ReZilience

Rezilience, Tutsy Navarathna, Berg Gallery
ReZilience, Tutsy Navarathna, Berg Gallery

Resilience is that ineffable quality that allow some people to be knocked down by life and to come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.

Resilience. The capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.

With these two dictionary definitions, one is welcome to ReZilience, the latest quarterly exhibition at Kate Bergdorf’s cosy Berg gallery, located overhead of her home region, Nordan om Jorden.

Rezilience, Tutsy Navarathna, Berg Gallery
ReZilience, Tutsy Navarathna, Berg Gallery

Both of these definitions can be applied to those of us who use Second Life; the first being applicable when Things Go Wrong for often inexplicable reasons, while the second is more directly applicable to our avatars. While the days of teleporting from A to B and finding shoes, hair, and other attachment trailing from our posteriors as a bizarre tail have long passed, for those who wear mesh, life can be full of random bodily and clothing malfunctions which we stalwartly accept because “it’s Second Life”. And thus the theme of the exhibition is set.

ReZilience is a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek look at what can unexpectedly happen when we log-in to SL, only to find our mesh body rotated 90 degrees and lying horizontally through our (alpha wearing) form, or when we teleport somewhere, only to appear to others as if our heads and bodies are going through a trial separation from one another, and so on.

Rezilience, Tutsy Navarathna, Berg Gallery
ReZilience, Tutsy Navarathna, Berg Gallery

Tutsy Navarathna, perhaps best know for his marvellous award-winning machinima, is the artist behind the pieces on display,  and he presents a series of pieces combining images captured in-world with paintings and drawing to offers a series of delightful shots celebrating bodily mishaps in Second Life, each with its own delightful caption edged with a wicked sense of humour and, in places, underlined with what might a a subtle social comment on matters of identity – such as appears to be the case with Elle n’a jamais cache utiliser la chirurgie esthetique pour conserver une plastique de reve

With just twelve pieces on display, this is not an extensive exhibit, but it doesn’t have to be; the wry humour is more than adequately presented, and the intimate space provided by Kate’s little gallery space is the ideal environment in which to present the pieces. Rezilience will remain open to visitors through until March 31st, 2015.

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Timeless Memories; ethereal beauty

Timeless Memories; Inara Pey, January 2015, on FlickrTimeless Memories (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Elvira Kytori’s Timeless Memories is without doubt one of the most beautifully ethereal and captivating regions I’ve visited of late.

With parts wrapped in softly-falling snow, the composition of this Homestead regions has to be witnessed in order to be truly appreciated. From the arrival point, inside one of two quaint houses in the region, board walks wind forth across a watery, semi-frozen landscape, while a late afternoon sun tints trees and grass in muted tones of gold, lavender, green and blue, all softened by a slowly-rising grey-white mist.

Timeless Memories; Inara Pey, January 2015, on FlickrTimeless Memories (Flickr) – click any image for full size

To call this region photogenic would be an understatement; there is not a single element that does not lend itself to being photographed. Indeed, Elvira encourages people to take pictures and asks that if they do, they share them through her Flickr group.

Throughout the landscape lie little scenes and vignettes, each of them offering a narrative of its own while collectively they add to the rich tapestry of the entire region. Penguins skate across a stretch of frozen water; a polar bear and her cubs roam a snowy embankment. cuddly toys play backgammon and wave to passing visitors. Scattered throughout the region, as well, are places to sit and enjoy, or watch, or converse with friends.

Timeless Memories; Inara Pey, January 2015, on FlickrTimeless Memories (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Despite the winter’s feel, timeless is the most apt description here; there is a real sense of time having been suspended, and a small part of the world set aside where one can simply be.

A note in the About Land description suggests that, as hard as it might be to let go, Timeless Memories could itself vanish into memory. It would be a shame for this to happen, given the love and care that has been poured into creation such a beautiful place to be enjoyed by everyone. So when you pay a visit, please show your appreciation by offering a donation to help ensure people might continue to enjoy timeless memories of their own when they visit; just touch the bunny at the landing point.

Timeless Memories; Inara Pey, January 2015, on FlickrTimeless Memories (Flickr) – click any image for full size

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Tales of wealth and desire, walks through shadows and woods, and delving into the macabre

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to Second Life and Kitely by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library.

As always, all times SLT / PDT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island, or at their Kitely Homeworld.

Now Open: Explore the Great Gatsby Online at Kitely

"But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg" (The Great Gatsby, Chapter 2)- The "Valley of Ashes", an iconic part of the novel and home to the tragic Wilsons (that's their garage you can see being built in the background), forms one of Explore The Great Gatsby locations
“But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg” (The Great Gatsby, Chapter 2)- The “Valley of Ashes”, an iconic part of the novel and home to the tragic Wilsons (that’s their garage you can see being built in the background), forms one of Explore The Great Gatsby locations

Coinciding with Tacoma Little Theatre’s production of The Great Gatsby, adapted for the stage by Simon Levy and directed by Dale Westgaard, Seanchai library Kitely is offering theatre goers attending the play, lover of the works of f. Scott Fitzgerald and users of virtual worlds an unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the World of Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, and Daisy and Tom Buchanan. Visit the Buchanan’s mansion and explore a reproduction of the Tacoma Little Theatre, walk the Valley of Ashes under the all-seeing eyes of T.J. Eckleburg, spend time in Nick Carraway’s rented summer cottage and peruse the Fitzgerald Gallery.

