Monday, March 29, 2021

"My Greece, My Cats" by Slatan Dryke

By Bixyl Shuftan

Last week, I was at the opening of an art exhibit by Slatan Dryke. I've known Slatan best for his support of the projects his partner iSkye Silverweb takes part in. But he's also an accomplished artist. This was the opening of a photography exhibit, "My Greece, My Cats."

On Sunday March 21, I dropped in at the Kultivate Art Gallery at Noon SL time, and there was a small crowd there. 

 Slatan and iSkye were there in tiny avatars, dinkie cats. dancing to the music. He and others happily greeted me, and invited me to get information from the sign about the exhibit. 

"My love of Greece goes back to when I traveled to Greece my first time more than 40 years ago," Slatan stated in one of the two cards I read, "I have had the great lucky, being Greece is one of my neighbor countries, to visit so many islands where the marrow of its culture and traditions did not change in centuries. Don't ask me about the most fashionable locations, because I have never been there. Ask me about a bunch of those small islands where the time runs slowly under the shade of a tamarisk tree. There are so many tiny jewels, often unknown to the touristic chains, where you can find your nook of joy, coming from the simplest daily things but overall from the feeling that you become part of the local community, that in some cases is not larger than 500 inhabitants."

"My long path to find what the Greeks call "Pyrinas" (Core) is finally ended some years ago when I visited for the first time the isle of Astypalaia. Love at the first sight ! In love with its rich history, the clear waters surrounded by an harsh nature, the fresh and tasty simple food, and the cats! Every Greek island has a colony of stray cats, and Astypalaia is no exception. They are the genuine freeholders, the custodians of the old city and the harbour, looking at you with that glance of indifference and mercy for that poor hooman, who wishes for the freedom that they will never have. Maybe this is the reason why everyone loves and cares for them !"

"Lovely material things help a lot, we know it, but what touched me from the very first days has been how the people there include you, not as a short time visitor but as someone who is part of them, always ready to share with you a pure straight smile, or a wave from an elder that sees you for the first time. Well this is my Pyrinas and now after many years spent there, they consider me a son of Astypalaia and I feel that deeply in my bones! With these images I wanted to share with you part of it, hoping that you can feel it."

Lyric Serendipity played some music for the people there. Later on, Jessie Janic would perform.

Vee Tammas Shocker (Veruca Tammas), whom I saw at a number of Second Life Birthday events, greeted people, She commented, "It's like 6 degrees of separation around SL. We all bump into each other now and then." iSkye mused, "And in SL perhaps there are only three degrees of separation." JaysinTaylor Resident, Lyric's announcer, mused, "I think in SL there are endless degrees of separation."

One visitor would comment of Slatan and his exhibit, "How cool cutting edge avatar who only uses old school photography tools!" Slatan responded, "And something called film, that someone does not know what it is, hehe."

Another notecard would say of Slatan he's from Italy, "Slatan loves Art in every form, but he is most fond of paintings and sculptures, following his classical education. Slatan is also a photographer in RL. ... His buildings, sculptures and photographies have been exhibited in Art Galleries and at a number of main SL events::  University of Western Australia (UWA), BURN2's, Santalarity, Burnal Equinox, Conception; SL Birthday, Raglan Shire's ArtWalk, Art in the Park, Emphatic Eccentricia, Seaside Gallery, Oxford @rts Gallery. Pop-Up Art, Cape Able Art Gallery, VWBPE (Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education), Ethnographia, Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA), Kultivate Windlight Art Gallery, Holly Kay Art Park, Phoenix Artists Collaboration, Ani's Gallery, La Maison d'Aneli, Argentum Artem, ArtCare Gallery, International Photography Festival, One Billion Rising, Relay for Life, Rock your Rack, Second Life Endowment for The Arts (SLEA), and many others including collaborations with artists in Second Life and Educational Institutions in Real Life as EduNation and Dublin Institute of Technology."

