AVENUE ultimate style magazine issue 53 / February 2013
Photographer Marcopol Oh Stylist Winter Jefferson Outfit Diram
ebruary...is the month where we celebrate the most innate desire in all of us...and that is love. One of the most elusive intangibles that can move us to make the greatest sacrifices and overtures in life and yet it is the slightest inflections of this emotion that touches us the most. In celebration of passion, we dedicate this issue to capturing these experiences and shades of emotions that color our lives. Our cover story featured TenderLove hud, a product that continues to create romantic and sensual experiences since 2008. We discover why its popularity continues to enhance many residents’ most intimate moments. While our stylists portray intimacy and passion through colors, styles and even interpretations through love songs, our lifestyle feature story will help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with unique and out of the box venues for that special and memorable celebration this year. We hope you will enjoy this issue as AVENUE continues to uncover fashion, lifestyle and the arts as a labour of love every month. We wish you all the love and passion to charge your February with special moments and memories. Je T’aime!
Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher
20 Cover Story
Fashion 20 34 54 66 78 90 108 120 134 146
Cover Story TenderLove Couture Clash Rouge Featured Designer MichaMi Trendspotting Amour Doux Fashion Forward A night to remember The Details Gravity Special Editorial Spread A Simple Love Homme Local Affinity Blogspot Linda Reddevil AVENUE Models Video Romance
Lifestyle 162 186 200 214
Feature Date Night Interesting Sims Kingâ€™s Landing Interiors Zigana Perspectives The Evolution of Identity
Arts 226 236 250
Arts Feature The bright lights of RENT Featured Artist Seraph Kegal Arts Feature Danger in Evolution
Magazine cover Featuring TenderLove Photographer Eve Kazan
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 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, Carter Giacobini, Flora Nordenskiold, Huckleberry Hax, Imani Enzo, Isadora Fiddlesticks, Lexie Jansma, Louise Roundel, Quan Lavender, ShaiLi Alex, Prisilla Avro, Spruce Canning, Ziki Questi 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, Tillie Ariantho Contributors Bootney Blessed, Bryn Oh, William Weaver
Love Me Tender Writer Umberto Giano Photographer Eve Kazan
alentine’s Day brings out the romance in most of us. It’s the day of the year to demonstrate your affection by finding that perfect romantic gift for someone special. But let’s be honest – romance doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you’re one of those poor souls frantically searching the marketplace for something unique to ignite (or re–ignite) that passionate spark with your partner, relax. It’s time to eschew tacky poseballs and sex beds. We suggest a better solution: the TenderLove HUD.
Conceived, created, and developed by Menwar Skytower and Kizmet Kidd, the TenderLove HUD system was first introduced to Second Life® in November, 2008, at a shop at Junkyard Blues. Soon after, the HUD debuted on SL Marketplace, becoming somewhat of a phenomenon, peaking at #1 in the sales ranking. It has consistently maintained a healthy position ever since, with high approval in customer comments and a stellar rating. Why is the TenderLove HUD so popular with SL® residents? Consider the typical sex animations in our virtual world. If we’re being honest, most of them are awkward, and many are downright laughable. It’s hard to lose yourself in the moment when your avatar’s movements are jerky and unnatural, or one arm is sticking through the headboard, your bodies unmatched and out of sync. And they rarely mirror genuine, intimate lovemaking. Sadly, sex in SL is too often a mechanical, soulless experience that veers more often than not into the realm of pornographic brutality. In contrast, TenderLove provides virtual lovers with the most incredibly smooth and genuine animations ever offered in a HUD. Menwar says, “The goal was to allow the dream of the sexual encounter to proceed without being interrupted by the technology – to allow two persons to share an experience without what I call the ‘herky–jerkies’ –
those ugly, violent transitions of typical canned sex animations in most SL products.” This is one of the key areas which separate TenderLove from its competitors. The quality of the animations is extraordinary. Movement is fluid and natural. A series of menu choices offer a wide array of over 100 animations, including kisses, hugs, backrubs, cuddles, facial expressions, foreplay, and multi– positional intercourse. The HUD is designed to begin with standing poses, then move down to cuddles and massage and reclined positions, then to foreplay, and on to intercourse, mirroring real life lovemaking. Each transition has been carefully designed to feel as human and lifelike as possible, flowing from one to the next with such attention to detail that the realism is at times astounding. The simplest movements, for example, from a reclining embrace to more erotic touching, have been thought out and meticulously animated.