With readings from the novel before and during the play’s run, and further attractions to be added, Explore the Great Gatsby is the perfect means to discover one of America’s greatest novelists and explore Seanchai library’s extensive offerings on Kitely. Simply log-in to the Seanchai Library’s homeworld on Kitely, and follow the portals!

Monday January 19th

13:00 Seanchai Kitely: The Great Gatsby, Part 2

Great GatsbyCorwyn Allen continues a reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnificent 1925 novel at Explore The Great Gatsby in Kitely.

In 1922, Nick Carraway arrives in New York to learn about the bond business. He rents a small cottage in West Egg, home of the newly-rich, only to discover the owner of the huge Gothic mansion next door, the deeply mysterious Jay Gatsby, is prone to throwing lavish parties every weekend, to which in seems everyone comes. Everyone it seems, except Nick’s cousin Daisy, who is married to Tom Buchanan. Together they live across the bay in the more fashion East Egg, where the “old money” resides.

Following a visit with them, Nick is slowly drawn into their world, both discovering Tom Buchanan has a mistress who lives in the Valley of Ashes, an industrial area lying between  the Eggs and New York city, and finding himself increasingly attracted to the Buchanan’s friend, the beautiful, if cynically minded, Jordan Baker.

Then, one Saturday, Nick finds himself invited to one of Jay Gatsby’s great parties, and is thus drawn into an increasingly deep well of infatuation, lust, and tragedy, witnessing first hand a darker side of the so-called American Dream.

Follow the teleport portal to Explore The Great Gatsby for this unfolding tale.

19:00 Seanchai SL: Jack of Shadows

Gyro Muggins continues reading Roger Zelazny’s 1971 novel which mixes science-fiction and fantasy, the title of which is an homage to Jack Vance.

jack-of-shadowsThe story takes place on a tidally locked planet – that is, one whose rotation about its axis precisely matches its orbit around its parent body, thus the same face is always presented to the the parent body (just like our own Moon always presents the same face towards Earth). Given that that parent object in this case is the planet’s Sun, it means that one side of the planet exists in perpetual daylight – and is the seat of science; while the other lingers in perpetual night – and has become the seat of magic.

It is from the latter that the protagonist of the story – Shadowjack – comes. Even among his own kind, he is unusual, for the manner in which he draws upon his power; something which can, in the right circumstances make him exceptionally potent. However, when placed in either complete light or complete darkness, he is almost powerless. Jack’s only friend, Morningstar is doomed to what is effectively eternal punishment unless Jack can cross between the two realms of light and dark, combining his abilities with the power of science. Thus Jack must risk being lost in total light or total darkness in order to to rescue Morningstar. And if he fails, who might rescue him?

Tuesday January 20th, 19:00: A Walk in the Woods

walk-in-woodsBy his own admission, Bill Bryson isn’t the world’s greatest adventurer. This being the case, you’d think he’d have serious misgivings about undertaking this particular “walk in the woods”, as he disarmingly calls it: taking the 3,500 kilometre (2,200 mile) Appalachian Trail – a journey which would take five months to complete.

Travelling with his good friend “Stephen Katz”, the book is both a humorous guide to the trail and a set of serious and insightful comments / discussion on the trail’s history as it winds its way from Georgia (where Bryson was living at the time the book was written in 1998), to Maine. These discussions cover a broad range of subject including the sociology, ecology, trees, plants, animals and people of the states through which the trail passes (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine).

Join Kayden Oconnell as he continues in Bryson’s footsteps through the pages of this classic.

Wednesday January 21st,19:00: Beggars Day Book Two: The Caged King

Beggars Day 2Caledonia Skytower continues reading of MJ McGalliard’s second novel, and the sequel to Beggar’s Day Book One: The Beggar Prince.

The Kingdom of Galaway has a law that every ruler must work a year and a day as a commoner; thus were readers introduced, through the first volume, to the kingdom and some of its notable inhabitants, including King Willy, Prince Larry, the scheming Percy, desperate to see himself on the throne, and the chicken-stealing crone Cruith.

Now, in the second volume, Vikings, hidden illnesses, ancient family squabbles and unplanned pregnancy are but a few of the changes in Galaway. Cruith is part of a conspiracy, Willy invents a new wagon, apples seem to be in the mix, while everything seems to revolve around a baby horse. And I haven’t even mentioned King Monaghan.

Intrigued? Then why not hop over to Seanchai library to hear this entertaining tale which, incidentally, is illustrated by one Judith Cullen – aka Caledonia Skytower!

Thursday January 22nd

19:00: Poe’s Children

Poe-childrenThe legacy of Edgar Allen Poe takes to the stage as Shandon Loring reads from this anthology of horror stories edited by Peter Straub, which brings together tales by some twenty-five of the world’s most talented writers in the genre today.

Poe’s Children showcases stories by the likes of Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Carroll, Elizabeth Hand, Dan Chaon, Melanie and Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen King and Straub himself, all of which has been selected by Straub to represent what he thinks is the most interesting development in our literature during the last two decades, and which stands as a modern tribute to the Master in its style and narrative while avoiding the formulaic approach so often found within the populist end of the genre.

21:00 Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zedomore.

Saturday January 24th, Seanchai Kitely

09:00: Poe’s Birthday Party

Join Shandon Loring in a special celebration featuring the works of the Master of the Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe to mark the 206th anniversary of his birth.

12:00: The Great Gatsby, Part 3

Shandon Loring takes up the tale as he continues reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for January / February is Project Children, teaching and building peace in Northern Ireland, one child at a time.

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