Page 1

n.47 8.2012


Stylist Boe Cortes Photographer Sea Dench


A

Publisher’s note

A

s summer begins to slowly wind down and I make my way halfway across the world back home to Singapore, I stand at the threshold of so many new changes, opportunities and experiences… ready, nonetheless, to take on the future. Every day I am reminded of how blessed I am with the many people who have shared, influenced and collaborated on my visions. It is only befitting that I dedicate this publisher’s note to the incredible individuals at AVENUE that have dedicated their time and efforts to often work behind the scenes to bring

you an engaging experience month after month in our magazine, shows, modeling education and other projects. These incredible individuals that I count as my family make a commitment to improving our Second Life experiences. This does not apply only to our existing staff, but to every individual who has passed through our doors and contributed in some form. A simple dream five years ago for a humble quality modeling agency that provided fun and respectable work opportunities has blossomed to where it stands today. I have been told I have

created an empire, but I have to attribute it all to everyone that is in the AVENUE family, past and present. It is each and every one of you that makes the future. Thank you for shaping the dream. The possibilities are only limited to our imagination.

Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher and Editor in Chief AVENUE


44

Fashion Spread Vero Modero

118 Interesting Sims Retro CHIC

198

Arts Feature India Gallery


Contents

A

Fashion 26 34 44 52 62 74 90 102

Cover Story Kunglers miStyle Metal Gear Fashion Spread Vero Modero Featured Designer DIRAM Trendspotting Pedal to the Metal Homme Freak in the Streets Blogspot Pure Reality AVENUE Models Style Up Lifestyle

118 128 142 154 166 178

Interesting Sims Retro CHIC Interesting Sims Neva River Sports & Recreation New Derby City Perspectives Business Feature Rustica DJ of the Month Antonio Toocool

AVENUE Magazine August 2012 cover Featuring AvaGardner Kungler & Barbra Kungler Photographer Miaa Rebane

Arts 186 198 216

Arts Feature Tart Gallery Arts Feature India Gallery Arts Feature Art Screamer

n.47 8.2012


A

Staff

Publisher | Editor in Chief Creative Director | Photo Editor | Designer

Paola Tauber

Fashion Editor

Miaa Rebane

Copy Editor General Manager Vice President of Marketing Marketing Manager Marketing Executives

n.47 8.2012

Rusch Raymaker

Vivienne Graves Seashell Dench Amazon Silverweb Absinthe Carley Benazzi Julia Brand Mallory Duke Nezsy Herstein Xandrah Sciavo


Augusta Carver Huckleberry Hax Imani Enzo Isadora Fiddlesticks Kathy Nikolaidis Lexie Jansma Prad Prathivi Quan Lavender ShaiLi Alex Silly Avro Spruce Canning Umberto Giano YeriakTH Couturier

Writers

Boe Cortes Brie Wonder Dantelicia Ethaniel Diconay Boa Gabe Bookmite Lulu Jameson Strawberry Singh Thalia Heckroth

Stylists

Annough Lykin Eve Kazan marimari Yuitza Natasja Schumann Neva Crystall Ozz Larsson Piedra Lubitsch Sophy Meridoc Tillie Ariantho

Photographers

William Weaver

AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates Couture AVENUE, AVENUE Models + Academy and AVENUE Marketing + PR. Online issues: issuu.com/avenue AVENUE Magazine blog: avenuemagazine.blogspot.com AVENUE Inc website: www.avenuesl.com Visit us inworld at: AVENUE at GOL 45.153.22 For exclusive updates, gifts, events and latest releases, join our inworld group: AVENUE Magazine Readers Press releases to: editorial@avenuesl.com Ad queries: ads@avenuesl.com

Contributors

Advertising and vendor requests: Amazon Silverweb Absinthe Carley Benazzi Julia Brand Mallory Duke Nezsy Herstein Xandrah Sciavo


A

Cover Story

Sisters with Style


Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Seashell Dench

F

or the month of August, AVENUE Magazine is proud to feature Kunglers, one of Second Life’s® most successful brands in the fashion industry. AVENUE is honored to reveal in its pages the Kungler sisters’ style influences, their passion, their motto, and what it is that ensures Kunglers has a bright future ahead.


AVENUE met the charming sisters in their elegant skybox on their own sim, Fashionate Island. One could tell that their spacious home doubles as a workshop, as the interior was lined with pose stands and stark white backgrounds, and the area seemed ideal for the rezzing and assembly of clothing. Ava Kungler confirmed that this was, indeed, their workspace. For curiosity’s sake, AVENUE asked which of the two sisters was the first to venture into SL®. Both related that Barbra Kungler started the virtual journey and insisted that her sister, Ava Kungler, join her. “She was very amused, so I gave it a try,” she said, laughing. Hence, they started in much the same way most of us begin SL®, exploring and meeting new friends. Camping for money just to satisfy their fix for virtual fashion was not a strange concept to these ladies. It was the need to have clothes that reflect their tastes coupled with the desire to do something other than just attend parties and clubbing that got them started on their shared design career. These two Brazilian women were further encouraged by friends who loved their designs, and now they take on SL® as their creative outlet. With Barbra Kungler’s experience as a graphic designer, and Ava Kungler as an artist working in the fashion industry, it was a

natural turn for them. “I think we make a nice partnership, mostly, when we agree on everything,” Ava Kungler said, and then they both laughed. Ava and Barbra Kungler stand out in the Second Life® fashion community as apparel makers for ladies who want that glamorous, chic and polished look. Aside from earth-inspired elegance and organic shapes, their real life fashion inspiration includes designers like Carolina Herrera and Emilio Pucci, with their classic and bold yet tastefully sexy looks, in addition to their South American heritage. Brilliant and colorful, it is a mix that is truly eclectic and timeless. Currently, the Kunglers are making considerable leaps and stamping themselves into the hearts of female avatars in Second Life® with the kind of sophistication and natureinspired elegance that is rare in this virtual world. Passion is common to people who truly love fashion, and this place where fashion blooms from passion is called Fashionate Island. The Kungler sisters told me that they thought of the name themselves, merely combining “fashion” and “passion”. It was an apt name for their sim that showcases their fashion philosophies, and earthy, natural, and sophisticated looks. Their creations are a product of their collaborations together.

Ava Kungler says, “Normally we release two clothes at once, one by each of us.” All of the pieces designed by this sibling team are planned and created during their free time, as they are both busy with their real life careers. “We try to keep things fun, and not take what we do only as a ‘business’. We share the time, and the clothes we mostly create together. Since I have more free time, I also create jewelry, and now shoes,” Ava says with a wink. In the five years that they have been in-world, the sisters have successfully created a brand that is successful and consistently purchased by SL’s® fashionistas. As the virtual world changes and Linden Labs continues to give new features and options, the duo would likewise continue, jumping into the trends and striving to learn and embrace these options and work them in their brand. “We had to learn all of the processes, and I only learned mesh a few months ago,” Ava Kungler says. Her sister, Barbra, chimes in, adding, “Ava just learned to work on sculpted things, and she teaches me.” “The good thing is that it also improves us as designers,” Ava Kungler continues in reference to the changes and growth in viewer and user option developments. ”But isn’t it just as real life?” she laughs. “We are never satisfied.”


Barbra Kungler agrees with a grin. “I think SL® has changed a lot in the last few years from this point of view. People are more attuned,” Ava Kungler attests. Indeed. One might surmise that working together as sisters would also mean some clashes with design and points of view, too. Ava Kungler jokingly says they resolve these issues by fighting. “We agreed that freedom of designing is a rule, so with whatever comes to mind, we only decide to keep in the same track. I mean if it’s vintage, we go vintage together,” she explains. The Kungler sisters do plan to stay around for good, but because of their real life plans, creating and designing will be “on hold” until November, so they are using the time that they have left to create and release whatever they can. There will be a lot of jewelry and clothes to be created before they go, and surely the fashion community breathlessly awaits what lies ahead. “I wish to have time for everything here in SL®,” Barbra Kungler relates. Meanwhile, Ava Kungler shares that she once tried to leave SL® for good but could not. Almost certainly, when people are involved in a project in-world, it is hard to stay away for good, especially when Kunglers has been doing a

lot of good for them creatively. The sisters have a very down to earth attitude with their socalled “SLebrity” status in the fashion community. For the sisters, the key is balance. Ava relates that people either take it too seriously or not seriously at all. Thus, their message is for everyone to have fun and understand that despite treating Second Life® as separate from real life, there are still people with feelings behind the avatar. For the sisters, their time is indeed well-spent, both here and in real life. We wish them well and look forward to their return, fresh, renewed and eager to unleash some more of what they do best: glamour, taste and chic design for every SL® female.

