art in march

dathuil

There is some great art to be seen in Second Life this month. I’ve been unusually busy in RL lately and have missed attending SL openings and also haven’t been able to blog about them in advance. But this morning then we started on a filled-to-the-brim-kinda-art-day and I am happy to share with you here what we experienced. Our first stop was Dathuil Gallery of Art, where Prairie Kawashima yesterday had the opening for her show Private Sphere, curated by Lucy Diamond and Max Butoh. It has been a bit quiet lately at dathuil and I was happy to see that exhibits are up and running again! I love the way this show is set up; there are simply a group of strategically placed screens in the middle of the room on the ground floor, some with photographs and some without. The viewer has the experience of being in maze and faces the photographs wandering thought it. The photographs themselves are subtly provocative with an erotic edge and technically really well done. Prairie notes about her exhibit that [f]or almost a decade, Second Life has been my refuge – a place of boredom, excess, love and inspiration. Some of this incredible mixture that i keep enjoying so much has turned into a river of self-shots (including occasional homages to my closest friends) that has found its way to my flickr account. Other things will forever remain private. “Private Sphere” is a selection of mostly unpublished pictures that have been between these two categories for some time. Some of them I’m still not sure if they shouldn’t have remained private. In any event, I hope you can enjoy parts of it.  This exhibit will be open until April 2. Head over and take a look if you haven’t already.

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We had heard here and there, via a few group announcements and random private notecard invitations by artists, that something was brewing at LEA10. To my knowledge, there has been no major formal announcement by Linden Endowment for the Arts themselves, other than a posting on their blog, about the exhibits that opened yesterday. It seems it was left to the artists themselves to promote the event. Luckily, resident-artist blip mumfuzz (above, left) teleported us in to her part of this sim-wide Victorian London themed group show. blip’s exhibit is dispersed amongst two floors and consists of photographs taken on her virtual world journeys. She notes that I am an improviser by nature…in life and in my art. My images are typically the result of an unplanned, spontaneous interaction with my environment. I got into image-making as a way to record my travels through SL and as a way to hold onto the memory of some of those places. Soon, however, I noticed that I started seeing differently…looking in a different way. I found that once I found saw something interesting I’d start moving the camera around. Looking over and under, behind and between. I began looking less at the things themselves…and more at visual and spatial relationships things. Do head over and check out blip’s work, the LEA10 link above will take you there; and continue wandering around outside to explore the work of other artists. There are several great photographers (I believe around 40) who have their work on display here, nestled in spaces amongst little Victorian stores; most noteworthy to us was the stellar work by Kato Salyut.

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Our third stop was a little sneak-peek preview of the exhibit Wandering World, by nekonuko Nakamori, presented by One Caress. The opening is today, March 5, 2015 at 10 AM SLT and the show will remain open until the end of the month. This is the second exhibit in a very short period of time by the talented Miss Nakamori; her other show, [I AM nekonuko] Who are you?, opened at IMAGO last month. The One Caress show, a collection of 24 photographs, is displayed in a large maze of sorts. The maze, as well as the texture used, serve as a great backdrop for these large colorful images. As we were finding our way through the winding path we lingered a while in front of photographs.

2017/03/05 08:10] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): i like this one
[2017/03/05 08:11] tutsy Navarathna: she has a poetic univers
[2017/03/05 08:11] k a t e (KateBergdorf Resident): she does, her own world

Head over and take a look for yourselves at this lovely exhibit. All photographs are for sale in the last little room.

untitledOther noteworthy exhibits that you don’t want to miss this month are, in no particular order, Under the Sea by Cica Ghost (see image above); Bleeding Books by Haveit Neox at Split ScreenAlpha Auer at UTSA ArtSpace; and The Art Rocket by Betty Tureaud at LEA19.

Photographs by Tutsy Navarathna and 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

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.