But it’s not just the slow, sensuous realism that elevates TenderLove above the rest. The HUD can be accessed and controlled by both partners simultaneously. That’s right – both partners participate simultaneously. The two–user system means each partner can initiate and respond instinctively to each animation. You can hug or kiss your partner at any time while making love, change your facial expression, quicken the pace or slow it down as the mood takes you. This natural, passionate interaction creates an intimate experience that can sweep you away with the sensation that you are truly making love in your Second Life. “I want people to feel a shared control without having to ask permission … to experience a genuine, tender lovemaking experience where they both control the progression of the experience together spontaneously and take it in multiple directions, depending on their mood,” Menwar explains. “I want the couple to experience the other person, moving to do something different, to watch it unfold before their eyes, and that they can change the direction as one would in real life. I want people to feel the subtlety of slight variations, the touching and sharing of a genuine sexual encounter.” Another welcome characteristic of the TenderLove HUD is ease of use. It’s simple to adjust the poses to suit the relative heights of each
partner. Moreover, all adjustments can easily be stored for future use without having to deal with note cards. Another outstanding feature? You can use the HUD anywhere you can rez, providing near limitless opportunities to enjoy TenderLove. Kizmet notes, “One can use whatever bed they want. There is no limitation to the style or design of furniture. Flexibility and personalization are key to TenderLove being successful.” Another welcome characteristic of the TenderLove HUD is ease of use. It’s simple to adjust the poses to suit the relative heights of each partner. Moreover, all adjustments can easily be stored for future use without having to deal with note cards. Another outstanding feature? You can use the HUD anywhere you can rez, providing near limitless opportunities to enjoy TenderLove. Kizmet notes, “One can use whatever bed they want. There is no limitation to the style or design of furniture. Flexibility and personalization are key to TenderLove being successful.” Not content to rest on their laurels, Menwar and Kizmet continually work to add additional features and versatility to the HUD. When Restrained Love protocols are activated, TenderLove now provides the option for couples to undress each other, literally removing each other’s clothing during foreplay. Another charming extra, the rezzable blanket can be spread
out for play or wrapped around an exhausted couple. The system is has copy permissions, so you can rez copies wherever the urge strikes you – the bed, the sofa, the garden, beach, kitchen floor – and leave them there for future spontaneity. Kizmet mentions, “Another exciting element added to the most current version is the ability to add your own animations. There are detailed directions on how to do this.” She cautions, “Unfortunately, they will not behave as the TenderLove ones do,” but it’s perfect for those wanting to customize their experience. Menwar and Kizmet collaborate like true partners to keep this remarkable product fresh and customer friendly. Menwar takes care of the animations, while Kizmet is in charge of sales, marketing, and the customer experience. “I do my best to answer any questions, work with customers until they understand how it is used, and solve problems to the customer’s satisfaction. Trite but true, I do my best to treat customers the way I would like to be treated.” She adds, “One of the things I am most proud of are the customer recommendations made to friends. So many times I have been told that someone highly recommended they buy it or they had to have their own after using TenderLove.” Menwar sums it up. “I believe this is a unique product in SL – unlike any other. It started slowly as an experiment and evolved to
include many unique features. I am proud of the technical details that allow the users to not have to fuss with or be distracted by the technical details. I am proud of the animations, the quality, the ability to quickly adjust them, to save the adjustments automatically without distraction. I am proud of the whole product and the way that it can be used to allow the ultimate sharing of the sexual experience for an SL couple.” Thanks to the talents of Menwar and Kizmet, the TenderLove HUD can make your Valentine’s Day a celebration of intimacy and passion. Enjoy. Find the TenderLove HUD on the SL Marketplace and in-world at Banquo [78.202.21]
Rouge Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Anna Sapphire
assion, fire, desire, lust. It is easy to associate any of these words with the colour red, however, is it a colour you can make work to your benefit? Surely it is a trend for this season which is still ever so present, but beware that red, no matter what tone it might be in, is never out. Not only does it make us think of particular days of particular months, wink wink, but to us, fashionistas, it is also a colour that reflects intensity, power, strength, courage.
Hat: Pimpin by Drift, suit: Kylie by Diram.
Kimono: Benitsuru by Bare Rose, headpiece: Greta by Solidea Folies, gloves: Rilla by Miamai.
Dress: Pula Pod by Casa del Shai, hat: Bloody Lips by Bliss Couture, hair: Invader by Epoque.
Being bold is often associated with the use of the colour red. Any woman who can rock a red outfit is a woman who can certainly get the attention of a fully crowded room. Think of the song “Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh or even the film “Woman in Red” from 1984. Although you might think of any of those as a cheesy references from the past, I will remind you that still, to this day, any woman wearing red will have all eyes on her. It is just a matter of knowing where that red should go and how you wear it. This is what we’re here for. These are our suggestions for your moments of courage and passion. Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
Helmet: Capriccio di Signora by Violator, neckpiece: Rita by Solidea Folies.
Lips & nails The ever so present 1-2-3 of beauty. Red lipstick and red nail polish. The reasons why are very simple, they are alluring, they draw attention, they can most certainly enhance beautifully shaped lips and give an extra dash of femininity to our delicate hands. This season the reds went a bit further in terms of shade, you probably saw a lot of different tones but all from cherry to blood red. The reason is simple. The orange-y undertones were avoided in Winter as they are usually more associated with Spring. A sexy red lipstick paired up with a matching nail polish is guaranteed to get many doors opened for you. The gentlemen will agree, I am certain
Hair: Priyanka by Catwa, eyeliner: Velvet by Ricielli.
Hair: Dafnya by Miamai, coat: Cadet Couture by Gizza, belt: Relentless by House of Fox, gloves: Leather by Shi.
Corsets I know, understatement. “Corsets are already sexy”, well that they are, and I am certain each and every one of you owns one in black. However, are you brave enough to rock a red one? Lingerie or not, a red corset can be worn in the bedroom or out at some flamboyant party paired up with a nice black trouser. Pick your poison, but make sure that you keep it red hot. Lace yourselves up ladies, the time has come to draw attention to those tiny waits, curvy hips and the delicate cleavage. Tied up much? Tight enough please.
The heels Undoubtedly the one closet essential no woman can miss. Even if you are dressed in a full single colour block, if you pop on your best super high red pumps you will not go unnoticed. This is all about breaking the rules, being different and unique. In a world where everyone wears the boring blacks, express yourself with a pair of luscious red heels to make a statement: “I’ve arrived”. Dress, pants, shorts, anything you want, just make sure your feet are comfortably wrapped in at least 5 inches of red luxury.
The little dress The little dress made a huge comeback this season, so why not get one in the ultimate statement colour? Yes ladies, a plain bright or dark red dress will surely brighten up your closet and your life! If you do not feel comfortable enough wearing it like that then, go for the accessories, pair it up with a thick black waist-belt or a delicate gold skinny one. All a matter of feeling your vibe and taste, just donâ€™t neglect the redness, let that fiery creature inside you come out. Remember the film ladies! But be careful, remember your styling ABCs and do not overdo it or you might easily slip from lovely red dress into bloody red mess.
Dress: Greta by Solidea Folies, earrings: Adria by Morantique, hair: Femme Fatale by Paper Couture.
Couture I could list a dozen of fashion designers who created amazing red dresses for this season but I will let you use your imagination as to which your favourite might be. I am certain you have seen them on the runways around the world, with special focus on Paris, but this time the redness made quite an impact. From McQueen to Valentino, the fashion community was blown away by the impressive and expressive use of this colour, and how it still has the power to shock and amaze each and every single one of us. And to think it’s been done so many times nobody could re-invent a use for it. Dead wrong! Red is the colour of experimentation, of fearless people, of passion, so I would say, in this department... experiment! It is the only way for you to know which kind of red works for you, let yourself be free and find the red that best suits you. From head to toe it might be a no-no, but in all the right places, red my be a “yeeeeees”. Keep it fun and stylish!