A


A

miStyle

metal by Miaa Rebane


gear Bodysuit: Peqe | Kate Glitter Feet: Maitreya | Bare Feet Hair: LeLutka | Swish Earrings & nails: Mandala Skin: Atomic


Dress: Ricielli | Peplum Dress Shoes: Diktator | Dar Hair: LeLutka | Salome Hair Skin: Glam Affair | Cassiopea


Corset: ISON | Geometric Corset Shorts: Epoque | Distortion High-Waist Pants Necklace & earrings: Placide | Earring Skin: Atomic Hair: Vanity Hair | Diva


Dress: La Penderie de Nicole | My Little Linen Dress Hat: Teefy | Soldier Hat Skin: Atomic


A


A

Fashion Spread

Vero Modero photographer Seashell Dench models Absinthe, Seashell Dench, Tempest Rosca, Wicca Merlin


Tempest (left): Kay Queq Dress Absinthe (centre): Scorpion Dress Wicca (right): Hax Dante Dress


Tempest (left): Radius Line Dress Wicca (right): Merlin Myst Dress


Absinthe (left): Aylo Owl Dress White Seashell (right): Isabel Que Dress

A


A

Featured Designer

LADY GAGA - Telephone 2


DIRAM by Diconay Boa


Micah Helmet


Susan Attire


La Folie Sunglasses

A


A

Trendspotting


by Thalia Heckroth

Dress: gO | Cotton sweater Boots: BB | bonbon Leather Boots Hair: eXxEsS | THALYJA Sunglasses: Armidi Gisaci | Fi Umo Sunglasses


Necklace: AB | Spanish Armada Necklace Dress: Meghindo’s | Gold Metallic Mini Hair: Dura | Girl*33 Shoes: Diktator | CHIC Lipgloss: blackLiquid | MAKEUP gold gloss


Hair: sYs | ORBITAL hair Pants: sYs | HESIOD Neoprene pants MESH Female Nails: blackLiquid | NAILS orbital


Jacket: SG | 4Minute Jacket Bodysuit: MonCheri | Sequin Chemise Hair: ICONIC | Commotion Lashes: glow | eyelashes Earth Gloss: Blacklace Beauty | Hi-Gloss Lips

A


A

Homme


Freak in the Streets

by Gabe Bookmite


Hair: LeLutka | Pony up Tattoo: Aitui | Dire Tanktop: Ronsem | Tank AL 2nd Tanktop: NSD | BonJour Tank Shorts: Tableau Vivant | Half Pants Leggings: Hucci | Zebra Sequin Leggings Headgear: Hedo | Lian Necklace: Hedo | Crazy Horse Cuff: Derp | Spiked Shoes: Ladies Who Lunch | Escarpa


Hair: V | Vanity Angel Shrug: Ladies Who Lunch | Fame Jacket Tank: Roosters | White Shredded Tanktop Pants: Muism | Kirk Latex Hood: Lazybum | Back Door Body Suit Collar: Derp | Posture Collar Shoulder pads: Tableau Vivant | Golden studdes shoulder pad Cuffs: Derp | Spiked Boots: Gos | Gtfo


Hair: Burley | Kyle Blazer: Epoque | Blazer Harness: subVersion | xharness Tanktop: Vitamen | VinylBoy Chaps: Cox | Roper chaps Pants: Emery | Jean Skinney Necklace: Hedo | collana run the world Cuffs: Derp | Spiked Belt: Zenith Fashion | Stripe Shaco Pants Belt Boots: Deco | Jumpboots


A


A

Blogspot


Pure reality by Neva Crystall

Neva: Hair: TRUTH | Kadence Skin: Belleza | Lily V1 Jeans: Maitreya | Mesh Flare Jeans Shirt: mon tissu | Slouchy Sweatshirt Scarf: theosophy | Tegryn Summer Scarf Bracelet: MANDALA | Hokusai bracelet Alex: Skin: REDGRAVE | King Hair: Dura | Boy*35 Necklace: MANDALA | Onigiri necklace Sunglasses: Dutch | 2012 Aviators Bracelet: MANDALA | Hokusai bracelet Belt: kal rau | Belt Dark Jeans Mesh Jeans: kal rau | Baggy Jeans Tee: NANUK | elov tee Pose by Oh! Studio


Skin: Belleza | Lily V1 Hair: TRUTH | Kara Shirt: House of Fox | Anja Basic Body Suit Pants: Glam Affair | Lou pants Blazer: Leverocci | Sleek Blazer Bracelet 1: MANDALA | Hokusai bracelet Bracelet 2: MANDALA | Peal Rain 2 Bracelet Poses by Oh! Studio


Hairband: Oh! Studio | A pale flower on my head Hair: TRUTH | Parisa w/Roots Skin: Glam Affair | Cassiopea Top: Zaara | Mesh Ashima Blouse Shorts: House of Fox | Anja Basic Bodysuit Pose by Oh! Studio


Neva: Hair: LeLutka | BELLE Skin: Belleza | Lily Dress: Tokidoki | Carol Dress Maddy: Skin: Mother Goose’s | MiChi III Hair: Fashionably Dead | Sunday Sunglasses: Yummy | Beachy Keen Shades Top: u.f.o. | Cotton loose fit sweater Shorts: mon tissu | Cuffed Denim Shorts Pose by Del May

A


A

AVENUE Models

Makeup: Glamorize | Vivid Lips Makeup: LG Concept | Fluo eyeshadow Hair: Miamai | Yanne Updo_Winter Jacket: House Of Beningborough | Tropics Print Jacket Skirt: House Of Beningborough | Tropics Mesh Mini Skirt Shoes: Diktator | Posh Bag: MOLiCHiNO | Mesh Delirium Clutch Jewelery: Paper Couture | Amethyst Nest Necklace


STYLE UP photographer Sea Dench models Amazon Silverweb, Amita Yorcliff, Angelik Lavecchia, Maile Michinaga, Vikeejeah Xevion


Makeup: LaGyo | Crystal Brows Hair: epoque hair | Front and Center Dress: Sassy | Mandarin Dress Shoulder Pads: House of Fox | Pin-Up Jacket Shoes: FANATIK | Armadillo Shoes Collar: Shi | Lacet Collar Motif Jewelery: LaGyo | Kai earring


Undershirt: Coco | Balloon Sleeve Blouse Jumpsuit: Glam Affair | Nana suit Tank top: Chemistry | Echo Tank Top Necklace: LaGyo | Pan collar Hairbase: Tuty’s | Juicy Hair: Boon | WKM795 Glasses: Epoque | Redemption Frames Nails: Izzie’s | French Nails Bag: Sophomore | Satchel Shoes: Openwork | Wedges


Shirt: Sleepy Eddy Shoes: FIR & MNA Cardigan: Iruco Trench coat and chino shorts: EPIC Glasses: Epoque Hair: Atro Patena


Top: JANE | fufu tutu Slacks: JANE | Easy Day Trouser Clutch: O&N | Studs Purse Bangle: MOOD | Bali Bangle Pumps: Mstyle | DIDI Pumps Skin: League | Jen Lashes: REDGRAVE | Extralong Eyelashes 31 Nails: Detour | Nails French Hair: LeLlutka | JOLIE


Hair: LeLlutka | JENIFFER hair Skin & Makeup: IT GIRLS | Anaya skin Earrings: Paper Couture | Reclining Feline Neck Piece: Shi | Lacet Collar Motif {Mesh Unrigged} Vest: NW | Denim Floral mesh Vest Top: Color.Me.H.O.F. | Anja Sheer Bodysuit Shorts: MOLiCHiNO Mesh Kaia Shorts Bag: Maitreya | Mesh Shopper Nails: Izzie’s | Tribal Nails Socks: Color.Me.H.O.F. | Knit Socks Ankle Cut Shoes: House of Fox | Edgy Pump


A


A

Interesting Sims


Writer Imani Enzo Photographer Eve Kazan

Retro CHIC

I

like to fancy myself as being a modern woman who has a healthy appreciation for our technological society and all that is done to make things faster, more efficient, and more convenient. However, when it comes to fashion, the convenience of trendy massproduced designs is definitely not something I find myself drawn to. Instead, I tend to drift toward classic and clean looks that do not always reflect what is popular and seen everywhere.


