AVENUE Magazine December 2012
With the holidays upon us, this month's AVENUE is all about the spirit of the season; we bring you the personal stories of a beloved designer who found strength and support from SL in facing a serious real-life illness, and an artist who found an outlet for creativity and connection amid her own real-life difficulties. Our stylists bring you the best new looks for the season, and our interior design feature is sure to give you some ideas for holiday shopping. All this plus our interview with SL style icon blackliquid Tokyoska, new ideas for how to spend your leisure time, a look at an upcoming art project featuring some of SL's best fashion photos, and a spotlight on one of SL's hottest DJs, is waiting for you in the December issue of AVENUE.
AVENUE ultimate style magazine issue 51 / December 2012 blackLiquid Photographer Absinthe Montenegro Publisher’s note T ime has flown by again... and another year is almost done. ‘Tis the time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished, and what we want to do in the New Year. With AVENUE being in the running in the Avi Choice Awards, and the counting of votes coming up, knowing that we were voted Best SL® Magazine by our fellow residents would be one of the best Christmas gifts that all of us at AVENUE could receive. As Christmas comes around each year, it makes me think about what I could give to residents of Second Life®. I am not a creator who makes tangible things--and any of my close friends and staff would tell you ‘never let Rusch try to build or edit a building’--you can be sure that something will go missing or awry. Building classes are on my to-do list for the New Year. However, this year, through a business partnership with Zanze Estates, I am able to see to fruition a dream I had five years ago. It was my dream to create a place where models, fashionistas, artists and other like-minded residents would live, work and play together. Combining my passions for fashion, music, entertainment, lifestyle and the arts, I have worked with Colpo Wexler of Digital Cult to realize my vision on a four-sim region, with Neo-Zen aesthetics. The process, and the results, has been amazingly gratifying through months of 18-20 hour work days- -in spite of health problems and real-life disruption. It is my honor and joy to present to you the realization of this dream as a gift for Christmas--the birth of zenshi; a new home for all of you. So I would like to cordially invite you to join us for our Grand Opening on the 16th of December, where we can look forward to a new home--a social environment that will bring us joy, fun, and expansion of our minds and hearts together, into the New Year. Here’s to the closing of a year and the birth of a new one... of possibilities realized, and yet to be realized. Have a wonderful Christmas and a bounteous New Year! Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher 5 30 Cover Story 116 The Details 300 Arts Feature 51 30 40 52 60 76 88 102 116 134 146 160 170 184 December 2012 Lifestyle 202 212 222 234 244 258 266 276 For the Love of Squinternet Larnia Interesting Sims Shady Falls Recreation & Leisure Spectral Vacations Interiors Mudhoney Business Feature Surreal Estates Business Feature DSE Perspectives The End Is Nigh Entertainment DJ Mauro B 286 300 308 318 Fashion Cover Story blackLiquid Designer Collection Snowpaws Fashion Icon Miaa Rebane Couture Clash New Year, New Wardrobe Featured Designer Remy Trendspotting Missing John Fashion Forward Papillon The Details In the Thick of It MiStyle Mirror, Mirror Edge of Style Red Dawn Homme Midnight Express Blogspot Jax Aster AVENUE Models Winter Warm Arts Featured Artist Whiskey Monday Arts Feature The White Room Arts Feature MadPea Carneval Arts Feature Split Screen Magazine cover Featuring blackLiquid Tokyoska Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates AVENUE Models + Academy and AVENUE Marketing + PR. Online issues: issuu.com/avenue AVENUE website: www.avenuesl.com Visit us inworld at: Zenshi East 62.118.26 For exclusive updates, gifts, events and latest releases, join our inworld group: AVENUE Magazine Readers Press releases to: email@example.com Ad queries: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising and vendor requests: Absinthe Montenegro, Amazon Silverweb, Elyna Carver, Faith Aljon, Kerasia Hexicola, LisaJ Coveria, Xandrah Sciavo Publisher | Editor in Chief Rusch Raymaker General Manager Xandrah Sciavo Creative Director | Photo Editor | Designer Paola Tauber Lifestyle Editor Umberto Giano Copy Editor Vivienne Graves Vice President of Marketing Amazon Silverweb Marketing Manager Absinthe Montenegro Marketing Executives Elyna Carver, Faith Aljon, Kerasia Hexicola, LisaJ Coveria Writers Augusta Carver, Breezie Noel, Cajsa Lilliehook, Huckleberry Hax, Imani Enzo, Isadora Fiddlesticks, Lexie Jansma, Louise Roundel, Quan Lavender, ShaiLi Alex, Prisilla Avro, Spruce Canning Stylists Anna Sapphire, Boe Cortes, Brie Wonder, Dantelicia Ethaniel, Diconay Boa, Gabe Bookmite, Hikaru Enimo, Lulu Jameson, Miaa Rebane, Strawberry Singh, Thalia Heckroth, Zachary Zufreur, Winter Jefferson Photographers Annough Lykin, Eve Kazan, Leah McCullough, Natasja Schumann, Neva Crystall, Piedra Lubitsch, Priscila Orlich, Seashell Dench, Tillie Ariantho, Ziki Questi Contributors Flora Nordenskiold, Jax Aster, Whiskey Monday, William Weaver Cover Story Avant-Garde R e c l a i m e d Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel “A vant-garde” is the most abused expression in the fashionista’s glossary. Misused as a synonym for “new” or “innovative”, the avant-garde is not a step forward on the current trajectory; it goes off the road and blazes a new trail. 31 blackLiquid Tokyoska breaks new ground, reclaiming the avant-garde. She is not tweaking the au courant by reshaping a shoulder here or adding a gusset there. She is challenging fashion orthodoxy with bold, even terrifying, designs. blackLiquid deftly outlined the difference between modernism and avant-garde. “Modernism is taking something old and putting it into a new context. It’s a socially progressive trend that asserts the power of people to create, improve or redesign their environment, through experimentation and an understanding of technology, innovating ideas that have not been created or explored before. Though similar, avant-garde is more concentrated on taking something that already exists and expanding on it to take it out of context deliberately to create an unusual thought-provoking, unexpected challenge to the boundaries of societal norms.” Guests attending AVENUE’s Fifth Anniversary show Onyx Cinque witnessed this bold heterodoxy when blackLiquid’s Exploited (see AVENUE 50, p. 181) walked down the runway. Exploring fashion’s fetishization of fur and the nature of inequality, she designed an eerily beautiful creation with that most despised rodent, the rat. By elevating the rat from pest to objet d’art, she laid bare the absurdity of dressing in the skins of other creatures and the hypocrisy of valuing one over another. That kind of transgressive reversal of the norm is the essence of avantgarde. blackLiquid earned her reputation in Second Life® as a successful fashion model known for bold originality. Styling has always come naturally to her, a quasi-autonomic response to fashion stimuli that must be balanced by her more practical and refined consciousness. “I have to turn it off rather than turn it on...I have never really relied on approval from people. The looks I create are free from the conventions of society’s expectations and norms.” Her experience as a model familiarized her with the industry and gave her insight into the most critical element for an entrepreneur, knowing what is missing. Elaborating on her process, she said, “With all my of designs the creative process is natural, I let it flow through me and thus the execution is something that just pours out organically. if anything ever challenges me beyond my understanding or talent I always consult my loved ones Eshi Otawara, Xtofer Tepper, Forren Ashford & Sera Ginger Tokyoska for guidance.” As with most creative people, she finds inspiration by absorbing everything she can. “Anything and everything can be inspiration to me: visual cues, conversations, music, nature, culture, animals, people I love and the avant- 32 garde.” Recently, animals and nature have been a central focus, inspiring not only the astounding Exploited, but also an homage to the cat whose whiskers and claws took form as lashes and nails. She also produced a trio of “Fur Bonnets” that serve as a form of animal spirit guide. Real life design balances the tension between form and function. Second Life frees creators from that tension. “In SL form can absolutely exist without function. Creators can design without limitations, defy the laws of physics, of gravity, weight, dimension and balance, allowing the creator more freedom and scope over their creation.” She believes most limits and restrictions are self-imposed. However, blackLiquid notes that SL has its own rules of function distinct from real life, “There are cases in SL where function and practicality play a large part, for example, the rigging of mesh, root prims, attachment points, managing flexi prims, fitting sculpted and mesh prims to the avatar correctly are all places where form and function are irrevocably linked creating entirely different challenges for designers.” With freedom from the restraints of physics, material costs and other first life limits, SL fashion remains very normative and mainstream. It would be easy for a risk taker like blackLiquid to be frustrated by the regression to the mean, but she takes a broader view, “Ultimately we are human and we are often stuck in the mind and bound by our physicality, one head, one torso, two arms, two legs and so on... This is a “second life” where people expect to find everything you have in real life in it.” Still, she would love to “push all of us to see beyond that and really push boundaries and defy physics and let creativity flow.” As an avant-gardiste, blackLiquid has an obligation to challenge the norms. Asked how she does that in her life, she responded in the spirit of the radicals who argued that one must push the negative until it becomes a positive. In her view, when “something arises in my real life or my SL that is challenging or confronting, for myself or for the people around me... that ‘thing’ becomes the perfect medium to explore beyond its preconceived limitations.” One can turn challenge and limitation into inspiration and motivation without being avant-garde, but one cannot be avant-garde without turning challenge into motivation and limitation into inspiration. blackLiquid is rich in the selfassurance that society conditions us to hide with false humility. She rejects those strictures, “I am frequently shocked by the how much people censor themselves in everyday life, so they are able to fit in or be perceived as nice, easygoing individuals. That kind of mindset and behavior is precisely 33 what I aim to challenge...In this sense I see myself as a true avantgardiste. To fit in and go with the flow would be a dereliction of self and a willingness to embrace mediocrity. I like to behave, act, create and communicate my intentions in everything I do, from subtle cues to bold and obvious statements.” There is no such thing as a conventional avant-gardiste. blackLiquid defines herself as a radical and, as such, her art is personal and political. Some argue that SL is an experiment in libertarianism while others see its commercialism as the perfect expression of the bourgeoisie. Asked if there is a radical vision for SL, blackLiquid said that while she can see SL as as being both libertarian and bourgeois, those labels are too limiting. She brings her own radicalism into SL by being authentic, “I think the best way to radicalize SL as a whole, is if people truly spent time alone with themselves to get to know who they are instead of being stuck and limited to a mundane, menial five-sense reality. I am sure there would be a big shake up in society as a whole in both real life & SL if such limitations or definitions would not define us.” blackLiquid thinks SL has potential as a medium for social change with its ability to change a person’s perspective on life’s norms. SL provides, in her words, “a freedom or disconnection from the expectations that are placed on us in our real lives. This gives people the freedom to be a lot more open-minded and free... This freedom can be empowering. Eventually the connections made and the experiences had can spill over into real life and SL can become recognized for its freedom of expression and rabid experimentalism.” We are all familiar with people who think Second Life is a silly waste of time. With her political vision and commitment to the avant-garde, blackLiquid is challenged by people in her life whose imperfect understanding of SL leads them to think seriousness of purpose and SL are mutually exclusive. For most, she offers a polite smile and a change of topic, but when a close friend questioned the worth of her time in this world, she responded with what could be the SL Artist’s Manifesto: I am a human, I am real, my work and experiences are no less valid in the virtual realm of SL then they are in real life. To claim that is actually to invalidate my existence and my experience as a human being interacting with other human beings, learning, teaching, creating, exploring, inventing, challenging, achieving, communicating and working together just like in real life. The only difference is your limited perception of what is real. Justification for me is my everyday personal successes, primarily the ultimate satisfaction 35 of being an artist every day and creating what I want when I want, in a realm where I am not defeated by the medical and societal issues I face in real life. I am able to create with freedom, with little to no money, without limiting myself to a merely one dimensional manifestation of my self only in the context of my real life body and abilities. I am a multidimensional being, therefore I aim to explore all mediums. I am lucky enough to have the exposure to SL to do so. I do not judge you because you do not experience SL so perhaps expand your mind a little before you judge my experience. blackliquid Tokyoskaâ€™s website. In-world: blackLiquid [129.118.3523]. 