Veils: Reby by Gasqhe, top: Anjelica by Bliss Couture.
of a Kind Writer Xi Zane Photographer Annough Lykin
ot many designers in the Second Life® fashion industry have the time and ability to create their own templates or master 3D tools; one could probably count the number of well-known designers who’ve mastered the skill on both hands – without using all of one’s fingers. Milla Michinaga, owner of MichaMi, would be one of them.
Michinaga was first introduced to Second Life® by a report on a major American news network. Pure curiosity led her to log in for the first time six years ago. “I had never played any video games or even spent any time online chatting before coming to SL®,” Michinaga recounted. “The idea of a virtual world and the potential it offered just blew my mind.” With the option to be anyone and do anything at her fingertips, Michinaga found herself drawn toward blogging looks of the day and playing up the role of a social butterfly. Soon fashion blogging wasn’t enough and Michinaga made the transition into designing. It’s hard to imagine, with standard sized mesh clothing and mesh breasts, what it must have been like to create clothing four to five years ago, when system texture layers and sculpts were the only options for conveying one’s creativity. It would seem that Michinaga’s first works would be a bit dated by now. “Fashions and trends change so fast and the technology (sculpts to mesh) gets better and better, leaving older items looking sad and ugly.” Still, back in 2008 and even now, Michinaga is fond of her first design, a simple racer back tank. Michinaga didn’t release her racer back tank until a year after she decided to open MichaMi. The entire process was a labor of love and education. Michinaga decided against using pre-made templates, opting instead to learn how to create her own. Even now, with
the added challenge of sculpted pieces and mesh attachments, she still insists on creating her own templates and 3D models. The use of unique and exclusive meshes is refreshing for consumers, especially as it seems that the marketplace is saturated with dozens of different interpretations of the same fullpermission templates. However welcome this may be for the customer, it’s no doubt difficult for the designer. It puts pressure on the designer to come up with new and interesting work from scratch. Michinaga is up for the challenge. “For me, one of the absolute pleasures is the very process of creating. I would find using templates incredibly limiting,” Michinaga confided. “The process of learning to use 3D tools is demanding and very difficult but also so very rewarding.” To be as successful as Michinaga, it’s not enough to just create new mesh. It’s necessary to create new mesh that appeals to many demographics. Michinaga admits that she partly creates pieces that she herself would love to wear, however she has her buyers in mind. She describes her clients as “confident and adventurous in her choices” with a slant toward chic. The new Lana Brocade Cocktail dress is definitely unique mesh for the chic woman. “With the Lana I wanted to push my mesh modeling skills by adding a lot of detail so I sculpted those hip wings,” Michinaga describes her process. The hip detail paired with
the intricate brocade detail makes for an audacious fashion-forward addition to any wardrobe. Though Michinaga has found success due to her unique mesh, attention to detail, and clear idea of what her customers want, she’s also well aware that she has a bit of a leg up as far as technology is concerned because she’s designing for so long. “I have been teaching myself now for several years so it’s been a gradual process for me.” Michinaga confesses. “If I were to come into SL today, I doubt I would start that journey now, it seems so much steeper today.” Put enough passion and time into something, like Michinaga did into MichaMi, and that slope becomes much easier to climb. Visit MichaMi in-world at LoLo [41.145.24].
Amour Doux by Diconay Boa
Ring: Lost Crystal Ring by LaGyo.
Hair: Serene Hair by Bliss Couture Hair, dress: Muse by Solidea Folies, ring: Cube ring by LaGyo, shoes: Iceli Full Spiked Stiletto by NX-Nardcotix.
Hair: Calypso Hair by Bliss Couture Hair, corset: Leah Dress by Les Petits Details, leggings: Mesh Leggins by Maitreya, earrings: Plumes earrings by LaGyo, ring: Cube ring gold by LaGyo.
Hair: Stubborn by Magika, eyelashes: Eyelashes 29 Vampire by Redgrave, dress: Shinobu by Azul, lipstick: MakeUp Xmas by Les Petits Details, earrings: Plume Earring by LaGyo, necklace: 3 pearls Princess Dress by Les Petits Details.
A night to remember... by Leah McCullough
Gown: Linnda Gown by Gizza, sleeves: ImonJacket by House of Fox, necklace: Haute Monde Privata by JCNY, hair: Nyx by Truth, ring: Flowers for Madeline by Dhalinks.
Knicker: High-waist knicker by Epoque, boots: Jenny by Ricielli, socks: Nylon socks by Gizza, top: Shimmer tee by Ladies Who Lunch, gloves: Nif Nif by Leezu, hair: Yesterday by Magika, necklace: Anukaa beads + ethiopian cross by Maxi Gossamer.
Bra: Lacey by Blacklace, jumpsuit: Papi by Ricielli, earrings: Flat disc by Osakki, hair: Jasmine by LeLutka.
Top: A Symmetric top by House of Fox, boots: Knee platform by Baiastice, hair: Effect by LeLutka, knicker: High waist knicker by Epoque, tights: Sheer tights by Vive9.
gravity falling from cloud nine by Absinthe (sinontherocks) Guest Model Jax Aster
Hair: Diana by Naomie Dirval, necklace: Yoke joke by Hate mme and eat me, makeup: Beautiful mess running mascara by Pink Acid, hat: The heart black by Baoba.
On Her: Hair: Swish by Lelutka, hair band: Headband by Shi, shirt: Ana slouchy satin tank by Teefy, earrings: Chunky earrings by Auxiliary, bracelet 1: Bangles damasc by Maxi Gossimer, bracelet 2: Dara bracelet by Celoe, necklace: Carmi necklace by Celoe, pants: Leather leggings by Maitreya, bag: Claudia hand bag by Baiastice, shoes: Pilar boots by Cliche, pose: Desperation by Pose Sinfully.
On Him: Jacket: Postman by Pumpkin, pants: Sâ€™Wear mesh jeans by LaPointe & Bastchild, shoes: social by CheerNo, hands: Mesh Hands by CheerNo.
