Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The End of the “Second Libiations” Art Exhibit

The LEA6 sim, run by the Linden Endowment of the Arts, has been showing a new look every month. In November, it has Tyrehl Byk’s “Not a Knot” and “Catharsis” particle show. December brought a new exhibition by another artist: “Second Libiations” by Haveit Neox.

“Second Libations” had a story behind it. The exhibition depicts a future after all life on Earth ends following a disaster that evaporates all the water. The surviving intelligence lives only in virtual reality and computers: the ‘bots. And with out human maintenance, they too will eventually fade as their home goes dark. Not sure what to do, they flood their world with virtual water “in the hope of rehydrating their users.”

When the exhibit was up, visitors entered “through the doorway of a pyramid,” where they could read the story, followed by meeting up with some of the bots. Free outfits in the style of what the bots were wearing were available. Going further, they would find themselves walking down a huge statue, eventually ending up at the bottom of the sea, directions leading to a staircase that took one to land, and the “Temple of the Bots.” There, the bot scripters worked to try to preserve their virtual world without the help of their now dead users. The three rooms one could go to were an art gallery, a maze leading to a study area, and a “web tower” made up of spiders and a web symbolizing the Internet.

December 31 was the last day of the exhibit, but instead of simply taking it down Haveit decided to end things with a bang.

There will be a dramatic end to Second Libations on New Year's eve, Dec 31. As the year 2012 issues in, will it really be the end of the world? Come see for yourself. The show begins at 2 pm, SLT. (SL time is Pacific Standard Time). You may want to be there, and bring your camera.

A few dozen gathered to witness the end of the LEW exhibit. Some were in the exhibit’s costumes. And the end had become part of the story. Narrated by Lilia Artis, “The bots, still unable to resuscitate their human users come to the last resort: the human standards of ritual and sacrifice. Combining the rites of the Vikings, Hindus, and many other cultures as well, the bots begin their sacrifice, sailing into a prayer by way of the burning ship, the offering of their entire culture and being.” And the temple began to go ablaze.

Lilia continued, “The temple’s library explodes with all the stories in its scrolls, releasing their printed letters and punctuation into a confused mass. The air blackens with the dust of ideas. No pixel seems stable. The supports of the temple begin to slide along the x axis, then the y, wrestling themselves free of structure, the walls succumb, relinquishing their will to stand. 2012 has arrived! “ And the Temple began to crumble.

The audience reacted in different ways. Some cheered at the sight, cracking jokes, “Oh, em, gee, Libations is becoming ‘Frybations!!’ “I love the smell of burning pixels.” “Are you playing the ‘Ride of the Valkyries?’ ” “We bot them all the time we could!” “Burning it down for the insurance?” “Take that, library police!” Some gave polite applause, “The Libraryinth shall forever be emblazoned in our minds' eyes!” “Nothing is ever ‘destroyed’ ... merely transformed.” Others just watched, thoughtful of the plot and what this symbolized: the end of the last bastion of intelligence on Earth.

Lilia continued to narrate as the temple fell, “The World Wide Web, spun by scripter spiders in the tower collapses in the fury of the sacrifice.” Then the huge statue fell, “The Colossus, comes to his knees as the temple of the bots lies in ruin.” Some continued to joke, while others applauded the artist, Honour McMillan saying, “Hav, you're a seriously demented talent, thank the gods for that.”

Finally, the build was in rubble, Lilia narrating, “As foretold, the year 2012 would bring an end... but, an end of one thing, is the beginning of another... From the rubble on the LEA6 sim, will soon rise the fruits of the bots’ sacrifice... One of the essences of human nature... a universal language understood not only by humans, animals, and all living things... but even by mathematics itself....”

Lilia announced that the next exhibit at LEA6 would have the theme “Music,” by the artist Artistide Despres. The exhibit’s rubble would remain until Midnight SL time, “Thank you for having joined me for this spectacle. And Happy New Year!” The audience, jokesters and all, then applauded Haveit for his exhibit and the show he put at the end, “Thank you, Haveit, for a most splendid exhibit and adventure here!” “I will miss this place, but what a great way to end it - Bravo!“ “was totally awesome, thanks! So much creativity!” “A fitting end to a spectacular installation.” Haveit expressed his thanks to the crowd, “Thank you everyone! ... I'm so grateful that you came! And thank you Lilia for helping put the text into local for me!”

More information on “Second Libations,” can be found at the UWA blog, as well as Haveit’s own blog.

Bixyl Shuftan

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