Those who are truly fashion savvy know that being fashion forward does not only mean being current with the latest trends. It is more so about setting those trends and blazing your own path. A true fashionista knows that being fashion forward may require one to look to the past. That is because well chosen, well-made vintage pieces can liven up a contemporary wardrobe and set your style apart. Vintage fashions are far more than simply old clothing. The term vintage denotes an exceptional example of period clothing that continues to have commercial appeal despite its age. Vintage fashions also have classic beauty, an inexplicable allure, as well as a strong presence in the real world fashion industry. Now, thanks in part to Keira Seerose, vintage fashion is enjoying a much stronger presence in Second Life ®. Seerose’s CHIC Management solidified its position as a fashion trailblazer when it launched the Vintage Fair last year at the suggestion of her friend Beulah Mills, then manager of the popular vintage brand, Ivalde. Seerose pursued the opportunity mainly because it provided a unique challenge for her team and SL® designers, particularly those who did not specialize in vintage-inspired designs. The result exceeded all of Seerose’s expectations and

was a huge hit among the SL® vintage community, as well as the fashion community at large. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to have the chance to get one of the first peeks at Vintage Fair 2012, which made its return to the grid on August 4th. This year’s installment is even bigger and better than the previous one. For starters, it features a spectacular boutique inspired build by the talented Cory Edo, the creative force behind the Trompe Loeil brand. The concept for the stunning build came from Seerose, who was inspired by London’s old stone buildings and wanted to provide fair visitors with a shopping atmosphere that was luxurious, comfortable, and a perfect fusion of the present and past. The philosophy of blending present and past extends well beyond the Vintage Fair 2012 build. It is ingrained in nearly every aspect of CHIC Management’s planning of the event. Seerose knew that in order to be successful, the fair needed to live up to the standards of the SL® Vintage Community while also appealing to a broader base of SL® shoppers. The CHIC Management team achieved the perfect mix by hand-selecting vendors based upon the quality of their designs, originality, potential, and overall fit with other participating brands. The result is an extraordinary and diverse group of over 250


participating brands assembled in one place to provide a unique shopping experience for everyone who visits. What makes it even better is the fact that each participant, including some of the most popular brands on the grid, created at least two new items for the event. Further, retro fashion enthusiasts will relish the fact that they can shop for items like furnishings, homes, clothes, accessories, skins, shoes, makeup, autos, poses, and props, all with a datable inspiration prior to 1980. There is something for everyone to appreciate about Vintage Fair 2012. Retro fans will be amazed by the offerings from premier vintage inspired brands like Donna Flora, Ingenue, and Artilleri. Those who drift toward modern looks will enjoy viewing vintage through the eyes of brands like LD Major, Solidea Folies and GizzA. Hardcore shoppers will simply be excited to see new items from popular brands like Ricielli, Cold Logic, and ISON. Models, photographers, and bloggers will get a kick out of poses by brands like oOo Studio, Di’s Opera, and Bent. Finally, there are many items available for men, as well, from brands like Tres Beau, Epicosity, and Hoorenbeek. In short, Vintage Fair 2012 is a well-planned event that you should absolutely plan to see. Seerose and her team worked extremely hard to provide the

ultimate shopping experience with a perfect balance of historical l flavor and that of the present day. The build is incredibly detailed, and the designs are amazing. I shopped for hours and found some stunning apparel and accessories to expand my wardrobe. Additionally, it is like most other CHIC Management events, in that it is filled with high quality, well-constructed items from names we all know and love. It also gives many an opportunity to be introduced to some up and coming SL® brands. For others, it serves as an introduction to the beauty and timeless appeal of vintage fashion. One last reason for you to check out CHIC Management’s Vintage Fair 2012 is the fact that according to Seerose, CHIC is in a state of change. Specifically, her studies will require her to scale back some of the CHIC activities we’ve come to know and love. Since Seerose is currently uncertain as to which events will return, it would be a shame to miss this year’s Vintage Fair, as it could quite possibly be the last one. We at AVENUE certainly hope that it is not. The event is scheduled to run through August 29th, and AVENUE highly recommends that you take the time to visit the beautifully crafted sims of CHIC Management’s Vintage Fair at Retro [46.54.23] to explore and shop.

A


A

Interesting Sims

Neva River Writer Silly Avro Photographer Sophy Meridoc

U

pon arrival in Neva River you will find gently lapping water at your feet, hear the soft chirping of birds, see the slowly moving clouds in the orange-hued sky. There are no paths to follow; you need to find your own way.


Tall grasses and weathered trees dot the landscape, and as you walk through the shallow water you may first come to what appears to the remnants of a gathering… Balloons dangle from light bulbs above an old table, chairs offer comfort under the lace lined awning…a perfect place for a collection of friends to sit and chat, escaping the noise of a busy first or Second Life®. Your eye may fall next to the ruined docks that lead to an inviting sanctuary in the distance. Pelicans accompany you on your walk toward the dwelling, its wall of windows giving you a glimpse of the secrets within. You pause as the dock ends abruptly; you pass by a relaxing bench swing strung from the branches of a tall sugar maple as you make your way into the home. Finding no stairs, you pull yourself onto the platform of the raised home, its entry immediately inviting. Places to sit and ponder abound. Tall weathered doors stand open as if calling you within. Art…whimsy…creativity… beauty…It has a style all its own. You cannot help but study all the curiosities the structure contains. Finding yourself on the deck of the home once more you look out into the distance, the sun brilliant in the apricot colored sky. You see yet


another building in the distance, but closer to you there is more to be seen. Easing yourself off the rise of the home, you walk once more through shallow water to an elevated platform. Loose planks make accessing it easy and paper lanterns light your way. Trees twisted by time cradle the platform, lights hanging from their weathered branches. It is a romantic place, a soft rug adorned with a scrolling poem offers you and a companion a place to relax and enjoy one another’s company. If you are nimble, you can climb out to the hammock and soak up the ambiance. Gazing below you will find violins floating in the water‌their melodies serenade you. In the distance you spy a curious garden; as you enter it, you think nothing of the stones at your feet until they sing to you. Their hauntingly beautiful harmonies blend creating a very magical place, as if this space were the heart of Neva River. Sunbeams filter softly down through the curving branches of tall trees, in the heart of them a work of art, whose presence implores visitors to make meaning of it. Beyond the magical garden is a secluded space. A tent draped in rich fabrics invites you to stay a while. A comfortable hammock waits, ready to support you after


a long day. But more curiosities can be found. Not very far from this point you’ll find portraits floating in the water, and beyond that another cluster of trees that hold yet another mystery. This time it is an oversized music box. Winding its large key you can hear the song it contains as you study it. As you turn away from it, the second house calls you toward it…Perhaps now you will come and see it for yourself… There are many wonders to be found as you explore, their existence causing you to stop and think about their significance. The place speaks of art, beauty, fashion, music, and creativity. It’s an enticing enigma whose answer is unique to each visitor. Neva River is perfect for solitary reflection, romantic getaways, quiet time with friends, or the backdrop for photo shoot. It invites you to make of it what you will, and to take plenty of time enjoying what it has to offer you. Neva River is a place that once you visit you can never forget. It symbolizes the tranquility of sunrise and sunset, and the inner peace sought by many. You will find yourself drawn into its embrace over and over. Visit Neva River [103.134.21].

A


A

Sports & Recreation

Roller Derby

Be Your Own Hero!

F

eel like you’ve tried it all in Second Life®? Looking for something new and exciting to do with your SL®? Try Roller Derby! We had the opportunity to talk with one of the founders the Second Life Roller Derby Association (SLRDA), Psych0 Starship aka Throb Zombie. Passionate about the sport, Psych0 was a blast to talk to and eager for more people to join in the competition.

Writer Silly Avro Photographer Piedra Lubitsch


AVENUE: What is roller derby? How is it played? Psych0 Starship: Well I think this question can be answered in two ways... first of all, roller derby is about that ‘GRRL’ attitude, that punk D-I-Y philosophy, a viable sport that hones brutal skating, the craziest styles and headstrong and powerful female figures truly set to inspire girls of all ages. The message of SLRDA Roller Derby is - BE YOUR OWN HERO! BE YOUR OWN ICON! As for what Roller Derby, the sport is, well these are the basics... Roller Derby consists of two teams of four defensive players and one jammer – the point scorer. The game begins with the pivots and the blockers (defensive players) skating in front in a tight formation (the pack). The jammers race to pass through the pack once, at which time no points are scored – but a “lead jammer” position can be established. They continue to race around the track a second time and attempt to pass the pack again. The jammers score one point for each opponent they lap as long as they pass that player in bounds and without penalties. The jammers may continue to race and score points for

two minutes or until the lead jammer “calls off the jam” (by putting her hands on her hips). Generally, a jammer scores four points each time she makes it through the pack within bounds and five points if she laps the other jammer! Like any sport, Roller Derby has many detailed rules, penalties and strategies… and obviously, the team with the most points at the end of the game wins! AV: How did you become involved with roller derby? PS: I first heard of Roller Derby because of a RL girlfriend at the time, she was very much into the feminist movement (not that I’m saying Roller Derby is a feminist movement!) and she got into this Roller Derby thing. So naturally, I asked what it was all about, now 8 years later here I am in SL helping to promote and share the love of Roller Derby to all that are willing to listen to me preach! AV: How long has there been roller derby been in SL? PS: Well, Roller Derby has been around in many shapes and forms on SL since around 2006, but each time something seemed to come together it never quite ‘got there’. It wasn’t until 2008 that I began to think about developing something to help promote Roller Derby, not only inside SL but outside too. Of course, it was just a crazy


idea…I mean who in their right mind would come to play a virtual representation of Roller Derby right? (Boy, was I wrong!)

personality, to not be afraid of getting bruised and battered on the track and safety gear to protect you when you do fall!

