A Different Vision

Amplituhedron, LEA25 (SLurl). By Misprint Thursday. Click to embiggen or see it on Flickr.

Amplituhedron, LEA25 (SLurl). By Misprint Thursday.
Click to embiggen or see it on Flickr.

In the last month or so I’ve looked at an awful lot of art in Second life in both the current and archaic senses of the word. One thing I’ve learned through all of this is that I seem to have a different vision of art or what makes something art. Do you find the image above to be lovely? Inspiring? Imagine it with some animation (diamonds dripping from the sky) and color shifting. Any different? I’m totally non-plussed. So much of what I’ve looked at has been muted colors seldom straying far from beige. Most of the the themes have been of darkness and decay. So much has been discordant formlessness.

Inaka 1 by Ziki Questi, in her gallery (SLurl). Click to embiggen or see it on Flickr.

Inaka 1 by Ziki Questi, in her gallery (SLurl).Click to embiggen or see it on Flickr.

Maybe that is why photography is my preferred medium. There is art all around us. Photography can capture a slice. Form, color, time, space, energy, all encapsulated in a snap. But that’s not quite it. I rather fancy sculpture, too, though I’m rubbish at making. If only I could be a polymath like da Vinci or Michelangelo.

Gallery after gallery, I linger in the Renaissance rooms, the Old Masters rooms, the snack bar (cupcakes are art), then whiz through the Modernists and Pop pieces. I don’t get Warhol or Mondrian. Picasso? Scribbles to me. Heresy! I’m sure someone is shouting right now. I have a different vision. We all have a different vision.

Second Life as Literature [Update]

Strawberry Singh’s “Second Life Book Cover Meme” – without further comment so I don’t have confirm or deny anything you might be thinking.

Meme instructions: Create a book cover to show your avatar in fiction. It does not have to be based on a real book, it can be one that you make up. Don’t forget to leave a link to your cover in the comments and share it in the Blog Memes flickr group.

[Update] Because people have asked … Yes, that is me on the fireplace portrait, courtesy of http://www.in20years.com

Isla Okiddo

“After six months of analyzing, building and rebuilding I’m proud to present you something different,” begins a note card and early access invitation from Liara “Kemicq” Okiddo to explain all the teasing she’s done on the My SL feeds about her unique art project at Isla Okiddo (SLurl). A few months ago she had a sneak peek, of sorts, at a mini-build called the Scotland Airport. There I signed a guest book and won early access to the big build. About a week ago, after promising to not reveal details, I hung out on the island for a couple days snapping pictures using the default Windlight settings (with only very minor tweaks).

The arrival dock … A warm, inviting space with a hint or two about what awaits visitors.
At a fork in the path, if you head left you’ll go to the amazing art exhibition. If you head right there’s a beach and a jungle past the amazing dome house
This is the bridge to the art and a great view of what is likely the most lush jungle in all Second Life. I could almost feel the humidity and hear the buzz of insects as I walked around.
I could live in this house … and may have to annex this one as I’ll probably never have enough land to compliment one of my own as well as Liara has with her very skillful landscaping.
Gong past the house you’ll come upon a peaceful beach. So peaceful, in fact, I almost fell asleep here one afternoon.
A perfect balance of water, sand, rocks, and vegetation. I just can’t praise the landscaping enough. How many times can I use the word lush?
Stop and listen … look … fully immerse yourself as you explore.
The landscape is truly magical …
… the path to the exhibition space adds to the magic …
… and the exhibition space is magic incarnate.
Everywhere you look you will encounter something unique and absorbing.
Every angle is a visual feast.
Just when you think you’ve overloaded, the intensity builds in the final chamber. Fortunately, the space embraces you with a soft balance that encourages you to explore.

Too many semesters of art classes in High School, endless trips over the years to galleries in cities large and towns small, and an embarrassingly tall stack of artsy coffee table books really didn’t prepare me for the experience of Isla Okiddo. Whether you are a nature lover, an art connoisseur. or someone who appreciates a unique experience, I highly encourage you to visit (SLurl). If you have pictures of your visit that you’d like to share, please post the info in the comments.

What is so real about a surreal world?