36 Designer Collection snowpaw Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Neva Crystall T he year was 2009 when Carrie Snowpaw released the first designs of her eponymous brand “Snowpaw”, then known as Snowpaw Fashions. “Just one jacket made in three different colours that were set up in three different aisles with a sign over them”, as she says, marked the launch of a brand that has evolved to now have quite an extensive range of quality designs. Skin: Essential Saga by LAQ, hair: 02 by Eaters Coma, dress: Cutout tunic dress by Snowpaws, necklace: Indian Summer Lovebug by MG, pose: by Manifeste. Skin: Essential Saga by LAQ, hair: The Only Exception by Exile, dress: Gathered Tweed Dress by Snowpaws, tights: Sheer Tights by Izzieâ€™s, bag: Sack bag shaft by Celoe, clutch: Envelope by Mon tissu, ring: Fez by MG, necklace: Roho by MG, pose: by Manifeste. Inspired by Casja Lilliehook and Gidge Uriza’s blog, Snowpaw took her first steps in Second Life fashion design by taking lessons on how to create clothing and reading tutorial blogs. She experimented, and admits that at the beginning her ambitions exceeded her skill— but now, her talents and skills have evolved, and she feels more able to create what she imagines. Snowpaw finds her style difficult to define, as she does not follow any specific trends—she creates her own as she experiments with detailing, layering, flows and cuts. However, her love for delicate gowns, cocktail dresses and whimsical fantasy outfits already defines her style; in her own words: “elegant, beautiful and unique”. Not following trends doesn’t mean that she’s unaware of her surroundings; she draws inspiration from real clothing that she sees in her everyday life, as well as from films and photographs, which give her a starting point for an outfit. As the creative process flows, the results change and she allows her imagination to take things in unexpected directions. Constantly concerned about maintaining the coherence of her designs, Snowpaw admits to sometimes becoming frustrated with something she’s working on, and tearing it apart and starting again if it isn’t up to her standards. This is all part of the evolutionary and transformative process that come from the combination of creativity and perfectionism. When asked which of her creations was her favourite, she chose an Skin: Essential Saga by LAQ, hair: ADDISON by LeLutka, dress: Toile Fawn Dress by Snowpaws, fur: by SAIKIN, clutch: Parisian Romance by MAGIC NOOK, pose: by Manifeste. 44 Skin: Essential Saga by LAQ, hair: LANA by LeLutka, necklace: Angelika by MG, earring: Angelika by MG, clutch: Parisian Romance by MAGIC NOOK, gown: Sadire gown by Snowpaws, pose: by Manifeste. Skin: Essential Saga by LAQ, open mouth by PXL, hair: The Only Exception by Exile, dress and hat: Siri Lace and Satin Cocktail dress by Snowpaws, earring: Angelika by MG, tights: Sheer Tights by Izzie’s, pose: by Manifeste elegant gown with a revealing bodice of hand-drawn floral lace, the “Sadire” gown. Although Snowpaw loves designing gowns, in the immediate future she is followingnew directions. She says that she’ll continue designing her gowns and outfits, but also wants to keep creating items for petite mesh avatars. The recent changes in Second Life® have provided Snowpaw with the possibility to extend her work into the realms of mesh, allowing her to do things that weren’t possible before. A graphics designer by training, Snowpaw has seen SL® as an outlet for her creativity, becoming the perfect part-time job, allowing her to follow her own whims and desires rather than having to having to meet deadlines for an employer. Not only that, but it’s also provided her with the opportunity to join, as she says, “a wonderful group of highly talented content creators”, and given her the chance to do charity and fundraising. Lastly, she states that, “the dresses I make give me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I’m very proud of my store and the clothes and I am extremely flattered that so many people enjoy them and want to wear them.” Visit Snowpaw in-world Diamond Oasis [125.55.25]. at 49 Fashion Icon MiaaRebane Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Leah McCullough M iaa Rebane. A name that echoes in the mind of many models in Second Life速. As this will be the last Fashion Icon feature in AVENUE, we chose to go for the gusto and treat you with something special. Fashionistas, hold on to your seats as we take you in the world of Miaa Rebane, Fashion Icon unveiled. 53 AVENUE: Your love of fashion is clear and evident, how did you find motivation to bring it in-world? Miaa Rebane: Fashion is one of the most important things that pull me back in SL, engages my mind, and keeps me motivated to login to SL. At least 90% of my SL hours are consumed with tasks related to fashion. The desire to create something that looks cohesive, inspiring, and beautiful. It’s an itch. If you’ve got the itch, you’ve got to scratch it. AV: What was the first fashion event that you remember attending/ participating? MR: It was a fashion show by GLANCE agency (that) I found in the event listings. I was enamoured by the models and their performance. They all looked so put together and fabulous I thought. I think I even sent fan-girl messages to some models while they were on the runway! Such a noob haha. AV: Where do you draw you inspiration from? MR: Working for the Information Technology field in RL - a boring, absolutely noncreative environment helps a lot. If you are someone who is even slightly creative, then ideas will come naturally when you get a chance to explore. That is what SL does for me. Other than that this may not be the most original thing to say, but I also get my styling ideas from the magazines and blogs I read daily. I also like to observe people on the street: a cross-section of colors and styles. AV: We presume you do a lot of shopping; can you tell us how you would define your style? MR: I think a definition limits your style. Personal style should evolve, it should peak and, sometimes trough, it should be a learning curve and an experiment, and a lot of fun. Let the definition happen organically each time. Style is like a collage rather than a puzzle with a set amount of pieces. AV: We all have someone who we drew inspiration from, and I can say I’ve always felt inspired by you. Who would you choose to be your SL® fashion icon? MR: There are several people I admire for different reasons. Vikeejeah Xevion, blackLiquid Tokyoska, Rusch Raymaker, Di Hoorenbeek, Vixie Rayna, & Kyrie Source to name a few. AV: You are known to be unique and at the same time easily recognisable. When someone sees a photograph of you, even if it’s inlabelled, they can say “That’s Miaa Rebane”. What do you believe to be the secret to your success? MR: I can’t really say that I have a secret for success, all I know is that I am not afraid of trying something new or ‘letting go’ of anything in SL anymore. When you are not in a mad rush and simply have fun and try to do 54 something different each time, you get the gift of being able to evolve and be happy. AV: If you could choose one RL designer/label to bring into SL, which would it be and why? MR:Definitely Issey Miyake for his dedication and innovation. AV: Do you have any advice for aspiring models or even for established models that want to take themselves to the next new level? MR: Be like a sponge and soak in everything you see around you but use your intelligence to pick up things that are relevant. Most importantly, enjoy what you do. AV: We already know a bit about Miaa Rebane, the model. What can you tell us about yourself when you let your hair down and remove all your make-up? What do you enjoy doing or what kind of places do you enjoy going to? MR: I really enjoy talking to my SL friends about life in general. Other than that I have fun finding new destinations (especially Japanese sims). AV: Would you like to leave a message to our readers? MR: Fill your life with meaningful work, love, and fulfilment. Life is beautiful. Cherish it. 57 Couture Clash New year new wardrobe Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Absinthe Montenegro T he time of year has come for avid lovers of fullon glamour ensembles. Once more, the clock will strike midnight and everyone just about everywhere is going to shout “Happy New Year!”. But just because the old year comes to an end it doesn’t mean that your wardrobe has to be left behind; this only means that for those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter will be in full swing and you’ll need to put have one of your styling skills to full use: layering. Either that or just find yourself the most outrageous of coats, glitz it up and voilá, hello 2013! For this issue of AVENUE Magazine’s Couture Clash, I chose to write about New Year’s Eve around the globe in five fashion capitals, inspired by real life couture. That’s right, the time has come to leave autumn behind and say hello to winter, to embrace the cold that will be here for at least 2 more months. Don’t be sad, just think that this is the perfect season to experiment with your wardrobe and add those luxurious layers of print, wool, sparkle and accessories. Why not start on the biggest night of the year? Ready? Set? Go! For those spending New Year’s Eve in-world, here are Couture Clash’s suggestions. 61 Tokyo Inspired by many an hour watching Tokyo Girls fashion show, our girls are giving off a glam Tokyo vibe in their layers of exuberant colour. The overall idea is to portray the chic, vibrant Harajuku street style with a dash of couture in terms of cut, pattern and accessories. Layered up anyone? Akemashite omedetou! on her, left: Jacket: Suede V coat by Belgravia, shirt: Bowshirt by Coco, skirt: Mini skirt by Fanatik, tight: Braid Knit Tights by SMS, gloves: Jessamine Gloves by Belgravia, hair: Lana by Lelutka, boots: Foxglove Boots by Belgravia. on her, right: Hair: Girl 37 by Dura, top: Showy Blouse by GizzA, short: Malibu Leather Shorts by Mimikri, coat: Fur Coat by SMS, boots: Leather Gaiter Boots by Milk Motion, Muffler: Muffler by G Field. 63 Milan Italy, the land of La Bella Figura. With inspirations like Roberto Cavalli, Giorgio Armani and Gucci how could anyone expect anything else? Here, we our glam duo is living it up to the fullest as they dance the night away in their layers of chic extravaganza. Buon anno a tutti! on her, left: hair: MKT012 by booN, hat: Florentine Hat by Bliss Couture, jacket: BickerJacket by COCO, furs: AnjaFur by House of Fox, dress: Toga Dress by Shi, clutch: My sequin clutch by La Penderie de Nicole, earring: Petalo D’onore by Dumani. on her, right: Dress: LasaDress by REMY, hat: nile hat by celoe, shoes: Ajla Sandal by Vive9, hair: RUTH by EMO-tions, top: Emiliana by Meghindo’s, earrings: Mescal by LaGyo. 64 Paris Ah, l’amour! The city of eternal light, fashion beacon of the world. This is where it could get complicated to choose just one inspiration, as they’re so abundant; however, our alluring couple gathered as much inspiration as possible from Elie Saab, Christian Dior and Lanvin. Patterns, cuts and fabric make their ensembles as the romance sways across the dancefloor at midnight. Bonne année! on her: Gown: Poppy dress by Celoe, cape: Mely in Red by Tres Beau, gloves: Anielle by Miamai, earrings: The Golden Bough by Violator, necklace: Pendulum by Violator, hair: Runway Monarchy by Epoque. on him: Outfit: Maxime Suit (Christmas Edition) by Bliss Couture Homme, shoes: Otis Oxford by Miamai, hair: Dawson by MADesign. 