I had my store, Psycho Kat, so I was forever busy with running it. Fast-forward to November 2009 and I began to think about it again and decide I would have to put my money where my mouth was. So I gathered a prestigious group of animators and programmers and got to work on developing the HUD that all Roller Girls of SLRDA use.

This ‘gear’ is available from many stores these days, but namely you’ll need a skate helmet, elbow and kneepads and of course, quad skates. The quad part is really important, that’s the four wheel variety not the inline kind.

By October 2010 we finally had the system ready and began to gather like-minded individuals who felt they needed a new way to relieve some built-up tension. Namely, girls that wanted to kick the crap out of other girls in a sporting way! The first season of SLRDA then began in 2011, since then we’ve been on the rise ever since, about to head into the second season to cap off 2012 and our girls are getting a major update on the HUD this year, so expect to see an entirely new Roller Derby game! It’s going to be killer! AV: What’s required to get started with roller derby? PS: To start your illustrious, brutal, back-elbowing, hipchecking career as a SLRDA Roller Girl you need a few things…to have your own

Oh and of course, you’ll need a team. BUT, with five active teams in the league at present, we will be able to find you a home in no time! Whether it’s the Psych0 Riot Bitches, DV8 Dreadnoughts, Ghoul School Dropouts, Poison Ivy Bombshells or even the Mad Hatter Hellrazors - any team could fit your personality perfectly! If you don’t fancy joining an already established team, why not try to form your own and contact SLRDA for endorsement and entry into the SLRDA League? AV: What qualities make for a good derby girl or boy? PS: Wel,l I’ve seen plenty of ‘qualities’ in the few years of SLRDA’s existence; the best ones have to be those girls and boys that aren’t afraid to be themselves. We have some skaters who were lacking in confidence at first and now they


are beaming with it! It’s about creating your own Roller Girl persona, or Roller Boy if you fancy being a Referee! The thing that separates SLRDA from all the other sport communities out there is that we have a universal acceptance of who you are, no matter whether you’re a girl, a boy who plays a girl, a girl who plays a boy, gay, straight, bi, trans, hell we don’t care, so long as you’re willing to be a female humanoid avatar when skating, you’ll be part of the SLRDA family in no time. And what a community we have too, the girls and boys of SLRDA are a great bunch, really friendly and if you happen to join the SLRDA Roller Derby group, you’ll find just how hilarious the general chatter can be and that’s even before any bouts have begun! AV: I love the names of the players...can you share some of your favorites? PS: Absolutely, I think our girls and boys are a really creative bunch! Some of my favorites have got to be names like Sin der Swella (Cinderella anyone?), Nota Saint (yah know, Not a saint?), Alice Killspree, Lustin Pain, Maiden Darkness, Knock Amora, Reddie ‘O Naught, Randi Nudist, Miss LoKate... and of course my own name, Throb Zombie (when I’m in Ref mode)

or Hyper Hex when I happen to be playing for my team. As you can see there are such a lot of creative names. The whole point of the names is to find something that screams “YOUR PERSONALITY” in it. It’s like your wrestling persona! Are you the Ultimate Warrior in the wrestling ring? Well why not be the Ultimate Scorer in the Roller Derby ring!? You get my point I’m sure. AV: What do you want our readers to know about Roller Derby in SL? PS: Roller Derby in SL® is a fun filled way to really spend your time as a player and as one of our raving mad fans! The thing that sets SLRDA apart from everything else out there is our community; we have a great core group of girls and boys, players and fans that all love each other and have built some great friendships as a result of all the hard work that has been put into SLRDA. It wouldn’t be possible to do all of this without the SLRDA Management Team and those Players and Fans that go above and beyond the call of what is expected to help us achieve our targets. I think if your readers want an exciting experience in SL then they could do much worse than coming down to one of the next SLRDA endorsed Roller Derby


bouts and seeing for themselves what all the fuss is about. Not only is it about being your own hero, it’s about working together as a team, to promote teamwork through the adversity of stiff competition! It doesn’t matter if you’re disabled, have health issues or any other issue that may stop you from being able to enjoy Roller Derby in RL, SLRDA is here to not discriminate on your background or ethnicity, we’re here to show Derby love and derby bumps! Come and join the party and lace up those skates already! We’d like to thank Psycho Starship and the various members of SLRDA who welcomed us into their community and made doing this article an enjoyable experience. To get involved with the Roller Derby in SL be sure to join the “SLRDA Roller Derby” group. Visit: New Derby City at Laresen [25.83.3224].

A


A

Perspectives


Pixel flesh

matters

Writer Huckleberry Hax Photographer Annough Lykin

I

’ve mentioned in the past that one of the biggest obstacles to acceptance of SL® by the mainstream is the ‘snigger factor’ (or, I suppose, ‘snicker’ factor, if you insist on using the US vernacular). Often well-meaning people, when handed the topic of Second Life® in conversation, can’t help but struggle to suppress a smile at the thought of people conducting at least a portion of their social affairs in an online world. The phrase, “get a life” is usually nearby, lurking in thoughts if not actually spoken. That an SL resident can potentially meet and interact with more people from a wider range of continents in a week than non-residents might in a year (during the hours they spend watching television) is a detail often lost on them.


In fairness, friendships and collaborative creativity probably aren’t what most of those people are thinking about whilst they’re busy suppressing (or not) those smiles: what they’re actually thinking about is all the online cybersex they’ve heard about and how utterly bizarre an idea this sounds. Any admission heard about spending time in SL gets somehow translated as, “I masturbate in front of my computer to scenes of cartoon sex.” Watching porn, by comparison, seems an almost mainstream activity. Where the subject arises, quite a high proportion – but not all – of the people I’ve met in-world tell me they avoid telling their RL friends and family that they use SL for pretty much precisely this reason. A few mention early attempts – long ago abandoned – at convincing people that sex isn’t the only reason people go in-world, but it’s a bit hard to sound convincing when you know full well that sex is massive in SL. In the early days – on which SL’s folkloric reputation remains built – you only had to take a few steps outside of an infohub to be bombarded with advertisements for sex halls, many of which were scattered very liberally about the mainland; it’s not hard to see how this impression was created. Today, such establishments have been pushed by LL into Adult rated sims and

the mainland is free from most adult content, but one only has to log in to the Marketplace to see the enduring popularity of sex in SL, and that it sells. Ultimately, though, what’s really remarkable is that the existence of sexual expression in the virtual world is in any way surprising, given its increasing visibility in the physical one. Life without sex, after all, would be like life without laughter or seeing the colour green; it pervades everything. Trying to deny or suppress its existence would be nothing short of Victorian in terms of wisdom. What nonresidents should really be asking themselves, is not, “How is cybersex possible?” but, “What is it that makes SL sexuality good enough that people want it?” Is it merely a poor substitute for a good RL sex life, or does it offer something completely different that’s worth checking out? The answer to that last question depends entirely on your reality. Everyone has their own unique reality constructed from all the various social rules and mechanisms thrown at them in the years since their birth – although that’s not to say, of course, that realities can’t shift. Take nudity. Whether or not you experience a naked avatar as erotic depends a great deal on how common it is for you to experience both RL and SL


nudity. Rezzing into an infohub and seeing the inevitable one or two naked newbies strolling up and down, for example, simply isn’t an arousing experience for the vast majority of people, although it might be if you’re a virgin in RL and this is your very first day in the metaverse. I remember thinking similar things in the sex halls I visited as a newbie myself and watching hoards of naked noobs hobbling from one set of pose balls to the next: there simply wasn’t anything special about it and the whole thing just looked silly. Clearly, however, mine was a minority view in that context. But if your SL experience consists in the main of hanging around clothed avatars who guard their nudity in public to the same extent as one would in RL, the intimacy of naked exposure associated with real life nudity becomes mapped onto your concept of SL nudity. ‘Pixel flesh’ (a phrase I loathe with an intensity usually reserved for politicians and tabloid newspapers) suddenly becomes exciting because you’re being shown something that’s ordinarily kept hidden away. That you’re being shown it communicates closeness and trust, even if it is just a jpeg image stretched around the vague, hollow approximation of a human shape.

