Undone in Second Life

Udone - Berg Gallery

Undone – Berg Gallery

Opening on Sunday, July 5th at Kate Bergdorf’s Berg by Nordan Art gallery, located overhead of her home region, Nordan om Jorden, is an exhibition of images by Harbor Galaxy.

Running through July, August and September, the exhibition is called Undone, which is described as, “An examination of the physical loosening of restraints:  collapse, contemplation, release, surrender.” On display are nine nude studies of the female form, the majority either seated or reclined, set against minimal backgrounds which serve to drawn one’s eyes directly to the figure on display – and I do use the term “display” deliberately here. While most of the poses are natural enough, it is clear that they have been carefully set in order to emphasise the various aspects of the exhibit’s subtitle: collapse, contemplation, release, etc.

Not that there is anything wrong with the images being so poised in their execution – that is after all the case for any life study. Here, however, the posing draws us deeper into each image, encouraged to consider just what it is being contemplated or what the collapse signifies and so on. Some of the pieces also seem to have a subtle, layered context as well, offering more than one potential interpretation, which becomes clearer as one re-examines them.

Undone - Berg Gallery

Undone – Berg Gallery

The artist behind Harbor says of her work:

Through Harbor and the creative possibilities of SL, I have been able to explore my own creative impulses and give form to the pictures that have been swirling around in my head for years now.

I do want to add that I see my pieces as a collaborative work, dependent upon the countless creative energies of others like myself here in SL  and I am grateful and in awe of those energies.

Quite who or what the creative energies are isn’t entirely clear, which is a little regretful. Does the reference mean the models featured in the pieces? Comments and support from others? The influence other artists may have had on Harbor’s work? All of the above? It’s an enigmatic and intriguing statement; just as this is an intriguing and intimate exhibition.

Undone - Berg Gallery

Undone – Berg Gallery

Nudes may not be to everyone’s liking, but this is an exhibit worth seeing, one very well suited to the warm intimacy of Kate’s gallery space. As noted above, it will be running through July – September.

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Rituals, mountain ascents, mermaids and druids in Second Life

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated below.

Sunday, July 5th, 13:30: Tea-time at Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower, Kaydon Oconnell and Corwyn Allen continue reading The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, originally published in 1894, and which brings together twelve (or eleven in US editions of the volume) adventures featuring Holmes and Watson, as originally published in The Strand Magazine. This week: The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual, first published in 1893.

From The Adventure of The Musgrave Ritual, an illustration by Sidney Paget, 1893.

From The Adventure of The Musgrave Ritual, an illustration by Sidney Paget, 1893.

“There are cases enough here, Watson,” said he, looking at me with mischievous eyes. “I think that if you knew all that I had in this box you would ask me to pull some out instead of putting others in.”

“These are the records of your early work, then?” I asked. “I have often wished that I had notes of those cases.”

“Yes, my boy, these were all done prematurely before my biographer had come to glorify me.” He lifted bundle after bundle in a tender, caressing sort of way. “They are not all successes, Watson,” said he. “But there are some pretty little problems among them. Here’s the record of the Tarleton murders, and the case of Vamberry, the wine merchant, and the adventure of the old Russian woman, and the singular affair of the aluminium crutch, as well as a full account of Ricoletti of the club-foot, and his abominable wife. And here — ah, now, this really is something a little recherche.”

Thus Holmes introduces Watson to one of the cases his took on before the two became friends, one involving an old acquaintance from Holmes’ university days, Reginald Musgrave, a vanished butler and maid and the mysterious Musgrave Ritual.

Monday July 6th, 19:00: The Martian Ascent

Martian ascentElinor Caiman Sands is a UK science fiction author who is fully aware of Second Life – so much so, that earlier in 2015, she had her own stand at the Second Life Science Fiction Convention. She’s been published in Cosmos Online, the T. Gene Davis Speculative Blog and in the Strange Bedfellows Anthology of Political Science Fiction. Now listeners have the opportunity to become acquainted with one of her short stories, the Martian Ascent, first published in October 2014.

Humans are on Mars; three of them struggle to become the first to scale mighty Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano in the solar system, covering an area the size of Arizona. But they have to contend with more than just the hostile conditions of the planet. Their climb becomes haunted by eerie noises, and they begin to wonder if they are going mad. Does the mountain hold secrets they never imagined? Will they ever make it to the top?

Join Gyro Muggins to discover more.

Tuesday July 7th, “Summer” According to Saki

With Caledonia Skytower.

Wednesday July 8th: 19:00: The Tail of Emily Windsnap Part 4

Faerie Maven-Pralou reads from Liz Kesseler’s series about a young girl who, having always lived on a boat but having been kept away from the water by her mother, finally gets to have swimming lessons. With them comes a remarkable discovery that leads her into another world…

Thursday July 9th

18:45: About Seanchais

A seanchai (sometimes also written as Shanachaie in English) is a traditional Irish storyteller / historian, as Shandon Loring explains as he delves into the tradition.