67 London This is probably one of the best places to enjoy a stylish parade of everything possibly imaginable in fashion. From chic punks to elegant ladies and gentlemen, youâ€™ve basically got a little bit of everything. This is the fashion melting pot of the world. This Burberry and McQueen inspired trio is ready to rock the night away. Happy New Year! on her: Jacket: Maru Coat by Celoe, top: Savoir Top by Maitreya, Skirt: Mesh High Waist Skirt by Fallen Angel Designs, Scarf: Black Fur Scarf by bubble, Tights: Nylon Tights by House of Fox, Boots: Triumph Boots by GoS, Gloves: Leather Gloves by SHI, Hair: OBL161 by booN. 69 on her: Hair: Eraserhead by Lamb, dress: Lace Dress by Tres Blah, coat: Maruca coat/dress by Celoe, fur stole: Fox fur stole by Mimikri, boots: Knee platform stretch suede by Baiastice, necklace & earrings: Sparkling spheres set by Paper Couture, ring: Diamonds and Pearl by Paper Couture, gloves: Leather gloves by Magi take, clutch: Knuckle duster bag 03 by ChicZafari. on him: Hat: Tweed Cap by JFL Menswear, hair: Sideburns by MIAMAI, skin: Mariliyn by Tableau Vivant, scarf: Harry by FATEWear, coat: Derrick by FATEwear, sweater: Morena by Zaara, shirt: Dot shirt by Iruco, bag: Neutral Leather Briefcase by Nyu, trousers: Executive Chinos by Isopachi, shoes: Roma by Sartoria. 70 New York When an American thinks of images to illustrate the most romantic evening of the year, she thinks of New Yorkâ€”of Times Square, of the massive light ball and the countdown, of a midnight kiss. Our couple found their inspiration for their street/chic elegance in the various layers from the collections of DKNY and Marc Jacobs. Happy New Year to everyone on behalf of AVENUE Magazine and AVENUE Inc staff. May the New Year bring you all heaps of style and glamour. Stay trendy! on her: Jacket: Fur Jacket by gO, top: Kirat Sheer Top worn by Meghindo, top2: Drape Halter by Shi, skirt: Mini skirt leather by Fanatik, nylon: Nylons Stay hip neon 30den by No.9, hair: Lori by DeLa, boots: Knee platform stretch boot fabric by Baiastice, ring: Eye ring by Shi, nails: French fresh by Candy Nail, skin: Carley dark by Elysium, eyeliner: Couture Eyeliner by Glam Affair. on him: Hairbase: Dark Brown Hair Kit by LAQ, coat: Braided fur coat by SAIKIN, shirt: Elegant Suit Wild Shirt by AOHARU, pants: Casual Pants by Gizza, socks: Knee-Highs by Sheer, shoes: Frinfe Oxford Shoes Zebra by ANEXX 73 Featured Designer Comeback Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Anna Sapphire REMYâ€™s S ometimes a comeback is all thatâ€™s needed to revitalize the fashion industry. Many designers in real life like have staged comebacks over the years , expressing their renewed passion and evolved style to rave reviews. Dress: Pelliccia Dress by Remy, headband: Brighton Beach headbend by LaGyo, hair: Josie by Truth. In the case of our featured designer, TheRegular Resident, of Second Life® fashion brand REMY, her comeback is a case of finally being able to use talents honed during her absence from SL®, and to put those talents to work in creating mesh clothing. We had a chance to interview TheRegular Resident; we hope to be able to inspire and revitalize your wardrobe with this fantastic designer. AVENUE: How did you find out about Second Life? TheRegular Resident: I found out about Second Life through a friend in 2008. I was already a regular user and designer of another virtual world and learning something more complex was a challenge I was ready for. AVENUE: Are you designer/artist in Real Life? What’s your specialty apart from meshes? RR: I’m a graphics designer in real life. I’ve been a Photoshop user for about 10 years now and I am currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, and am a full time student. AVENUE: Did you start creating immediately? What was the first thing you did? RR: Having prior design knowledge from another virtual world, I began REMY right away. I started with designing on the default templates and the first item I ever made was a pair of jeans. A lot of people don’t know that I’ve actually had REMY since 2009. Dress: Lasa Dress by Remy, shoes: Femme by Ncore, earrings: Emerald Chain by Paper Couture, hair: Zina by Vive9, makeup: Il Verde by La Malvada Mujer. 78 Because I was also a designer on another game, it was impossible for me to balance my focus between the two. I was more established on the other gaming site, so I decided to abandon REMY and focus where I already felt comfortable. AVENUE: What’s your fashion philosophy? RR: I’m a strong believer in just being yourself. Have a style that you’re comfortable with. The way someone dresses themselves reflects greatly on their personality and I notice some people will dress a certain way but lack the confidence in what they’re wearing. Therefore, they aren’t being themselves. Also, those with bold, adventurous, or imaginative personalities shouldn’t be afraid to show this through their clothing. I love seeing people look confident in what they’re sporting and feel ok with being unusual or common. AVENUE: What else are your inspirations in designing clothes? RR: My inspiration comes a lot from vintage fashion. I love seeing vintage styles brought back to life with a modern twist. I’m also very much into shapes, and the silhouette of a piece of clothing. This was hard to create before mesh was introduced to Second Life, but now…I can create a certain flow or elegance in the shape as I please with much more control. AVENUE: What do you love about SL? RR: I love that SL brings Overall: Tulip Overall by Remy, fur: Kenzu Fur by Remy, shirt: Shirt&Parka by Coco, boots: Military Boots by Hoorenbeek, sunglasses: Aviator Glasses by Whatever, necklace: Mesh Chocker by HMAEM, hair: LCA518 by Boon, bangles: Etnia by Purplemoon. 81 Bag: Royal Brief by Remy, necklaces: Beau Tassels by Remy, pants: Leather Highwaisted Skinny by Ricielli, boots: Stripper Boots by Whatever, top: Rude Boy Tubey Shirt by PN, hair: 2358 by Lelutka millions of people from all over together. No matter how different you are, there is some place for you on the grid. I also love that SL gives people, like myself, the opportunity to earn money while doing something we enjoy. But what I love most is that the quality and my efforts of my work are appreciated. AVENUE: What do you hate about SL? RR: COPYBOTTERS! AVENUE: Whatâ€™s next for you? Do you plan on expanding? RR: I do plan on expanding, I want REMY to become a wellknown brand. The bigger stores motivate me to keep going. Iâ€™m always challenging myself because I think there is always room for improvement. I only want to provide the highest quality possible for all of SL to enjoy and remember. From a promising shop since it was first created in 2009, to its comeback in 2012, REMY is an example of what a comeback is in the world of SL fashion. Come appreciate and own a piece of REMY at Freak [107.171.22]. Coat: Blazer Cape by Remy, skirt: Peek Slit Skirt by Remy, blouse: Fiers de la Haute by Gizza, necklaces: Lydia by MG, shoes: Ruffle Ankle Boots by Coco, hair: Wither by Lelutka 84 Trendspotting Missing John by Dantelicia Ethaniel Overshirt: Iman by Meghindo, dress and headdress: Penelope dress by Zibska, hair: Schnapp hair by Analog Dog, umbrella: Bangasa by Barbee. Dress: Vacarello by Meghindo, veil and flowers: Baronesse Castelli by Vitabela Boudoir, hair: Issues by Analog Dog. Dress: Meraude by Zibska, cape and umbrella: by Aliza Karu, hat: Mourning by Miamai. Jabot knot: Lizzie Jabot by Zibska, blouse: Bonbon Blouse by Gizza, dress: Countess dress by InMonster, hat: Achieng Headwrap by 22769. Coat: Le Vicomte black coat by Le Grenier du Coeur, dress: Irina gown by Meghindo, hair: Daria hair by D!va, necklace: Tariqa necklace by Soedara. Dress: Dream gown by Miamai, poncho: Foxtail by Molichino, fur hat: Beast Hood by Remy, hair: Marwa by Catwa, fur arm piece: Silver Arm by Handwerk. Fashion Forward P apillon by Anna Sapphire Dress: Tea Party by Milk Motion, cardigan: Cascade by Belgravia, fur: Relaxed Tunic Collar by Molichino, crown: Tsar Diademe by Leverocci, hair: Noise by Emotions. Top: Harem by Vero Modero, collar: Fur Stole by Mimikri, skirt: Breeze by SG, hat: Pimpin by Drift, bracelet: Stone encrusted cuff by Leverocci, hair: You say tomato by Clawtooth. Dress: Toga by Shi, blouse: Amarige by Fellini Couture, scarf: Ballone by Ricielli, headpiece: Carina by Solidea Folies, hair: Starlight by Clawtooth, bag: Clutch by Swallow. Pull: Checkered by Tram, skirt: Linen skirt by Tram, headpiece: Ossario by La Malvada Mujer, hair: Marie by Taketomi, mask: Gold Mask by Swallow. Skirt: Highskirt by Whatever, waist scarf: Pashmina Belt by Veschi, blouse: Amyp by Line, top: Bra Full Busted by Emery, leggings: Long Leggings by Maiiki, head scarf: Sun Wrap by 22769. The Details In the Thick of by Absinthe Montenegro it Hair: Portia by Truth, gems: Please me set by Glow Studio, bracelet: Shapes bracelets by Glow Studio, scarf: Silk Scarf by Tram, cape: Helena Leather Cape by Mimikri, shirt: Olabisi Top Triangles by 22769, skirt: Floky by Baiastice, make-up: by The Sugar Shop. Headdress: Achak by Ladies Who Lunch, make-up: by It Girls, dress: Kiinyaa dress by sYs, scarf 1: VHStole by SEY, scarf 2: KenzuFur by Remy. Hair: Girl 41 by Dura, earrings: Decy Gold by Glow Studio, ropes: BeauTassles by Remy, shorts: Culotte short by R2 Fashion, collar: Chic collar by Drift, ring: Santa Fe by LaGyo, thigh highs: Lacey Stocking by Kunglers, boots: Knee Platform by Baiastice, fur: Fur wrap by SAIKIN. Turban: Savina turban by Diram, earrings: Prima by Kibsk, necklace: Linda by Bens Beauty, top 1: TDRB 46 by Kunglers, top 2: Angora cross sweater by Baiastice, skirt: Drapped Skirt by Ricielli, ring: My big bubble ring by LEO-NT, purse: Purse by Babychampagne Sass. Hair: Boy 37 by Dura, earrings: Eylul by Bens Beauty, jacket: Blazer by Diram shirt: Bluet Satin Blouse by Belgravia, skirt: Kuhn dress by Baiastice, Purse: Greens bag by Les Petits Details, make-up: by Mons. MiStyle Mirror, mirror by Miaa Rebane 135 Top: by Coco, fur jacket: by Coco, pants: Xui Trousers by Celoe, hair: by ISON, hat: Nocturn Orchyds Fascinator by LaGyo, belt: Tied Big Belt by Fishy Strawberry, skin: by theSkinnery. Corset: Denim Corset by Fishy Strawberry, overcoat: Antje Coat by ALB Fashion, pants: Asmine Pants by Celoe, shoes: Knox Wedges by Leverocci, skin: by theSkinnery, hat: Harvest Crown by LaGyo, scarf: Nest scarf by Gasqhe, necklace: Diamond Necklace by LaGyo. Top: Dolman Sleeve Sweater by Tram, scarf: Silk Scarf by Tram, pants: Tweed Tuck Pants by Tram, hair: Yesterday by Magika, skin: by theSkinnery, belt: Ginger Rope Belt by Mon Tissu. Edge of Style Red Dawn by Gabe Bookmite Hair: 28m by Iruco, eyes: Crystal Sea by Mayfair, skin: Edward by Redgrave, jacket: Military Coat by Gizza, sweater: Turtleneck by Mr.Poet, pants: Fallen Pants by Leutka, socks: Scrunched PrimSocks by Maitreya, shoes: Casablancas Strap Boot by Adjunct, poses: by Hopscotch. 150 Hair: Lyric by Chemistry, eyes: Crystal Sea by Mayfair, skin: Sky by Body.Co., top: Brandt Cardigan by Ispachi, sweater: Slim Jersey by Gizza, gloves: Cozy Mittens by Reek, pants: Au Fait Jeans by Entente, shoes: Drunks by Urban Bomb Unit, pose: by Del May. 155 Eyes: Crystal Sea by Mayfair, skin: by Redgrave: by Tyson, sweater: Hermanâ€™s Loose Sweater by Tee*fy, sweater 2: Crew Neck Sweater by Sleepy Eddy, shorts: Capri Shorts by CheerNo, leggings: Folklore Leggings by League, socks: Gartered Socks by League, boots: Engineer Boots by Coco, hat: Ushanka by TonkTastic, poses: by Exposuer. 156 Homme Midnight Express by Zachary Zufreur Hat: camino hat by Elysium, coat: Mesh Trenchcoat by Hoorenbeek, shirt: Max gray shirt by Utopia, pants: Casual Pants by GizzA, shoes: Straight Tip Oxford by Haysuriza. Coat: Derrick Coat by FATEwear, sweater: Turtleneck by SHIKI, pants: Jersey Pants by SheepDoor, gloves: Leather Gloves by Epia, hair: Yves Hair by Entente, glasses: Sport Glasses by GOTZSCHE, boots: Boots Walkers by REDGRAVE. Coat: Trench Coat by Epicosity, sweater: Turtleneck by Mr Poet, vest: Carnivale Vest by Oak, shorts: Capri Shorts by CheerNo, hair: Dura-Boy 26 by Dura, leggings: Sex Leggings by Ladies Who Lunch, hat: Cashmere Flat Cap by LaViere, boots: Combat Boots & Socks by GizzA. Jacket: Mods Coat by Chronokit, sweater: Turtleneck by SHIKI, boots: Boots Walkers by REDGRAVE, pants: Sorrento Pants by E-Clipse, cap: Porter Cap by Bliss Homme, gloves: Leather Glovse by Gabriel. Blogspot by Jax Aster - jaxaster.wordpress.com Jacket: Finn by Stripâ€™d, sweater: Ribber Collar Sweater by Aoharu, shirt: Formal Shirt by HVK, pants: Executive Chinos by Ispachi. 171 Jacket: Casual Blazer by KalRau, sweater: Vic by LeLutka, shirt: Classic Shirt by Redgrave, pants: Couleur by Entente, shoes: Dockers by Hoorenbeek, watch: Hokusai Cuff by Mandala. 172 Jacket: Finn by Stripâ€™d, sweater: Ribber Collar Sweater by Aoharu, shirt: Formal Shirt by HVK, pants: Executive Chinos by Ispachi, shoes: Terra by Kalnins, hat: Fedora by Argrace. 175 Jacket: Casual Blazer M4 by KalRau, sweater: Knit Pullover by INDI, shirt: Classic Shirt by Redgrave, pants: Sâ€™Wear Boot Cut Jeans by La Pointe & Bastchild, shoes: Laven by Keane, scarf: Harry by FATEwear, watch: Hokusai Formal by Mandala. 176 Jacket: Taureau by Entente, sweater: Kill Cardi by NSD, shirt: Rebel Tshirt by NSD, pants: Au Fait by Entente, shoes: Walkers by Redgrave, necklace: by KOSH. 179 AVENUE Models Winter Warmth Photographer Absinthe Montenegro Elle Ahren Coat: Padded Coat by Meli Imako, pants: Natalia Pants by Kunglers, boots: Cristalle Leopard Boots by Energie Footwear, bag: Kabuki Crocodile Tote by Ison, hair: Brad by Maddesigns, sunglasses: SG-53 Eternity by Role Optic, gloves: Brody Gloves by Viva La Glam. Maile Michinaga Coat: ABBY Mesh Leather Coat by Ricielli, pants: Gliffy Pants by Molichino, shoe: Firenze Stilleto by Similar, satchel: Sophomore Satchel by Mon Tissu, gloves: Shrug by Paper Doll, hair: Claire Mesh by Wasabi Pills. 