16 December 2014

Linden Endowment for the Arts Announces Artist-in-Residence Grants

The Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) has announced the eighth round of Artist-in-Residence grants, which provides full sims for a period of six months (January through June 2015) to twenty artists. The recipients, who will have up to four months in which to build before opening, comprise:
Art Blue
Asmita Duranjaya and Sable (snakeappletree)
frankx lefavre
FreeWee Ling
Giovanna Cerise (middle image)
Gracie Kendal
Haveit Neox (upper image)
Krystali Rabeni
Lemonodo Oh
Lorin Tone
Mario2 Helstein
Mary Wickentower
Misprint Thursday
Mistero Hifeng
NaTaS Janus
Sniper Siemens
Solkide Auer
Whiskey Monday (lower image — an image of one of Whiskey's pose set-ups, photo by me)

I had a chance to talk this evening with three of the recipients — Haveit Neox, Lorin Tone and Whiskey Monday — and they shared some thoughts and perspectives on their forthcoming works:

Haveit Neox:
My build will center on a city turned inside out. The mud city will have no windows, no doors. It will have the look of an old city eroded. Only holes in the roofs gain access to the interiors. But when visitors climb down the ladders, the interiors are actually exteriors — what we see walking the streets. My intention is to bring about a sense of having no home.

Lorin Tone:
My plans are to display pieces that Madcow Cosmos and I collaborated on over years. They will be be mostly musically interactive for all visitors...Pictures and noise, that's what we do. I promise we'll have some fun stuff to show!

Whiskey Monday:
I'm going to explore the relationship between 3D space and the 2D representation of it. I'm going to set up a series of photo sets, and each one will stay up an indeterminate amount of time. Maybe a day, maybe an hour, maybe two weeks. And the sim will be open for folks to come look and (hopefully) take pics themselves. Then I'll delete the set with no notice or fanfare. I hope to have the sim open for most of the last 4 months to do this. I want sets that will work for folks with crap graphics, as well as those who can take Ultra shots. There'll be a Flickr group and a gallery of sorts above the sim, for displaying photos that folks take. I think seeing the unique perspectives and angles that each person brings to the work will make it a collaborative effort, and hopefully pull in some SL people who normally don't come to LEA sims, and even those who don't normally think of themselves as artists or photographers. I love the idea of seeing the same scene through different eyes. And the sharing of the creation of art! As well as the impermanence of the scenes, while the 2D representation of them is now the "art." I want folks to see that anyone can be an artist, that everyone has a unique vision and a viewpoint that matters. I think the narrative should belong to everyone. [Update: See here for more.]

14 December 2014

Winter Moon

The sim Winter Moon, a favorite among many who seek out photogenic locations, is living up to its name, literally, with a seasonal makeover that treats us to candlelit paths and softly illuminated trees. From the landing point, explorers can set out either clockwise or counterclockwise — the path winds its way around the outside of the entire sim, affording beautiful views of waterfalls in the sim's center and the lighthouse that stretches into the sky.

Throughout the sim, designer Dream Shadowcry has created little vignettes or composed scenes such as the one in the middle image. There's also a beach on the northeastern corner of Winter Moon (lower photo), and you won't see many signs of winter here or in the tropical lands that stretch down the eastern edge. The sim's windlight setting, pictured, results in a better experience than photos would suggest. To see a previous post about Winter Moon, click here.

13 December 2014

UWA 3D Art and Machinima Grand Finale

Tomorrow, Sunday, December 14 at 6 am slt, the University of Western Australia (UWA) will announce the winners of both Transcending Borders: The 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge and MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders, with dozens of entries from around the globe and more than L$1,000,000 in award money, including audience participation prizes. The awards will be presented at the The UWA-BOSL Grand Amphitheatre, with three different entrances here, here and here. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Kudos to UWA for continuing its support of the arts in virtual environments.

12 December 2014

Winter [Imagination]

ARNICAR India's beautiful sim, [Imagination], has transformed into a strikingly beautiful winter experience — now appropriately renamed Winter [Imagination] — and merits extended or repeated visits. While most sims are square in design (based, of course, on existing limitations), the water region [Imagination] embraces the circle: from overhead, one can see the waves slowing moving toward the center from every direction, and the sim is neatly divided into thirds by wintery paths and stone walkways. The views from any angle are superb and afford some great photographic opportunities.

Tall shapes tower over the sim, anchoring our gaze at various points: an antiquated lighthouse, a huge hot air balloon, a massive tree, and a floating house. Toward the west, two children skate on a frozen pond, and here you can dance with a friend — just watch your step. (And that's where you'll also spot a tip jar in the form of a toy horse.) And everywhere are beautiful small touches — for example toward the north an elegant table set with cocktails and dessert, attended by a white peacock. If you're not using a viewer that auto-accepts region windlight, try [TOR] NIGHT - Bright blue horizon.

11 December 2014

Asalia House

The entrance to Asalia House, on the region seni seviyorum (about which I last wrote here, although nothing of the older build remains), is a delight: We're in a welcoming little space with nowhere to go — but we do spot a rabbit hurrying somewhere, and that's our cue. Lewis Carroll would be proud of the playful interpretation as we fall through the rabbit hole (don't miss the scenery), drink to shrink, and finally arrive on the ground level. And what awaits on the ground is a beautiful setting — a little island of dense gardens and walkways.

