The Arrival of a question of departure …

The Arrival
The Arrival

Rose Borchovski’s latest installation at the Linden Endowment for the Arts opened on January 11th. I missed the actual event, but popped along to visit last week, and thought it time I got around to putting words to thoughts and reactions to the piece.

The Arrival is a full sim installation which is both a standalone piece and a continuation of the saga of her Susa’s – child-like beings of a mischievous and sometimes malevolent bent. Here they have captured a fish, and celebrations of the fact turn to questions as the fish dies literally beneath them as they use it as a stage for their jubilation; are they to blame for the poor fish’s demise?

The Arrival
The Arrival

Or that’s one of four explanations Rose gives for the piece. The others include memories from childhood, the inspiration of other artists, and even the influence of religion. In introducing the piece on the LEA blog, Rowan Derryth provides thought-provoking insight into the work which includes more on the possible origins of the piece – and I’ll leave you to go read her thoughts.

Quite how you interpret the work is up to you – you can follow Rowan’s thoughts, which are themselves based on commentary from Rose herself, or you can let your own thoughts percolate as your explore. The latter, by the way, is best done by using the teleport at the arrival point to get you started.

The Arrival
The Arrival

For my part, I found the piece something of an allegory / metaphor for how we humans behave, always busy exploiting this, that or the other, congratulating ourselves on what we can achieve and how we can enjoy everything, with little thought for what might happen when things are gone and we’re left to ponder our own role in their disappearance / extinction …

The Arrival is a fully immersive installation. The level of detail is stunning and ranges from the macro to the micro, plus there is a complete sound scape to take-in (scripted sounds rather than a media feed, so you’ll need sounds active to fully appreciate the work), and all manner of things to touch and prod – and which may surprise you in return. You’ll need to take your time as you explore, not only to make sure you experience all the interactive elements, but also because the detail really is amazing – a genuine tour-de-force as to what can be achieved in SL both in terms of art and in immersive, engaging environments. Make sure, as well, that you accept the region’s windlight settings on arrival, if asked. They are as much a part of the piece as anything else.

The Arrival
The Arrival

The Susas themselves are (as ever) marvellously made and beautifully expressive, particularly when there are grouped together when their child-like innocence is dispelled by looking into the eyes of several of them and witnessing a mischief which might border on malice lurking there. There also seems to be something of a hierarchy among them, as well, which is also hinted at in their expressions.

There is a charm and a disquiet about the piece. The charm comes in part from the very evident care with which all the piece within the installation have been created created – witness the line of peguins going for a dive towards the top of this piece. It also comes from the early sections of the piece where there is much merry-making and happiness, and well as wonderful little touches which are a delight to find (a little book with swimming fish!).

The Arrival
The Arrival

Move deeper into the installation as the story progresses, and the disquiet grows. Full credit here to Caer Balogh, a long-time collaborator with Rose, and her incredible scripted sound scape, which does much to set the mood as it is realised the fish is dead and questions arise. It was towards the middle of the piece that my own conscience was pricked and my thoughts turned to the potential for the piece being a allegory / metaphor, as mentioned above. A scene with two Susas tearing at one another’s faces and biting one another did little to quieten the unease; and while it certainly gave pause for thought, it most certainly did not put me off continuing my explorations. Like many outstanding pieces of art, The Arrival seeks to challenge, not offend.

The Arrival
The Arrival

All in all, this is a fabulous piece of art for all of these reasons and more, and very definitely worth a visit to explore, consider and participate in.

So, now you’re hooked, why not go and see what tales you can land for yourself?

Related Links

The Arrival
The Arrival

LEA Full Sim Art series – next round of applications sought

The LEA Full Sim Art series has a new call for proposals for the period March 2013 – February 2014.

All artists in SL are eligible to apply to have a full region provided for them for a period of one calendar month in which they can host a show of their choosing.

As with previous Full sim art series, successful applicants will receive:

  • A full, 15,000-prim region (inclusive of the media) – not all the prims have to be used!
  • The freedom to choose when to open the show to the public
  • Coverage within the LEA and UWA blog & potentially in any other blogs confirming their continuing support of the series

Access to regions will be granted to successful applicants on the first day of each month, and must end and be cleared from the region on the last day of the month.

How to Apply

  • Send a Notecard in-world to both Jayjay Zifanwe and Bryn Oh, which includes:
    • Your name and the name of anyone who might be working with you on the project
    • A 100-word description of your plan for your show
    • Give your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd preferences for the month in which you would like to use a region (from March 2012 through to February 2013 inclusive)
  • Applications must be received no later than midnight SLT on the 10th February, 2013.

With thanks to Bryn Oh

Music, philosophy and mystery, all served with a spoonful of sugar

Once again, the Seanchai Library will be presenting a round of stories and readings in Voice this coming week, with the continuation of a number of stories and a look back on 50 years of writing and music…

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday 27th January

13:30 – Tea-time at Baker Street

Boredom is a terrible thing; when it strikes, it leaves most of us listless, wanting, distracted and, well, bored. For the great Sherlock Holmes, not even a walk accompanied by Doctor Watson, in which the minutiae of every day life might otherwise be a source of distraction, can lift the gloom brought about by a dearth of cases.