Some of today’s SL sexthemed venues are becoming more sophisticated and savvy than those early sex halls were. In a recent SL conversation I had with Canary Beck – proprietor of the KamaSutra Dance and Strip Club, a place of middle-eastern silks and mango colouring, and absolutely no sex balls – she explained to me that it’s the restriction of nudity and sexual activity that actually makes money in SL. To become a dancer at KamaSutra, you’re required to undertake a training programme in which the rules of the establishment and the principles of good emoting (right down to avoiding errors in spelling and grammar, I was immensely pleased to see; nothing spoils an erotic IM moment for some of us more than failing to type out the word ‘you’ in full). “We don’t have, and will likely never have, open sex in the club,” she told me, this meaning both avatar animations and text chat. Although dancers can get naked if they want to, there is no expectation that clothing should be removed in return for tips. A keen monitor of the club’s statistics, Becky has noted that it’s in fact the dancers who remove less that earn the most. Simply put: “The value of one’s nudity on the stage increases with the scarcity of which it is available.”


The moment people start talking about the cash value of anything to do with sexual exposure (or, indeed, nonexposure) people start wrinkling their noses in distaste. One of the key values of the adult industry, however, is that it has no qualms about exploring whatever it is that people want and are prepared to pay for. In an age where the X-rated film industry is starting to fall apart due to the saturation of the internet with free video content, I actually find it heartening that people are starting to learn (and with their wallets) that less is often more and that intimacy – to use an unashamedly tautological argument – only has value when it has value. Experiencing new forms of intimacy is the key attraction to metaverse sex. For the RL virgin, simply being with someone in SL naked and telling them that they’re masturbating in RL might be an almost overwhelmingly liberating experience. Within the fifty shades of grey (a phrase I in no way use to improve search rankings) where the rest of us reside, there’s the opportunity to learn the many ways that intimacy is so much more than just physical sensation. Yes, we should have worked that out already; many of us, however – in a society that both bombards us with sexual imagery and hides the discussion of intimacy

from mainstream conversation – simply haven’t. Imagine being given permission to express a sexual fantasy to someone for the very first time where real life has previously only conditioned shame to such thoughts. Imagine being able to take those first few steps in the exploration of sexual identity that wasn’t possible without the anonymity and physical distance of the metaverse. Imagine the intensity of listening in voice to every breath your SL lover draws whilst they orgasm because no other information is available to you, because previously the sound of sex got drowned out by everything else. It might be worth pointing out here that the increasingly visible study of ‘mindfulness’ – psychology’s attempt to understand principles of mental wellbeing which date back to Buddhist teachings – encourages exactly this focus on single sensation. As with real life, everything in SL is dependent upon the people you find and mix with. As with real life, SL needs its limits – I support completely the banning of child avatars from adult venues – and requires discussion around the murky areas: no matter how many times I read that ‘rape fantasy’ is harmless between consenting adults, I cannot abandon my belief that it ultimately only reinforces ugly, violent, abusive


desire – exactly the opposite, in fact, to what I’ve been arguing in favour of here. And can all this new experience in intimacy lead to long-lasting, metaverseonly relationships? However romantic an idea this might sound, nothing I’ve seen so far suggests that it can. Discovering new forms of intimacy is not the same as understanding intimacy; in the long run, most of us are still too strongly conditioned to touch and sight and smell to feel sustained satisfaction from the restrictions imposed by the metaverse. But a new generation of young people are growing up for whom internet relationships are far more the norm than they ever were for us: our evolution as beings of thought and mental connection is only in its very first days. But is SL sex an odd, a ridiculous, a shameful thing? It is not. The sooner we can get that notion out of the way, the sooner we can get to the serious business of exploring its implications properly. Huckleberry Hax writes novels set in Second Life®. You can download these for free from www.huckleberryhax. blogspot.com

A


A

Business Feature

Maxwell Graf of Rustica


Writer Vivienne Graves Photographer Neva Crystall

M

axwell Graf of Rustica has been a successful Second Life速 content creator since 2006, and his work is doubtless well-known to many hundreds if not thousands in SL速. We had the good fortune to talk with him about his work in content creation and what drives his creative process.


AVENUE: Rustica has been an established SL brand for quite some time now, and you’ve been a well-known content creator for several years. What inspired you to start creating in SL? Maxwell Graf: Well, I had been playing Guild Wars for about a year, and at the time had been designing on computers since 1983. I kept looking at all the beauty in GW and thinking, “i want to make this stuff. I don’t want to play it.” I was a product designer at the time, doing designs for Home Depot, Target, Lowe’s and places like that, doing prototyping in 3d. When I saw SL it was just...I had to go here. I actually bought a plot of land and registered as a premium account before I ever logged in. I landed on my bit of land and started building straight away. AV: So it was about the creative possibilities and combination of real-time creation and collaborative interaction that drew you to SL, then? The promise of a 3d space that was like Poser, or a basic modelling program, but interactive? MG: Exactly. In my mind, I could finally create a full environment, combining all the traditional media and new technology into one cohesive space. I’d been doing fine arts for years as well...pen and ink, acrylics and oils, porcelain sculpture.

AV: So once you logged in and started working with prims did you find yourself frustrated by the limitations imposed by the medium and the toolset? MG: Well, no more so than any other medium. I didn’t... don’t...really see any type of medium as a means to the end result. It’s never been so much about the product for me as it has been about the process. I am in love with the process of design, how one must go about it all. The tools here....were just something to learn in the process. Same with mesh. It’s really the same with any type of design or art. You have to keep reinventing yourself every few years, keep evolving and changing. AV: So it was more of a challenge to be overcome then, learning to work within the limits and exceed them where possible? MG: Yes. Just part of the process. Learn the new tools. How do I use this paintbrush? I love the challenge, really, though it can be frustrating as hell at times. I have a lot more grey hair now. AV: How did you find your creative process affected by the expansion of the tools available to content creators, first with sculpts, and then more recently mesh? MG: Well, with each change

I find that it’s only further expanded what I am able to do. With mesh, we finally are free of the proprietary limitations of the tools here. People use the term walled garden to describe this, and the tools fit into that moniker as well. Finally we can use what the rest of the world has been using since 1970 or so. You have to evolve with the medium, I think, and change your processes, in order to stay near the edge here. I still use sculpts and prims, though. They don’t go away. AV: Well, that’s somewhat arguable, the toolset available to a hobbyist 3d modeller today is something you needed a Silicon Graphics workstation and deep pockets for in the not TOO-distant past, after all. MG: Yes. Though Blender has been out for years now, it really is, as you say, a changed world both outside and inside here, technology wise. It’s amazing how this has pushed so many people to learn new software, like Photoshop, that have never touched it before SL. AV: Regarding the challenges of intellectual property rights presented by easy importation of meshes; as a content creator do you find the proliferation of ripped content from games and model sites to be a frustration, when you do your own work?


MG: Well, it certainly isn’t something I like to see, though I think it hits the overall market more so than my business individually. It’s not good for SL, but it doesn’t harm me personally. I do really think LL needs to step up the plate on cleaning some of that up, but hey, you know, it’s been that way for years, and I don’t really expect it to change now. It’s just part of the landscape of this. It’s up to the individual copyright owners to follow up on that content when it’s reported. I’m much more concerned with content that’s ripped from another creator here in SL and sold here or given out than I am about seeing Batman avatars from Arkham Asylum. AV: And as a content creator, how do you feel about LL’s relationship with the community and their willingness to listen to suggestions on what direction to take with enhancements? There’s been quite a lot of back and forth over the state of rigged mesh and the need for deformation or morph targets, for instance. MG: I think LL has no relationship with the community anymore, as evidenced most recently by the SLCC failure, and the success of SL9B. It’s shown that the bridge has been burned, though I personally feel this is not really a new thing, just more evident now than ever.