On her: Hair: Jaela by Exile, earring: Elena2 by Mons and Bens Beauty, shoe: Amae sandals by Celoe, breast: Tango mesh breasts by Lolas, pose: Del May. On him: Pants: Sâ€™Wear mesh jeans by LaPointe & Bastchild, bracelet: Okaki by Mandala, hands: Mesh Hands by CheerNo.
Bag 1: Cats in the bag by Remarkable Oblivion, bag #2: Amanda clutch by Overhigh, bag #3: Totem bag by Belgravia, bracelet: Cindy by Overhigh, watch: Boyfriend by Glow studio, bracelet: Bold ankle cuffs by Boom.
On her: Hair: Brianna by Truth, earring: Studded gold circles by Paper Couture, bracelets: Ramya wood bangles by Zaara, jacket: Black sheep by Tulip, dress: Daryl dress by Kunglers, gloves: Velvet long gloves by Baiastrice, pose: Stay by Pose Sinfully. On him: Jacket: Leather by Pumpkin, pants: Executive Chinos by Ispachi, shoes: Terra by Kalnins, bag: Breakable by Tulip.
Hair: Blond 7 by Unbra, hat: Branch head piece by Glam Affair, necklace & earring: Pastel coctail by Glow Studio, bag #1: Hearty white by Just Designs, bag #2: Feather clutch by Handverk, Pose: Del May
Special Editorial Spread
A Simple Love Stylists Kallisto Destiny and Hikaru Enimo
Kallisto Destiny Dress: Snow dress by Les Petits Details, shoes: Gold Liaison by Maitreya, hands: Mesh Hands by Slink, hair: Alice by LeLutka, skin: Lana by Glance skins. Hikaru Enimo Hair: Juan by Entente, ears: Stretched ears-Omimi by Mandala , hands: Hands M#8 by CheerNo, jacket: Finn by stripâ€™d, shirt: Loose tie by Iruco, vest: Vest by Iruco, pants: Casual Pants by GizzA, shoes: Brogue by Kauna.
Kallisto Destiny Skin: Lana by Glance Skins, lips: Lana Glossy Lip 09 by Glance Skins, hair: Boys&Girls 40 by Dura, hands: Mesh Hands by Slink, vest: Fawkes Fur Vest by Pink Outfitters, bracelet: Polly by Mandala, shoes: Gold Liaison by Maitreya, top: Cole Boatneck by W&B, pants: Apartment Pants by Drift. Hikaru Enimo Hair: Quay by taketomi, hands: Hands M#8 by CheerNo, ears: Stretched ears-Omimi by Mandala, shirt: Loose tie by Iruco, jacket: Casual Blazer M4 by kal rau, belt: Kookai belt by Mandala, pants: Henninger Jeans by Ladies who lunch, shoes: Leopold Boots by Ispachi Footwear.
Kallisto Destiny Skin: Lana by Glance Skins, lips: Lana Glossy Lip 04 by Glance Skins, eyeshadow: Lana Eyeshadow 07 by Glance Skins, hair: Kalli by D!va, nightgown: Morning After by GizzA, feet: Barefeet Mesh by Slink, hands: Mesh Hands by Slink. Hikaru Enimo Hair: Varsity Hair by Coma, ears: Stretched ears-Omimi by Mandala, watch: Sitennoah by Mandala, hands: Hands M#8 by CheerNo, pants: Boyfriend Pants by Drift, feet: Men Natural Barefeet by Slink.
Local Affinity by Jax Aster
Shirt: Hei by FATEwear.
Jacket: Stroke by Kokane, pants: Au Fait by Entente, shoes: Ray Ray by Hoorenbeek, necklace: Onigiri by Mandala.
Shirt: Turtleneck Sweater by Redgrave, pants: Executive Chinos by Ispachi, shoes: Ashford Brogues by FIR&MNA.
Shirt: Irwin Opened by FATEwear, tank: BT Tank by Aoharu, pants: Sâ€™Wear Mesh Jeans by LaPointe & Bastchild, bracelet: Okaki by Mandala, shoes: Walker by Redgrave.
Shirt: Casual Shirt by Kal Rau, pants: Mesh Pants by Hoorenbeek, shoes: Dockers by Hoorenbeek, watch: Hokusai by Mandala.
Passion by Linda Reddevil - http://lindareddevil.com/
Hair: Natalia by LaViere, sweater: Cameron Turtleneck by Belgravia, vest: Fawkes Fur Vest by Pink Outfitters, skirt: Emily Mini Flare Skirt by Tee*fy, shoes: Saffron Pumps by LeLutka, knee socks: Sheer socks by M, hat: Starla Beret by LaGyo, purse: Palette Purse and Paintbrush by HANDverk. 135
Hat: GothCap by House of Fox, top: Cropped Sweater & Shirt by COCO, jacket: Parka Coat by Chemistry, pants: Carrie Striped Leggings by Emery, earrings: Osenbei earrings by Mandala, boots: Holy Hooker Winter Boots by UrbanLutz Haus.
Hair: Stay the Night by Exile, lingerie: Neva Attire by Diram, necklace: Nizam by Zaara, garter belt: Leather Garter by House of Fox, watch: Samara watch by Donna Flora, rose: Long Stem Rose by Illusions.
Collar: Violin Collar by LaGyo, slippers: Paloma Point Ballet Slippers by Slink, hair: Limbo Wet Look Hair by Tutyâ€™s, jumpsuit: Mesh Jumpsuit in Michonne Jalpur by Emery, gloves: Fine Gloves by The Secret Store, earrings: Pink MusicNote Earrings by Affinity.
