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!

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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

illogism

There is a new exhibit, Illogism, by ChimKami, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, at MetaLES, that opened to the public yesterday. I could unfortunately not attend due to RL commitments, but was lucky enough to have received a sneak-peek preview a few days before. Let me tell you, if there was ever an upside-down world that made sense to me, it would be this one! First-time exhibitor Chim is off to an excellent start with this work, combining her 55 photographs as well as objects, poses and movement to produce an exhilarating whole. Visitors are encouraged to fly or use the Walker HUD for optimal experience; with it you can walk up walls and generally get a sense of being upside down and have a tilted and overall quite mesmerizing experience. I also adore the colors used in this installation; integrated with the rest, it simply leaves one smiling and feeling happy. See above for the machinima of this exhibit, put together by Tutsy Navarathna; it captures the installation so beautifully. Bravo to all for your contributions to this exhibit. It will be open until the end of February, head over before it is too late.

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.

aisling at dathuil

equilibre

Currently at dathuil, curated by Lucy Diamond and Max Butoh, we have a great new group exhibit, Aisling (ASH-ling; vision, dream, apparition). On display at this show are 20 images by artists who previously showed their photographs at the gallery. These photographers were asked to contribute an image consisting of their interpretation of the theme of togetherness. The contributing artists, and their work(s) for the exhibit, are Gaus (cicciuzzo.gausman): Femme d’Essence, Togetherness; Mrs S (lauralar): Minimalism, Minimalism dark; Mr S. (saka.infinity): All About You; daze landar (daisydaze): A Show of Hands, His Warmth; Yann Whoa (lottomann): Dedication, Admiration; k a t e (katebergdorf): Beside Me; Your Mother (elizabethnantes): AtHome; Ash (ashratum): Bare Witness, Triangulation; Io (io.bechir): Waiting for Dawn, In Life a Slave In Death a Warrior; Maloe Vansant: Stand up for a new future; Mi (kissmi): Winter Undergrowth, Winter dog roses; and Joslyn.Benson (jolivea.tyran): and i’ve lost, stay close. There will be no formal opening for this show, but it is open to the public as of today and will remain in place until the end of January. Head over and take a look!

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Top photograph of exhibit at dathuil by Tutsy Navarathna
Bottom photograph of Lucy and Max by Kate Bergdorf

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

Tout est Allumé by Tutsy Navarathna

tout-est-allume-01

For those of you who have not yet seen the exhibit Tout est Allumé, by French artist Tutsy Navarathna at MetaLES, there is still time. This spectacular work, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, with technical assistance by ChimKami and Yoon, will be open until the end of the year. What we find here are six stories of machinima art, 35 movies all in all, made up of 16 machinima and 19 short animations. It would be a mistake to think of this as simply a retrospective of Tutsy’s machinima as there are several new shorter animations to be seen as well. All films are displayed on several levels and to me they somehow feel both separate and connected. The space surrounding the machinima consists of geometric shapes, some of are moving and some static. Translucent staircases connect the different floors. Crucial to the experience of this multidimensional work are of course the animations and music, which are set in continuous loops. There are poses and props, rain, umbrellas, a grand piano and much more, all contributing to a most unique and playful immersive experience.

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This is a monumental installation and well thought out in its complexity. The visitor will want to come prepared to spend time. Tutsy has with this work integrated sound, movement and animation to create a sophisticated immersive whole and with it beautifully displays the notion of the virtual; 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 . . . Bravo Tutsy, this is truly a groundbreaking contribution not only to our SL world of art but also to the virtual community at large. Noteworthy is also that visitors to this exhibit will likely not have any technical difficulties at all. The machinima themselves are easy to play; simply place the cursor on the bar on the movie screen and press play, replay or stop. They can also be viewed on the web. It quite remarkable to me how these films can be played simultaneously inworld without the sound or the visuals of each machinima interfering with the other. Quite the technical challenge, congrats to all involved for mastering this aspect too. The recommended WL is midnight and draw-distance 200. There are illuminated lines and large arrows on the ground showing the way. Head over and take a look before this installation closes to the public in about two weeks. You will not want to miss it!

Photographs by Tutsy Navarathna

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

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