We stroll along a woodland path through a forest of spectacular mushrooms (middle image) toward a green chessboard and house of cards (although perhaps part of this area is under construction), continuing the Alice connections. A nearby windmill, spinning lazily, overlooks a table set for tea, as geese skim the water in the distance. And further out from shore, toward the north, you'll spot a quaint little house, strewn with curiosities and poses (lowest image). And there you'll also find a tip jar, should you like to make a contribution. The images here (click to zoom in) show the region's default windlight setting. [Update: I spoke with さぁこ (Kyo Asalia), one of the designers, and she confirms that areas are still under construction, but welcomes people to visit.]

Adieux, Santaurio

If you're the sand and surf type, it's last call to visit Santaurio, a creation by Jac Mornington and Romy Mornington (Romy Eara Rosea). (Read here my post from April 2014 when the sim opened.) Within the next few days, the beaches, palms and inland waterfalls will cease to exist, as Jac announced plans today to transform the sim into "a new winter season theme." Thanks to Jac and Romy for having shared their tropical paradise with the community.

09 December 2014

Second Life Suggestions

Yes, you did see that correctly. The Lab has launched a "suggestions" page, asking residents their thoughts on a variety of topics: audio, avatars, communications, content creation, documentation, groups, install issues, inventory, L$ (commerce), land, localization, mesh, navigation, other/unknown, performance, physics, rendering, scripts, simulation, teleport, tools, user interface, and viewer. Read more here in a blog post today from the Lab.

But do keep in mind, as Torley offered a few minutes ago on plurk, "When making suggestions, please consider providing context as to why this would be of broad benefit to the Second Life community. By all means by passionate but think about what good this does for the world." (Torley said that one thing he'd like to see is faster, easier access to debug settings.) Also, keep in mind this isn't for reporting bugs — for those, head over to the JIRA.

StoryBrooke Gardens Winter

Winter has arrived a StoryBrooke Gardens, a tranquil setting created by Lauren Bentham. From the landing point, paths lead you through a delightfully snowy landscape populated by woodland animals and fairies. Beams of sunlight break through the pastel-colored woods to light the scene as flakes swirl and drift downward.

In the southeast corner, a cottage, with icicles and Christmas lights dangling from its gutters, awaits with a wood stove to warm your feet — or, if you prefer the cold weather, there are plenty of places outside to have a seat and take in the view. If you get too chilled, you're in luck, because Baja Norte, a warm beach sim originally designed by Jac Mornington and Sunshine Zhangsun (read here) awaits — just take the teleport down to the ground — and you can also visit Bentham Manor, home to Lauren's shop.

07 December 2014

Never Ending

One's excursion to Never Ending - Winter Story on the sim Papillon, created by a collective of Japanese designers, starts slowly and quietly, on an icy peninsula. (You'll hear the snow crunching under your feet as you walk.) And as one sets out on foot, buildings begin to emerge: a winter home (with beautiful interior decorations), a flea circus (with opportunities for silliness), and soon a delightfully cute winter town. And further afield you'll discover penguins skating on ice, a wonderland of pastel trees, and other adorable little spaces (many with hidden poses — don't miss the bubbles along the line of umbrellas).

But there's more than first meets the eye: up above the town, look for a double set of doors. They're the entrance into another world far overhead, and it's a stunning black and white realm — my friend Kinn, with whom I was exploring, exclaimed, "Oh, this is awesome!" when she entered. And it's on two levels: look around for additional doors to move up and down, or walk into the shining light through the castle entrance. And speaking of doors, be sure to explore others around the sim — they jump between spaces. (There are also a few teleport boards.) And be on the lookout for a big grey box with a blue ribbon around it — it's a gift from the designers. Thanks to the Papillon team for sharing this beautiful sim with the community.

06 December 2014

Depth Perception

Artist Molly Bloom is featured in two exhibitions opening this weekend, both entitled Depth Perception. The first opens today, Saturday, December 6 at 7 pm slt at Asperiche Island in the elaborate Chateau d'Ember; the second opens tomorrow, Sunday, December 7 from noon to 2 pm slt at the Rose Art Gallery. [Update: Inara Pey informs me that the Asperiche Island display is one day only! So if you're reading this you probably already missed it.] With subject matter ranging from the erotic to cops and robbers to the fantastic or fanciful, her carefully composed artworks really do play in an exceptional way with our sense of depth: elements appear to emerge from the frame, sometimes crossing its edges and sometimes appearing to thrust toward us, and sometimes (but not always) those things really are three-dimensional extrusions.

In the lowest image here, for example, the raven on the right of the frame is actually part of the flat surface, while in the third image the Bible, the bride's veil and the rifle all emerge from the frame. (And who knows quite what is going on in that triptych — like many of the others, it suggests a curious narrative.) "I've always been fascinated with old masters," Molly told me, "like Carravaggio, Rembrandt, etc., and in real life I can't paint. I'm a glass artist mostly. So, I started playing with lighting and found I could do a decent reproduction of those artists' light and contrast." As for the added elements, "That was cleaning out my mess of inventory, and putting full perm in a folder. And I thought 'wonder if I stick something on a pic?' And the rest just sort of fell into place."

The installation at Asperiche Island (first and fourth images here) is curated by Master Ember, and the opening is black tie. (The sim itself is a home for the gay Gorean community, and looks worthwhile exploring as well.) The beautifully installed show at the Rose (middle two images), curated by Kylie Sabra Angel, is the larger of two. (The Rose offers many additional galleries to explore.) There's a small amount of duplication between the two exhibitions, but you'll certainly want to visit both locations for a complete experience.