187 MeiMei Shui Hair: DSY966 by Boom, coat: Tulip Trench by Drift, sweater: Bulky Knit by Ce Cubic, pants: Debut, Hi-Waist Pants by NYU, bag: Nadia bag by Vive nine, gloves: Leather Glove by Shi, sunglasses : Ati Sunglasses by Iruco. 188 Seashell Dench Hair: OH my God by TuTyâ€™s, jacket: Lara by Les Petit Details, dress: Dressy Top Face 5 by Emery, leggings: Broken by Emery. 191 Vixie Rayna Hair: Celine by Amacci, coat: Bat sleeve by Mr Poet, jumpsuit: V-xut by Ison, bag: The Desperado by Lagyo. 192 Vikeejeah Xevion Hair: FLAPPER hair by Lelutka, makeup: by It Girls, jacket: BlazerCape by Remy, vest: shift blazer dress by ison, bag: Croco Leather Bag by Shi, pants: Cotton Pants by Mon Tissu. 195 Hadaluna Daines Jacket: Trench Coat by NYU, tights: Favorite Wool Tights by Mon Tissu, shoes: Posh by Diktator, hair: Giabi by Shi, bag: The Desperado bag by Lagyo. 196 Nala Kurka Hair: Boys and Girl 11 by Dura, scarf: Cozy Fur Collar by Drift, coat: Desmond by FATEwear, pants: Tweed tuck pants by Tram, shoes: Gold Moxie Coal by Maitreya. 199 For the love Of Squinternet Larnia Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Annough Lykin “H ow did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss 203 Just one year ago, Squinternet Larnia of Donna Flora released a tour de force of romanticism. Romanticism is rooted in the autobiographical, so it is apt that she called her gown Faith because that December she needed faith quite desperately. In the fall of 2011, Larnia had been struggling with what she presumed was a repetitive stress injury from her many hours designing the dozen or more creations she released each month. As autumn turned to winter, she was able to produce fewer and fewer pieces. Meanwhile, she noticed other symptoms that alarmed her and convinced her to go to the doctor. And so it was last December when she received the news that would require every drop of faith she could muster. She had breast cancer that had metastasized to the bones. While her doctors put on a happy face, full of reassurance and optimism, they informed her family that she had only a few months to live. An orthopedist prepared her for life as a “porcelain doll” with a collar, corset and crutches to support her bones that would soon be brittle as the cancer leached away their strength. When a friend tells you, “I think that soon I will die. You must be prepared,” you can feel that blow in your diaphragm and you struggle to breathe. Your eyes flood with tears and your throat tightens, strangling the words of love and support you try to find. All you can say is “I am sorry. What can I do?” The handbook for friendship you have been writing with your life does not have a chapter for that. Hard as it is to hear, though, imagine the grit required to initiate that conversation with all your friends and family and the strength needed to absorb their reactions. The literature of cancer is rife with examples of the transformative power of suffering to heal fractures of the past and bring families together. The dishonesty in that mythology adds to the pain for those whose families are atomized by the disease. When family cannot watch the suffering or are unable to bear the dependency of a patient too weak to feed herself, clean herself or walk across a room, the anguish of being alone, sick and dependent is multiplied by the myth of cancer as an affliction that comes with happy-family magic dust. For Larnia, cancer did not create any endearing family moments. Instead she found support from a nursing student named Alessandro she hired to help her while she was sick. Unwilling to accept a death sentence from doctors who only offered palliative treatment to reduce her pain while she waited to die, he searched for alternatives. For Larnia, Alessandro was a lifeline. “I was alone, but I have found the love of a brother who didn’t want me to die and who has supported me. He has helped me on his own with everything. He has cured me, 205 taken care of every aspect of my life, he made me smile, and told me off when I needed it. We’ve prayed together and sung... We’ve traveled together and seen a lot of doctors and in the end, I have chosen which road to take, and so far, it works out fine.” Focusing on building up her immune system with more fruits and vegetables, Larnia gambled on the controversial Di Bella treatment of somatostatin, melatonin and retinol. Unproven and considered a high-risk option, it worked out well for Larnia who is enjoying another December, one her doctors told her was impossible. Better than surviving, she is thriving. She is free of orthopedic supports. She is riding her bicycle again and will soon resume swimming. Her bones are doing well and the growth of the tumor has halted and even shrunk a little bit. While she is by no means cured, she is on a cancer management regimen. As she describes her health, “Right now, I am fine. I feel stronger and less dependent. I take long walks and...when it all started I couldn’t even go to the loo on my own and to get out of bed, I had to slide on the floor first, so that Alessandro could pick me up from the floor. The doctors now say that it looks like this can be a chronic disease, like diabetes. I’d be taking medication, but it won’t kill me.” She also found emotional support in Second Life®, where friends reacted to her struggle by showing how widely she was loved and admired. This writer organized Donna Flora A to Z, hoping to find twenty-five other bloggers willing to post an alphabet of Donna Flora designs to remind her that she was missed. The response was far beyond what was expected and in the end, sixty-four people participated, highlighting her gowns, shoes and jewelry in post after post. It was finished just as Relay for Life opened in March. As Larnia was too ill to prepare for the event, the pictures from Donna Flora A to Z were exhibited in her store. For those who had learned Larnia’s doctors did not expect her to see the summer, it was both gratifying and bittersweet to be able to express love and support while she lived to see it, to give her eulogy while she lived. Larnia was strengthened and sustained by the project. “The support that I got from SL® has been.... enormous. I have a brother in here and a lot of sisters who are far away, but I have felt them so close and their support has been fundamental to me. The love, time and feelings that these people have put in to the coming together of Donna Flora A to Z has touched me deeply. I was crying at every post that I read. Because the love and happiness that I have put all these years in my SL work came right back to me through all these people. Not one minute I have spent on SL is wasted. It all came back to me to support and to comfort me. It was totally unexpected, but beautiful.” 206 As her health isn’t one hundred percent, she won’t be capable of her pre-illness average of fourteen releases a month anytime soon. While she was in the hospital, SL added mesh to the designer’s tool kit and she has been learning it as her health improved. Her recent releases have been mesh, enriched by her incomparable imagination and textures. She has more plans for the future. She wants to redo her sim and redesign her shop. “I still love the current look and feel of it, and I have fun with it, but it’s in the plans to do an overhaul. Before I got ill, I really spent a lot of time in SL. It was a fun place and it distracted me in a good way, but right now, I have to dedicate my time to real life, to solve the issues that are connected with being ill ...but new stuff will come to Donna Flora because I really love this work. It relaxes me, makes me dream and puts me in touch with an important part of myself.” While she grows stronger, learns new skills and builds new hopes for a future that is far longer than she could imagine just one year ago, she has some advice for others who may be asking how it got so late so soon. “MTrust your doctors and regular medicine, but to also look around for therapies that support you and your immune system...More than from external interfering, healing comes from within.” Donna Flora A to Z main page. Donna Flora A to Z on Issuu. Donna Flora blog: donnaflora. blogspot.com In-world shop [195.130.23]. at Bonin 209 Interesting Sims Shady Falls 1920’s Urban Noir Role Play Writer Prisilla Avro Photographer Eve Kazan “T hey were careless people... they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald Welcome to Shady Falls, Virginia... an immigrant community on the outskirts of Washington DC, where the inhabitants strive to snatch the biggest slice of the American Dream that they can get. The community is divided into five distinct neighborhoods... Irish, Italian, Black, Chinese, and Jewish. Each neighborhood is more like a tightly-knit family that looks out for its own, no matter the cost. The “Noble Experiment” of Prohibition is in full force and the residents of Shady Falls are doing their part to get ahead despite the risks. Upon arrival in Shady Falls, you’ll find all the information you need at the landing point. Informative notecards provide a wealth of information in order to take your mind back in time in preparation for a unique role play experience. There is a charm to role play in Shady Falls... perhaps you are a history buff, or a fan of the film noir genre, or a romantic, or crave a fresh experience in your Second Life®whatever your motivation, Shady Falls has something to offer you. Personally, I am a role play enthusiast. I enjoy the thought and creativity of role play in SL®, regardless of the genre. So I found it easy to move from preparation to role play in Shady Falls. Here is what happened as soon as I teleported down, dressed and ready to pound the pavement of Shady Falls. [17:30] Conall Riordan (jericho. macalroy) rounded the corner in search of his missing performer and stopped at the sight of the woman. His eyes washing over her for just a moment, trying to determine if he knew her or not before clearing his throat. “’Scuse me, miss. I wonder if ya might be able to offer me a spot ‘o’ help?” [17:32] Prisilla (silly.avro): She had been standing there a while, looking over her notes, chewing on the pencil on her mouth. What would she look into first? Alcohol smuggling, sheriff election, hole in the church roof... She was looking seriously pensive. She nearly dropped her pad when the man rounded the counter and spoke “Oh! Hello! Um... help? With what Sir?” [17:36] Conall Riordan (jericho. macalroy) watched her take the pencil from her mouth and paused a moment at how lovely her eyes were. “I am looking for a friend of mine. More of an employee actually. Goes by the name of Moxie. She’s a pale little thing, blonde, dresses in black a lot ... likely would have been less than friendly to ya.” He shook his head and sighed. “Never mind. she’s probably holed up in one of my waiter’s beds or something. Just have a show tonight and I need her for it.” [17:39] Prisilla (silly.avro): She cocked her head curiously at him, and drummed the pencil on her notepad... sounded like a story to her! She grinned and 215 made some notes “Moxie eh? Pale, blonde, dresses in black... not very nice and... ” She paused as she wrestled on how to put what he had said next delicately “Popular with the men... ” She chuckled “An employee you say? What is it you do Sir?” She waited a moment then added quickly realizing she had not answered his question “Oh and no I have not seen her” [17:45] Conall Riordan (jericho. macalroy) watched her writing on her pad and shook his head as he pointed down to the pencil. “What’s all that then? I just asked ya if yv’d seen her, lass. I don’t need ya goin’ about making a spectacle of anything. Wouldn’t do for the local club to have something like this plastered all over the newspaper, yeah?” he would reach for the pad. Not angry at the woman but he intended to spare his singer the embarrassment. [17:47] Prisilla (silly.avro): She blinked a few times as he reached for the pad and frowned. She did not fight him for it though. She sighed “Ah... um... sorry Sir... it is just that I am a reporter... :” She blushed and kicked at the stones then looked back up at him “I am trying to be a reporter for the gazette and I need to write something good... ” She pursed her lips as he held her notepad “Maybe give me a new angle? I can help you find your Moxie and maybe write something positive for your club? I don’t want to slander anyone.” She knew slander was some of the richest fodder, but she was an up and comer and would take what she could get. This encounter led to an invitation to his burlesque club “The Bishop” where I took in a show and had the opportunity to meet several more amazing role players. It was quite the evening! To prepare for role play in Shady Falls it is best to visit their website, where there’s plenty of information about the genre of the sim. As previously mentioned, the notecards at the landing point are extremely useful. There’s an application on the website, and it’s best to complete that and take some time to develop at least the beginnings of the character you wish to play so that you’re better able to flesh it out once actively engaged in role play. And don’t forget to shop! You’ll need 20’s themed attire, and there’s no shortage of ‘vintage’ clothing to be found on the SL® Marketplace alone. Sim Owner and Adminstrator Jon Vetinari is extremely dedicated to Shady Falls. When asked his motivation for creating Shady Falls, he replied: “I had mentioned to a few friends that I was going to open a new role play sim and two of them independently suggested the 1920s. I loved the idea. I’m a fan of film noir, the 1920s as a time period, and immersive role play in general. The concept of Shady Falls was born from taking that seed and spending a few weeks discussing it with the circle of people who helped it get started.” After the concept was born, thoughts turned to the build. 