Gem Preiz: an architectural whimsy in Second Life

Gem Preiz: Arcadia

Gem Preiz is a master of fractal art, as I’ve oft commented on in these pages. His work is always fascinating, encompassing as it does many interlinked themes and ideas – time, space, the future, the past, the rise and fall of civilisations and more, much of which is framed in terms of fractal images with a distinct architectural heritage. And while fractals are not part of his newest installation, architecture is very much its beating heart, fleshed with the use of physical space and a rich layering of time.

Arcadia presents a marvellous architectural fantasy – to use Gem’s words, what he refers to as a capriccio, a whimsy – although this actually does the installation no justice.

To encapsulate Arcadia as simply as possible might be to describe it as a neo-classical city, rich in Greco-Roman influence through the use of Renaissance Palladian architectural styles, whilst obelisks and some of the more tiered rectangular structures offer a hint of ancient Egypt within their forms.

Gem Preiz: Arcadia

This is a place of perfectly conceived design, where buildings, their shapes, placement and immediate surrounds have clearly been given special consideration such that while there is no deliberate mirroring of structural symmetry (e.g a Coliseum-like amphitheatre in one corner mirrored by a round building in an opposite corner) there is nevertheless a sense of symmetry in the way a line can be drawn through the city from the southern gates to the doors of the northern temple. passing through the arches of triumphal gates to cut this city neatly in two, or the east-west line that splits the city between low-lying precincts and raised palaces and temples (although this admittedly cuts through one of the raised elements).

This planned layout speaks to the ideal of cities being of a more harmonious design than we see today; places where architecture is considered to be both an art form and a reflection of a civilisation’s relationship with the natural world (as well as the familiar projection of power). Within his notes, Gem refers to Arcadia as a utopia in the form of a haven of peace and grandeur, protected from the rest of the world, to which I would add that were the concept of Elysium to ever be embodied in architectural form, that somewhere like Arcadia is very much how I would imagine it.

Gem Preiz: Arcadia

Somewhat extending from his Skycrapers installation, Acadia allows Gem to present an ideal, one that brings together past a future in a design of the present. By this I mean that while the overall look to the individual structures lie within classical architectural forms, the presentation of the installation – the lighting (I strongly recommend using the suggested TOR NIGHT Under a Yellow Moon windlight (or EEP setting) if you have it available / have imported it as an EEP setting) and use of orange glow give the installation a futuristic / otherworldly look.

Most of all, however, Arcadia is a marvellous celebration of architecture and geometry,  both in terms of the entirely layout of the city, the individual styles of structure and building, the layout of courtyards, quads and terraces – even the very grassy elevations to the north side of the city – and the placement of trees and fountains, all form a part of the whole.

Two painting by Thomas Cole, one of the artists celebrated within Arcadia

This celebration of architecture and reflection on great civilisations that spawned it can also be found within a number of the central buildings. Signified by glowing orange doors, these contain reproductions of works by some of the great masters who so often celebrated the beauty of architecture. They are: Giovanni Canal (Canaletto), Hubert Robert, Giovanni Panini (himself also an architect), and two  of my personal favourites, the first being French neo-classical architect and visionary Étienne-Louis Boullée (whose proposed cenotaph for Sir Issac Newton was sadly never built, but does form one of a number of visualisation within Sansar created by John Fillwalk from the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts at Ball State university), and Thomas Cole’s quintet of paintings known under the common title of The Course of Empire, charting the rise and fall of an imaginary city.

This latter collection could also be said to be the spiritual forebear of Arcadia (although the influence of the other artists can also be witnessed throughout the installation), with the exception that while Cole’s city eventually collapsed in destruction, Arcadia is perhaps eternal.

Gem Preiz: Arcadia

When visiting the instillation, due ensure you following the local instructions for the greatest visual benefit (although I would suggest a draw distance of 300 metres should more than suffice for most visitors), and keep an eye out for the balloon ride close to the landing point and the horse and carriage ride within the city (where the balloon ride will drop passengers).

Arcadia officially opens at 13:00 SLT on Friday, October 23rd with a particle show in a special arena above the installation, followed by an opening party within the installation itself.

SLurl Details

  • Arcadia (Akimitsu, rated Moderate)

SOS Winter Fair 2020 in SL: merchant applications sought

Survivors of Suicide (SOS) is a peer to peer support group within Second Life dedicated to help those who have been impacted by depression, thoughts of suicide, or who have attempted suicide or have lost someone to suicide. The group offers practical support, as well as education and information on dealing with depression, suicide prevention and more.

Founded in December 2008, SOS is the longest running support group of its kind in Second Life, and celebrates its anniversary each year with a special Christmas Fair – and 2019 will be no different, with merchant and vendor application currently open until November 8th – although this may be extended if spaces are still available.

The theme for the 2020 fair is Winter Wonderland, with the event running from Saturday, December 5th, 2020 through until Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 inclusive.

