Cica’s Stars in Second Life

Cica Ghost; Stars

Thursday March 4th saw the opening of Stars by Cica Ghost. Occupying a Homestead region, Stars is once again an interactive setting that makes for fun exploration.

Caught under a blanket of starfish-like stars (make sure you have your viewer set to use the Shared Environment), the setting has something of a Steampunk feel to it in general appearance, incorporating many echoes of Cica’s past installations waiting for those who are familiar with her work.

Cica Ghost, Stars

The town is laid out in something of a grid, with the landing point pretty much at its centre. laid out around it are squares and road and assorted buildings, some of which stand as a frame for the setting, other of which can be entered into and explored, or offer places to sit and chat.

Some of these houses resemble the tall slender houses found in the likes of Burlap and Sunny Day, or echo the look of those seen within Bridge and Donkeys or seen painted in Rocks and Drawn Town. Among these are fish and seas creatures, some hanging from pipes or forming strange wheeled sculptures and vehicles or sitting at rooftop decoration;  whilst very different in tone, these nevertheless tickle fond memories of Under the Sea, while echoes of places like Little Town and more also await discovery.

Cica Ghost, Stars

Which is not to say Stars is not a unique environment – it very much is; but these little touches, which include Cica’s stick man on his bicycle still fighting the wind and the rabbits from from Burlap forming a part of the town’s puppet theatre and the keys on the wall of the house interior, add depth to the setting that can be very personal to those who have followed Cica’s work.

This is a place that introduces new characters as well, notably in the form of the wheeled, tin hatted robots rolling back and forth on their single wheel, or offering music to dance to under the stars. And throughout the entire setting are places for visitors to dance or sit or ride (from swings to vehicles) and simply have fun together. And when exploring, do be sure to check the terrain covering – it offers some  art of its own.

Cica Ghost, Stars

Rounded with a quote by Charles A. Beard (or Ralph Waldo Emerson, depending on your choice of attribution, together with Martin Luther King Jr., and others in a slightly altered form), Stars is another richly engaging place to explore – do be sure to have the local stream enabled when exploring! And should you find them as engaging as I did, Cica’s robots at their friends can be purchased from the store in one corner of the region.

SLurl Details

  • Stars (Meropis, rated Moderate)

Daantje Bons: Art and statement in Second Life

Nitroglobus Gallery: I Have to Show You Something

Note: The art exhibition described in this article contains images that might be considered as sexually suggestive, with some also including female nudity.

I Want to Show You Something is the title of the latest exhibition mounted by Dido Haas at her Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, and once again it presents something that is unique to Second Life, whilst also marking the second time in the gallery’s history that art from the physical world has been place on exhibition.

A collaborative installation, I Want to Show You Something features the images of Dutch photographer Daantje Bons, presented through the use of projected images created by Venus Adored to give the illusion of 3D pieces embedded in the walls of the gallery.

Nitroglobus Gallery: I Have to Show You Something

For this reason, it is essential that visitors have their viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) option enabled (Preferences → Graphics → ensure Advanced Lighting Model is checked), otherwise the art will not be rendered (note that, in difference to the instructions provided at the landing point, you do not need to have Shadows enabled to view the installation; however, I would suggest setting your time of day to Midnight).

Based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Daantje Bons is a highly regarded photographer whose work is prominently featured in Dutch newspapers and magazines such as De Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad and LINDA, and internationally in the likes of VOGUE Italia, FRAME, Kurier and Huffington Post, as well as being displayed in galleries across Europe.

The playful subversiveness and pleasing aesthetics of Daantje Bons’ fine art photography draw the eye, but the inherent contradictions make these images resonate and linger in the mind.

– Meredith Greer, writer

Nitroglobus Gallery: I Have to Show You Something

Her style is perhaps best described as Contemporary Feminist, her approach that of presenting her own femininity or re-imagining femininity with a sense of provocative humour and a sexuality; their presentation and apparent contradictions intentional as a means of both capturing attention and encouraging the observer to think more deeply about the subject presented within each piece.

