Tag Archives: Art in SL

Signs and portents in Second Life

Escenas / Scenes: El Miedo /The Fear

Escenas / Scenes: El Miedo /The Fear

Now open at MetaLES is the third instalment of Ux Hax and Romy Nayar’s 4-part series of scenes entitled Escenas / Scenes. Taken together, all four parts are apparently intended to tell a story, although they are not necessarily being presented in chronological sequence.

While I missed the first in the series,  EL Tiempo / The Time, which ran from November 1st through to the 14th, I did catch the second element, Decisiones / Decisions, which I wrote about here. This has now been replaced by El Miedo /The Fear, which opened on November 28th, and will remain at MetaLES for the next two weeks. And like the first two in the series, it is an installation on a gigantic scale.

Escenas / Scenes: El Miedo /The Fear

Escenas / Scenes: El Miedo /The Fear

Central to the piece is a woman standing in a room. A tall clock sides to one side, a sideboard to the other alongside an open window. Behind her, the door to the room stands slightly ajar, almost beckoning. Towering over all of this is a truly enormous figure of a crouching man, arms wrapped in a straitjacket, while before the woman – who is arrayed in black – a baby’s crib fades repeatedly in and out of view.

The first thing which tends to spring to mind on seeing the main scene – the woman and crib in the room – is that it reflects the loss of an infant child; but what then of the looming figure of the straitjacketed man? What role does he play? The husband / father, perhaps, driven mad over the loss of the child? The cause of the baby’s death? Or something else entirely?

Both Decisiones / Decisions and EL Tiempo / The Time seemed to me to resonate with elements of the Major Arcana from the tarot – The Hermit appearing in EL Tiempo / The Time; with  Justice, The Chariot and The Hanged Man in Decisiones / Decisions. Within El Miedo /The Fear there is what appears to be at least one reference to the tarot; supported in the woman’s cupped hands is a stone tower, perhaps representative of The Tower from the Major Arcana.

Escenas / Scenes: El Miedo /The Fear

Escenas / Scenes: El Miedo /The Fear

If this indeed the intended symbolism, it fits the broader part of the story: The Tower is associated with sudden, disruptive, and potentially destructive change – and what could be more destructive and disruptive than the death of an infant child? But there is potentially more here as well.

The Fool is another card from the Major Arcana, and is more archaically known as  Le Mat or Il Matto, which as well as meaning “vagabond” – the usual depiction of The Fool in tarot decks -, can also mean “the madman.”   Thus, it’s very hard not to see a degree of further symbolism linking this scene with the tarot through the (mad?) man in the straitjacket.

There are two other symbols event in the piece which also appear in the previous parts: time and the crow. Quite how they fit into things is unclear; but in EL Tiempo / The Time, the clock suggested the subject of death to me – and the clock-like elements of Decisiones / Decisions were focused around The Hanged Man and so may have carried similar connotations; so again, it might be a further thematic flow evident here as well, through the grandfather clock as it presides over the woman’s apparent mourning and the fading crib. The crow’s presence, as he stands upon a table might present a two-fold role: that of our narrator or communicator through the scenes, or possibly as The Trickster.

Escenas / Scenes: El Miedo /The Fear

Escenas / Scenes: El Miedo /The Fear

Once again, I offer no attempt to present a complete interpretation of the story – or even this particular scene. With one more piece still to appear in December, it would be presumptuous to offer commentary on the story as a whole, while the notes I give on this scene are more thoughts rather than any attempt at interpretation. If, like me you have been intrigued by the first two parts of  Escenas / Scenes, then I do urge you to see Part III.

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Experiencing The Gathering in Second Life

Bryn Oh’s new installation The Gathering, will be formally opening at Immersiva on Tuesday, December 1st. However, she has invited a number of people – myself included –  to experience it a little early. And “experience” is precisely the right word to use here; not only is The Gathering typically immersive and engaging installation by Bryn, it also makes used of Second Life Experiences.

