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

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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

art in august

isa

As readers of this blog know by now, I like to start my monthly art reports with updates on my own gallery, Berg by Nordan Art. We are currently showing the installation The Swamp, by CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur, the photography exhibit Loss, by Senna Coronet, as well as the exhibit The Other (Gallery M), by Mich Michabo. All shows are accessible via teleport from the main gallery. Coming up in October, CapCat and Meilo have a new installation planned, one that will correspond with a real life exhibit. moon Edenbaum will show a photograph exhibit from October through December. More about this to come.

I finally visited Welcome to My Brain, by Isa Messioptra, curated by Lucy Butoh and Max Butoh, at dathuil. Essential to this exhibit are Phototools settings and detailed instructions are posted on the wall at the entrance. I’ve been wanting to see this exhibit for a while now, but have simply been too busy to make it. Upon arrival then, standing in front of a red wallpapered room containing a large brain, it hits me that dathuil has been completely transformed! This show is set on two levels, a new floor, walls and stairs have been installed. Isa notes about her work that [e]ver wanted to take a journey through the human brain? No, not really? Eew? Well too bad because I am going to make you. This new exhibit at Dathuil is different than anything I have worked on before. It is not just images but is intended to be an immersive experience. As you walk through the exhibit you travel through different chambers of the subconscious each completely different from the next much like a Fun House. In this exhibit I use light projection, reflective surfaces, mesh builds, photography, video, physics, animated textures etc. etc. The exhibit consists of several little scenes exploring unconscious experiences and corners of the brain. Intricately constructed displays and outstanding photography, bright colors, shiny textures, and light contribute to this being one of the most stellar exhibits I have seen this year. I bumped into Isa while I was visiting and she said about her work that I started experimenting with reflections and different animated surfaces so I figured I would pick the brain as a subject because it gives me license to do anything. Head over and check out this amazing exhibit, it will be open until the end of August.

The exhibit Selfies, by Burk Bode, curated by Fuyoko Amano (aka Wintergeist), at Club LA Gallery, opened July 30. The show consists of 16 large color portraits, contained in a large black box (suggested WL settings are Midnight or Ambient Dark). The photographs displayed here are sheer and layered, leaving the viewer with the sense of being in a labyrinth surrounded by multiple faces. About this exhibit, Burk notes that [c]hanging my look constantly as shapeshifter some of my shapes last for a day, for one picture, and some stay. A constant change, hard to keep as is this show. Hard to look at. Every look translucent and overlain by former or future versions of the “me.” I met up with Burk at Club LA, took some pics and we talked about his work.

[08:03] Burk Bode: I thought it would be nice to show some of the faces I made
[08:04] Burk Bode: as I was thinking of how to fill the box, I had the idea of making the pics translucent
[08:04] Burk Bode: so that you can see one face behind the other
[08:05] Burk Bode: like I do in my head
[08:05] Burk Bode: always the next idea already there while I still work on the actual one
[08:09] Kate: so this is really a representation of the images you see in your mind of people
[08:09] Kate: at the same time, multilayered
[08:09] Kate: its like thinking
[08:10] Burk Bode: yep
[08:10] Burk Bode: the split personality me
[08:10] Kate: well i think we all think that way somehow
[08:10] Kate: constant stimuli

A very cool exhibit and a must see. Head over and take a look before it closes in a week or so.

Split Screen, the installation art space curated by Dividni Shostakovich, received a six-month LEA Artist in Residence grant starting in July and is now located on LEA15. Congrats, Dividni! Currently on display as of yesterday are two new installations, EveryWhere and NoWhere by JadeYu Fhang, and The Games We Play by Krystali Rabeni. JadeYu’s work is the larger of the two and located on the ground level. Consisting of several small scenes on multiple levels, this complex work is made up of fantasy figures, ladders, metal beams, and chromosome-like shapes. There is movement, light and fog. The installation initially felt haphazardly put together to me. After a while, however, my impression of it being unfinished and random was replaced by a sense of immersion, a beautiful and purposeful chaos. Really well done, Jade. This installation can’t be rushed through, make sure to spend some time exploring. The work by Krystali consists of a huge chessboard, on it silver and gold chess pawns. Winged chess pieces are part of this installation as well, lending it a sense of movement and intrigue. Head over and take a look at these two installations before they close at the end of September.

There are a few other art events that should not be missed this month. Cica Ghost’s Future opened a few days ago. Her installation consists of a small, grayish island on which are positioned tall cement buildings, a large sea-animal observes the scene from the water. Cica provides about her work a quote by John Greene, “If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.” The installation Ripple, A Meditation on Waves, by Douglas Story & Desdemona Enfield (sonic environment by March Macbain a.ka. Emily Wilkins in RL), is a small visual sonic space where the visitor interacts with the environment. The Holly Kai Art in the Park August 2017 event features Dido Haas, Diamond Marchant, Cecilia Nansen Mode, Jes Mode and Fuyoko Amano (aka Wintergeist).

I know of at least two new shows scheduled to open at the end of August, both of them group exhibits. One at DaphneArts Gallery, curated by Sheldon BeRgman and Angelika Corall, and the other at IMAGO Art Gallery, curated by Mareea Farrasco. More of this to come in next month’s monthly art write-up!

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

Moonlight

Moonlight

The new installation Moonlight by Cica Ghost opened a few days ago. As always, the style of the work is easily recognizable as Cica’s. Whimsical knitted socks and sweaters on a clothes line, little houses, swaying grass, different textured stone walls, all surrounded by the blue, blue ocean. But there is also something magical about this exhibit that we haven’t really seen before; flying carts, twinkling stars and a large moon. A few figures linger in their sleepwear, standing on mountain tops, longingly staring at the moon above. This is a very dreamy work by Cica that you do not want to miss. Head over and take a look.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf