The Human(oid) side of art

Chestnut Rau is someone I respect very much and who knows her stuff when it comes to art in SL. So, when she makes a suggestion that I visit a sim in-world (as she did last year – shame on me for taking a while to get around to it), then I’ll sit up and take note.

Humanoid is one such place. The work of Wendy Xeno, it offers much to see and experience. Teleporting to the given landmark, you are asked if you’ll allow the region to control your Windlight settings – to get the maximum impact from the installation, you should. Also make sure sound is enabled.

Beneath you is a transcription that helps set the tone for your visit:

We never touch
people so lightly
that we do not
leave a trace

Bach-ing at the doors

If you’re lucky on arrival, a cello plays JS Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1: Prelude – and if you wish, you can try your hand playing it while considering where to go next (click the cello to start the music). Hearing this music did make me smile; I love the cello (though sadly cannot play it), and Bach’s Prelude is a favourite piece (and I’ve recently fallen in love with Steven Sharp Nelson’s upbeat version, wherein he plays eight cellos).

Around you stand nine doors, each of which leads the way to further explorations – although there are things to see around you on the ground before (or after) you do.

I opted to wander at ground level first, visiting the various islands, each with it own sense of solitude and peace, different ranges of thought and emotion stimulated by each one. For example, at one, I could think of nothing other than SL friends I like spending time with simply “being” and talking; at another, I found myself thinking of those in SL I have known and who have, sadly, departed from the virtual…

“Time present and time past”

The doors lead to more wonders to enjoy and experience – be they dancing together in some great hall, sharing a rowing boat on a moonlit night amidst glowing lilies, witnessing a circus or sitting in quite contemplation of a verse:

Only passions,
great passions,
can elevate the soul
to great things

“Are both perhaps present in time future”

I’m not sure why Burnt Norton sprang to mind while exploring the ground level areas (athough The Four Quartets is a favourite of mine); perhaps it was my overall frame of mind – or perhaps it was evoked by the scenes themselves. Either way, the lines did pop into my head, and they did – and do – seem appropriate.

“Other echoes Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?”

Summer sun, autumn skies, the snows of winter – all sit behind the various doors – indeed, to say too much would be to spoil your explorations.

“My love, on a midnight sea eternal…”

So why not pay a visit for yourself?

All snapshots in the article captured using Firestorm with default graphics settings & region windlight settings, with the exception of “Bach-ing at the doors”, wherein shadows were turned on.

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