I think LL will do whatever LL wants to do, really, and damn the community torpedoes, as they say. We have no say here, and if we don’t like what they’re doing, the attitude is that we can basically stop paying tier and go play someplace else. Not a good message to send, really, but that’s where we are now here. It is what it is. AV: As long as I can remember there’s been a feeling that LL has been out of touch with the community and somewhat... dismissive of their customers, although at the same time in the past there was more effort at fostering community, with things like Burning Life (also no longer LL-affiliated) and SL Birthday and so on. MG: I’ve been arguing for mesh clothing deformation for over 2 years now. I’m kind of tired of it. I was just over in cloud party last night, and watching the CEO demonstrate the new avatar slider design, and the mesh clothing ACTUALLY DEFORMS perfectly with the body changes. Boom. It’s in there. Why can’t that happen here? AV: There seems to be some contention among some content creators that some of LL’s community-facing developers working with the content creator community on mesh have been at best dismissive and at worst at times openly hostile; do you

think that’s a fair assessment, from your perspective? MG: Well, i would have to agree there, but this again isn’t something new. The dismissive attitude is something that has been ongoing from way back at the beginning of the mesh beta. It was, at times, open, but quickly became “ok, we will take that down and get back to you, someday. Maybe.” There’s a few people, unfortunately, who have or still work there that have major God complexes, and you can catch that attitude in how they relate to the community sometimes, but most definitely in the actions of those people in responding to the people here. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. AV: Have your frustrations with LL had any effect on your interest in or desire to create content for SL, or do you do your best to ignore that? MG: There was a time it did, when I deleted my sim on live TV as a protest to lack of response from them. I ended up spending some time in Blue Mars as a type of art therapy, to get my head together and recall just what it was I wanted and was doing here. It was very good for me; Zen is your hands in the dirt, say the masters. So, i got dirty, and just played there for the joy of it. I came back to SL with a very different attitude and understanding. It’s helped a


lot, and now with mesh I think I’m doing the best work I’ve produced so far. I enjoy it again. I had to let go of the little things. This is about the joy of creating, for me, and I am very fortunate to be able to also incorporate that into a business. AV: You certainly seem to be reinvigorated from your short SL sabbatical, you have a lot of mesh work in progress and done, and you’re doing clothing and accessories as well...are you finding that expanding your work beyond furnishings and builds is presenting new challenges? MG: Oh definitely. I can only make so many couches before I want to try something new. SL has always been about just....oh hey I want to make one of THOSE, and then go at it. Expanding into different markets is a challenge in a way, but I don’t see, again, the process any different. Making a shoe or a purse is the same to me as making a house or a couch or a tree. It just looks different. I look at it like....what is it that makes that shoe what it is, or that house the style it is? What elements make it so? I do a lot of research. AV: So, design from first principles, then? MG: Always. A foundation in traditional art forms sets the path for me to travel in designing anything. If I can’t sketch that shoe, how the hell am I going

to make a model of it? I need to understand its form better. AV: And have you any advice for fledgling content creators seeking to establish themselves in SL? MG: Yes. Learn the basic forms that make up your item, what characteristics make it what it is, as I just stated. But also, concentrate on good texture work, which makes up the majority of any build. You can have a shit model and put good textures on it and it may work; take a good model and put bad textures on it and you can spot that a mile away. Texture makes the thing most often what it is, to people’s eye. That, and also it’s important to have plenty of liquor and meds on hand. I find that helps. Self-medication will often get you through the worst of it. I would only offer one other thing; my mentor, a wonderful designer, often would say, “Keep fucking with it.” When I thought I was done with a painting or something, he would invariably come by and say that. Mess around with it a bit more, and usually you will find it will be better off. When you think you’re done, do some more. AV: The best design work often seems to come from the inspiration of a momentary flash of insight, it seems, just a tiny little flourish or touch added

MG: Yes. I always, at some point, have an image in my head of what I want something to look like. It may not be exact, sometimes only a feeling it has to have. You know it when you hit it. Which goes back to what I was saying, keep messing with it. I will always do a lot of shuffling things around, trying different things while making something. AV: So more sort of a Plato’s cave thing? You have the ideal and try to get the form as close to it as you can manage? MG: Yes, exactly. Sometimes you hit the nail on the head; sometimes you end up seeing something during the process and make it completely different. If you are lucky, it works. AV: And even if you aren’t lucky it’s a learning experience... the only way to learn to do anything properly is through repetition and work and failure; as Samuel Beckett said...”try again, try harder. Fail again; fail better.” MG: I knew an old man who did bonsai...amazing trees. I loved watching him and wanted to do some of my own. When I went to ask him about starting, he said “go dig up or buy some basic shrubs from the greenhouse, and some wire, and start making them. Kill about 20 or 30 of them, and then come back to me and I will teach you how to make them live.”


You have to fail to learn. Make a bunch of ugly shit, horrible. Then you can make better. I cringe when I see the first pieces I’ve done here. I see people getting into building for the first time, and they feel like “oh my things are horrible, I can’t build”. I say, you are building. Make them horrible. Then the next one, make it better. Just don’t put the horrible ones on the marketplace yet. Leonardo said, “it is worst if an artist’s work is below his opinion of it. It is bad if it is only as good as his opinion of it, but it is truly best if the work is above what the artist thinks of it.” I always see ways I can make something better after I finish it. I see the flaws. That one prim out of alignment glares at me from across the sim. AV: The best is the enemy of the good, though; perfection is unattainable even though we strive for it. MG: Indeed. “It is a form of vanity, really, that we strive to replicate the beauty of God’s creation”. - Michelangelo. AV: In closing do you have any future plans for Rustica and your clothing and accessory brands? MG: Well, I will definitely be continuing to work on all of my items here, putting out not just mesh but other items as well. The clothing is on hold a bit until this deformer thing gets settled. I also now have Rustica Island

over in Cloud Party, and am really enjoying the world there. I highly suggest a trip to go check out the new world there, it’s got huge potential. I have no plans to leave SL, but I am expanding over to Cloud Party.

one of them, is a good thing. Perhaps it will push LL to be a bit less....complacent....about changes here, and building that bridge across to the community again. I do have hope for this, still.

AV: I’ve had a look round, it seemed very basic when I looked but that was in the first week. MG: It will take some time, for certain, but it’s already changed in just weeks. Thats part of what I like, seeing the fast pace of changes there, all the new things! In six months i think it will be very different there, much more evolved. I’ve already seen some amazing work by Claudia Jewell there which rivals and exceeds what I have seen here, because of the advanced technology behind the building tools. The pace of change is much more rapid than it was in SL. Or is. I’m pretty impressed, though it does have a way to go yet, of course. Worth a look, in any event. I love SL though, and can’t imagine not being here, no matter what other worlds there are. It’s like...I play Battlefield 3, why should I not also play Warcraft?

AV: We can hope! And thank you very much for your time, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you MG: It’s been a pleasure.

AV: It’ll certainly be interesting to see what the future has in store, and how LL respond, if at all. MG: Well, any competition for this is a good thing. The more people using a virtual world, any

A


A

DJ of the month

W

hat is a DJ? Most would say “a DJ is a professional who selects and plays previouslyrecorded music for an audience”, but those who appreciate more than the excitement of the moment, know that the profession goes far beyond that. A DJ is an artist, weaving a sonic tapestry out of materials at hand to entertain a club full of people... it’s not easy. There are different types of DJs, each with their own playlists, background, and technique. More than just loving music, the DJ should also absorb the essence of the music and use that to build an interesting mix. Heightening emotions through music is a talent of our featured DJ, Antonio Toocool.

DJ is

an artist Writer ShaiLi Alex Photographer Piedra Lubitsch


AVENUE: To begin, can you give us a quick rundown on your history as a DJ? Antonio Toocool: Since I joined Second LifeŽ, in 2007, as soon as I learned how to stream music live, I started djing in clubs like Sands, Club Vega, The FAC. AV: How did you got the idea of becoming a DJ? AT: I wanted to mix the music that I liked, I loved to dance. I was already a DJ in real life and used to do radio live shows also. AV: Where did your inspiration come from? AT: From people, for sure, and graphics (...) bad sims inspire bad mixing sometimes. AV: Is there a specific genre of music you prefer to play? AT: I can tell more easily what I dont like and dont play: drum ‘n bass, dubstep, hard techno, trance, commercial eurodisco, reggae. I love house music mostly. AV: What was your most memorable experience in your career? AT: Ah, in the beginning when I started becoming known, the multiple sim crashes because the region was full of people! I remember one night I crashed Club Vega three times. AV: What do people can expect from your work? AT: Good mixing for sure! And of course good tunes, I always put something old between new tracks, people love it! AV: To what do you attribute


your success? AT: To the support of my friends! AV: For those who still do not know you, where they can find you and sample of your work? AT: I’m not resident in any club lately, The FAC club is my home /club, but I play at Bebu or Deep Connection, and also Poligon. My DJsets are on my mixcloud page: http://www. mixcloud.com/GiorgioW/ AV: How do you feel about your success? AT: I feel satisfied, I’m happy to entertain people, it is the first thing a DJ should do. AV: People generally think that being a DJ is easy; of course, this isn’t true. What is the hardest part of your work and how do you overcome these difficulties? AT: Actually for me it’s hard everytime and still after five years before any DJ set I get anxious. AV: What do you think is essential to a successful DJ? How people can identify a good DJ? AT: Good mixes, good tunes, nothing boring just to show off. AV: And in closing, do you have anything to add? AT: Yes, I would like to thank AVENUE Magazine for this opportunity, and all my friends and clubbers!