This is all plentifully evident with I Want to Show You Something, a selection of 14 primary images around the walls of the hall, with three “collage” style of image projections to be found in a floating ball and cube, and via a “well” projected onto the gallery’s floor. These are all pieces that may well cause some discomfiture with the more conservative mind and raise smile in the more salacious, simply because of their overt sexuality.

Bons’ images are surprising, funny and often risqué — like a guide to puberty mixed with an untrustworthy recipe book with a surrealist twist

– Priscilla Frank, Huffington Post

Nitroglobus Gallery: I Have to Show You Something

The latter takes multiple forms, some obvious (flowers over the female genitalia), a raspberry covering a nipple, a string of pearls held between lips and tongue; other are possibly more subtle: petals held between lips; a chilli sliced partially open … all resonate with the observer, even if one may feel that sense of discomfiture. But these are not just pieces to provoke; they are in many respects self-exploration – what does it mean to be a woman? How doe masculinity and femininity affect how we see / express our sense of self?

Rich in content, sometimes swaying towards double entendre I Want to show You Something is an exhibition that operates on two levels, and you can learn more about Daantje’s work through her website.

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A touch of Orange at Feint and Bone in Second Life

Feint and Bone: Livio Korobase – Orange

Feint and Bone is the name of a new centre for artistic expression within Second Life that opened on Monday, March 1st, 2021. Operated by Flower Rainforest and Tarhai Breen, the facility covers a homestead region, and is curated by Bryn Oh, with Installations within it intended to run for three months at a time. For the opening – which was deliberately without fanfare – Feint and Bone presents Livio Korobase.

Orange is another of Livio’s region-wide installations that is both visually engaging and mentally stimulating, one in which the broader environment settings and the audio stream play as important a role as what is to be found within the setting.

Orange is the sacral chakra colour … composed of red and yellow in equal parts, and it is a colour of vitality and strength. Just as the sacral chakra is located in the pelvic area, orange is the area of our gut feelings and wisdom. Buddhists call this “hara”, the centre of being through which we connect with the deepest voice of the self, the deepest stillness and wisdom; this is where we find bliss.
Orange energy is very sensual. Living a life guided by orange colour transforms even the most mundane daily experiences into pleasurable experiences … [It] stands for creativity, growth, learning, pleasure; a sense of vitality and aliveness.

– Livio describing his installation at Feint and Bone

Feint and Bone: Livio Korobase – Orange

Thus, visitors are asked to ensure they use the region’s environment setting (World → Environment → Use Shared Environment) and enable the local audio stream in order to be fully immersed in the installation.

As with many of Livio’s installations, Orange makes full use of the available space both on the ground and over it, presenting a series of vignettes and individual pieces that await discovery as you explore the region, the orange colour helping to ensure individual details only become apparent as you do so, rather than being immediately revealed through a high Draw Distance setting.

Feint and Bone: Livio Korobase – Orange

What awaits explorers is is highly individualistic, delightfully interactive and quintessentially Livio.

Each vignette has something to offer, visually and through simple touch – be it climbing a gigantic giraffe’s neck, riding a levitating acrobatic rocking horse or wandering toy train, or rocking on a a dance floor. Throughout the entire installation there is vitality and life entirely in keeping with the artist’s statement on the colour orange, encouraging us to abandon ourselves to the energy of the colour and the installation.

There is something else here as well that reflects the theme of orange. As Livio notes, the colour represents creativity, and this is very much reflected throughout the installation, be it the representation of music and dance, references to the silver screen (look for Buck Rogers’ rocket ship), children’s tales (find the teleports to the cube trees), or human ingenuity (the Wright Brothers biplane, a rocket) and more besides. And if you visit with friends, you can all even hop into bumper cars and have fun that way.

Feint and Bone: Livio Korobase – Orange

The low-key opening for both the region and Orange has been deliberate because Livio tends to let his installations evolve, making changes here and there, presenting a living experience. So why not hop over to Feint and Bone and let your inner child out for some run around fun whilst taking in Livio’s unique art? And make a note of the SLurl for future visits.

