Tag Archives: Linden Endowment for the Arts

Giant art is what you get, walking on the Moon

Art Walk on the Moon - LEA14

Art Walk on the Moon – LEA14

Let it be known that the Moon heads towards Earth! Long range telescopes have detected there might be art on the moon. Be aware that Bad Astronomy calculated the impact for Thursday, May 7, 2015, 1.01 PM SLT time! Engineers have constructed the Moonrezzer to transport people to see this unique phenomenon, and a cadre of journalists will lift off on Monday May 4th to send early reports! Stay tuned!

Thus reads – in part – the announcement that Art Blue’s latest art installation / retrospective The Art Walk on the Moon, which official opens on LEA 14 at 13:00 SLT on Thursday, May 7th, and which has a special press preview on Monday, 4th May, also at 13:00 SLT (the tour is limited, numbers-wise, so a screening area has been set-up on neighbouring LEA 16 for late arrivals).

For those unfamiliar with Art Blue, he is a collector and curator; a futurist and historian. Over the years he has taken it upon himself to collect art created in virtual worlds and preserve it, offering for people to view through special presentations such has this, and his Ferrisquito exhibitions (the Bryn Oh retrospective of which I covered in September 2014. Part of his work also involves purchasing art pieces from their creators so that they can be preserved and exhibited on OpenSim.

Art Walk on the Moon - LEA14

Art Walk on the Moon – LEA14

The Art Walk on the Moon is an ambitious, immersive and interactive installation presenting a broad range of art pieces created over the years by many artists working in both Second Life and OpenSim, including (and not limited to) Molly Bloom,  Feathers Boa, Brenda Geissen,  Giovanna Cerise, JadeYu Fhang, Cherry Manga, Yooma Mayo. Fuschia Nightfire, Bryn Oh,  Maya Paris, Gem Preiz, Nexuno Thespian, and Renn Yifu.

The installation actually comprises a number of set pieces which are both separate to one another, while in some cases sharing links with one another. For example, the art displayed in the lower exhibition space can be seen via a flycam tour located in the Moonrezzer Amphitheatre, while some of the  pieces displayed can be reached via the teleport boards, or visitors can fly around them.

From the start-point – an airship which is itself an OpenSim creation floating over the the lower exhibition space – one can use the teleport boards to move around the installation. Before you do so, do make sure sounds and media are enabled, and that you’ve collected the introductory note card, and had a good look around. In particular, do note the blue “Creators Link” cubes; these can be found throughout the installation and when clicked will take you to a web page of information on a particular artist  / object associated with them.

Art Walk on the Moon - LEA14

Art Walk on the Moon – LEA14

When starting your explorations, I’d recommend taking the teleport to the Moonrezzer Amphitheatre. Here you can take a flycam tour of the exhibits in and around the amphitheatre. Simply sit on one of the blue chairs, click on Wells’ time machine under the awning and tap ESC a couple of times to free your camera. After a few seconds, the flycam tour should initiate, taking you around the pieces on display and providing information about them in local chat.

Another launch-point for reaching exhibit spaces is the Moonrezzer Springfield Bet, which acts as a gateway to both the The Soulrezzer and The Moonrezzer installations (the latter of which can also be reached directly via the teleport boards). Make sure you obtain a code for claiming your gift at The Soulrezzer before you teleport up to it.

The Soulrezzer is a skyborne installation featuring fractal art by Aurora Mycano.  Click on the yellow poseballs to drift with the art to the rather heavy beat of The Soultaker by Blutengel (see the image towards the bottom of this article). At the centre of the piece sits The Soultaker, guarding a box. Touch the box and enter the code you received at Springfield Bet on channel /1 to open it and claim your gift. An information display in the lower part of the sphere containing The Soulrezzer includes a teleport circle which will return you to the ground – or you can simply step outside and fly down.

The Moonrezzer forms the nexus of the installation. Here you can opt to walk on a blue moon either under scripted control (click on the blue spheres being offered by one of the helpers), or under your own power using a pair of moon boots by Gem Preiz (take the boots from the large box, wear them, and then click on the green spheres being presented by a helper).

Scattered across this moon are twelve assistants who hold aloft various items of art – although you may have to cam out a way to be able to see them. To make things a little easier, a yellow teleport portal at The Moonrezzer’s arrival point will take you to a ship floating over the moon, where you can sit and watch the unfolding display of art below you – simply tap ESC after sitting to auto-focus your camera, or cam around freely yourself.

As well as teleporting around and the teleport boards have a number of additional destinations not covered here), you’re also free to fly / walk / swim around the various areas, and there are lots of small details to be found through careful exploration, and there are various Easter eggs to be discovered – sit at the chessboard at The Moonrezzer and see the king or queen appear on the board, inviting you to touch it, for example.