216 “When I envisioned Shady Falls, I thought of a city that would seem naturally prone to the kind of neighborhoods and socializing that might have occurred in a real 1920s town. I imagined sections where things might feel cramped, neglected and dangerous as well as areas that would simply scream of wealth and decadence. Most importantly, they should still seem to be part of the same larger city. I’m not certain I came close to accomplishing that, but that was my goal. The finishing touch was the Boardwalk - which I had built (by Marcus Inkpen) with inspiration from the HBO show Boardwalk Empire.” Vetinari has been very impressed with the role play that has developed since Shady Falls opened. “The sim opened for role play on September 2nd with the premise that the city was completely out of alcohol - paving the way for players to come in and struggle to fill that need. I never expected to gain the instant following we did, or the quality of role players that have been a part of the city since day one. It seems that each week we have a few more very high quality people who are adding layer upon layer of story and conflict to an already interesting environment. I can’t take credit for much of what’s happened since opening – it’s all been the players, but I am extremely happy with what I’ve seen.” He is dedicated to the development of lasting and quality role play. “Shady Falls is a place that is being and will be shaped by its community. There is nothing (within what’s logically possible for the time frame) that’s out of bounds. As the sim owner, I want nothing more than to see the city twist and turn in ways I never imagined. We invite those role players who want to feel they can create the environment they play in as well as those who are new. We are happy to help anyone who wants to learn.” Vetinari welcomes photographers; they need only contact him to make arrangements. AVENUE would like to thank Jon Vetinari (effluvium), Seamus McLoughlin (taharqa), and Conall Riordan (jericho.macalroy) for their warm welcome to Shady Falls. “Shady Falls: You aren’t on Ellis Island anymore!” – Jon Vetinari Website: www.shadyfalls.net Visit Shady Falls [163.115.40]. 219 Recreation & Leisure Spectral Vacations City Vacations with Style Writer Prisilla Avro Photographers Piedra Lubitsch H ectic holiday season? Why not escape the craziness of your ‘lives’ and retreat to an elegant and sleek city that exists just for you? Perhaps it is time to take your Second Life® family or significant other and decompress with a Spectral Vacation. 223 Sim owners Grant Valeska and Kandee Release-Riler have a flare and a passion for what they do. They have created a wonderful city themed vacation sim that can be the backdrop for any role play you desire. They’re dedicated to making your stay a memorable one and it shows in their exceptional customer service and the amenities they have selected just for you. The layout of the sim is seamless. You arrive in a railway station were the ‘train’ takes you to the destination of your choice. If you have already booked your vacation, then the train whisks you off to the vacation home of your dreams. If you are there to tour the sim prior to booking you very own unique vacation, then the subway system can take you to the various corners of the sim for your exploration. Regardless, staff are on hand to guide you every step of the way. Once booked, you may choose to begin your stay with a makeover. “The Cut” is the perfect place to start; a fully staffed beauty salon, they will aid you in creating a new look. Depending on what you desire out of your vacation there are a number of things you could do. The homes provided are lavish, and every detail has been considered—they’re impressively decorated and create an inviting ambience. There’s room for the largest of families as well as intimate accommodations for couples. 226 If you decide to go out on the town you could take in a film or live performance at the Spectral Theater or go down to the pier and enjoy the rides and fully equipped game room. Maybe play a bit of Greedy or take in a few rounds of bowling. You could even drop the â€˜kidsâ€™ off with the Spectral nannies and go to the Clubhouse, an adultsonly club complete with lounge and pool deck high atop a tower so you can enjoy the city vistas while dancing the night away. Have a special event and looking for a private location to host it? Spectral Vacations can serve you. They have many options when it comes to hosting that special occasion or meeting. Have your wedding on the pier, your reception on the upper levels of the Barista restaurant. Celebrate a momentous event at the Clubhouse where the DJ spins tunes just for you and your invited guests. Whatever your event, share your desires with Valeska and Release-Riler and they will make it happen in a style all their own, which is sure to impress. Whether it is a vacation or a special event, Spectral Vacations is fully customizable to what you desire. The staff at Spectral Vacations aims to please. AVENUE would like to thank Grant Valeska and Kandee Release-Riler for their assistance and hospitality. Pricing and package details are available on their website. Website: com spectralvacations. Visit Spectral Vacations at Halina [223/243/24]. 231 Interiors Mudhoney Writers Lexie Jansma Photographer Leah McCullough O ur personal spaces reflect our unique sense of style—and even more so in Second Life®, where we can live anywhere we want, from tropical beaches to snowcapped peaks, to Ancient China or the post-apocalyptic future. Picking out the perfect sofa can be just as important as choosing the right blazer to go with the new skirt you just bought. When you want to get away from the hectic schedule that so many have in SL®, your home is your retreat, and it should be a sanctuary. Rayvn Hynes of Mudhoney is helping to make every hip SL resident’s home an oasis where they can block out the world and relax. Hynes began her sojourn in SL after reading suggestions on how to make money from home on a forum. Her first days in the virtual world found her piecing together a unique look from things found at various freebie places—like most, she wanted to be pretty. Soon after she started, though, the creative impulse came to the fore. “I was pretty fascinated that you could make things here. From the first day I got land, I was constantly trying to figure out how to build my own house. I’d take apart freebie houses, and put pieces together. One of the first things I made and gave to people was some bracelets.” It wasn’t long after taking these first steps that she had shop space. and was selling her creations. A real-life background in interior design gave Hynes her inspiration; “Once I found out you could make things in SL, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Nothing else interested me as much as splashing color all over the place,” she says. Her inspirations are eclectic; her creations may be things she wishes she owned in real life, or things she’s seen around her hometown. Hynes doesn’t limit herself to a particular style or era. Some of her more recent works rank among her personal favorites; “They show off my style and my love of color the most. They also show my growth as a designer.” Of all the things she creates, living rooms are her favorite. The living room section in Mudhoney is well-stocked with pieces for a broad 236 range of tastes, from ultramodern to colorful and quaint. As eclectic as her showroom is, so is her sense of style. In her spare time she loves to shop, and, inspired by the SL fashion feeds, is hooked on mixing and matching outfits. Looking to the future, Hynes has plans for mesh houses—she’s recently started work on one, and confides that she’s found the process involved somewhat intimidating. Mudhoney’s furniture comes in a variety of finishes, textiles, and combinations. One may choose the pieces that one finds most appealing, or furnish an entire space. She has it all, from furnishings to accessories and knick-knacks, and all of it will be perfectly at home in your space. So drop by, pick up that fun and funky piece you’ve been looking for. Who knows, you may just find something didn’t know you wanted. Visit MudHoney [108.139.28]. 241 Business Feature The Surreal Life Fine Living at Surreal Estates Writer and Photographer Xandrah Sciavo T he Second LifeÂŽ grid is teeming with opportunities for the aspiring landowner, but many a resident has cited difficulty locating â€œthe complete packageâ€? when it comes to real estate. Some residents say that where one corporation may excel in providing environmental diversity in rental properties, they may be sorely lacking in customer service, and vice versa. Surreal Estates continues to be a rising star in the real estate sector, however, and the growing numbers of their customer base tell the story. Approximately 1500 property owners have found a home with Surreal Estates, and eager residents continue to pour in looking for a place to plant their roots. With several hundred sims, a wide selection of environmental scenery ranging from a snowcapped winter wonderland to a tropical island paradise, and customer-centered features and amenities, those seeking land need look no further than Surreal Estates. Originally founded in 2006, Surreal Estates joined the Anshe Chung Sims family in January of 2012, and the group continues to thrive and expand. One component which ensures Surreal Estates’ success in earning the loyalty of its residents is the dedication and reliability of the customer service department, comprised of twelve reliable staff members who are devoted to providing 24/7 support. With most staff members working eight hour shifts, there is no shortage of guidance and help for residents of Surreal Estates, and this is a huge asset in comparison to many other rental companies on the grid. “We answer all calls no matter how small or large they appear to be,” explains Allyson Breumann, Estate Manager. “Our agents will happily help any of our residents.” The work of Surreal Estate’s customer service team begins well before a resident’s land purchase, however. The team is dedicated to helping potential residents find the perfect parcel, and they are pleased to provide personal attention, ensuring that everyone finds their ideal piece of land to call home. Zaffin Resident, a new resident with Surreal Estates, was very pleased with what she found when she first arrived. “This was the second sim we looked at. I contacted the sales agent, Silk, and he popped right over and was just so welcoming, sweet and helpful. I think that made us decide immediately.” Surreal Estates boasts over 300 sims and offers residential and commercial regions, as well as combination regions so that a business owner may reside close to where their business is being run. Surreal Estates even hosts a family-oriented sim for residents with children which features a playground in the center of a quaint neighborhood setting. Newcomers to the grid who are just embarking on their Second Life may instead enjoy the affordable starter housing at Harbinger, where one can own a plot with a house for as little as L$29 per day. From full regions, sims, and full homesteads to smaller parcels sized at 496 square meters, a plethora of land options is available. Breumann states, “When it comes to themed land, we have tropical areas, forest lands, and we currently are offering a winter-themed area for the holiday season. Surreal Estates also offers a city themed land which allows both residential and commercial to coincide next to each other. Some of the other environments we offer are a fashion-themed area, minitropical islands, a family sim, and a waterway region with over one hundred sims upon which the residents can boat, sail and fly planes.” Fun and recreation for Surreal Estates’ residents isn’t just restricted to Surreal’s one hundred public waterways, however. In addition to the shopping available at Fashion Boulevard, the team works hard to plan ongoing events that appeal to residents 249 and visitors, alike. In November, Surreal Estates hosted their Fall Festival, an event featuring live entertainment, a fashion fair with over thirty vendors, contests, and games. Currently, the team is hard at work planning “Holidays: Festival of Lights” for December 14th through December 16th, a holiday event for all revelers, whether they celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or would just like to come and join in on the fun. Beyond December, Breumann has developed a calendar full of events and forecasts an exciting upcoming year for residents and guests. Real estate can be a costly investment, and those seeking a place to call home have many options in today’s market. For this reason, Surreal Estates provides opportunities for potential renters to take advantage of special promotional deals. One current promotion for all members of the AVENUE Magazine Readers Group is one week of free tier with an introductory payment of four weeks; this offer is expected to run at least until January. Deals benefiting current residents are available, also - namely through the “Refer a Friend” program. “The person who is seeking land for a friend is given a notecard for the referral (either before, during or after the sale). All they need to do is fill out the notecard,” Breumann explains. By providing the friend’s name and sim location, as well as their own, they will receive 5% of their friend’s first payment credited to their own tierbox. These promotional programs and more demonstrate that the staff of Surreal Estates considers not only land needs of residents, but their virtual wallets, as well! The consideration, kindness, and care afforded to the people of Surreal Estates and the community at large by the staff was a resonant theme relayed by several current residents. Mz Marville, who first came to Surreal Estates in March of 2011, explained why the people behind Surreal Estates have earned a special place in her heart. “Around that time, I became the owner of Dance4Life, a non-profit in SL that used events for HIV/ AIDS awareness through dance. Surreal sponsored the project for me, as it was affiliated with a real life charity. They helped make Dance4Life possible in Second Life again. I have found them to be like family - people who really care about the SL and RL community.” Mandilena Loxely, a fellow resident and business owner, has enjoyed the customer service, as well as the totality of her experience at Surreal Estates. “I can’t praise them enough,” she says. “I run a rentals business and also a store from Surreal, and for me, I have found a perfect haven at a great price.” Others spoke highly of the large library of free items which is accessible to all Surreal Estates tenants – the database consists of various themed houses and structures, landscaping items which range from trees and rocks to flowers and plants, indoor and outdoor furnishings, and even rezzable scenes. 250 If one is seeking affordable land with diverse settings, friendly and helpful customer service, community-centered events, and more, Surreal Estates delivers something for everyone. Any of the customer service staff are happy to assist you in your search for your perfect haven. Visit Surreal Estates in-world at Surreal Estates [127.128.21] to see a list of available properties and to connect with Surreal Estatesâ€™ friendly staff today. 255 Business Feature Sim Monitor Writer Ziki Questi Photographer Annough Lykin W eâ€™ve all had it happen: suddenly, our sim stutters, we move as if stuck in molasses, and objects refuse to rez. We search around for the cause, sometimes spotting a solution and sometimes not. The challenge can be particularly acute in sims with thousands of objects, hundreds of scripts, and heavy traffic. What can residents or estate managers do to find the root of the problem? 259 Enter a new device, the DSE Sim Monitor, developed by Dream Seeker Estates and offered for free to the Second Life® community. Sim performance measurement tools are nothing new in SL—it’s easy to obtain simple devices that one can rez to show basic performance data—indeed one can view many statistics directly inside the browser. What’s new through Sim Monitor is the ability to view results over time, to establish baseline data, and to see how the performance of any given sim compares to the overall performance to other sims. According to its developers, Sim Monitor can help answer questions such as: “Did the sim performance change after the last restart? How did sim performance change after adding a number of breedable animals? Has pathfinding affected sim performance? When did sim performance begin to deteriorate?” Sim Monitor is simple to set up and use. It’s available through the Marketplace, and a resident can rez one anywhere, even on land they don’t own, as long as they have build rights. Clicking on the Monitor provides a link to a website where one can view statistics that display sim performance measured by FPS, time dilation and the number of avatars. By viewing the results over time—these can be seen in a daily report, an hourly report or a more detailed report—it can be possible to pinpoint the moment at which trouble commenced. Armed with that information, the resident or estate manager can attempt to see if something changed—perhaps whether the sim restarted (maybe now on a laggy server), whether a specific avatar entered the region, or some other problem occurred. Although Linden Lab support staff will not rely on third-party data such as that provided by Sim Monitor, they are allowed to examine at any information provided by residents, so it’s possible that Sim Monitor data could come in handy when talking with the Lab. When asked why this service is being provided at no cost to SL residents and estate managers, Zeebster Colasanti, the owner of Dream Seeker Estates, replied, “Simply put, to help improve service quality across the grid and thus increase residents’ satisfaction with their Second Life experience. When residents become dissatisfied with their land service performance, they often cancel their service, move to another estate, or leave Second Life altogether.” The Sim Monitor blog (at blog. simmonitor.com) provides some interesting perspectives on sim performance. For example, a recent post—“Sim restarts—are they really good for us?”—dispels the conventional wisdom that frequent sim restarts are necessary (or even a good thing) for optimal sim performance. Other posts provide case examples of using of Sim Monitor in pinpointing the causes of lag. 260 For residents of Dream Seeker Estates, the Sim Monitor provides an additional benefit. Colasanti states, “The Sim Monitor integrates with our Active Performance Management system. The APM continuously monitors events received by the Sim Monitor and alerts the Estate Management team whenever unusual performance decline is detected.” It’s possible, he suggests, that Dream Seeker may eventually license its APM technology to others, but that’s several months away at best. And if residents are puzzled by the results? “Yes, we are more than willing to assist residents in interpreting the data provided by the Sim Monitor, although we will not be able to go to the sim and help troubleshoot,” adds Colasanti. “If residents have questions concerning the interpretation of the Sim Monitor results, they can reach out to us via Twitter (@DSESimMonitor), Facebook (http://facebook.com/ SimMonitor), or email (help@ simmonitor.com) and we will be happy to assist them.” Free copies of DSE Sim Monitor are available on the SL Marketplace. DSE Sim Monitor simmonitor.com website: DSE Sim Monitor blog: blog. simmonitor.com 263 The End Is Nigh Perspectives Writer Huckleberry Hax Photographer Natasja Schumann D ecember 2012 marks the last of the possible predicted dates that I’m aware of for The End Of The World. By the time you read this, in fact – depending on whether or not AVENUE makes it to press on time – the event will be either just a few days away (December 21, I’m led to understand) or will have happened sometime in the preceding week. In the latter case, I will assume your leisurely article-reading behaviour to imply that the world did not, in fact, end – hurrah! (Unless, of course, it did end and your radioactive, diseaseridden, post-apocalyptic corpsein-waiting is spending its last few moments of life reading words laid down in a happier time; in which case, sorry about my attempts at clever sarcasm, I expect I look like a bit of an idiot now). 267 I can’t recall if this date is meant to be the planetary alignment thing or the sudden appearance of Planet X or CERN creating a home-made black hole. Whichever of these it is, I’m hoping that – should the worst turn out to be true – we Brits will have enough moments remaining with which to crack a few dry jokes about the irony of it all. Something linking Armageddon to our Olympic success and/or lifted spirits in 2012. That’ll teach us to be at peace with our post-colonial identity! Better still would be if the Definite End came with at least a week’s notice – enough time for the topic to make its way into the current affairs comedy panels and satire broadcasts on the telly. Of course, just as landing is a more positively experienced event to those of us with a fear of flying, the upside of a belief that the world is about to end must be the nice surprise you get if it doesn’t. Whilst I do understand that one might look a bit of a Charlie under such circumstances – particularly if you spent your time nagging friends and relatives about their post-apocalyptic preparations (anyone who, accordingly, labelled themselves a ‘PAP Buddy’ may hang their head in shame that little bit longer) – it strikes me that this is the kind of thing it’s generally pretty nice to be wrong about, not to mention it’s unlikely anyone will hold it against you. Or will they? What if you persuaded your friend to sell his house to raise funds for your enlightened leafleting campaign or to just to have that final, month-long orgy of sex, drugs and alcohol? (Personally, if I knew with a certainly that the world was about to end, there’s a £250,000 working replica of the 1960s Batmobile with my name on it that I’d be asking my mother to remortgage her house for; might as well have a bit of fun whilst there’s still time left to have it in.) What then, when the dust settles – or rather, doesn’t – and the inconsiderately still existing bank requires its debt to be paid? What about the people you convinced to sever their life-long emotional attachment to, well, life, who threw themselves off a picturesque cliff rather than wait to be witness to the planet being crunched down into something smaller than a pea by the black hole those smug scientists so laughingly assured us “would never happen”? In fairness, with The End Of The World just a handful of weeks away at the time of writing, I’m not currently aware of any mass preparatory suicides or partying like-it’s-1999 going on, so it seems reasonable to assume that the majority of people have decided their investment in life to be sufficiently big that they’ll hang around come the end of December to see what happens rather than do anything rash right now. Which is good. And no, by the way: the metaphor I’m constructing here is not about global warming being a myth we’ll all look back on in years to come with egg well and truly dripping from our faces; if that should all turn out to be a red 270 herring, we’ll still be better off for all the improvements in renewable energies because coal and oil are finite and will run out one day. The metaphor I’m constructing is, of course, about Second Life®. A lot has been said over the last twelve months about its imminent demise; we’ve all been told to pack what we can from our inventories and make like refugees to the new worlds of InWorldz and OpenSim. Private land is disappearing from SL faster than Mitt Romney can pack his binders full of women, we hear. Linden itself is raiding its own wine cellar and putting its assets into every last idea it can conceive of, blithely ignoring that long-established commercial principle that companies who refuse to diversify as their product ages are certain to achieve success and longevity. “The (virtual) End Is Nigh!” the blogosphere is crying, “Save yourselves!” And yet, on those occasions when I dip back into SL®, it’s still there. It’s still working. My friends list shows many of my friends still online (sorry for not saying hi, by the way). And, meanwhile, it looks more stunning than I ever remember it looking when I was a regular user. Mesh, it seems, has really started to make an impact: not only do individual items look amazing, but their lower prim count (sorry to use such ancient terminology, but expecting an oldtimer like me to adopt new units of measurement at this stage is a bit like me expecting my mother to start using metric) means they are plentiful and the virtual world looks more pleasantly packed with detail than it’s ever looked before. Meanwhile, I’ve been to InWorldz a few times too. It would be true to say that there are aspects of InWorldz that I find impressive; beyond the vague nostalgia it evokes for my early years in SL, however, its visual appeal is not one of them. As for OSGrid, I have to confess that I aborted my plans on creating an account there when the home page of its website informed me that in this, the future of the metaverse, there were currently less than a