One can see more of Slatan's pictures on his Flickr page:

To check out the exhibit, head here:

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Return of the Odd Ball

By Bixyl Shuftan

Tuna Oddfellow and his "Odd Ball" have been one of Second Life's most unique performers and events. In real life, he was and still is a magician, "Fish the Magish." In 2007 when Second Life was new and mentioned sometimes on television, he appeared on a special edition of "America's Got Talent" when they did a show featuring Second Life performances. He won, and took home a million Linden dollars. Soon after, he came up with the Odd Ball. There's no easy way to describe it. It could be described as dancing from within a kalideascope. But others have compared it to a psychedelic drug trip without the nasty side effects. The Newser interviewed him a few times, including 2015 and 2017.

Tuna has been absent for a little while. But he recently ended his hiatus. Over a week ago, he sent a notecard around.

Hello Tunaverse!  

We are slowly but surely making our return to the Odd Ball stage.  
 Like all many of you are experiencing, It's been a lousy past year for us on my end  

I needed to take a break and deal with life.

Keep a careful eye on my Subscribe-O Matic notices.  You will be the first to know what is going on.  

A few days later, he would do one of his trademark performances. 

Hello Tunaverse,

It's been far too long since we got together and got odd. That being said I am back in world and ready for a party.

Put on your wildest avatars and craziest costumes and let's get Odd Ball.  5pm SL time Today, Sunday

Remember, an unblown mind is a wonderful thing to waste. 

I was a bit occupied that evening. But thankfully there was another the next night.

Join master magician and the professor of immersive psychedelic art, Tuna Oddfellow for an evening of pushing all the boundaries of reality.  

The Odd Ball is a full sim psychedelic animated dance experience. If you have never been to the Odd Ball words can not explain it.

Bring a virgin to the Odd Ball. An unblown mind is a wonderful thing to waste.

As luck would have it, I was still needed elsewhere. So I sent my trusty alt Rezzdammit to the show, high above the Lagrange Point sim.

 "Welcome to the oddest ball anywhere in  the metaverse," greeted Tuna, "I am your host and trip master Tuna Oddfellow. Do not attempt to adjust your monitors I am controlling transmission. Just a few tips before we get started. Set your sky to midnight. Set your mind to midnight. (chuckles from the audience) Set draw distance to 256 or you miss half the show. For extra credit detach your camera and crank up your particle count to a comfortable level.

People greeted the magician as they arrived, "It has been  a while for me. I had forgotten what an experience this was." "Tuna, my friend!! Good to see you again." "Wow! I've missed this!" "So good to be here, Tuna. Welcome back! I hope you make this a habit. (smile)"  Tuna commented, "I will tell you what.. I will make it a habbit of you tell everyone you know that they need to be where the oddness happens! ... "Now the words you all want to hear: Hands inside the car! The ride is about to begin. Welcome to the Odd Ball!" "Yay!"

The show went on without a hitch, and it was as good as I remembered it. While some have described themselves as feeling trippy and relaxed after a session, it doesn't really affect me that way. But it is a great and fascinating display of colors that doesn't get old. 

Tuna would say, "I have added so many layers to the show over the years and it's never ever the same show twice. Also the regulars find better ways to optimize the experience every time they see it. Believe it or not it will take a few weeks for me to feel the show is running with full efficiency. Lots of my tools are being fixed for the future shows. Plus, I always create new stuff."

People continued to compliment Tuna, "I'm happy to see you haven't lost your touch!" 

They also complimented the tunes, "OMG! I have not heard that song since I was a kid, always have lpved that song."

Some of the "new stuff" arrive in the form of hundreds of particle smiling aliens going through. There were no ray guns or abductions. They were just dancing through.

At one point, he was saying, "I build my textures in texture series sets so they have seeds that melt into each other for the show... but this texture I want to build a new set around it. ... Okay I will stop talking like a psychedelic art freak for a minute." Someone chuckled in response, "You're awesome!"

"This is your brain on Tuna!" he quipped at one point, "Any questions?" Someone quoted him in response, "'An unblown mind is a terrible thing to waste'." Tuna mused "You better believe it baby!"

A few days later, Tuna held another event, but this time he had someone else playing the music.