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Sketches and Moods in Second Life

Sketches and Moods: Ladmilla and Eli Medier

Sketches and Moods is the title of the latest selection of images and poems by the artist couple, Ladmilla Medier (Ladmilla) and her SL partner Eli Medier,  which is offered to patrons and visitors at THE EDGE Art Gallery, which is also owned and operated by the couple.

The pieces on display are once again a mix of images and accompanying words – fifteen of the images by Ladmilla, and the remaining four by Eli. All feature poems by Eli,  who has a gift for expression through the written word as well as being a talented photographer-artist. Each piece is presented as a single frame of image and words, although the two can be separated as used individually, if required – as all of the pieces are offered for sale.

Sketches and Moods: Ladmilla and Eli Medier

Ladmilla’s images are presented in her distinctive style. Rich in colour, often presented in darker tones that further contribute to their depth, they have a dream-like quality to them that is evocative and perfectly suited to the framing of words through poetry.

The dream-like element to her work is the result of Ladmilla’s crafted post-processing of her images. This involves layering-in both colours and textures to give each piece a special emphasis that natural directs the eye on a specific aspect, from which we naturally focus out to appreciated the picture as a whole.

Sketches and Moods: Eli Medier

Eli is a gifted poet who writes mainly in unstressed blank verse. His words cast a story that both naturally shares the space it shares with its accompanying image and also stands as work of art in its own right – hence the provided ability  to separate poem and image. This adds a further dimension to the exhibition: through the combination of words and art, we are effectively given two exhibitions for the price of one.

A further “complimentary / contrast” (so to speak) lies within Eli’s pieces. Three of these are presented in monochrome or soft tones at both sets them part from Ladmilla’s work, yet joins with them through this contrast, as well as through the presentation of The Message, which shares the deeper tone seen within Ladmilla’s work.

THE EDGE Art Gallery

The exhibition is framed within what is, for me at least, a new and more open gallery building than seen in my last visit to the gallery (May 2020). It shares the parcel with an external display of Second Life art from Ladmilla’s personal collection, and a small garden of 3D art featuring work by Cherry Manga, Mistero Hifeng, Eupalinos Ugajin and Bryn Oh – which (please allow my own ego to do a small tap dance) is backed by a 2019 image by yours truly. And be sure to say hello to Brillo when visiting

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Third annual “RL Photo Festival” announced

Photographer Nils Urqhart is organising the 2021 “RL Photo Festival” – you can see his work at his Art Gallery Rill’Arts

The Third “RL Photo Festival” (formerly  the Annual International RL Photography Festival) will take place between Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 and Sunday, April 25th, 2021. organised by photographer Nils Urqhart, and  hosted at the Helvellyn Gallery).

The festival is intended to be a celebration of artistic photographic  expression for the physical world, and is open to anyone from across Second Life with an interest it, or passion for, photography. All submissions should meet the following guidelines:

  • Submissions must be original photographs recorded in the physical world (to images captured in Second Life or computer games).
  • Submissions may be in colour or black and white, and may be on any theme,  and in accordance with the following criteria:
    • All content must be family friendly. Submissions can depict the human form in all of its forms, but any content with nudity must be presented tastefully.
    • No sexually explicit imagery will be tolerated (and will be returned).
    • All content must be in keeping the the requirements of the Second Life  Terms of Service and Community Standards.
  • Images may be offered for sale (there is no fee or commission for any sales), and participants are free to promote their SL and RL presence as a part of their exhibition.
  • Submissions for participation should be made to Nils Urqhart in-world.
  • All submission must include:
    • Four sample photographs in the form of individual textures of at least 512×512 pixels resolution.
    • All textures must have the following permissions: Copy, No Modify / No Transfer.
    • The textures must have the photographer’s avatar name (NOT display name) in the Name field and image title in the Description field.
    • If desired, submissions can include a photographer’s biography note card.
    • Submissions can be made in the form of a single note card containing image textures and biography – please do not forward them as boxed items.
  • The deadline for submissions is 23:59:59 SLT on March 20, 2021.

Successful entrants will be contacted with details of their location within the exhibition space. Up to 20 LI may be used per display, and entrants are responsible for the layout of their images. The four images sent as a part of the  submission process must form a part of the exhibit.  It is requested by the organiser that scripted items are not used.

