Tag Archives: Linden Endowment for the Arts

Caught in Eternal Suspense

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise - LEA 21

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise – LEA 21

The Eternal Suspense is the title of Giovanna Cercise’s latest full region installation now open at the Linden endowment for the Arts, as a part of the 8th round of the Artist in Residence programme.

A complex piece mixing geometrical forms with human elements, the installation extends several hundred metres into the air, encompassing a number of distinct levels. Within the lattices and sphere which give a sense of order to the the build, there is also an element of disorder: human figures rising from the lowest platform, climbing the lattices upwards into the sky, stretching up towards a white figure crouched at the highest level.

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise - LEA 21

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise – LEA 21

Giovanna has taken as her theme the Apollonian and Dionysian philosophical dichotomy, perhaps most famously expounded within Friedrich Nietzsche in his 1871 study, The Birth of Tragedy. in which he examines the nature of Greek Tragedy before going on to use the Greek model to understand the state of modern culture.

The central concept of the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy is that Apollo is the god of reason and the rational, while Dionysus is the god of the irrational and chaos; therefore the core of all great tragedy grows out of the interplay between the differing world views they represent.

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise - LEA 21

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise – LEA 21

Within The Eternal Suspense Giovanna embodies and interprets this concept artistically. “Man is poised between two or more emotions, he is always in a delicate step,” she states, “in a hazardous environment. Its location is never easy, he is a tightrope imprisoned in constant tension between his Dionysian side and the Apollonian one. But [do] you have really to choose? Or you have really to find a balance?”

Thus, this interplay is defined between the lattice (ordered and rational) and the mass of figures climbing it (disorder, chaotic). But it also runs deeper. The figures themselves are rising from a scene somewhat chaotic in nature, with what appears to be roiling waves (or perhaps flames) mixed with revelry; but while their ascent up through the lattice may seem chaotic, it is both purposeful (rational) and encompasses cooperation (order), the figures all assisting one another. Thus the tension we can experience in trying to find a balance between our Apollonian and Dionysian “sides” is embodied in their form and efforts.

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise - LEA 21

The Eternal Suspense, Giovanna Cerise – LEA 21

To get around the work, you can either fly, or use the teleport spinning tops (the first is located at the landing point). Right click on them and select TELEPORT, and they take you up through each level. Giovanna recommends a sunset windlight for the piece; I’d actually suggest something more towards a dusk level of lighting.

The Eternal Suspense will be open through until the end of June 2015.

LEA open AIR 9 land grant applications

LEA_square_logo_60Applications are now open for round 9 of the Artist in Residence (AIR) programme operated by Linden Endowment for the Arts.

Twenty regions (LEA10 through LEA29), donated by Linden Lab and managed by the LEA, are offered under the AIR programme, and successful applicants will be given the use of one full region for a period of five months. The region may then be used on an individual or group basis for such diverse activities as:

  • Full sim exhibitions and / or immersive installations
  • Curated projects, especially those which have a connection to physical exhibitions and events (mixed reality).
Borderlines, LEA24

AIR 8: Lemonodo Oh – Borderlines, LEA 27 – review

Artists are asked to take no more than 3 months to execute their build, so that their installation is open to the public for at least the last 2 months of their grant. However, artists may also open their installation ahead of the three-month build deadline, and many artists in the past have used their land to have multiple exhibits.

The timeline for application as it currently stands is:

  • Application deadline: May 30th, 2015
  • Notification by: June 14th, 2015
  • Sim handover and public announcement: July 1st, 2015
  • End of round: December 31st, 2015.
AIR 8: Haveit Neox - City Inside Out, LEA 20; review

AIR 8: Haveit Neox – City Inside Out, LEA 20; review

The application form can be found at the end of the official announcement for AIR round 9. Those needing assistance in completing the form can refer to some guidelines provided by Honour McMillan.

In hell’s ninth circle with Frankx Lefravre

I first became enamoured of Frankx Lefavre’s work at the start of 2014, when he participated in the LEA’s “interim” series of installations, and I met him at the piece he’d built which he informally called “light and glass” (and about which you can read here). Since that time, I’ve reported on a number of his set pieces at the Linden Endowment for the Arts, and for the 8th round of the LEA’s Artist in Residence series, he is back once more, with arguably one of his most ambitious projects yet – and one which was bound to grab my attention.

Cocytus: the 9th Circle of Hell, now open at LEA 18, is a dramatic 3D representation of the ninth and lowest of the circles of hell Durante degli Alighieri wrote about in Inferno, the first cantica of his Divine Comedy. This is the resting place – if such a term might be used – of those who have committed treachery or acts of fraud, and within it are four “rounds” leading inwards, and through which Dante travels with his guide, Virgil. Within each round, and according to the form of their treachery, are the souls of the damned, buried in ice to varying degrees, from semi-submerged through to completely entombed.

The four rounds of Cocytus are described by Dane as, Caina (after Cain from the Bible), where can be found those who betray their blood relatives; Antenora (after Antenor), where can be found those who betray their county; Ptolomea (after Ptolemy, the governor of Jericho) where can be found those who betray their guests; and Judecca (after Judas Iscariot), where can be found those who betray their benefactors and masters.  At the very centre of  this round lies Satan, bound up to the waist in ice.

Visitors to Cocytus: the 9th Circle of Hell take something of Dante’s journey through the Cocytus of Inferno, starting with their arrival in a dramatic, desolate landscape dominated by a red-rimmed Sun which fixes them with a baleful stare. A slender wooden bridge directs people to a path which zig-zags down to the maw of a cavern, and the first of the rounds of of which Dante wrote.

The path through the installation is also a zig-zag, and the windlights should change progressively as you make your why through the four rounds – I’ve used different lighting in the images here for effect). They are atmospheric in tone, but you may need to pick your way with care to avoid blind turns or dead ends. There are some torches along the way to mark a part of the path, so keep an eye out for them, and a further wooden bridge will bring you to the innermost round.

While representing Dante’s work, in a vivid manner, Frankx also takes a couple of diversions as well – his Satan is not the three-faced beast Dante witnessed, for example – which is not to say it is any the less imposing. More particularly, where Dante saw Cocytus as a frozen lake, Frankx’s use of the path through the caverns and over the four icy rounds gives the impression one is following the course of a frozen river, albeit one broken by sections of hard  stone. In this way, the ice here carries an echo of the original Cocytus, the river of lamentation (or wailing) in Greek mythology, and one of the five rivers surrounding Hades.

This is the second interpretation of Dante’s Inferno I’ve seen mounted at the LEA, the first being Rebeca Bashly’s Inferno in October 2011, which marked the inaugural AIR / LEA installation. Like that installation, Cocytus: the 9th Circle of Hell is an involved and beautifully executed representation of of Dante’s poem. It will be open through until the end of June, and a visit is recommended.

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.