art in december

hand

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

flickr and art

flickr-and-art

Now and then we notice in our Flickr community commentary about certain photographs not being art. Some of these comments are nice, some are not so nice. These comments generally posit that images of nudity and sex are more popular and as they are thus favored more often and get more comments they must then not really be art. I will not get into here what is art and what is not art, but just suggest that images posted on Flickr are both and neither. Flickr is a unique modern phenomenon that is hard to define. It is a platform for creativity and some photographs are clearly better than others. It is also a community, a place where we exchange and express our experiences in the virtual world. Flickr has different meanings for different people. Personally, I like Flickr because others inspire me; I learn from them. I post my photos for feedback and it is unimportant to me whether or not my images are considered art or not. It just doesn’t matter that much. Many of us get excited when we see an image we like and can relate to and we give it a comment and a star. Why is this perceived by some as being so wrong? It has perhaps something to do with the strange phenomenon that the images created by people who consider themselves artists usually get less stars and less comments. I don’t know why some of the more artistic pictures get less attention on Flickr and I have wondered about it myself. Could it also be that some virtual world artists feel frustrated by a general lack of recognition, not only on Flickr but also inworld, and are in fact envious of some Flickr photographers getting more attention (i.e, Flickr stars, comments, followers) than they themselves do? Just saying.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

art in november

from-here-on-there-be-dragons

There is plenty of art to be seen in SL in November. Currently at my own gallery, Berg by Nordan Art, we have The Joy Formidable, by Livio Korobase, and L’avion en Papier, by ◦⊱Mi⊰◦, both open until the end of the year. My first stop on my gallery tour this morning then was the recently opened From here on there be dragons, by Alpha Auer, curated by Dividini Shostakovich, at Split Screen Installation Space. The installation will be open until the end of January 2017. First off, let me just say, nobody does gold in SL like Alpha Auer (previously covered here). This installation consists of several large golden dragons, mirrored in the renaissance map surface below, and surrounded by modern geometric black structures. Alpha notes that [w]hen Medieval and Renaissance map makers got to the edge of the world, they used to write “beyond this place there be dragons,” meaning dangerous or unexplored territories that sailors should beware of before attempting to cross into them. This was expressed by the visual practice of putting dragons, sea serpents and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps. In this installation I have used a Renaissance map, a leaf from Abraham Ortelius’s “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum,” as the floor of a dark, geometric architecture which floats high in the sky, depicting an abstract, reflected world guarded by tangibly real-looking dragons. Alpha Auer, aka Elif Ayiter, is a designer, educator and researcher, you can read more about what she does on her website.

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My second gallery stop was the exhibit Always Closer, by the French artist Lil’ Frenchie elo, curated by Dido Haas at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery. The exhibit will be open until the end of December 2016. Here we find sixteen large photographs, mostly studies of BDSM, beautifully put together and quite expressive. Elo notes that [s]ubmission is the ability to give the best of you to the one you love, without any questioning about the reasons of this love. It’s there, that’s all and you must show it, you must say it, and get Always Closer to it, because life is too short. Great job putting this together Elo, congratulations.

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At MetaLES, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, is still open on the ground the installation Tumor by Igor Ballyhoo. In the MetaLES sky space can be found the exhibit, Tout Est Allume, by  Tutsy Navarathna. This is a compilation of 16 machinima and 19 animated shorts by Tutsy. About this exhibit, he notes that [a] friend of mine, Etienne Armand Amato, once mentioned this: It’s because we only have one life we need . . . several. 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 . . . The show will be open until the end of the year.

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Lastly, we have an exhibit an multi-artist exhibit by Maloe Vansant, Fingers Scintilla and Dixmix Source at the DIXMIX Gallery, which opens tomorrow, Wednesday, November 23 at 12 PM SLT. Head over to the opening if you can, it promises to be a great exhibit by these three talented photographers.

Photograph on top by Kate Bergdorf

best second life galleries 2016

best-second-life-galleries-2016

As the year gradually comes to an end, it is time for my list of the fifteen best second life art galleries again. Just like my Best Second Life Galleries 2015 list, this is a completely subjective compilation, which includes both in-house galleries and large sim-installation spaces showing only SL art. I am considering for the gallery list the quality of the art shown in the gallery, the curator investment and dedication to the gallery itself and, finally, the uniqueness of the gallery build or space. Like last year, I am only including galleries that exhibit artists on a rotating basis. Some of the galleries that were on last year’s list are still there. Others have been removed to make room for new ones. Just like last year, I apologize in advance for not having included all galleries and I also may have missed some that in fact should have made the list. If anyone thinks that a gallery should be on this list, but it is not, please contact me. Let me just mention here also that the arts are still alive and kicking in SL! Noteworthy for the year of 2016 is I think that we have seen an influx of excellent smaller galleries showing photography and, sadly, a decline in larger spaces showing installations. Below please find in alphabetical order the Best Second Life Galleries 2016 list.