A


A

Arts Feature


Art

Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Annough Lykin

T

he best thing about Second Life速 is that one always sees something out of the ordinary, usually when everything is starting to seem the same. Writing for AVENUE, one sometimes receives assignments which pleasantly surprise with the previously undiscovered. Such was my experience when I first stumbled upon Tart Gallery, a venue featuring bold, retroesque pinup and comic style art.

the

Tart Way


Tart Gallery has just celebrated its fifth anniversary in Second Life with a great party that was well attended by its artists and loyal patrons. After the event, we caught up with the curator, ByrneDarkly Cazalet to know more about this kick-ass exhibition space. AVENUE: How did you find Second Life? ByrneDarkly Cazalet: A friend told me about Second Life,and suggested that I explore the possibility of opening a version of my previous gallery in the virtual world. Once I was inworld I met a wonderful mentor who helped me find land to rent and supplied me with my first gallery build. AV: What brought TART to SL? BC: I felt it would be a great opportunity to showcase artists that we had worked with at the real life Tart Gallery and introduce their work to an international audience. AV: From the website, The Pop Tarts consists of two women, are both of you in SL? BC: My art partner Vicki M and I started painting and showing together in Vancouver, British Columbia. We both had an interest in painting femalethemed art influenced by pop culture, so it seemed natural to work together--and when given

the opportunity to use a space that came up, we opened the Tart Gallery, a place we could show in, as well as featuring up and coming local pop artists. As word spread, we had international artists enquiring as well. I’m the computer addict and carried on hosting shows when she stepped down from the gallery scene and started work in the clothing industry. I still curate group shows that are exhibited in various venues and tour the US and Canada. AV: Are the artists shown in your gallery also SL residents, or do you represent them in SL? BC: The Tart Gallery’s modus operandi is to showcase real life pop artists that are not residents of Second Life, but then introduce them to the virtual platform. They are invited to attend the openings under a special artist’s account I have, or they can sign up themselves and create an avatar if they wish. I’ve had the artists Lala Vox, Bethany Marchman, Joshua Petker, Emma Mount, Chris Crites, Mitch O’Connell and Atomos all attend the openings and they’ve really enjoyed themselves. AV: How do you and your group find SL so far? What has SL done for galleries such as yours? BC: I just recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of the gallery, so the Tart Gallery has found a


niche in SL, I’m happy to say. As well as having my main gallery for that long (with the same great landlord, On Art CEO MarmelaGramela Doesburg) I’ve also been fortunate to have had satellite galleries in former sims Pin-Ups, Albero and at Pixel Hill and also another gallery called Populuv that was in Summerland. The indie club & music community in SL has been very supportive, there’s a great crossover between indie music and underground arts.

also hope to lasso lowbrow art luminary Isabel Samaras into a show before the end of the year. AVENUE Magazine will be looking forward to seeing more of what Cazalet can bring to her gallery in the years to come. We wish her the best of luck as she ventures further to share more of the delightful pop art she so loves. Visit Tart Gallery in-world at Bloom County [245.144.23].

AV: There are so many artists working in this style; where in the real world are these artists located? BC: I’m based out of Vancouver BC, so I tend to showcase quite a few local and Canadian artists when I can, but I also show artists from the US, (coast to coast) the UK, Netherlands, France, Italy and more recently Guatemala. I love that virtual worlds can bring more international audiences to discover art from all over the world. AV: Aside from the monthly Kamera Klub sessions in SL, do you have other upcoming events? BC: The next art opening is a solo show by US “Big-Eyed” artist Megan Besmirched in August. She is looking forward to trying out this virtual world and seeing what it is all about! I

A


A

Arts Feature

India Gallery

T

Writer Quan Lavender Photographer William Weaver

he cultural richness and variety found in Second Life® is boundless, in the best sense of the word. The Shekhawati sim is dedicated to Indian arts and culture, but the Art India Gallery hosts exhibitions and contests with artists from all over the world. Some of the best artists in SL®—like nessuno Myoo, Chuckmatrix Clip, and Oberon Onmura, to name just a few—presented their works in ‘virtual India’. This month a new exhibit opened featuring two artists who are very different, yet have one thing in common: an outstanding sense of forms and color.


Fiona Leitner, who in real life hails from Rotterdam in the Netherlands, joined SL in 2009 and creates digital images especially for Second Life. Leitner feels the term “art” has been misused and abused and refers to her work as “eyecandy”. No name would fit it better! She says of her work: “I like to cook up images in an intuitive way, using Photoshop as the oven and effects and plug-ins as my spices. Most ingredients are generated to avoid photography.” Much of her work is characterized by a certain joie de vivre, but her darker and more serious pieces are admired as well. Leitner uses SL as a platform for trying new challenges before attempting them in real life; encouraged by her SL success, she started presenting her work in print. With an increased focus on RL output, she will be releasing and exhibiting less in SL, and this show a rare opportunity to see her works in-world. The second presenting artist, American William Weaver (paperwork Resident), is primarily focused on photography, but this is only a single facet of his talent. Weaver says “I came to SL to better understand how it is used in education. I read an article about SL and had never heard of it before. I thought it was just some chat service and it took me a bit to understand what it was. And then I enjoyed

it!” Weaver enjoys creating still images and videos, as well as building. “Those are the things that keep me here; that and the connections I’ve made with a small group of close friends in SL.” Weaver first used SL to write a small book. He engaged in roleplay, and used those experiences as material, writing one chapter a day. During that time, he started taking some snapshots and his first day he took one of a long road at midnight, which he thought turned out quite well. “I was running on a non-shadows computer, but I noticed the graphics capabilities were strong in SL and I knew I could work here.” After role-playing he went looking for other challenges in SL, saying: “I was getting bored and I was about to leave for good when I found the Blue Moon Theatre. They put on weekly shows that were so creative and seriously laugh-out-loud funny! I had found a goldmine in SL .The friendships and creative energy I found there, encouraged me to stay and continue exploring SL more.” Weaver started taking more pictures, joined the weekly Photohunt event hosted by the Virtual Artists Alliance and became more and more convinced that with good enough hardware he could make some incredibly good images. That


was in July of last year, after he’d been in SL for about 3 months. Between July and December he took thousands of photos and shot his first videos. After a short break from SL in the late autumn of 2011, he came back and found many beautiful and well styled avatars through his Flickr, contacted them and started to do more photoshoots in SL. Weaver: “I met some AWESOME people this way, very talented and from all over the world. With them I shot thousands of pics and lots of videos. I learned more and more about image making and focused on trying to understand what each setting could do and how to use them all together. This can be a very time consuming and tedious task..and one I enjoy!. There are shots in some of my videos that are only 10 seconds long and they took DAYS!! to set up and shoot. The longest I think was about 40 hours of work for a single shot. There is a payoff to all that time though, you learn a great deal. Also, graphically SL is a very accurate simulation of RL camera and light and If you take it seriously, you can get serious results.” AVENUE asked him how he came into fashion: “That is interesting you know, from my experience many of the people who are interested in SL photography are also interested

in fashion. So they were some of the first people I met both inworld and on Flickr. Then after a bit I was contacted by Modavia and we shot a video for MDF, that was the one of the first serious things I did in fashion, and it was a fantastic experience. While I have no background in fashion, I do appreciate female beauty and I really enjoy the work of many fashion focused SL friends on Flickr.” Weaver struggled day by day with the viewer settings: “When I found myself being overloaded with preference settings, windlight settings, camera settings, and debug settings I realized I needed a solution.” Being a layman in programming, he did a bit of research, and then wrote customized photography and video focused menus for the viewer. With the help and encouragement of the Phoenix/ Firestorm team he prepared the tool for Firestorm. This work of many, many hours is now accessible for every user of Firestorm 4. Weaver named it Phototools. The tool does not affect the viewer experience, but simply gathers all the settings most used by a photographer and videographers in one place and streamlines the windlight menus to save screen space and improve usability. You can find a brief demo video here on Weaver’s Flickr stream: and you can download it from Google Code.