The landing point provides some notes on how to set your viewer, using Firestorm as an example. For those using other viewers, and who can manage it, the optimal set-up for the viewer is to have Advanced lighting Model active, and Shadows set to Sun/Moon + Projectors. It is at the landing point as well that you’ll be asked to join Byrn Oh’s Experience. It’s important that you do if you wish to enjoy The Gathering to the fullest.

Doing so grants the installation certain automatic rights to act on your avatar – notably to animate you and teleport you; these rights will be automatically revoked when you leave Immersiva (and will automatically re-apply themselves whenever you run, unless you remove the Bryn Oh Experience from your list of allowed experiences).

"Mrs. Almere felt he had quite the nerve, when he struck up a conversation with her H'ors D'ourve - The Gathering

“Mrs. Almere felt that he had quite the nerve, when he struck up a conversation with her hors d’ouvre – The Gathering

The central element of the installation is the gathering of the title – a private party, somewhat gate crashed by a strange individual with some odd habits. This is told as a series of stanzas from a poem, accompanied by a hand drawn image of the scene each stanza describes, as shown above.

To get to this, however, you have a pass through a landscape offering both distractions in the form of several static and interactive builds, and danger, in the form of huge balls or spheres, which periodically roll down from higher slopes, and which will throw you back to the landing point if they collide with you. These can be avoided in a number of ways – running out of the way, climbing the steeper slopes away from them or otherwise using the landscape to your advantage, or touch one of the small static sphere scattered around the installation.

The latter will animate your avatar, whilst also allowing you to walk. more to the point, they’ll allow you to climb any nearby walls or other elements of the installation, letting you climb nearby walls and escape the dreaded rolling (bowling?) balls. You’ll be able to keep climbing for as long as you “wear” one of the animation spheres, and can walk on the ground using one, but things can take a bit of getting used to. When you stand, you’ll be returned to your normal walk mode.

The builds within the installation include character motifs and other elements which may resonate with those familiar with Bryn’s work, such as the house that constructs itself as you move through it, a concept Bryn used to huge effect in Keep the Streets Empty for Me, a part of Ux Hax and Romy Nayar’s July exhibition Distrito Disinto at MetaLES, which you can read about here.

"He walked to the punch and proceeded to pour, half in his hat and half on the floor"

“He walked to the punch and proceeded to pour, half in his hat and half on the floor” – The Gathering

The Gathering requires careful navigation and a sense of fun – as Bryn notes in her invitation, it can be something better enjoyed when watching other interact with object or as they try to escape the giant balls.

However, it loses not of its engagement when visiting on your own: just be sure to accept the Experience invitation and then run / walk, look, poke, prod and climb! Do, as well, keep an eye out for the projectors play room, and if you’d like some of the sketches from The Gathering, as well as other Bryn goodies, try the Gacha machine at the landing point.

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Team Diabetes Winter Art Show and Showcase in Second Life

Winter ShowTeam Diabetes of Second Life have announced their first Windlight Winter Art Show and Winter Showcase event for Second Life.

Starting on Monday, December 7th and running through until Sunday, December 13th, the Art Show and Showcase will feature a week of entertainment from Tribute bands and DJ sets, and there will be ice skating, ice fishing, a Santa hunt, a gingerbread house building contest, raffles, a winter photo contest and a special Christmas Masquerade Ball.

The Art show, sponsored and produced by Windlight Magazine and Windlight Art Gallery, will feature the work of Honey Bender, WrenNoir Cerise, Ilyra Chardin, Warm Clarity, Sparkie Cyberstar, Dawnbeam Dreamscape, Cica Ghost, Kayly Iali, JudiLynn India, Layachi Inhen, Wicca Merlin, Richie Narstrom, Bryn Oh, Inara Pey, Skip Staheli, Bluesrocker Resident, Eeraftr Resident, Johannes1977 Resident, Roffellos Resident, Saoiriseheart Resident, and Tripleplaynitely Resident.