Put on your wildest avatars and craziest costumes and let's get odd at the Odd Ball. 6pm Tonight Join master magician and the professor of immersive psychedelic art, Tuna Oddfellow for an evening of pushing all the boundaries of reality. Tonight DJ GoSpeed Rasere joins us for an encore performance of our premiere weekend working together in SL. Two great tastes that taste great together!

DJ GoSpeed has a blend of 80s New wave and Disco lined up for us.  Her mad skills at spinning tunes are second to none!

The show went on as before, though with GoSpeed's brand of tunes. Tuna would say of her, "GoSpeed has been doing amazing stuff she can tell you all about." Someone would comment, "I met Tuna in San Francisco, in RL! And he did magic tricks, and we could not figure him out at all."

Someone made a comment about the gears on the dance floor. Tuna informed, "These are the gears I put together when I performed a show for Hublot Luxury Watches."

Also there was Ariella Oddfellow (Ari Dumont), Tuna's partner, "I met him in real life in Texas, and promptly married him." "Ah! you are the wife!  wow, nice to meet you Areilla." "I am the historian, and this man's wife yes (smile). ... We have an awesome love story. I'll let him tell while I get the coffee." Tuna told, "We courted each other online for six months before meeting." After she came back, she continued, "I met him when he first came in world, so we were friends for years."

Eventually, GoSpeed would close her tunes with "Man Or Astroman," better known as the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" ending theme music. "Thank you for being our Tunaverse," the magician told the crowd, "We cant have a consensual hallucination without your consent."

The Odd Ball takes place at Lagrange Point (134/121/451). Contact Tuna Oddfellow to be notified about any future events.

Addition: Tuna would later tell me, "I will be performing a regular Friday night Odd Ball from 6pm to 8pm. Dj GoSpeed will be joining us and spinning special sets in the spirit of the Odd Ball  for tonight and upcoming friday night shows. GoSpeed Rasere spinning live at the Odd Ball Frday Mar 19 2021 6pm SL to 8pm."

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, March 1, 2021

SLEA Bridge Project And Steve Who

By Gemma Cleanslate

The Creative Arts in Second Life are so extensive. There are so many venues for performances, galleries, museums, it is almost impossible to get to all or even know they exist. SLEA Bridge Project does so much for all of us to at least have a clue. I used to use the Gallery Hud to get to some of them at times over the years. But Now,

 “The Bridge Project Phase 1 Completed!

We, those of us involved in The SLEA Bridge Project, aspire to shorten that distance between YOU and an immersive arts experience in SL. As a bridge between the SLEA and the multitude of painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, performers, photographers, television and radio presenters, conceptual artists and so many more.  Come view and learn more about our vast SL Art Community across the grid.  https://slendowmentforthearts.wordpress “ came from Tansee a couple weeks ago.  So I went to take a look. 

It is amazing. Click any board on the bridge and the information and location are all there... so many people , so many locations. And the bridge itself is a work of art. Go take a look for yourself. If you love the arts join the group so you can get notices for  marvelous shows and projects going on all the time. Join at the Hub.

SLEA has so much going on all the time one could be occupied there 24/7 if one had time. I made time to get over to the Street Cafe for a live performance the other day and it was a marvelous experience.

Steve Who (Steve Yiwama) brought his Saxaphone to entertain. When I arrived there were about 6 avatars in attendance while many watched on Youtube where you could see him playing live . By the time I left there were at least 30 listening to his sweet sounds. Steve is Steve Nelson, a professional musician or over 30 years in real-life.

This was his second appearance at the PopUP street artists cafe . Of himself he says, “....shouldn't really say this as I genuinely HATE self promotion.....but was the founding member of a well known signed rock band, and many tours and tv/radio appearances.....I never wanted to become an OLD rock guitarist so decided many years ago to learn saxophone-have played in many big bands and for some famous people too....oh shutup Seve!.....when are you going to grow up.“  

It is not hard to see why his work is so popular . You can check him out at or look at his profile for other ways to hear his music. 

Entrance to SLEA  Hub where you can pick up a hud , accept the experience or use a teleport to the regions or venues.

Gemma Cleanslate