This spring, after another brief break from SL, he turned back to working with still images, and was looking for new creative challenges. “I wanted to push SL screenshots into a more photorealistic realm. I wanted realism and I wanted work that would appeal to people who know nothing about SL. So, I started looking for things I could build with prims; RL structures I could make in SL. I knew I needed to have spaces that were custom build for photograhpy. That meant lots of high quality texturing and carefully controlled lighting design.” He loves to rebuild as close as possible to real life, as it helps him enhance his building skills and showcase SL as a brilliant simulation of reality: “It helps me to have a model to follow. From it I can better understand how textures work in SL, how light is crafted and shaped and how architecture conceptually is to be approached.” For all of this creative enjoyment, there is one group of people he cannot thank enough: “I really, really, really, appreciate and respect the work of and the people who work for Linden Lab. They have a great product and I love it! It allows for the creation of so much rich content and it is a terrifically empowering tool for expression. Thank you LL!”

For Weaver’s current exhibition, he selected a variety of still photographs and videos. All of his images in the exhibition, indeed almost all of his work, are unedited screenshots that help to show the boundless visual possibilities in SL, shown as they were shot. Of course, Weaver preferred to create a building for the presentation of his works. He was inspired by a photo in Flickr of a RL building, the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre in Spain (Niemeyer designed this building, as well as the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia). For this build, Weaver used one of the latest visual updates for the viewer: “Linden Lab just implemented a new type of texture effect, developed by Geenz Spad of the Exodus Viewer team. They improved the specular mapping, or what some might call the “shiny effect”. So it was a nice opportunity to play with that. There is a red sphere in one of the rooms surrounded by hundreds of lights and with this improvement to texture shine, it has an incredibly cool looking reflection.” The entire build is composed of regular prims and shows what is possible with SL’s built-in toolset. This technique is coupled with a approach at applying visual meaning to architectural structure. Weaver: “The forms of the structure, in many ways, refer to the work


of Carl Jung, and specifically his interest and research into the relationship between symbols and the unconscious. The most important symbol, or archetype, for Jung was the Mandala - the circle in the square. The circular room flowed from that concept of a centre through a circle that itself is kept in a square, and that pattern - along with others - is repeated in differing scales throughout the build.” Weaver’s builds are finished when he feels balance... the current result is ‘build 010’ . Fiona Leitner’s “Eyecandy” and William Weaver’s “build 010” at Art India Gallery in Shekhawati [194.160.22]. Open until September 28.

A


A

Arts Feature

Letting Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Sophy Meridoc

A

rt is very much a part of Second Life, and artists are its unsung heroes. They work their craft diligently and with passion, often without profit and frequently waiting patiently for recognition. In this virtual world, there are many artists vying for attention. Furthermore, some artists need help with promoting their art and with publicity, not always an easy thing to deal with considering the time commitment required by serious artistic endeavor.


This is where our featured group, Art Screamer, comes in; they provide SL® artists with full sim exhibition spaces to allow them to unleash their creativity. The group consists of residents Chestnut Rau, Amase Lavasseur , and Zachh Cale, who are very much involved in Second Life’s art community, and are widely respected for their opinions and taste. Together they form a group of curators known as Art Screamer, collectively passionate in bringing arts into the forefront.

in, found my first friends at an art gallery and never left. ZC: Heard of SL from an article in a magazine.

AVENUE: What you were all doing before you met and formed your group? Chestnut Rau: Blogger since 2007, events writer for New World Notes from 2009 until 2010. Amase Lavasseur: Art collector since 2008, curator and owner of art sim, Originalia since 2011. Zachh Cale: Art Curator in SL since July 2008, owning galleries, art spaces and full art sims. Also live performing musician.

AV: What’s the decisionmaking process? Do you interview potential artists first, let them present? CR: We talk. A lot! Everyone brings ideas to the group and we discuss the pros and cons of various approaches. We tend to agree on most things so there is really no conflict between us during the decision making process. We talk about artists who are interesting to us and then we visit work they have in Second Life now. Then one of us would talk to the artist about their vision for a full sim build. If it seems like we have a match the artist has about 3 months to build. During this time we would blog about the work and try to generate excitement before the Grand Opening. ZC: We individually or collectively track artists that intrigue us, watch their development and artistic

AV: How did you three find SL? CR: In 2007 my hipster cousin was making fun of Second Life and showed it to me. I tried it, found the music scene, made some friends and never left. AL: I was researching nonprofit resources, and Second Life’s Nonprofit Commons was highly recommended. I logged

AV: How long ago did you form your group? Art Screamer: About a year ago. AV: Who was the first artist the group sponsored? AS: Glyph Graves exhibited on Art Screamer in August 2011.


direction. After much discussion in our group, sometimes we get a strong feeling about an artist, a sixth sense about their talent, personality and work style--that they would be a great fit for Art Screamer, and that the time is right to approach them. AV: Do you get approached by artists a lot or do you approach them and you make a proposal? CR: I have only been approached by an artist once and what they wanted to do met their needs but really was not at all what we do on Art Screamer so that didn’t work out. I spend a lot of time scouting art exhibits to try and identify up and coming artist who are interested in doing a full sim build. Honestly it is hard for me to find artists and I would love it if more approached us. AL: An artist is far more likely to approach Chestnut or Zachh than me, because their names are more recognized in SL circles than mine. It is difficult to find artists, and like Ches, I would love it if more approached us. We have been seeking emerging SL artists (or established ones with a particularly compelling concept). ZC: Personally I prefer approaching artists rather than having artists approach us it s harder to get a feeling for who an artist really is, when they’re pitching themselves to us. And approaching an artist is not a formal process with a

scheduled interview it could be, but it s usually not. It’s more like a fluid ongoing conversation that continues until a mutual decision is made to pursue a project together. One of things we discuss are the advantages for artists working at Art Screamer: a sim that closes down for the duration of the build process (so the artist has as much privacy as s/he wants); no neighboring sims to distract from artist s complete vision, no neighboring sim lag impact, a full PR preparation process that starts from the first day, curatorial support to help frame artistic vision for the public’s eye, and flexible administration to help deal with unexpected schedule changes, and sim funding issues. AV: What is your vision, both individually and collectively as Art Screamer? AS: Art Screamer provides artists the freedom to build on a full sim. We give people time and creative license to create work that achieves their artistic vision. Art Screamer provides experienced supportive curators and marketing services to help artists focus on the creative aspects of their work rather than the business of self promotion. The Art Screamer sim is frequently listed in the Destination Guide as an Editor’s Pick so our traffic ensure the art is seen by lots of people,


including many who are new to Second Life. CR: For me personally, I’m interested in working with emerging artists who may not have made a name for themselves just yet. I know Art Screamer can help a new artist’s career take off and to be able to help with that process is my dream. AL: My vision of Art Screamer has always been to make art accessible and welcoming to all residents. It is important to me that Art Screamer give artists the prims and privacy to experiment and build their vision, but to also give the general SL community something of interest and worthy of visiting. The art community benefits from this and our general community benefits from the exposure to SL art. ZC: We currently consider ourselves a boutique virtual art space, since we focus on one artist or group of artists at a time, and give a lot of support to resident artist, if they accept it. We have great curatorial abilities, PR and administration from the start of a build, to opening, and ongoing support through the public lifetime of the exhibit. We may branch out to other sims, or even other virtual worlds, but we also take financials into consideration. Our current artist claudia222 Jewell has been extremely generous in donating all exhibit tips to us to help pay for tier. We still operate

at a loss, but it’s our passion, and we are extremely grateful to Claudia’s exceptional talent and generosity. In the future we will continue to do our best, to keep our doors open, and to support artists in realizing their visions, and sharing their art with the public. AV: And do you have a schedule of upcoming exhibits? AS: We are in the process of negotiating with a new artist but are not in a position to provide details. The sad fact is some time soon the amazing installation currently on Art Screamer spirit by claudia222 Jewell will be closing. Everyone should visit and take in the mesmerizing, soulful experience before it vanishes from the grid. Visit Art Screamer on the web, in world at Art Screamer [21/66/20] and on Flickr®.

A


www.avenuesl.com | AVENUE at GOL 45.153.22

AVENUE Magazine August 2012  

August is upon us, and as summer wanes, AVENUE Magazine is gearing up for the fall fashion season, featuring upcoming trends and more. In th...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you