videoRomance Photographer Absinthe (sinontherocks)
YeriakTH Couturier “La Passion” by Sara Brightman and Fernando Lima Skin: Amberly by Glam Affair, skirt: Viola gown kiss red by Ladies who lunch, top: NEVA Attire by Diram, make-up: Sky Gold by White Widow, necklace: Polly necklace rose by Mandala, feathers: La belle feathers fan by Countdown, hat: Flamenco hat by BaOba, hair: The cotton club by Vanity
Vixie Rayna “What you waiting for” by Gwen Stefani Bow: Bowtastic hairbow by PIDIDDLE, headband: ALICE bow by LeLutka, hair: Loire by Tableau Vivant, skin: Amberly by Glam Affair, necklace1: ALICE by LeLutka, Necklace2: Pearl Necklaces by Max Gossamer, jacket: bolero by R2 ADE, shirt: Lollia Tank Top by mon tissu, bag: Mini Cross body Bag by Tee*fy, ring: Anastasia ring by Donna Flora, shorts: culotte shorts by R2 ADE, skirt: Angel Gown by Ladies who lunch, tights: wool tights by DeeTaleZ
Jarl Soderstrom “All beauty destroyed” by Aesthetic Perfection Hair: Orion Mesh Hair by Wasabi Pills, mask: Crow mask by Belial Japan Development, make up: La Vita PURE by CheerNo, necklace: Back-to-nature by Finesmith, cape: Night Magic by Designing Nicky Ree, jacket: Minos jacket by Tableau Vivant, pants: Chaos leather by The Abyss, boots: Latex by The Abyss.
Seashell Dench â€œAs the world Falls down: by David Bowie Hair: Lou by Zibska, headpiece: Winter antlers by Vitabela Dubrovna, top and skirt: Yelena Slip by Ladies who lunch, collar and sleeves: Sweet Skeleton white by Bare Rose, Mask: White Crow mask by Bare Rose.
Tadeu Gartner “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga Hairbase: Pale by unBra, hat: Widow’s Lace hat by Ladies who Lunch, eye patch: Naga Raja eye-patch by WTG, blindfold: Stella Cometa silver diamond by Solidea FoliEs, earring: Naga Raja earpierce by WTG, coat: Bad Romance Coat by Faint LL, shorts: High-waist shorts by Epoque, platform: Pretender Platform boot by Ladies who Lunch
Winter Jefferson “Fuck you!” by Ceelo Green Skin - Marilyn by Tableau Vivant, glasses: Mad Nerd Glasses by Mad Mesh, ears: Stretched Mesh Ears by Aitui, teeth: Open Mouth by PXL, suit: 2 Piece Suit and Polka Dots Bowtie by Kauna, scarf: Stole by Sey, ring: The Lion King by Mon, watch: Lancelot by Chronokit, shoes: Otis by Miamai.
Date Night exploring second life And each other Writers Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Ziki Questi
ebruary is the month for romance and AVENUE has ten unique and untraditional spots for you and your love to rendezvous. Dating is all about exploration, not just of the world around you, but of each other. You can learn so much about your date while doing something new to both of you. The unknown and the new can elicit the best and worst in us, and these dates are your ticket to the unknown.
oes she have a taste for the macabre? Will you be able to take her to scary movies or are you doomed to chick flicks forever? Take her to Carneval from MadPea Games, and play the many interactive games and adventures together. Be sure you turn on voice to catch her gasps and screams as you encounter the creepier denizens of Carneval. From bumper cars on lava roads to frightening accidents and the best roller coaster ride in Second LifeÂŽ, you will find it all, but be careful that the haunts of Carneval donâ€™t find you first. 164
s he easily distracted and led astray? Cerridwenâ€™s Cauldron is rife with temptation and misdirection. Ask him to go with you for a dragon boat ride but let the journey be the experience. By the time you find the ride, the two of you will have been tempted by dozens of distractions from fantasy plants, aquariums, cathedrals, palaces and fantasy environments. Allow yourselves to be led astray by the tempting trails and stairways, but keep that goal in mind. The dragon boat ride is worth searching for. Winding its way through the fantastical fauna of Cerridwenâ€™s imagination, you will feel a frisson of disappointment when the journey comes to an end. But never fear, you can hop another ride. 167
Does your lover love to love you, baby? Will she indulge your fantasies? The Chamber is a members-only hotel and erotic social club where you can explore whether you have compatible freak numbers in a beautiful vintage hotel where everyoneâ€™s limits are respected. If lounging and dancing are all you want, there is no pressure to pass your personal boundaries. Reminiscent of the Boardwalk Empireâ€™s Jazz Age combination of luxury and seediness, The Chamber is a place to dress up, get down and act out your fantasies. There are occasional dance parties on the boardwalk for non-members can give you a taste to see if you want more. This is not your newbie sex club, but one where manners, taste and mutual respect are enforced. 168
s he patient and imaginative? Quests always require a combination of patience, good humor and determination to have fun while working to complete the quest. At the Garden you will have to search for clues to the sin and punishment of the seven Guardians. Wandering The Garden collecting the 14 clues for each Guardian may take some time, but the setting is extraordinarily lush and beautiful. Since you can rez and run scripts you can also use a couples animator such as Rendezvous to hold hands as you explore together. 171
oes his conversation sparkle? The Library is a brand new social club with erotic potentialities, but the emphasis is on social gatherings and conversation. To help stimulate conversation there is a question bowl filled with queries designed to spark conversation with you and the other Library guests. If you want to fill out his letters in BDSM or see if he has any, thereâ€™s a basement for further exploration. Be sure to dress well as this is a social club that demands you put in an effort to look your best. 172
the Arts Sims
s she a modernist, a traditionalist, or a surrealist? You can discover so much about your date by seeing her response to art that tickles her fancy or confounds her expectations. The Linden Endowment for the Arts includes 28 sims of art installations in varying stages of progress. Try opening the map and entering LEA and then teleporting to random LEA sims to explore the art. You will find many magnificent and creative sims that can provoke delight, confusion and sorrow. Think of it as a journey of discovery, not just of art, but of emotion. 175
Love Potion 9.9 Hunt
s he a good collaborator? You can test your compatibility and have a lot of fun at MadPea Games monthly hunt. With unequaled ambition and creativity, they bring a new game to Second Life every month. For February, the hunt is called Love Potion 9.9 and involves visiting locations dedicated to 15 celebrated lovers and find the elements that symbolize their love in order to create your potion. What could be more romantic? If you complete the hunt, you will even have a bit of love potion and every relationship can use some of that. 176
oes she like the outdoors and simple pleasures? Noweeta Grasslands offers a uniquely beautiful exploration of the natural environment. With a balloon ride floating through the clouds, you can look out over the grasslands and enjoy the beauty of nature and your date. There is dancing and places to sit and chat together. This is a place for quiet enjoyment and getting to know each other better. 179
s he a mansplainer? Thereâ€™s nothing like a semi-technical, semi-scientific adventure to bring out the mansplainer in the best of men. Why not take him for a test drive by learning to scuba-dive and learning more about the ocean flora and fauna at subOceana with more than 30 connected ocean sims brimming with life and adventure. With such a vast area to explore, you will have time and space to get to know each other and learning more about the natural world is just a bonus. 180
