“This sim was initially named EVER.” Tahiti Rae says of her latest full region installation, EVRE, now open through until the end of 2016. “While fervently researching a long and well-documented genealogy of my family … I thought how fun it would be to study the women who had married into the family. I learned that one of them had a second husband … When I researched him, I was astonished to discover that the “old tyme” spelling of his name was “Evre”. Hence, the R and the E were immediately swapped. Apparently, the correct trail was followed and at the right time. It’s connected.”
And thus we are introduced to her haunting, complex and highly photogenic study of consciousness, connectedness and time, as expressed in the installation’s sub-title: Are we Everywhere … At all Times? In this, the reversal of the R and the E in the region’s name could be seen as allowing it to serve a second purpose, as when separated to the two pairs of letters give us “ev” and “re” – a shorthand, almost for “everywhere”.
I’ve long been an admirer of Tahiti’s work. She is one of the more thought-provoking, consistently engaging and visually aware immersive artists in Second Life. The installations she creates draw from many sources and influences; they are always stunning to the eye and a source of considered contemplation for the mind. In this, EVRE is no exception. In keeping with Tahiti’s request, I’m not going to dwell too much on describing the installation – as she notes, this is a place to be discovered.
The core of the installation is a tour through twelve worlds, each accessed through a “memory clock” – a large fob watch hanging from its chain. Each world represents a different time and place, accessed by touching the “memory clock” and then using the map to teleport. The order in which the worlds are accessed is perhaps of less importance than ensuring all twelve are visited before making the jump to ALL TIME (via the large clock in the region), and thence to a final world, TIMELESS. However, for those seeking to explore the worlds in some semblance of an order, look for the signs with red lettering at the landing point. This will provide you with a note card list of all the “memory clock” SLurls.
In following the clocks, we effectively become dimensional travellers, visiting different point is time, witnessing events – becoming a part of events. I use “dimensional” rather than “time” deliberately, because of that question posed in the installations sub-title: Are we Everywhere … At all Times? If we are, then our journey here is not so much through time, as between the barriers separating the different periods in time represented here.
In doing so, we also encounter some anachronisms; some of these are more obvious than others, but none are accidental. In this, EVRE put me in mind of the philosophical question T.S Eliot throws to his reader in the opening of Burnt Norton, one of his Four Quartets (and a log-standing favourite of mine:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
Tahiti’s installation may offer a different slant to Eliot’s pondering, but they both raise the same underpinning question, and point us towards a contemplation of both all time (the eternity which surrounds us) and, with EVRE at least, a consideration of timeless – her final world. A place which encourages us to ponder the purpose of time, which is, to use the often ms-attributed phrase, to “keep everything from happening all at once”.
Of the worlds themselves, as presented by Tahiti, and in keeping with her wish not to offer too many spoilers, I will say that time should be taken in visiting them; there are some exceptionally beautiful discoveries to be made, and nuances which might be easily missed on a hurried visit.
As noted, EVRE will remain open until the end of the year, and it will be the venue for a number of events, as outlined in the first world, Psi.
- EVRE (LEA 27, rated: Moderate)