I have been fortunate to follow a large part of Milena Carbone’s artistic journey in Second Life. Since her first major exhibition of work I visited (Agape, February 2020), Milena has repeatedly demonstrated the inherent power of art to challenge, to question, to offer statements on life, politics religion and self, to engage and to provoke.
Her work has tackled subjects as diverse as the nature of reality, self-perception and the realities (or otherwise) of “god”; it has plumbed the depths of our humanity (and inhumanity), of identify and self, and even navigated the waters of quantum field theory and the Casmir effect.
Thus, whilst offering a retrospective of her work after just three years of exhibiting it in Second Life might be seen as something of an exercise in ego, it is not (for one thing, I know Milena is far too self-aware to allow her ego to get in the way of things). Rather, it is a chance for those who have not had the ability to observe the evolution of her work and explore her ideas and thoughts on life, human nature, reality and self, to do so by acquainting themselves with piece from her catalogue of work to date, and to consider the paradigms she explores and presents. Equally, for Milena, it is an opportunity to revisit her work from earlier times and consider it under the light of her current thinking and world-view.Hence why, in receiving the invitation from Hermes Kondor to mount a retrospective of her work within the Art Square of his arts hub, Milena opted to title the exhibition Introspective, and frame it around a central commentary and three questions. The latter initially appear to be offered as a means to help frame her continued presence within SL; however, they actually reach much further than this.
Within all three resides both a cry oft heard down the ages, and also a challenge to us all in the here and now: why, really, are we here; what purpose do we serve? When are we finally going to put pettiness and anger and hate behind us and truly learn acceptance of one another and embrace love for one another? When will we, quite frankly, cease the shouting din of childish behaviours and grow up as a species?
Around the introductory boards (which on their reverse sides offer copies of the books Milena has produced in reference to some of her exhibitions, thus offering further insight and means of retrospection) and against the edges of the square are pieces taken from Milena’s exhibitions. These start in the north-east corner of the square and proceed south and then around to the north-west corner, arranged in chronological order. Each is presented with text either from the exhibition itself, or designed to offer a framing for it – text which also, for those willing to read, muse and reflect, offering further reverberations of the core questions Milena asks.
These images, in and of themselves, also allow us to travel through Milena’s growth in both experimentation and in confidence with her ability to use the tools at her disposal to represent her art and her thoughts and in allowing her inner voices to speak in unison and / or equally.
Introspective is an exhibition that can be appreciated purely visually; however, its full richness comes in taking the artist’s hand and walking through her words and thoughts in reflection of the images and the introduction.
Second Life marks its 19th anniversary in 2022 with a week-long celebration of music, entertainment, art and more across 44 regions, nine of which are given over to exhibits from Second Life residents, and which include the companion Shop and Hop event.
With core celebrations running through until Sunday, June 26th, the birthday regions and the Shop and Hop event will remain open through until July 5th, 2022, and the theme for this year’s event is – Steampunk!
The gates have now opened, but as there was no opportunity for any previews by bloggers, etc., in advance, we’re all scrabbling around trying to put things together. Hopefully, however, this will serve as a shorthand guide, and my apologies for any omissions.
In terms of major events, what does SL19B hold? Well, the best way the stay abreast of all that’s going on is via the official calendar of events, which I’ve embedded below.
Use the Week / Month options, top right to change the calendar view.
Click on any given line item on any given day of festivities to view more information, including teleport SLurls.
Patch Linden will be formally opening SL18B at 12:00 SLT at the Arboretum, which will also be streamed as a You Tube Lab Gab special, in which Strawberry Linden will afterwards host a tour of the SL19B regions.
Meet the Lindens
As per usual, SL19B will feature a series of Meet the Lindens sessions, which can be attended in-world and live streamed via the Second Life You Tube channel. The sessions will all take place at the Arboretum, and will feature the following guests:
Day (Times SLT)
Monday 20th June, 14:00
Patch Linden, Vice President of Product Operations.
Tuesday 21st June, 14:00
Linden Lab Executive Chair Brad Oberwager and Technical Advisor Philip Rosedale
Wednesday 22nd, June, 14:00
The Marketing Team.
Thursday 23rd June, 14:00
Grumpity Linden, Vice President of Second Life Product and Mojo Linden, Vice President of Engineering.
If all is still going according to plan, at least one of the Meet the Lindens sessions should see the official announcement of the Premium Plus subscription package: what it is, what it will contain, what it will cost and when it will be launching.
SL19B Music Fest
The Music Fest will kick-off at 13:00 SLT on Thursday, June 16th, and conclude at 22:00 SLT on Saturday, June 18th.
It will take place at three venues across the SLB regions, with one venue hosting the event on each day.
First presented in 2018, the region-wide Tapestry of Time presents visitor with a walk-through of Second Life’s history from 2003 through to the present day using images, text and videos. True, not everything has been recorded, but there’s enough within the region to be of interest to the historically minded.
within the Tapestry of Time can be found the SL19B Gift Area, offering gifts from the Birthday exhibitors and from merchants participating in the Shop & Hop event.
The Community Gallery
For 19 years, Second Life has offered us a virtual space to create, define and explore, bringing people from around the world together to create, share, discover new interests and make new friends, participate in games and adventures, to learn and discuss, and simply have fun.
For SL19B, the Community Gallery has been created to offer a place where visitors can share their memories of their times and adventures, memories that turned a virtual world into a community of Residents.
Once again, Yavanna Llanfair‘s excellent pod tours will be circulating through the SLB regions. Hop on any that are free as they pass, or grab one from the pod tours station.
As is common for SLB events, the mix of content is varied, and the representation of interests broad. Role-play groups, arts, communities, are represented across the nine regions open to exhibitors; some are static, others are interactive in nature.
Direct links to the exhibitor regions can be found in the SLurls lists at the end of this piece.