Art Walk on the Moon - LEA14

Art Walk on the Moon – LEA14

Utilising shared media (including videos by Wizardoz Chrome), streaming music, and supported through on-line information pages and Rez Magazine, The Art Walk on the Moon is an installation that does require time to be explored and appreciated fully and which can lead you in several directions.  It is also, Art tells me, to be his last major installation in Second Life, and it’s closure on June 30th will be marked by a special performance at which, he says, “the Soulrezzer reveals the secrets of your soul, and the life of Art Blue ends in space as CODE64 will take him away.”

If you are interested in previewing the installation and blogging about it ahead of the opening, be sure to be at LEA 14 by 13:00 SLT SLT on Monday, May 4th. Otherwise, as noted, The Art Walk on the Moon officially opens at 13:00 SLT on Thursday, May 7th.

My thanks to Art Blue for his invitation to tour Art Walk on the Moon ahead of the press opening.

Of puppets and art

PimperPuppets® Being Beautiful in the Art Scene

PimperPuppets® Being Beautiful in the Art Scene – LEA 9

Open now at LEA 9, and running through until Sunday, April 26th, is a new BubbleTheatre® play by d-oo-b (Eifachfilm Vacirca). It’s a delight to see. Shows commence every 5 minutes throughout the day, and last for around minutes.

PimperPuppets®: Being Beautiful in the Art Scene runs for about 20 minutes and, as the title suggests, is a piece of puppet theatre, beautifully executed with the help of some tidy scripting. The puppets are avatar-sized creations, and the story unfolds across a series of skyborne sets the audience is carried to by means of automatic teleporting, with cameras specifically placed to follow the story.  To watch the show, simply sit in one of the numbered chairs set out at the landing point and tap ESC a couple of times to free-up your camera; a countdown will inform you when the show is due to start.

Serge learns he's been selected as the featured artist in the Grand Hall show..

Serge learns he’s been selected as the featured artist in the Grand Hall show…

The story is a satirical take on the world of creatives, and I rather suspect that elements of it might ring uncomfortably true for some involved in SL if they see it! I won’t dwell on the plot too much, as it is fun to see it unfold. Suffice it to say it takes place in the art world, where one artist, offered the opportunity to provide the focal art piece in an upcoming show, struggles mightily with his art (and his angst), such is his need to impress, to create pieces that “give
new dynamics” to the places where they are displayed; meanwhile, another artist finds her work isn’t regarding as needed for the exhibition, and as she considers the first at best over-rated, sets to work on a Machiavellian plan to ensure her art is selected…

It’s a story that is beautifully told, both rich in humour and also darkly prickly in places. Both artists central to the unfolding tale (although not the only characters, the cast is quite broad) are equally pompous when it comes to their own work.

Lucia learns she hadn't ...

Lucia learns she hadn’t …

For example, In one delightful scene, the “disregarded” artist – Lucia – sets about describing her work in a manner befitting Arthur Dent when asked to describe his thoughts on Vogon poetry: “It was a physolactic entrocalypse of the etheric dimension … an animophobic introclecstate of profane dialectics, a submorphic frame that stimulates subcutane erections that induce in the cervocularic consciousness a feeling of reanimation.” Later, as the play draws to a close, the other artist, Serge, reaches his point of enlightenment via a soliloquy worthy of Hamlet, one delivered under the an arch formed by two curved knives which themselves carry a strong symbolic undertone…

The puppets, created via a combination of Blender, GIMP and the magic of SL scripting are marvellous creations in and of themselves; they move as required within the individual scenes, and their movement, combined with camera  shifts within some of the scenes helps draw the audience further into the play. They’re also available to buy on the Marketplace.

""It was a physolactic entrocalypse of the etheric dimension ... an animophobic introclecstate of profane dialectics..."

“”It was a physolactic entrocalypse of the etheric dimension … an animophobic introclecstate of profane dialectics…”

The end of the show will carry you up to an events area, where you may well encounter d-oo-b himself, along with the cast. Live entertainments are scheduled to take place here throughout the show’s run; please see the d-oo-b’s blog for events and times. Should you wish to re-trace your steps through the story, or re-visit individual scenes for the purposes of photography, do note there’s a manual teleport system available as well. Look for the teleport tablet on each level.

As noted, this is an excellent little show, perfectly executed and making clever use of a number of SL capabilities – scripted camera control, teleporting, etc., and all without Experience Tools. I have no hesitation in recommending it for a visit, particularly if you are familiar with the art / creative scene (there are a few of what might be regarded as “inside jokes”) – but do remember, the show ends on Sunday, April 26th.

Serge, in the midst of the "Hamlet moment" ...