However, on their return to 221B Baker Street, the Great Detective discovers he has missed a visitor – a Mr. Grant Munro, who, Holmes deduces, must be of a disturbed state of mind as he left behind his valued pipe – valued because, as Holmes points out to Watson, it has been repaired when broken, rather than replaced.

When Munro returns, Holmes and Watson hear the story of Munro’s deception by his wife Effie. She had been previously married in America, but her husband and child had died of yellow fever, whereupon she returned to England and met and married Munro. Their marriage had been blissful — “We have not had a difference, not one, in thought, or word, or deed,” says Munro — until she asked for a hundred pounds and begged him not to ask why. Two months later, Effie Munro was caught conducting secret liaisons with the occupants of a cottage near the Munro house in Norbury. And thus, Holmes and Watson are off on The Adventure of the Yellow Face.

Join Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen as they continue a journey through The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

18:00 Mary Poppins (at Magicland Park)

mary-poppinsMade famous through the hugely successful 1964 Disney film starring Julie Andrews and a wobbly accented Dick van Dyke (albeit an adaptation despised by Travers herself), and more recently the focus of a successful West End and Broadway stage production, the adventures of the famous umbrella piloting nanny need no real introduction here in terms of their story.

First published in 1934, Mary Poppins was actually the first in a series of stories about the character written by Travers between 1934 and 1988, all illustrated by Mary Shephard, the daughter of Winnie the Pooh and The Wind in the Willows illustrator, E.H. Shephard. Mary actually took the job on account of her father being too busy with other work, and later became regarded as a co-author of the tales.

Join Caladonia at Magicland Park as she continues with Part 2 of this magical tale.

Monday 28th January, 19:00 – Notwithstanding: Stories from an English Village

notwithstandingFamous for his more exotic locations and stories such as Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Red Dog, Louis de Bernieres used England for the setting for a series of short stories written early in his career.

Located in and around the fictional village of Notwithstanding, which is somewhat based on the village of Worley in Surry, where he grew up, the stories were various published in newspapers, etc., prior to being brought together into this single volume in 2009. Semi-autobiographical in places, the stories are rich in English rural detail and contain references to many real-world locations in Surrey, and allow de Bernieres to ruminate on a part of English life he believes to now be vanishing.

Join Caledonia Skytower as she dips further into de Bernieres’ England.

Tuesday January 29th, 19:00: Inkspell

Faerie Maven-Pralou continues Cornelia Funke’s young adult which forms the second part of her Inkworld trilogy. The books chronicle the adventures of teenager Meggie Folchart whose life changes dramatically when she realizes that she and her father, a bookbinder named Mo, have the unusual ability to bring characters from books into the real world when reading aloud. Mostly set in Northern Italy and the parallel world of the fictional Inkheart book, the central story arc concerns the magic of books, their characters and creatures, and the art of reading.

In Inkspell, a year has passed since the events related in Inkheart, the first book in the series. Not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of Inkheart, a book that has characters that come to life. Resa is back. The fire-eater, Dustfinger, wants to go back to his wife daughters-who are in the story. When he finds a crazy, self-absorbed psycho storyteller, Orpheus, who can read him back into the book, he goes into the pages. Soon Farid convinces Meggie to read him into the book so he can warn Dustfinger of Basta. But Meggie has figured out how to read herself and Farid into the book Inkheart.

Wednesday January 30th, 19:00: Quite a Year for Plums

plumsAnyone who has read the best-selling Mama Makes Up Her Mind or listened to Bailey White’s commentaries on NPR knows that she is a storyteller of inimitable wit and charm. Now, in her stunningly accomplished first novel, she introduces us to the peculiar yet lovable people who inhabit a small town in south Georgia.

Meet serious, studious Roger, the peanut pathologist and unlikely love object of half the town’s women. Meet Roger’s ex-mother-in-law, Louise, who teams up with an ardent typographer in an attempt to attract outer-space invaders with specific combinations of letters and numbers. And meet Della, the bird artist who captivates Roger with the sensible but enigmatic notes she leaves on things she throws away at the Dumpster.

Kayden Oconnell is joined by Caledonia Skytower as they continue to read from the novel.

Thursday January 31st, 19:00: A Pirate Looks at Fifty

jimmy-buffettThe music and writings of Jimmy Buffett’s are known to millions. In A Pirate Looks at 50, written as he reached his half-century, Buffett presents his ultimate philosophy on life and how to live it and he takes his readers on the remarkable journey which he took to celebrate this landmark birthday.

The book spans everything from the legendary pirate coves of the Florida Keys to the ruins of ancient Cartegena. Along the way, we hear a tale or two of how Buffett got his start in New Orleans, how he discovered his passion for flying planes, and how he almost died in a watery crash in Nantucket harbour.  We follow him to jungle outposts in Costa Rica and on a meandering trip down the Amazon, through hair-raising negotiations with gun-toting customs  officials and a 3-year-old aspiring co-pilot.

Join Shandon Loring as he presents the ultimate backstage pass into the wonderful, wacky life of Jimmy Buffett.

Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and additions to the week’s schedule.

Note that throughout January and February, all donations to Seanchai Library SL will go to the real-world charity, Doctors Without Borders! Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

Related Links