Poetry. Just one of many things I really don’t get. That’s probably why I don’t often listen to a song’s lyrics. Violence against women, homophobia, and vegetables on pizza also confuse me. There just seems to be no point. Surrealism. Don’t get me started.

Actually, Strawberry Singh‘s weekly blog challenge got me started on surrealism. The details can be found on her blog (here) but essentially we are tasked to “create an image in Second Life that has a surreal feel to you. Don’t forget to share your link in the comments and add your picture to the Blog Memes flickr group.” I’ve been quite stymied as to where to take this challenge. I even dug out old art class books from the basement. It’s not hard to recognize surrealism when I see it, but … but … but, that’s about all I can do. My not really getting the concepts is compounded by the need to work within a virtual world that is, in my limited understanding, inherently surreal. Second Life.

For example, in SL you click a door to open it or the door opens when you get close to it though it is textured or built to have a door knob. Or you’ll notice that houses in SL sometimes have kitchens but only very, very rarely have toilet facilities. Further, I’m pretty sure it’s hard to go a hundred meters in most any direction without running into some virtual representation of food.

That’s just the “physical” part of Our World. Standards are surreal, too. Back when the Lindens maintained offices in-world and each had land on which to put a house or other build, I found “sex beds” as the major piece of furniture on more than one such site.

Oh, Ceelo, what were you thinking? Well, you weren’t the only one.

Landscapers flatten “live” terrain then add artificial hills, streams, ponds, and rocks. Many parcels in the winterized regions have palm trees and tiki huts. Christmas, Halloween, and other seasonal holidays are always being celebrated somewhere. Perhaps that isn’t surreal as there’s a shop called Christmas Tree Shop in a mall next to a mega hardware store. But you can’t deny that Furries and Tinies and people that stand on the ocean floor like statues aren’t surreal.

A recent comment on a friend Crap Mariner‘s MySL post (here) should let you know that I’m not being judgmental by singling out these groups. Those who know me have seen me as a Furry, a Tiny, and standing on the ocean floor emulating statuary (sometimes as a Furry or a Tiny). On Crap’s post I noted how pleased I was to see the giant birds he had placed as decorations around around a room for one of his events and I commented that I’d like to see more of that in Our World. Sometimes we get too wound up in making our virtual spaces so much like our real spaces that we lose something. What we lose just might be that we forget our avatars are, in the long run, real people regardless of the surreal things we do to them.  Like that time I painted myself shades of green, orange, and yellow before visiting the Eagle lander on the Moon. Try that, Real Life.

Happy Yet Sad: A Touch of Ireland

How did I not know about A Touch of Ireland (SLurl) before yesterday when I got the news that it was closing and was having a massive sale? Admittedly it looks familiar and I think I saw one of the Oktoberfest dresses on the SL Marketplace (SLM) when shopping a couple months ago, but I don’t think I’ve been here ere now. Yes, the sale makes me happy yet I’m sad that the shop is going away. Take a look at some pix of the amazing clothes and product shots in the shop.

Tons of holiday costumes, many with special skins or accessories, like these for Día de los Muertos. If there’s a national holiday somewhere, I bet you can find a costume for it in this shop.

I bought these devil and angel costumes for only L$50 each, normally L$375 apiece, wings, horns, halo, and skins included. Most items look to have the same markdown. And aren’t these pictures stunning? Each product prim is like a work of art. I also bought a Wizard of Oz Scarecrow Girl costume at a huge discount (Web).

I bet pictures like these could be sold as art either in Second Life or on Web sites that feature art.

Squeeeee! I’m so not femme enough to pull this off so I only looked. Despite the gown being just L$50, the matching jewelry pack to the right was L$200 – a fair price or a steal combined.

Of course A Touch of Ireland has Irish clothes! I don’t remember if I bought this one or not because I was just clicking and paying, clicking and paying until my L$500-something purse was nearly empty. I bought one item for just L$1!

I hope that AliciaKay Kilara can bring her shop back in-world sometime but until then you should stock up now, ladies, as the shop is going away on the 16th!!. Only a few items will be available on the SLM (Web) at full-price. Guys, too, should stop in as there are many outfits for the gents.