Thursday, August 30, 2012

Virginia Alone

Earlier this summer, Bryn Oh had a new art exhibition at her Immersiva sim, "Virginia Alone," which is about a lady, Virginia Blakely, her house, and how she coped with a mental illness she tried to understand.

I went to the sim. At the entry point, there were a few signs, including one describing her exhibit. I found a path marked by posts, and began walking down it, soon seeing telephone poles and birds. I then saw a figure nearby, wearing a rabbit mask with a hole cut over one eye and cheek. It was Bryn Oh. She greeted me, "Just building a tree. (smile)" Talking about the house, "The only thing to know is to click the cassette tapes inside the house, and letters. It is the story of a lady I know in real life, who has schizophrenia, and is blind. It is a recreation of her home." She mentioned the sky would change for those using Firestorm, but in my Cool LV, I could see clouds moving.

I asked how she met the lady. Bryn answered, "I met her estranged daughter, and through her discovered Virginia. So I asked to meet her. … She knows she has issues, but she is not aware they are called Schizophrenia. For example, she says in one tape that she discovered her mouth open and saying some words. So she wrote down what she was saying, and tried to figure out why she would say those things and what made her do it. She is quite rational, rational in dealing with the irrational. … She is someone who lived alone, away from society, and fought against an illness that she refused to let overcome her."

The area has some subtle sounds of being in the countryside. Getting close to a tree with some plastic bags stuck in it, one can here them rustling in the wing. I also came across a couple visitors whom were just leaving after taking a look inside, a reminder Bryn's exhibit is still getting traffic. The building itself had a look of age, made of unpainted, fading, wooden planks. The first room one steps in is the one Virginia had been spending almost all her time in. She was nearly blind from cataracts. There are cupboards, a sink, and a representation of Virginia sitting in a chair listening to the radio. And in a corner are some of the items she collected over time.

The rest of the house, Virginia seldom ventured to. There is a basement, which with it's flooded floor and network of pipes is artistic creativity on Bryn's part. And there are other rooms, with boxes and bags, and 20 year old cobwebs. Some of the boxes are clickable, as Bryn described, leading to pictures, or links to recordings on Youtube. Stairs lead to a few more rooms. One had a music box, when clicked, was about Bryn Oh's "Rabbicorn."

  Sits forlorn
  The Rabbicorn
  A robot gift
  Set adrift
  In settled dust
  With spots of rust
  A once treasured toy
  Of a boy

The house is just one corner of the island on Immersiva. I spotted a couple round structures in the water that I couldn't identify. I also saw what looked like a frolicking fox, frozen in time. At the entrance is a teleport to a store area, an unearthly white region with a number of small exhibits up for sale, and at least one not so small.

I asked Bryn if Virginia knows anything of what she made here. "Oh yes, she is very excited about it. I went to visit her a few weeks ago to update her on the amount of people who have come to see it. And to give her messages from guests who wanted me to relay things to her. She was touched. There have been around 12,000 to see this (exhibit) so far. … The most impressive thing to me, that people from around the world who have completely different cultures or environments in which they live can look at this house and landscape, look at the life of a Canadian woman and associate, even though so little overlaps between them."

"Virginia Alone" is at Immersiva (21, 127, 21) One can read more at Bryn Oh's blog post here, and a little more at her "Piano" post.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, August 20, 2012

Arcadia Asylum Library

Aley, the former Arcadia Asylum is a historical figure in SL. Her creations are so extensive it is hard to see them all. They are diverse and imaginative.You may recall that a few months ago I did an article about The Sea of Aley. ( )  where there was a hunt going on in LEA. In it I put a link to the Library of Arcadia where so many of her builds were located in vendors for the taking, all free! 
Sometime during the SL9B I got a notice from someone  that the library sim was closing! I put it away in my mind to check out, but thought what a loss!! I was talking to my friend Grey Nacht, and he told me that the library was being recreated in several sims so the vendors  would not be lost again. Grey has several freebie vendors at his sim, Pala. He referred me to Brian61 Landar. I took off to see the new site that Brian was creating and had a nice conversation with him. 
Again, here is another example of residents of SL having more concern than LL to preserve the history of Second Life. Brian told me, "The library closing was a wake up call to a  lot of us that if we don't get active and spread the collection around, it is very possible to loose it.“ Perryn Peterson owner of the sim, hearing that Arcadia’s works might be unavailable  donated a corner of the sim  to the recreation of the library. Brian is well under way in setting out the freebie vendors he said, “.It was decided to add this exhibit hall to feature builders and artists from all over SL who have contributed to SL thru their work. 90% of everything you see is Arcadia, but so far we have collected a small portion of arcadia's works. As more be comes available we will add them to the vendors and distribute the collection to anyone that wants a copy.” There is a group of SL residents working on recovery and preservation of Aley’s works. There will probably be more places with vendors eventually.
 Not only that but Aley has a hunt going on in the Blake Seas and other waterways.. Aley has set many  of her aquatic  and other  builds under the seas  hidden in secret ruins  that you can locate with her compass .You begin the hunt and get the compass at . Look around there before you leave because you will see all the hunt objects. Then, follow the directions to find the hidden treasures under the sea. During this hunt you will visit many wonderful underwater ruins, sunken cities, statues and other lost places you will never get to see unless you are a submariner. 

And to those who are interested in the history of SL you can at least go visit the vendors in Mieville. You can browse the vendors to see what is there, and  go ahead and grab a bit of history to hold in your inventory or, if you can afford the  prims, put it out on display. The first place is Brian’s land where he initially set out some of the vendors . or visit Mieville or at Pala where you teleport to the spacestation.
Have a great hunt and visit to the libraries. 
Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Virtual Unreality

Sunday I was invited to the opening of an exhibit at the LEA 23. It was called Virtual Unreality and it was! 
Eupalinos Ugajin, along with Maya Paris, Marmaduke Arado, Kikas Barbanco, Trill Zapatero, and Simotron Aquila have created a playground for us. According to Quan Lavender, Eupalinos is a collector of art and then creates all kinds of fun with it.
You will find pieces by many artists.  Click everywhere and become part of the exhibit. It was a lot of fun with everyone participating in the numerous “sits “ all around the whole area. 
Many or the top artists in SL were at the opening having fun.  
Enjoy the sights and sounds. It will be in the sim for a while  so take some time to visit before it disappears. .
Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Immerse Yourself in the Art Box

“Art Box' - fully recreating famous photo's & paintings in 3D so your Avatar can star.
Photograph your own recreation - you become both the artist and the art!" That is the description of the Art Box in Klaw, by Violet Sweetwater and Frankee Rockett.

I spent some time there having fun! You arrive on level one. TP to level 2 or level 3 and you can choose a picture that you like from a host of choices. 

Click the picture and you will tp to the set and there you can put yourself into the picture and click away! It is great fun and you will love the choices.

There are new additions every week I understand. 

Here are some of the photos and paintings I chose. Get over there and have some fun!! .

Gemma Cleanslate