s he a prince among men? Perhaps dressing up in period costume and heading to Versailles in Second Life can reveal his princely qualities. Versailles is an amazing build that recreates that most famous of palaces. It is also part of a courtly role play society that socializes and lives across several sims recreating the life of 18th century France. There are free period gowns and skins at the starting point so you can fit in without spending a lot, though shopping for costumes can be half the fun. Why not fully engage in the role play for your date and enjoy the royal treatment? 183
King's Landing: Realms of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones Roleplay and Sims
Writer Prisilla “Silly” Avro Photographer Umberto Giano
mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Books engage the imagination, and in Second Life® they often inspire a variety of role play opportunities that allow us to become part of our favourite stories. Published in 1996 by George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones is the first book in the series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. The storyline involves several noble houses fighting a civil war over who should be king, while an exiled princess tries to find her place in the world, and the kingdom is threatened by a rising supernatural threat in the north. The story is told from the point of view of eight different characters, but the book has three main stories. The majority of the book tells how the noble Stark family deals with conspiracy and court politics in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, with particular emphasis on Eddard Stark, the father and leader of the noble family. A second story follows the exiled princess Daenerys, one of the last descendants from the previous royal family, as she grows up on another continent. A third story follows Jon Snow, the illegitimate son of Eddard Stark, as he grows up in the north of Westeros. He is in the special military order called the Night’s Watch, which is dedicated to protecting the civilized Seven Kingdoms from the dangers beyond the Wall. Therein lies the foundation for role play in King’s Landing: Realms of Ice and Fire. The setting is 150 years after the events
of “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Sim owner Faryn Stark opened King’s Landing: Realms of Ice and Fire on September 1, 2012. Stark advises that the best way to get started in King’s Landing is to visit the sim’s website to read the rules and background. If visitors have any questions or need assistance inworld, there is a very useful signboard and note card at the landing point that outlines the sim administrators and the aspects of the sim that they oversee so that help is easily accessible. When asked about the build Stark shared that “the sim is nearly all original builds from the Red Keep to the Sept of Baelor. We have many sections within the city - a noble district, docks, Flea Bottom and markets all [which are] mentioned in the books.” The build is incredibly rich and crisp and offers role players many venues to bring their own Game of Thrones-themed story to life. The various spaces blend seamlessly into one another so that the only limitation to role play is that of the visitor’s imagination. Stark encourages role players to explore King’s Landing. “We are a detailed role-play sim, dedicated to paragraph style role play where every story matters. We are growing fast and currently have ongoing stories, detailed plot lines and a variety of options for characters.”
AVENUE extends its gratitude to the sim owner and staff of King’s Landing for their assistance with this article. Visit the King’s Landing website: http://gotrp.enjin.com/home And Visit King’s Landing and Realms of Ice and Fire in-world at Wishes: http://slurl.com/ secondlife/Wishes/65/192/1500/
Writers Carter Giacobini Photographer Neva Crystall
henever an artist creates something, they inevitably put a bit of themselves into their work. It’s one of the great joys of purchasing anything in Second Life®. Almost everything in our inventory is an artist’s interpretation of what we might find in real life…or of something that may not exist in real life…and we get to fill our virtual lives with pieces that can speak to our souls. There are instances where that personal stamp is easily identifiable, and those are usually the pieces that seem to speak to us the most. They call out to us and become those items that make the latest prefab we rez feel like home.
Nalena Fairey of Zigana is a creator of such pieces. Her spirit and joie de vivre are evident in each and every creation. Steeped in an old world Mediterranean style, her love of wonderfully quirky treasures, things one might find in a quaint antique shop, is visible in everything she does. Imagine a a romantic weekend getaway you spend with your lover, stumbling into a little out-of-the-way shop, not really expecting to find anything â€“ but walk out having purchased several items to be shipped back home, so that theyâ€™re waiting for you when you return; forever reminding you of the romance you shared during your excursion. These are the kinds of pieces that Zigana brings to you.
“I honestly find joy with every item I make, I actually love to do this work,” she gleefully said while meeting up with me on her beautiful sim. A real life furniture restorer, she brings her expertise into SL® and uses it to offer us an opportunity to bring some of her passion into our homes. Whether it’s one of her beautiful mosaic tables or her wall décor, everything in her shop has a light, airy feel mixed with wonderfully aged-feeling color and textures. And, each piece seems to sing with the joy that can only come from someone who has a real passion for this kind of work. During our conversation, Fairey’s effervescent personality let me see that her store is the result of her own personal love story with her work. Her prim work is near flawless and her textures are breathtaking. Each and every piece she brings to us is a labor of love, with her own personal stamp evident on every bit of her work – and her work is truly art. It’s obvious that she doesn’t create items for mass consumption. Rather, she creates from her heart with the hope that people will love her items as much as she does – and they do, to judge from her success. Many content creators begin their journey because they’re dissatisfied with what they find around the grid. Perhaps they saw a void that needed to be filled, a market segment that was lacking a degree of quality, or saw an opportunity to create a market that was not there, yet. This is 207
not the case with Fairey. “There are so many amazing creators! I just enjoyed the building part of second life and then, apparently, people liked it!” Fairey got the name of her store, Zigana, because of a nickname her real life mother gave her when she was young. Zigana, meaning “gypsy girl”, is a perfect name for this beautifully unusual store. As you walk around her little shop, you begin to feel that gypsy spirit as you gaze upon her offerings. Every item draws you in and begs you to take them home with you. These are not pieces you might find in a catalogue from a mass market retailer in real life. These are pieces that are unique and one of a kind. Thankfully, SL offers us the opportunity to buy as many of the items as we like. Whether you’re trying to decorate an outdoor space, a sun room, or an elegantly casual indoor space, Zigana will bring a touch of the bohemian and loving warmth to any space. I wish I had a Linden dollar™ for every time I’ve said while decorating, “This space needs something… But… What?” Zigana answers that question with a zest that brings elegance, style and joy to every space. Visit Zigana in-world at Sea Salts [165.98.21].