For further information, or should you have any questions concerning the festival, please contact Nils Urqhart.

Khaos in motion in Second Life

La Maison d’Aneli: Khaos Part 1

Khaos Part 1 is the title of a new 3D installation currently open at La Maison d’Aneli, operated and curated by Aneli Abeyant. It marks the latest collaboration by Cherry Manage and YadeYu Fhang, two artists noted for their distinctive style and for presenting art installations that tend to be layered and nuanced, and which require time to experience, rather than simply observe.

All three of the attributes mentioned above are very much in evidence with this latest work, particularly as there do not seem to be any liner notes supplied by either artist as to their intent with it, this requiring the grey matter to be cranked into action.

La Maison d’Aneli: Khaos Part 1

Reached via the teleport disk at the gallery’s main landing point, it is important that visitors take note of the basic requirements for visiting the installation. In short, these are:

  • Make sure your viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) is enabled (Preferences Graphics make sure the Advanced Lighting Model option is checked).
  • Enable Used Shared Environment (World menu Environment make sure Use Shared Environment is check).
  • As you walk into the installation space, make sure you accept the local Experience when asked to join (this happens as you walk towards the installation from the teleport).
La Maison d’Aneli: Khaos Part 1

To these I would add a moderate Draw Distance of around 150-200 metres is ideal for viewing the installation, and that visitors should be prepared for some fairly visually violent interactions. Finally, if you’re in a position to freecam / flycam, you most definitely should do so, as this is a 3D installation with multiple perspectives and where the local verticals are not necessarily oriented to the plane on which you walk.

Situated in a sharply-defined sky – while below, a black, star-studded sky above across which square clouds pass, the installation might be described as an artificial, geometrical landscape made up of translucent blocks. Almost transparent around the teleport point, these become more opaque towards the far horizon, where they form a tumble of large cubes and blocks suspended in such a way as to suggest a wall frozen in the act of collapse.

La Maison d’Aneli: Khaos Part 1

Before this wall are humanoid figures, some of whom appear to be falling from the wall, tucked into tight balls, others appear frozen in a motion of action – some mid-fall, some apparently trying to run away, two caught mid-fight. Many appear to be coalescing out of smaller blocks – or perhaps breaking up into them, depending on your viewpoint. Lines of light spear they way through some, adding to the impression they are breaking up; elsewhere solid lines pass through others, slanted as if to present a visual  indicator of their motion.

The overall sense of the setting is one of disordered randomness – which is added to by the fact that within this basic setting, nothing is constant. Light shifts and glimmers, other figures both large and small appear and vanish, some performing actions, some caught in whirlwinds of blocks swirling around or a maelstrom of wind. As time passes, a forest of rectangular beams many appear, some seeming to rise and fall as light plays over and through them, or avalanches of white cubes will suddenly rain down the “slope”, or masses of while lines will roll and twist in place, like streamers of snow caught in a storm.

La Maison d’Aneli: Khaos Part 1

Nor is this all – as you explore the scene on foot, and having accepted the local experience, you will suddenly find yourself part of it, being shaken violently, or pulled roughly into Mouselook as your body hang bent doubled only to be slammed several time into an invisible floor before being released to fall – and then returned to the platform.

Disconcerting, chaotic, ever-changing within the main backdrop, what is to be made of all of this? For my part, I was drawn to the idea that Khaos Part 1 is perhaps a reflection on the idea of chaos theory; the concept that while dynamic systems may well have apparently random states of disorder and irregularities, they are in fact governed by underlying patterns and deterministic laws that are highly sensitive to their initial conditions. And in a mirrored reflection of this, perhaps there is also the idea that whilst life can appear to be well-ordered and subject to patterns and laws as defined by society, it is at its core the product of a chaos that is never far from the surface, simply because of the unpredictable nature of basic human emotional response and outlook.

La Maison d’Aneli: Khaos Part 1

However, I’ll leave further interpretation to you; as noted, there are no liner notes provided with the installation, and I’d prefer not to to colour reactions with my own interpretations, and will leave things here, other than to speculate that given this is “part 1”, there may will be a follow-on installation at some point.

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