The Winter Showcase, sponsored by Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions, will feature the brands: The House of Avro,  Kittycat’s Creations, Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions, Moonstar, Feyline Fashions, Wiccas Wardrobe, Zuri Rayna Jewelry, Spyralle, An Lema, Park Place Home Décor, Pink Ice Boutique, A Little Bit of Everything by Neck, Jamie Wolf Photography, Potomac Signature Homes, Lyrical B!zarre Templates, [JOH], Hearthaven Photography, Kaerri, and Meshopotomia.

In addition, the modelling house Solaris will be producing a winter queen themed fashion show featuring jewellery by Chop Zuey.

Bloggers wishing to cover the event can do so by completing the blogging application form to gain access to the Press Day for the event, and early access.

About Team Diabetes of Second Life

TD-logoSome 387 million people globally live with diabetes, and the World Health Organisation estimates that diabetes could be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.

Founded by Jessi2009 Warrhol and Johannes1977 Resident, Team Diabetes is the official and authorised team of the American Diabetes Association in Second Life. Functioning as an advisory board, Team Diabetes of Second Life comprises members Jessii2009 Warrhol, Johannes1977 Resident, Emma Portilo, Veruca Tammas, Sandie Loxingly, Rob Fenwitch and Earth Nirvana, with Saiyge Lotus serving as special advisor to the board.

Team Diabetes of Second Life’s mission is to raise awareness of diabetes, promote greater understanding of the issues those suffering from diabetes face, and to raise funds to further research into cures for diabetes.

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Tarot scenes and unfolding stories in Second Life

Escenas or Scenes

Escenas / Scenes: Decisiones / Decisions

Currently on display at MetaLES through until the 28th of November, is the second part of a four-part series by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar entitled Escenas / Scenes. Each of the four installations offers a specific scene, potentially all from the same story, but not necessarily presented in chronological order.

I confess to having missed the first scene – entitled EL Tiempo / The Time, which ran from November 1st through 14th, although Ziki’s Questi’s coverage was enough to pique my curiosity. Subtitled  I do not look, do not find you, that we would have mattered while ago…, the piece was at once suggestive of a story in and of itself, albeit on a gigantic scale, possibly influenced by  the classic Major Arcana of the occult Tarot in the form of The Hermit, who appeared within the tableau, together with a clock which appeared to be representing death and standing as a backdrop for the struggles of an old woman who seemed to be losing her fight to escape a sandy mire.

Escenas or Scenes

Escenas / Scenes: Decisiones / Decisions

Now, the second scene, Decisiones / Decisions, brings the tarot and occult influences more to the fore. Subtitled The crow pointed  the way, but the fortune get me away, the installation is once again on a gigantic scale, and features within it several more of the Major Arcana: Justice, The Chariot, The Hanged Man and The Devil.

Together these form what seems to be the outline of a narrative as Justice, her scales sitting on the Chariot, attempts to reach The Hanged Man, surrounded by clock faces bearing what seem to be occult symbols. Nearby, The Devil rises from the depths, a hand outstretched, possibly intent on stopping her.

All are additionally watched over by a crow, itself a symbol of witchcraft, mysticism and the occult, being variously seen as harbingers and communicators, and various associated with death, mystery, and magic (and The Magician is another of the Major Arcana), as well as being regarded as embodiment of The Trickster. Which capacity this crow fulfils is impossible to tell. Perhaps, as the subtitle suggests, it is telling / pointing the way. Or perhaps it is The Trickster, warning us that all is not quite as it seems.

Escenas or Scenes

Escenas / Scenes: Decisiones / Decisions

I offer absolutely no attempt at interpretation of the scene – I leave that to you when you visit, or for the remaining scenes to unfold and bring their own narratives. What I will say, however, is that when I refer to these installations being on gigantic scale, I mean just that. The figures within them are huge, as the image of me standing alongside the chariot / cart bearing the scales of justice (above) will hopefully show.

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