The Evolution of Identity Writer Huckleberry Hax Photographer Annough Lykin
ecently on my blog I published a short extract from ‘AFK, Again’, the new novel I’ve been working on. In the extract, Second Life® private investigator Definitely Thursday reflects on the various categories of avatar profile she’s encountered over the years, these including the Empty Profile (EP), the Aggressive Profile (AP), the Somebody Else’s Quotations Profile (SEQP), the In Love Profile (ILP), the Promotional Profile (PP) and still more. For example:
“The Poetry Profile (PoP) attempts to map out the personality of the resident in picks via a selection of poems; subsets of this category are the Rhyming Poetry Profile (RPoP) and the Own Poetry Profile (OPoP).” My own profile’s a mixture of promotional picks (please visit my website, please buy my books; that sort of thing) and references to a few significant SL friendships. It’s pretty static – I rarely update it – and it contains, I have to admit, a quotation from somebody else – Stephen Fry, who once wrote, “You have no idea where I am as I do this, and I have no idea who, where or what you are as you continue
to read. We are connected by a filament of language that stretches from somewhere inside my brain to somewhere inside yours.” He was referring to the relationship he had as a writer to his readers, which is why I personally have selected it, but I also think it’s a beautiful summary for the way we conduct our textual interactions in the metaverse. Perhaps it seems like stating the bleeding obvious to say that our lives are becoming increasingly digital, but I don’t think society as a whole has yet grasped the larger ramifications of this. As the media get all tied up in debates over privacy and the real life social cost of excessive amounts of time spent online, the issue of digital identity seems to have gone largely unexamined. The elderly throw their arms up in despair at the sheer ridiculousness of it all; the middle aged embrace it, but at the ‘bolton’ level where online interaction is an occasional additional social layer; the young, meanwhile, are living it: to them, the online world is increasingly interwoven with the offline world and where the one meets the other is becoming more and more blurred. I’m generalising, of course. And I’m certainly not suggesting that the young have got it right. I belong to the middle category and, whilst I’m undeniably just a little bit in love with some of the possibilities that online interaction offers, I’m also mindful that human beings have evolved to be with other human beings physically: it’s in our nature; it’s primal; it’s how
we’re meant to be. The thing is, social trends are entities in their own right and pay little attention to such socio-biological truths. And, barring some big, unforeseen event that sends everyone fleeing from their computers in terror, we are now a long way past the point of no return to a non-digital way of existence. One could, of course, argue that our mission must be to escape the limitations imposed on us by evolution and biology, and that digital identity is one such escape route. Evolution is fickle beast, full of apparent contradiction. It’s left us with predispositions and mechanisms that are both helpful and unhelpful in our modern age. On the one hand, we’ve evolved to live in groups and therefore survival of the fittest group has perhaps been a more important shaping factor to our genes than survival of the fittest individual over recent millennia. We know, for example, that hostility is a trait that leads to an increased risk of heart attack and it’s been suggested by means of an explanation for this that hostile people would have had a corrosive effect on huntergatherer tribe strength such that their death would ultimately be beneficial. We know that women tend to live longer than men, perhaps because their ability to care for the young in a tribe – ie, to continue to contribute – outlasted a man’s ability to hunt. There is also an emerging school of thought that a having different types of thinkers in your tribe would have been advantageous.
The people we today diagnose as having ADHD could back then have been thought of as the fast hunter learners who acquired new skills simply through doing them. The people we today diagnose as having Asperger Syndrome could back then have been thought of as the thinkers who found new solutions to problems. As Temple Grandin once said, “Who do you think made the first stone spear? That wasn’t the yakkity yaks sitting around the campfire. It was some Asperger sitting in the back of a cave figuring out how to chip rocks into spearheads.” Strength through diversity isn’t just a political correctness banner, it’s evolutionary fact. On the other hand, tribal life meant competition and aggression from other tribes. This has left us with a strong fear of the unfamiliar, a desire to protect our status quo and a desperate need to strengthen our position within a group for fear it will reject us and leave us at the mercy of others. It’s possible that virtually all forms of prejudice and discrimination arise from this biological predisposition programmed into us by evolution. We make racist jokes because we have no connection with the targeted ethnicity – their ‘not-usness’ scare us – and because we hope we’ll get a laugh from the people we tell them too, making them better friends and less likely to exclude us. It could be argued that the greatest contradiction of the evolved brain, however, is that
it’s infinitely more complicated than perhaps it really needs to be, at least so far as survival within a tribe is concerned. Perhaps the original advantage brought about by its key distinguishing property – consciousness; awareness of self – is that it enabled us to step outside of our bodies mentally and, through this, gain a better understanding of the wider world around us: crucial for solving problems that require more than just instinctive knowledge. Out of this ability, however, came a whole set of other skills and properties, such as that of empathy, aesthetic appreciation and sense of identity. The more we’ve become conscious of social variation around us, the more we’ve sought to determine our own place within it. In SL, the two places where we can give a first glance, ‘snapshot’ sense of our identity to others is through our avatar appearance and our profile. As I indicated earlier, the degree to which we use our profile as an identity tool varies from person to person and our individual usage also varies over time. The same could pretty much be said of avatar appearance. Huck has worn the same black shirt and jeans for the best part of a year, I’m afraid, but you shouldn’t infer from this that my avatar appearance is unimportant to me. In fact, I do have a range of outfits and when I’m inworld for more than a few days in a row I do attempt to rotate them. But all of my outfits still say pretty much the same thing about me: that I’m a quiet, unassuming guy. My shape says the same