Serge, in the midst of his”Hamlet moment” …

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Something for the petrol heads

Museum of The History of the Vehicle - LEA 2

Museum of The History of the Vehicle – LEA 2

For those with a passion for trucks, vans, motorbikes, motor racing and – most of all – cars, there are a couple of events going on in SL that might interest you.

The first, The History of the Vehicle, is taking place at LEA 2. Billed as being six months in the making, the exhibit is curated by Sapphire  Hotaling as a celebration of wheeled vehicles in Second Life from 2005 through to the present day, with some 130+ individual vehicles from almost 50 designers and creators on display,

With the exception of the main building, located on the north side of the region, and a large display area to the east, the majority of the museum space is open air, with various display areas clearly marked and reached via footpaths, and a landscaped park extending to the south and west of the region, linking the main vehicle displays with a memorial to vehicle racers and designers who have passed away, and a stage area which will host live events at the weekends throughout the time the exhibit is open – check the display boards within the exhibit for details.

There’s no set route for exploring the region – just go where your feet / the footpaths take you. Individual display areas are clearly enough marked, and while nothing is for sale within the region, there are plenty of note card / LM givers to the in-world and SLM stores for the designers displaying their latest wares.

The displays are interesting enough, and some do indeed give a feel for how vehicles have visually evolved over the years; however, I have to confess that I toured the exhibit unable to shake the feeling it’s more car show that historical piece. Outside of the “Evolution” exhibit, there is precious little information chart the actual history of vehicle development in SL – the evolution of scripting, capabilities, etc., which to me is a bit of a shame, although I fully understand that putting something together like that isn’t necessarily easy – not everyone is interested in scripting evolution, etc.

Even so the range of vehicles on display is impressive, and the park like layout helps to make the exhibit feel less crowded, vehicle-wise, even allowing from the large east side display area; once you step off of the main path and onto the grass with its wooden walks, it’s easy to relax and find a place to sit a while.

All told, History of the Vehicle makes for a visual treat for car and vehicle fans.

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A City, inside and out

Officially opening at 13:00 SLT  on Thursday, March 26th at the LEA, is Haveit Neox’s newest full region installation, City Inside Out.  It’s a breath-taking and, at first look, bewildering build, huge in size, confusing in complexity and powerful in narrative.

The simplest way to describe the theme of the installation is to take the description from About Land:

Walking into any interior reveals only exteriors. The sense of personal space is absent. How is a city experienced when there are no comforts for the soul, no home?

The description of the build, found close to the landing point adds a little more detail:

To someone without a home living on the streets, the bustling city becomes one united exterior. “City Inside Out”, explores a world that lacks interiors. Some pedestrians throw coins into the beggars’ hats, others bark insults to their faces. Joggers, dog walkers, groups of boisterous friends, clean people in new clothes, romantic couples, cell phone conversations, shiny traffic, wash their daily tides of health and prosperity past the homeless.

And thus the world around us starts to take shape: this is a city we’re asked to see through the eyes of the homeless, the dispossessed; those who have nowhere to be, nowhere to go. For these people, the city is a very different place to the one we know. It’s a place where everything is strange, alien, and threatening. A place bad enough in daylight, but as Havit further explains, becomes much, much worse at night…

Late each night, the people living on the streets are confronted by another kind of crowd, dangerous as the sharp knife and gun. They are defenceless, even within their own bodies. Sensations abound, prickly as lice and poisonous insect infested clothing, blurry as sight without glasses, with ringing ears of imaginary voices, and resignation to untreated illness. The survival test is administered without consideration for those who will see the next day.

Armed with this narrative, it is possible to make your way down and through the installation, crossing bridges, descending ladders and – in places – flying – and see various elements and aspects as they are meant to be seen: as a frightened, forgotten nameless … lurker … in a city were “ordinary” life passes one either side of you and renders you invisible. A place where, when you are noticed, it can feel terrifying or threatening.

Witness, for example,  the portrayal of the man taking his dog(s) for a walk; is it really a pack of hounds he’s struggling to control, is is that home the mind of the lost, homeless individual conceives it, when in fact to the rest of us, it is simply one man and his dog? And, nearby, look how the figure dropping small change down towards you literally towers over you, massive hand outstretched, face a mask…

Then there are the horrors of the night and of living and sleeping rough, portrayed in nightmare images of bottles and guns and more with insectoid legs climbing towards you, or seemingly skittering around or even looming over you; parasitical, ready to suck the life from you.

If all this sounds dark, it’s not; there is a magnificence about this build that is enthralling – and such is its size, I doubt a single visit will suffice to appreciate it all. Time is needed to explore the various levels, the heights and depths and to appreciate all the imagery and metaphor that is layered throughout this amazing city. And do be prepared to play with your camera position and rotation; this is a city where gravity knows no constant in places.

From high in the air to below the water, City Inside Out is an incredible build from an incredible architect of cities of the mind. Not to be missed.

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