19:00: The Druid by Frank Delaney

The DruidHe has been described as “the most eloquent man in the world”. In a career spanning three decades, BBC host and Booker Prize Judge Frank Delaney has interviewed more the 3,500 of the world’s most important writers.  He’s also an author in his own right, earning top prizes and best-seller status in a wide variety of formats.

His latest project is collectively called The Storytellers, and presents a series of short stories that follow the tradition of the seanchai: providing a crisp, concise tales of the world, and which also include his own notes on the history and craft of storytelling and the creation of myths.

Shandon Loring reads The Druid,  the first in the Storytellers series and a story from “Long, long ago, when the pigs ate the apples off the trees and the birds flew upside down,” and which features a Druid full of cunning and false magic, determined to win the hand of a beautiful girl.

Saturday July 11th, 12:00 Noon: Senachai Kitely Star Wars Saturday

With Shandon Loring and Caledonia Skytower, in Spaceworld (grid.kitely.com:8002/Inis Eirc).

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for June / July is the The Xerces Society, at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programmes.

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A little More time in Second Life

Lacy Muircastle chatting to me on the garden terrace at home

Lacy Muircastle chatting to me on the garden terrace at home

I was recently contacted by Lacy Muircastle of More magazine if I’d be willing to be interviewed about my Second Life and this blog. The request came via note card, often the easiest why to contact me in-world and was, in all honesty, something of a surprise.

For those unfamiliar with the title, More is a monthly magazine published in-world and on-line by Maxes Loon, who runs the moolto.com social network site for avatars (I actually reviewed Moolto back in 2011, alongside of 2nd Friends – although that review is likely to be very long in the tooth). More covers range of topics – fashion, blogging, writing, photography – and is available through kiosks in-world and through the Moolto website.

As noted, the request for an interview came as a surprise – I genuinely don’t consider myself to be interesting interview material; but I agreed, and in due course was able to address Lacy’s questions, which were considered and framed in such a way that I quite possibly got rather verbose in my replies – she’s a very skilled interviewer!

At the time, I hadn’t appreciated that the piece was intended to be the feature article for More’s July issue, and was again genuinely surprised when Maxes, who also works as the magazine’s photographer as well as its publisher, dropped by to discuss photos, and mentioned this into the conversation!

The July issue is now available, and I have to say that Lacy has done a marvellous job in turning my ramblings into something cohesive and (I hope!) readable. As those who know me are only too well aware, once I do get going, I’m a little hard to shut up :) . I’m also very flattered that Maxes opted to use a number of images I’d taken from locations (Flux ser Mer and the now sadly gone Venexia).

As well as yours truly, this month’s issue also features photographer Isa Messioptra, Mr. Virtual World Canada, Barney Helendale, blogger Capricia, a useful resource on in-world writing groups compiled by Lacy and, well, More.

So, even if you don’t fancy reading about me, there’s plenty more of interest in the magazine to make reading the July edition worthwhile. You can also keep up-to-date with each month’s issue from the home page of the Moolto website.

My thanks to Lacy and Maxes for the invitation and their time. 

Dolphin viewer bows out of Second Life, Adams style

dolphin-logoSometimes it takes us humans quite some time to admit something to ourselves that we don’t want to admit, but eventually there’s no more putting it off.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce the end. It’s over. No more new Dolphin Viewer.

Thus opens a blog post dated June 22nd, from Lance Corrimal, which I am ashamed to admit I missed when it appeared.   It serves as an introduction to Lance officially announcing the end of all Dolphin viewer development / maintenance work at his end of things.

He goes on:

With my current RL job and all the travelling that I’m doing there are more exciting things to do with the little time I have to spend on SL and other hobbies, than maintaining a third-party viewer… especially when most of the “maintenance” involves fixing stuff that shouldn’t have been broken in the first place.

I have been porting a few of the things that used to be in Dolphin Viewer 3 to Firestorm in the last few weeks …  I invite the FS team to grab anything from there that they like.

TheDolphin Machinima Toolbox was one of the last additions to Dolphin to be release (in beta form), and held a lot of promise

The Dolphin Machinima Toolbox was one of the last additions to Dolphin to be release (in beta form), and held a lot of promise

This is sad news; over the years Lance had built the Dolphin viewer into an excellent offering (it was my second viewer of choice of a good while). But time has conspired against him, even though he did attempt to get the viewer back on track (and in doing so started implementing some nice additions, such as the Machinima Toolbox, seen on the right).

But the viewer is very much a living, evolving things, and playing catch-up, even with the best will in the world, can become increasingly hard (and probably more than a little demotivating when the “to do” list constantly remains longer than the “done” list). This being the case, we can hardly blame Lance for wanting to spend what free time he has to devote to SL in enjoying things in-world that he finds fun and relaxing; I know if I were in his shoes, I’d have given up a long time ago.

Lance closes his blog post with a paraphrase of a Douglas Adams quote, saying, “Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish!”

I’ll add a small response of my own, “thanks, Lance, for all of your work over the years. May the wind be always be at your back!”

With thanks for the pointer to Nalates Urriah