hundred users online. I do believe – as I wrote two months ago in this column – that the future of the metaverse is bigger than SL; OpenSim might well be part of this (I can’t deny that the idea of being able to create my own sim on my own computer is appealing). This isn’t at all my attempt to produce my own counter-argument. It’s just that I can’t quite avoid the feeling that there’s an awful lot of cutting off of noses to spite faces going on right now. SL is more gorgeous than it’s ever been – a place we would have drooled over just a couple of years ago – and yet our anger appears to be driving us away. We are denying ourselves enjoyment of a beautiful place and the experience of beautiful moments. All because we feel hard done by. And my End of the World metaphor breaks down in a crucial place with respect to SL: enough people jumping over cliffs won’t 271 actually bring about the end of the world in RL. But it will in SL. Apart from The End of the World, December also plays host to that annual occasion of Christmas, a season which – as I wrote last year – I enjoy very much in its pixel implementation. I’ve not been a regular in SL for quite a while now, but, as the season approaches, I find myself looking forward to exploring it in-world once again. Christmas was the first season I experienced in SL and I recall very vividly its pre-mesh, pre-sculpty realisation. I can only imagine what the creative minds and talents of the SL community will do with it six years later in 2012. Just writing this paragraph is building my anticipation. The UK illusionist and hypnotist Derren Brown recently hosted a two-part TV programme in which he convinced a volunteer that the world had ended in order to get him to appreciate the life he already had. In the publicity for his show, Brown talked about the secret of happiness as desiring the things that you already have, a reference to the current studies in psychology that link emotional wellbeing to gratitude. I am grateful to SL, and I’m grateful that it’s still around and looking better than it’s ever looked before. I know it probably won’t last. I know there are issues with the way in which it’s been managed. But, ultimately, I’m more grateful that it exists than angry that it’s not better. If I had never before experienced it and got introduced to it for the first time on Christmas day, I would find it an overwhelmingly wonderful Christmas present. So I’m going to continue to enjoy Second Life whilst I can. To those of you who secretly wish that it would die so that your declarations of its demise can be retrospectively ratified: be careful what you wish for; you might just get it. Have a good End of the World if it happens. And have a peaceful Christmas if it doesn’t. Huckleberry Hax writes novels set in Second Life®. You can download these for free from www. huckleberryhax.blogspot.com 272 Entertainment The Heartbeat of Deep House Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Seashell Dench DJ Mauro B W herever there’s a club, with its magical electric glow, and a DJ overseeing the pulsating beats-whether in a building or under the blanket of starry skies and moonlight—you’re likely to find house music. 277 However, for many avid listeners of the genre, house music transcends the club scene, and as someone who does not go to such places regularly, my best house music experience has always been at the beach, watching the sunset and listening to my trusty mp3 player. My feet would be buried in white sand, caressed by the azure waters, my eyes beholding nature’s palette on the sky, sipping an icy mojito as the flaming orange glow of the sun sank below the horizon. Online, my listening experience is conveniently enhanced and diversified. At a click, internationally acclaimed DJs can be within my reach. However, I didn’t realize at first that I could enjoy house music in Second Life® as well, until, a few days after I started, I found a club that played House music! So the fun began. On and off, whenever I get down time, I find the pulse of house music beckoning me. I’ll casually follow DJs and clubs, just absorbing the mood, sometimes to dance. In addition to being a platform for hobbyist DJs who play requests and other people’s music, Second Life is a legitimate platform for professional DJs and producers, talented digital composers and turntable wizards. Spanish DJ Mauro B Nayar (SL name: Djmaurob84 Nayar) is one of those; he’s a professional DJ with more than eight years of experience in real life that’s taken him around Europe and to the shores of Miami, USA. Such experience brings many opportunities to work with like- 279 minded people, working to produce cool rhythms and suave sounds that transport you to a place of Zen. In-world, he replicates the experience easily. He relates to me how easy it was for him to learn to set things up in SL from his friend, a club owner who knew of his real life profession. â€œMy friend knew about my experience as a DJ and producer, and when I got the taste of SL, I decided to continue.â€? He said. He continues on saying that it did not take him too long. In fact, he was able to set himself up to DJ in SL in just twenty minutes! So Nayar immediately got his start in the SL club scene at wellknown SLeek Beach Club, and enjoyed the whole experience very much. He revels in the experience of making music and presenting it to his faithful listeners. Four years into SL, he still enjoys the social interaction, and is happy that he is able to extend the experience in SL. An extroverted person, he loves looking at the fashion ladies wear to his virtual gigs. He comes across as a gregarious person who enjoys interaction in both worlds. DJs are the heart and soul of the dance floor, and we move to their rhythms. Nayar never disappoints his crowd and always drives himself to please his listeners. currently plays in places like The Mansion in Sands, Moondz Club Lounge, SOL 3, and most recently at zenzibar. He plays every week, starting from 1pm SLT until 3pm SLT, plus monthly appearances at Gass Club and Be-U. 280 With such a hectic schedule inworld, and surely in real life, he relates that sometimes he needs to take a break during summers for gigs that take him to places like Greece. However, he’s very much used to it; professionally, he’s driven and loves collaborating with other talented producers in creating great house music (particularly Deep House, his favorite subgenre). He works with various labels, with his longest ties to Miami-based Grouper Recordings and Spain’s Perception Music group. He frequently treats his listeners to new material online, through social networks like Facebook and Soundcloud, and in SL. Apart from the social interaction online communities bring, Nayar totally appreciates the technology and the ability to share his music, to extend his production, and to effectively organize his music. Most recently, I got to listen to his latest work with another DJ. Aptly titled the “The Spell”, it was a suave and mellow track featuring an enchanting female voice. With talented and professional DJs like Nayar around, the clubs in SL will always be full. People such as Nayar are blessed with the technical prowess to wield synthetic melody and beats to provide modern symphonies that touch our souls. Nayar’s sounds unite us through the beat of his music. 283 Reality is frequently inaccurate. Featured Artist The Tears of a Clown Writer Quan Lavender Photographer Whiskey Monday S econd Life速 moves quickly. Within a short period of time, the work of avatars can get widely appreciated and suddenly all the world is talking about them. In the relatively short space of six months, Whiskey Monday became recognised as having one of the top blogs from an SL速 resident, due to her great self-portraits combined with smart and witty commentary. Her work in both words and images touches the heart and exposes the depth of the person behind the avatar. 287 Never Alone Whiskey Monday had the sort of life many people do; she constantly busy, often working two jobs at once, as an English teacher and as a writer. She loved her work; she loved expressing herself with words and has varied interests. She says: “I don’t understand boredom ANYWHERE. There is always something to look at, read, listen to, or ponder.” But then her life underwent a dramatic change; her sister, a widow, was diagnosed with cancer. She has a young daughter. Familial obligations left Monday no choice; she had to take care of both. Shortly afterwards, her mother was in an accident that left her with a brain injury, and needed care as well. Monday moved back to her home in the Appalachian Mountains of the south-eastern US (she says: “It’s very rural here, but lovely”). She lost her job as teacher, and has had to face serious challenges; she has to care for two people with serious illnesses, as well as for a young girl. Thanks to the poor American healthcare system she’s had to deal with sudden poverty brought on by medical costs. Monday: ”My family was what you call estranged, so being here with them isn’t a fun thing, it’s very trying. Lots of resentment on my part. We all live together. It’s rather miserable.” Her fulltime job of caregiver only allows her to undertake some freelance online writing work. In her blog, she wrote about her financial situation: “Being poor makes every choice so much more difficult— until you’ve been here, you’ll never understand that. Having to choose between cancer meds and food, gas for the car or trash pickup… even the choices you make at the grocery store are huge. Ever try to feed a family of 6 on $60 a week? It’s exhausting.” But besides the monetary side there is another challenge to deal with: The dedication of her life to others leads to growing isolation. Everyone who’s found themselves in a similar situation, regardless of whether it’s caused by sick or disabled family members, old parents or young children, experiences that this isolation can destroy one’s sense of individuality and independence. Second Life became a welcome, if not needed, escape for Monday. Initially she joined SL to attend a seminar for teachers, and she stayed to explore, decorate her SL home, and socialise. With the massive changes in her life, SL was a constant that helped her to break out of the confines of her daily life and free her mind: “It helps me feel connected to people.” The turning point in her second life was a gift: “Earlier this year, a friend sent me a gaming laptop. I had never had a computer that dealt well with SL. So I’ve never used higher graphics. The first time I logged in on this new computer, I cried. I know how that sounds, but SL was brand new. I saw water for the first time; it was like I’d never been here. I fell in love with SL all over again. I could MOVE. I could SEE. And I went to Art Screamer that very night, 290 I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it. I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. Keep 'em Spinning The blood that runs through my veins is type fucking crazy. to see Claudia222’s exhibit. It was the first art installation I could actually SEE. I was overwhelmed. I loved it so much. I spent hours there over that week,” she laughs. Over the following weeks she started to explore Second Life anew, and to take photos. She had a back-and-forth on Twitter with her friend Botgirl Questi about creativity and identity; she found herself especially fascinated by the idea of identity. Questi’s visual work inspired her to do “My Tweets as Pictures”. She says: “I’m an avid tweeter, as words are my first love, my first way of expressing. But the images took them a step further; enriched the ideas I was offering in my tweets.” The result is her blog: “Because of my RL situation, I’m dealing with a lot of emotional stuff from that and working with these images is a way of expressing them. SL has opened a door to visual art for me.” Her readers soon fell in love with her beautiful photos, and even more with the witty, yet deep and thoughtful, commentary. Her humour helps her to survive in tough times. “I learned long ago to colour difficulties with humour. It makes them bearable. Otherwise that shit just festers.” Monday smiles. “Well, caring for a family that I wasn’t close to, makes it especially hard on my self-confidence. My mom can be difficult. For a while, I felt very lost and unable to write about it. I kept feeling like words were too pointed. Too sharp. The work I’m doing with these images really helps me mentally and the feedback has done wonders for my own self-worth. I have no doubt I’m a good person, a talented person. But putting myself out there in words and images is scary. Getting positive feedback makes it easier, and also better for my therapy. This identity that I’m expressing in my pictures is ME. It’s the emotions and work I’m doing. I’m still telling my story, just like I’ve always done in journals and stories, but now I’m doing it in pictures too. These photos are my story. Does that make any sense?” Yes, it makes a lot of sense. And her readers love her for it. It helps them to keep a smile in their obstacles in life too. Blog: whiskeymonday.com Flickr: www.flickr.com/ photos/75351422@N03 Twitter @Whiskey_Day Inworld Gallery [199.199.30]. at Edloe Real Life reproduction shop: fineartamerica.com/profiles/ whiskey-monday.html Whiskey’s words about crossing over from SL art to RL art. 297 Arts Feature the art of fashion photography Writer Flora Nordenskiold Photographers William Weaver and Paola Tauber I t’s safe to say that the artistic status of fashion photography can be controversial. One occasionally sees fashion photos on display in “regular” gallery shows, but they seem somehow out of place. Is fashion photography really art? Is it photography? Is it both or, maybe neither? I mentioned in a recent blog post the necessity for Second Life fashion photography to be presented as a separate and very specific genre and I would like to continue to expand on that here, highlighting the importance of its definition and in-world representation. 