We set a theme and we go our own ways. We take pictures at any sim in the whole of Second Life for about 2 or 3 weeks, and then at the agreed date, we combine our picture at the Café Gallery.
– Lynx Luga and Kit Boyd describing their personal photo challenges
Photo challenges are not new to Second Life, but Kit and Lynx, owners and curators of the Monocle Man gallery spaces and hang-out, use them to good effect to capture images in a thematic manner whilst allowing them to jointly see Second Life in a way that might otherwise be missed or taken for granted.
For their latest joint challenge, now on display at the ground-level Monocle Man Café they offer The Neon Challenge: images of Second Life featuring or focused on the use of neon across the grid.
Neon is very much a part of Second Life; who hasn’t been to a cyberpunk / Bladerunner / sci-fi themed location, and not encountered neon signs, logos, and lighting? Similarly cityscapes oft have neon signage for stores and locations. As such, its not surprising that some of the images in this selection are from such locations – but they are not, as one might perhaps think, in the majority.
Both Lynx and Kit have cast their nets wide, such that while the sci-fi / Bladerunner, etc., elements are present, they mostly offer unique views and subtle hints (Videophone, Cyberpunk Circles). What’s more they are displayed alongside pieces where neon, whilst present, is not seen as the immediate focus. Instead it sits as a part of the complete picture, forming part of the narrative, rather than being the narrative (Neon Doggy, Trailer Park, Busted, Sexy Legs and Neon Girl).
Even what might be regarded as the seedier side of neon’s use in adult theme locations and advertising (Sexy Girls, Sexy Neon and Dancing Girls) is framed to offer a story behind the light. Take Dancing Girls in particular; within it lies the the suggestion of a hidden life of wanting being the colour-backed dance of the silhouettes, one that for me brought to mind the lyrics from Elton John’s In Neon.
An engaging exhibition that I believe will be open through the next month.
- Monocle Man Gallery (Flying Fortress, rated Adult)