Merchants are asked to adhere to a number of guidelines, comprising:

  • Booths are provided with a 50 LI allowance that should not be exceeded.
    • Merchants are asked to dress them in accordance with the theme.
    • Scripts should be kept to a minimum and only used as required (e.g. within vendors, etc).
    • All items offered for sale must not violate IP, copyright, patent, trademark or similar rights held by others.
  • Booths must include an SOS kiosk (provided by the organisers) for donations.
  • At  least one item must be offered at 100% sale price to SOS, or 2 items at 50% sale price to SOS.
  • Set-up will commence at noon SLT on Monday, November 30th, and must be completed by noon SLT on Thursday, December 3rd.

In addition, applicants are asked to have a free Group slot available so they can be invited into the SOS group for rezzing rights, and should provided a 512×512 copy of their store logo to the organisers via e-mail (address in the application form).

Those interested in applying should complete the SOS Winter Fair 2020 application form.

For further information, please refer to the SOS website.

Phoenix Artists Collaboration in Second Life

Phoenix Artists Collaboration: the lake, Carrington Row (right), and Cassatt Square east (left) with Rembrandt Court in the distance

It’s been a while since I last updated on the Phoenix Artists Collaboration (PAC), but I’m pleased to say all to the work in consolidating the group’s presence at Cherished Melody is now complete and just about all of the artists from the Holly Kai location have now set themselves up in their new studios.

As in inevitable with moves, some opted not to make the hop, so the group currently has four vacant units, each with a 50 LI allowance. Artists who might be interested in making use of one should contact either myself or Will Harris (willyharris) in-world.

Phoenix Artists Collaboration: part of the Information Hub

Since my August update, a couple of further changes have been made to the platform – notably, we decided to combine the two large galleries into a single (larger) building that will house both the themed Group exhibits and also exhibitions by Featured Artists – both of which will be starting up in due course.

The studios are available for artists to use as they please: display and sell their work, hold their own mini-exhibitions (with the aid of the PAC team for advertising), and so on. All we ask is that exhibitions and art are kept within the limits set by the Second life Terms of Service / Community Standards and the maturity rating for the Cherished Melody region.

Phoenix Artists Collaboration: Cassatt Square East in the foreground, with the main gallery beyond beyond it

As it is, PAC artists have a number of exhibitions currently in progress Second Life users are welcome to visit. These are:

Phoenix Artists Collaboration: Gainsborough Court and the open-air display of Silas Merlin sculptures

About the Layout

PAC is located on a sky platform at Cherished Melody. This has been split into a number of areas in which the artist studios have been placed so that we can break things up with footpaths, gardens, bodies of water, etc. This is to hopefully give artists and visitors alike a sense of space and room to enjoy the art that is on offer. The north side of the platform in particular – containing the main landing point, the Information Hub, etc – includes some garden walks up into the hills or along the lake shore, and various places to sit have been added.

In all, there are six locations for artist studios as shown in the map below.

Phoenix Artists Collaboration, Cherished Melody

At the time of writing, these locations feature the following Second Life and physical world artists:

  • Carrington Row:
    • Zach HerrMann; Giselle Seeker; Inara Pey; Audie Spade.
  • Cassatt Square:
    • West: Skye Joubert; Suzzanna LaRue; Mathehilde Vhargon and Looker Lumet.
    • East: Angel Heartsong; Tara Aers; ArtandSoul Constantine; Kayli Ilali and Victor Savior.
    • South: Nils Urqhart; Seiko Blessing; JudiLynn India; Layachi Ihen.
  • Gainsborough Court:
    • The Other Thing; Hamsa; Sophia Joubert; John Huntsman; Tempest Rosca-Huntsman; Kisma Stepanich-Reidling; Vanessa Jane; Uleria Caramel.
  • Magritte Court:
    • Zia Branner; Alex Riverstone; Rachel Magic; CybeleMoon; Loegan Magic; Sisi biedermann; Patrick Ireland; Tom Prospero.
  • Rembrandt Court:
    • Etame; Sisse Singh; Sophie Dunn; Dhyezl Ravenhurst; Slatan Dryke; Raging Bellls; Anouk LeFarve; Melusina Parkin; Shakti Adored.
  • Whistler Court:
    • Sheba Blitz; Cullum Writer; Michiel Bechir; Ethan Hawkins; Tresore Prada-Hawkins; Anibrm Jung; Ilyra Chardin; Owl Dragonash.
Phoenix Artists Collaboration: and Old Tower, parts of the gardens of the platform visitors can explore

For ease of getting around, the Information Hub includes a teleport hub that will take visitors directly to any of the  studio areas, as well as to the main gallery building. The Hub also provides information on the artists at PAC – just click on the portraits for biographies, and provides links to the PAC group, the PAC website, and so. on. In addition, visitors are also welcome to take the teleport link down to the ground level of cherished Melody, which is also open to the public.

So, do please feel free to pay PAC a visit and enjoy the art!

SLurl Details