the end of March 2017.

The collaborating artists Meilo Minotaour and CapCat Ragu are familiar to most in Second Life. The two built the sim Delicatessen, that held projects like de Maria, de Mariana, de Madalena, Petrified and Meta_Body. Both have since 2008 devoted their artistic activities to the Metaverse, working individually and collaboratively in the Second Life virtual environment where they held several solo exhibitions and collaborated with artists from different fields and nationalities. Meilo Minotaur is an artist with a background in sculpture. She was as a member of the handicrafts group Gárgula, having participated in several international exhibitions and won various prizes. CapCat Ragu is an artist with a background in painting and art studies. She was a member of the artistic association Caldeira 213 and the artistic collective ZOiNA, having participated in the creation and organization of several artistic activities since. She is an assistant professor at Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Viseu since 2007.

I am incredibly excited to show the very magical and awe-inspiring installation Penumbra by these two talented artists. Sound is an integral part of the installation so please make sure you have it on; voices are by Rita Eustáquio, Luís Eustáquio and Catarina Carneiro de Sousa. Sound capture and editing is by Takio Ra. We also highly recommend using the region windlight London 2026. There are several free avatars available and you can get them by touching the cocoon, or  sitting and clicking on the first tree and the caterpillars. Please read and respect the license of the avatars you are given. About their installation Penumbra then, the Meilo and CatCat note that [t]he old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” This is, usually, the quote we most see attributed to Antonio Gramsci, the Italian theorist, politician, and freedom fighter. However, this is not the true quote. In Italian, what Gramsci wrote in Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks) was: “La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.”. This would more accurately translate to: “Crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born, in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” But Prison Notebooks suffered several translation mutations, such as: “Le vieux monde se meurt, le nouveau monde tarde à apparaître et dans ce clair-obscur surgissent les monstres.” This mutation was carried over to portuguese translation: “O velho mundo agoniza; o novo mundo tarda a nascer, e, nesse claro-escuro, irrompem os monstros”. Back to English, this would translate to “The old world is dying, the new world is slow to appear and in this chiaroscuro the monsters arise.” The word “penumbra” exists both in English and Portuguese. It means partial illumination, a chiaroscuro, the dusk. Going back to the original quote, this penumbra, this forest, is the interregno, mutated by the flux of words in translation, adding poetic resonance to Gramsci’s pragmatism. Beware of the “morbid symptoms” you might embody!

huck-hax-poster

Huckleberry Hax’s fine photography exhibit lacrimioare (which means “Lily” in Roman), is his first. It is such an honor for me to show the work of this mulit-talented artist and close friend. Most of you may know Huck as a writer and publisher of numerous virtual world inspired works and, more recently, also a machinima-maker and builder. Over the past year or so we have also seen an increased activity by Huck on Flickr and his beautiful photographs have quickly become popular. About his exhibit lacrimioare, Huck provides a poem and notes that it is about [t]he new absence of someone loved.

For Lily.

she wobbles at the edge of the drop
crouched, reaching
she takes a fistful of dirt from the box
kisses her soiled fingers
and sobs
and throws it down
savagely
upon polished wood and white petals

Both exhibits will be open until the end of March 2017, at which time we are planning some changes for the gallery. But more about this to come at a later time. For now, hope to see you all on Sunday, at which time sim will again open its doors to the public.