Name: ArtSpace at UTSA Gallery
Curator/Owner: constructivIST Solo
About: Gallery space and full-sim installation area

Name: Berg by Nordan Art
Curator/Owner: Kate Bergdorf
About: Gallery space and full-sim installation area

Name: Crossworlds Gallery
Curator/Owner: Fabilene Cortes
About: Multi-gallery complex

Name: DaphneArts Gallery
Curator/Owner: Angelika Corral and Sheldon
About: Gallery Space

Name: dathuil Gallery of Art
Curators/Owners: Max Butoh and Lucy Diamond
About: Gallery space

Name: Hills Gallery
Curator/Owner: Hills
About: Gallery space

Name: KaFu Ato gallery at Hafenviertel
Curator/Owner: Katy Amano/Wintergeist
About: Gallery Space

Name: Lollygagger Art Center
Curator/Owner: Chrissssy
About: Gallery Space

Name: MetaLES
Curators/Owners: Ux Hax and Romy Nayar
About: Full-sim installation area

Name: Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (former Nitroglobus)
Curator/Owner: Dido Haas
About: Gallery space

Name: Split Screen Installation Space
Curator/Owner: Dividni Shostakovitch
About: Half-sim installation space

Name: Tart Gallery
Curator/Owner: Byrne Darkly Cazalet
About: Gallery space

Name: The Galleries (NORTH, WEST, and EAST)
Curator/Owner: Ernie Farstrider
About: Multi-gallery complex

Name: The Pretentious Gallery (former Broad Street Gallery)
Curator/Owner: Isa Missantropa
About: Gallery space

Name: The White Canvas Gallery
Curator/Owner: G o o d c r o s s
About: Gallery space

art in october

igor

There are several exciting art installations and photography exhibits to be seen in SL for the remainder of October, some of them extending into November and December. I spent the morning teleporting around these places and taking some pics. Below is, in no particular order, some of the shows I found noteworthy. There are of course many more exhibits on the grid, there was just not time enough to post them all here.

giovanna

Monochrome by Giovanna Cerise at LEA 21 opened a few days ago and will remain open until the end of December. This is a large-scale installation that integrates the colors black, red, and white on three levels. Giovanna notes that [t]he choice of black, white and red was dictated by my passion for these colors that evoke a multitude of contrasting references, in agreement or in continuation with each other. The invitation, then, is to experience the different possibilities of light and ambience offering the virtual world. Single color it takes on different aspects and nuances almost endless and the effects increase and multiply, creating a restless disorientation.  For more information about Giovanna, check out her blog.

joslyn

There is an exquisite little exhibit, A Travel Between Feelings, by Joslyn Benson at KaFu Ato gallery at Hafenviertel that will be open until Christmas. This is a collection of seven mostly black and white photographs by Joslyn. I don’t believe these images are new for this show, but it doesn’t really matter. It is always such a feast for the eye to explore the delicate works by this talented artist. Let me also add here that I have really come to like this little gallery. Situated in an odd little grungy area with brothels and all kinds of sex shops, it succeeds in providing an intimate space for art.

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MetaLES, by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, is split into two parts; one space is in the air, showing photographs and the ground space remains for large installations. In the gallery in the sky, we find the exhibit 5Y SMOKING, by the talented Lan, her first exhibit. And it is a great one where she shows a collection of photographs, all with the theme smoking. Her exhibit will be open until the end of the month. On the ground we find the installation Tumor, by Igor Ballyhoo, which will be open to the end of this month also (see top photograph). It is no secret to my readers that I am a great fan of the work by Igor. I find this installation reminiscent of one of his earlier works, Metamorphosis; a large space filled with parts coming together to create a mysterious whole. Surrealist inspired blood-shot eye-balls and twirling drill-heads are positioned between greenish towers and metal structures. Igor notes about his exhibit that [t]his work is my acknowledgment of greed for material things of human kind which is so powerful that it is going to cost us our own existence. This is not effort to fight it, it is not made in least hope to change anything, it is just a recording of my observation of human society at this pointI dedicate this work to person who unknowingly inspired it, one of the richest people alive, woman who made her fortune on coal digging, Gina Rinehart. Make sure to see these installations before they close in a few days.

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Last, but not least, another first exhibit, Out of Shadows, by Jason phitphanatic, can be seen at the Black Lux Gallery. This is a collection of twelve photographs, all in one way or another expressing the interplay of shadows and light. This is a wonderful first show with well-thought out and finely constructed images, make sure not to miss it before it closes by the end of the month.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

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

lavion-en-papier-by-mi-poster

berglivio

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