301 I got to talking about fashion photography with a good Second Life friend (who also happens to be a photographer) the other day. He was of the opinion that fashion photography is not art, because fashion photographers are usually commissioned to do their work in a specific way. My friend thinks about fashion photography as a craft. Richard Avedon said,”[t] here’s always been a separation between my fashion and what I call my ‘deeper’ work. Fashion is where I make my living. I am not knocking it. It’s a pleasure to make a living that way. It’s a pleasure, and then there’s the deeper pleasure of doing my portraits.” There appears to be a general agreement that a fashion photograph is more than a photo, yet not art. Fashion photography is solely for the purpose of fashion and it expresses a specific atmosphere. Fashion photographs can be rather complex, and Second Life provides an ideal setting for them. Beautiful sims serve as dramatic backdrops for photo shoots. The recent development of sophisticated photo-tools makes the use of new shadow and light techniques possible. High quality skin, hair and clothes as well as intricate poses are readily available. All of these components contribute to incredibly stylized images, and one often gets a sense that a fashion photo captures a part of narrative or perhaps a single frame of a film. There appears to be no limit to the elaborate work that is being produced in Second Life today. As things stand, Second Life fashion photographers show their work in online fashion magazines, fashion blogs or on Flickr--not that there is anything wrong with that; images displayed on the web reach a much wider audience than an in-world exhibit ever would. There’s also something to be said for being able to browse at one’s own leisure, in private. A hundred blogs, Flickr, Tumblr, all a mouseclick away, easily accessible, and ready to view. But there is still a lack of in-world representation of fashion photography in Second Life; showcasing the genre in a curated, ongoing gallery exhibition may perhaps change this. And so, the White Room at Nordan Art, a new gallery constructed by the talented William Weaver. In a collaborative effort, Nordan Art and AVENUE have established this venue solely to display Second Life fashion photography. The first exhibit, entitled Fashion Beasts, consists of the outstanding work of Marcopol Oh and Thalia Heckroth. The opening will take place in midJanuary 2013. Please be on the lookout for announcements on nordanomjorden.wordpress.com. 304 Arts Feature MadPea Writer and Photographer Ziki Questi Carneval Prepare to Beg for More M adPea Productions’ latest venture, Carneval, opened on Halloween 2012 and quickly became Second Life®’s most discussed and visited tourist attraction. “We want to bring the best entertainment and games to people in Second Life,” says the founder and director of MadPea, Kiana Writer. A disturbing and sinister amusement park—one that’s also filled with plenty of dark humor— Carneval welcomes its visitors through the gaping mouth of a creepy, disembodied head. At the entryway explorers obtain a HUD (which provides a map of key destination points) and a description of the park that might give one pause: “The stale smell of the air and the nearly tangible sensation of despair will make you want to turn back before even entering. Your throat feels tight and eyes are watering, trying their best to adjust to the dustiness. Deep inside you know already that death lurks around here, yet you’re mesmerized and unable to run away. The calls of dancing souls have captured your mind and you feel the sudden urge to dive in to unite with them. What you don’t realize is that, I am and you are, one of them already. Full of frights and cloaked in shadows, the Carneval stands still, frozen in time. There are whispers and scaretales of its frightening adventures, haunted rides and unparalleled mysteries. Those who seek adventure are encouraged to step right up and prepare for an experience that will leave you begging for more.” Carneval’s striking and monochrome gray-green landscape features a nearly allmesh terrain of decayed and menacing sideshows, rides and shops. Arcades populate the initial walkway into the park, and at these one can play addictive games to earn prizes. Exploring further in, one discovers delightful games and rides, especially the Spider (the roller coaster whose features articulate the skyline), the Big Pea (motionless, lopsided ferris wheel), and the Hellfire Races (a competitive track with mine carts that zoom around lava flows). Puzzles abound at Carneval. Two “escape” rooms require some deductive reasoning to secure an exit, the Tunnel of Doom leaves visitors stranded inside a ride with no easy way out, Shock Therapy leads to a complex maze of stairways festooned with loose live electrical wires, and Reaction provides a complete chemistry laboratory. The pièce de résistance, however, is the incredible Kaaos Effect, a multiple-location puzzle that jumps through time, whisking the visitor to destinations as varied as a 12,000 year old glacier, a 1943 German U-boat, a primitive jungle, a detective’s office, a train station and more. In each location a mystery must be solved to advance. Many of Carneval’s puzzles make use of SL’s newly implemented gaming tools. Unlike many full-sim creations in SL designed by single artists, Carneval was an intensive collaborative endeavor. The initial concept was generated by Writer (who remarked, “I’m a huge fan of [the band] Nightwish and saw the trailer for their new movie with the crazy rollercoaster and thought…we must create our own playground”) while the development was overseen by MadPea creative director Harter Fall. They were complemented 312 by a large team of designers, including Arduenn Schwartzman, Fae Varriale, Geoffrey Xenobuilder, Linus Humphreys, Lorin Tone, paramparamm Papp, Penelope Parx, RAG Randt and Zachh Barkley, with additional contributions from Apollosmile, claudia222 Jewell, Clicquot Oh, cold Frog, Elizabeth Tinsley, Fuzz Difference, Glitch Axelrad, Madcow Cosmos, Quan Lavender, Smiley Dyrssen, Voidheart Mistwalker, Yooma Mayo and Yuna Khaos. “I love working with such awesome and talented people from all over the world,” says Writer. “We have very interesting criteria for the designers—the key point is that they fit the team dynamics. We truly work as a team. We don’t have the usual ‘that’s your area, that’s mine’ way of approach here—we tweak others’ buildings and textures until they’re perfect, or I tell them to stop (laughs). And it’s all done in good spirit. That’s also one thing in common with us all—that we’re not egocentric, but think in a ‘we’ sense.” The work by claudia222 Jewell is of touching and special importance, as she has announced plans to step away from inworld art creation. Her demonic Cthulhu sculpture positioned near Carneval’s center may well be her final major contribution. A line of shops dots the northwest corner of Carneval, and here one can purchase items ranging from clothing and accessories (some of the most curious sort) to textures and buildings. And how does MadPea plan to follow up on its Carneval masterpiece? Writer hints that “We are bringing out hunts monthly and are working on the next one already to surprise people after the Enchanted Frost hunt. Then we’re going to take a big leap and create an adventure unlike anything that has been seen in SL before.” Visit Madpea Base [93.63.34]. (link: ) For more information about MadPea Productions visit their blog: http://madpea.blogspot. com. 317 Arts Feature Danse Macabre Writer Quan Lavender Photographer Piedra Lubitsch T he process of dying begins at the moment of our birth. This sad and simple truth inspired Second Life速 artist Cherry Manga to create an installation that fits well to the short daytime around winter solstice and the end of the year. The visitor lands in a dark environment with slightly spooky sounds. The eyes are first drawn to a “living chessboard”. It is interactive, and reminds us of the choices we make in life. Chess is a strategic war game--so we asked Manga her about her feelings on the fight for survival. She says: “ Life is a fight, yes, but not only between bad and good, a fight of our duality, our strengths and weaknesses, our beliefs and our doubts, it is more a fight of the mind than values. The path of our life is determined by our decisions, as well as the events which happens to us.” We walk on and hear the sounds, which are somewhere between frightening and humorous. Manga smiles: “I’m not a musician, it was the biggest challenge here, I tried to create a musical path.” The music enhances the slightly dark mood of the installation. We walk up stairs made of bones: “The bones are material, we are made of flesh and bones, we rarely see them. It is most disgusting to most of us, maybe because it tells us about what our body is, a machine. Here we face it, it’s what we are. If you look at the dancing women here, they have skeleton on their skins, it’s an inverted reality; the negative image of ourselves.” Manga hopes that the visitors see not only the dark side of her work, but also the brightness--the end is inevitable, whatever we do, so why not enjoy life as it is? Manga says: ”Death is the main subject of my installation, dead and alive dance together, it’s like a summoning, as if death is not the end of things but part of life. I tried to smooth the line between death and life, the skeletal women have a deathly appearance but they are dancing like living creatures. Death is here aesthetic, not an ugly thing we have to fear. It’s not to take in the historical stories as it was a warning to frighten people... living is fighting always to survive. At the end, a mystery; what will remain of us, what will we pass on, what will go? Some people transform our history in bad or good, they didn’t lose anything, they transformed. Death isn’t the fate to me, but the time we spend living is, what are we doing of our lives, do we reach our personal goals? We have our lives in our hands, we aren’t puppets, we are able to progress, to change, to modify our consciousness; we have a life to improve.” The French artist works on improving her own life in real life and in Second Life. She is grateful for getting the chance of placing her installation at Split Screen, owned by Dividni Shostakovich: “Things go very smoothly, Dividni was very clear about the organization and so it was very comfortable to work here, I feel very free to use the space as I wish. He’s always here to answer to me quickly and to add precisions. This is the first time I work at split screen and I’m very happy about it. Split screen is a good way for artists to exhibit, we have a space, we deal with it, it’s clear and neat, I like that.” Manga is not yet a professional artist in real life, but has plans for the future: “I used to draw and paint a lot. Less since I discovered digital 322 work.. I would love to live from my art in real life and I’m working this way, slowly, as my real-life work takes a lot of energy and time; the process will take time, but I’m on the way. Creating is easy, but I’m not that good at the other things-communication, meeting gallery owners, it is more business than creation, and I lack self confidence in these areas. I do graphical works from time to time; for websites for example : I also plan to incorporate my Second Life work in real-life images, I just need the time to find how. But I dream of creating an immersive installation in real life, with 3d components , audio, video. Digital work is still a hobby, but I still need to go this side, creation is too important in my life to be stuck in the metaverse.” Back to her current work, we ask if she believes that death is the ultimate end. The winter solstice marks the end of the old year, but at the same time the birth of the new one. Nature starts to awaken again... We asked her if she believes in rebirth: “I’ m unsure about rebirth, I have beliefs, but I think that human beings can’t reach the truth, with science or religion. But I think that the energy of information, the global consciousness, goes through years, yes. So it is a kind of rebirth. We are all part of the great cosmos, but we don’t reach it when we die, our energy just transforms into another.” Visit Cherry Manga’s Danse Macabre at Beleza [65.39.2452]. 326 avenuesl.com