thing. Way back when the default male shape in SL seemed to be a cross between a Greek God of War and an American Football player, I basically wanted a skinnier, frankly weedier looking avatar. Years spent in real life not able or wanting to fit in with any sort of stereotypical alpha male behaviour has left me enthusiastic to express a more gentle, more intellectual maleness. I’ve had a few AOs over the years too, but I’ve always eschewed anything with any sort of threatening stand. My current AO is something of a fidget, always stretching and moving from foot to foot. It makes me look a little uneasy when I’m amongst a crowd of solid or graceful standers, which is fine by me because that’s exactly how I do feel amongst gatherings of people. This said, however, it would be untrue to claim that these aspects of my identity are my sole identity. As I wrote in my very first column for AVENUE, the whole beauty of SL and its anonymity is that it allows us to explore aspects of ourselves which we might not have had the courage to explore in real life. There is nothing preventing us from exploring more than one of these. We can do these in our existing avatars to a certain extent, however the same anonymity which facilitates the first online identity can also facilitate the second and the third and the fourth. I might decide to adopt a whole new writing style and persona, for example, spend time exaggerating
my more eccentric qualities or live life as a female. For a while in 2011, I contemplated living as a plywood cube with a gender-neutral name, just to see how people responded to someone where they had no cues whatsoever as to RL gender or lifestyle. One of the first things you discover in a new identity, after all, is that people respond to you completely differently. Identity is a socially constructed phenomenon. It’s a two-way thing. There are plenty of dark sides to this fragmentation of identity, such as exploring the freedom to express hate views, deliberate deception or anonymous bullying – all topics I have written about in various ways over the years. This is by no means by default a peaceful human voyage that lies ahead of us. Like it or not, however, digital identity is going to come the big issue of the decades to come and it’s going to be a lot more complicated than sorting profiles into arbitrary categories. We need to start getting our heads around this issue, and soon. Huckleberry Hax writes novels set in Second Life®. You can download these for free from www.huckleberryhax.blogspot. com
The Bright Lights of
RENT Writer Lexie Jansma Photographer Natasja Schumann
eady! Set! Action!
The troupe of performers from Theatre on the Hill is set to take the stage as they bring you the best of RENT, the musical phenomenon that swept the world in the 90’s. It is still performed across the nation at theatres large and small. RENT originally was written by Jonathan Larson and took seven years to be brought to Broadway. An update of the operatic La Vie Bohème, it appealed to modern audience with its passionate portrayal of modern characters who audiences could identify with. Current topics and issues of the day such as homelessness, AIDS, and homosexuality helped to round out what was to become an award winning blockbuster. RENT is just as viable today in our current climate as when it was new. Theatre on the Hill was started by Oliver Elton who has produced such wonderful shows as Les Misérables and has done a Christmas special for the past three years. The ToTH creative team build their own sets, rehearse, and produce shows all on a volunteer bases. They have several projects upcoming including a touring production of Les Misérables and Under the Ritz a musical review of songs from the ‘20’s, ‘30’s, and ‘40’s. RENT will be directed by two newcomers to the acting troupe, SIR Woodford and Juve Wheelwright. Both Woodford and Wheelwright got their start with the company within the past year, and RENT will be their first time directing. They have carefully selected and crafted together a
selection of the most iconic and best known musical numbers from the show’s repertoire. RENT’s tough subject matter and adult themes appealed to both SIR and Juve. They had both been profoundly affected by one of the major subject matters of RENT, HIV and AIDS. Woodford “wanted to do RENT because in real life I have lost so many that were HIV Positive. I lost a partner during gay pride 5 years ago. Many family members, friends, and loved ones are gone. It makes me mad and sad. I am doing this in memory of all who have passed or are still with us.” Juve expressed a very similar experience having been touched by HIV both in his Second Life and his real life. Theatre on the Hill loves to reach out to others in the art community and form working partnerships. SL Kids Art is one such group that is teaming up for the production of RENT. Wheelwright discussed the partnership by saying: “many of these kids are involved in the show both onstage and behind the scenes. This time, however, because there are not many children’s parts in RENT, they will be creating art to go into the gallery. The children have a special theme (HIV/AIDS) to work with and we will be displaying their work in the gallery below the theatre, in the theatre, and on the stage.” Some of the art will be for sale with the proceeds being evenly divided between the theatre and the remainder going to HIV/AIDS charities.
There are a million reasons to come out to Theatre on the Hill and enjoy this fantastic show. RENT is heartwarming. The music is spectacular and will bring you to tears as quickly as it gets your toes taping. The message is as relevant today as it was when first produced. It will make for a perfect date night out with someone you care about. Most of all theatre is an ephemeral work of art never to be performed or seen the same way twice. Come and enjoy a performance of this amazing musical; as Woodford said, “there will be great sets, lighting, music, smiles, costumes, laughter, and tears. What more could you want?” I have to agree… what more could you want from a night at the theatre?
Visit Theatre on the Hill inworld at Pure Luxury [184.13.21].
Amelia is Missing Writer Carter Giacobini Photographer Ziki Questi
melia is missing. If you find her, you may end up finding yourselfâ€Ś
There are times in almost everyone’s Second Life® experience that we ask ourselves who we are and the reasons we make our avatars the way we do. Are we a super model? A stripper? A rabbit? Are we Gorean? By asking this of ourselves, we may ask ourselves questions that carry over to real life. We may even need to ask ourselves if we’re escaping too much into this virtual world. SL® is a place that draws us in. You come into this world as, perhaps purposely, a poorly drawn avatar that begs you to sculpt it into something better. It pleads with you to make the avatar into something that is a greater reflection of who you are as a person. In SL, you are not bound by genetics, social class, money (to an extent), or even education. You are truly bound only by your imagination and your creativity. Of course, there are those SL angels that come along and help you figure out how to make your own vision a reality. But, on the whole, your avatar is your creation of your inner self. So, who are you? This is the basis for an amazing art installation put on by Seraph Kegel called, “Amelia is Missing”, subsidized in part by various grants and the Linden Endowment for the Arts. Over the course of four laborious months, Kegel managed to put together an exhibit that is completely immersive. It pulls you in and urges you to take a journey to your own psyche.
This ride along a red string into your soul was created as part of a graduation project for Kegel as she seeks her degree in Visual Arts. It started out in a class that posed a question about your virtual identity – be it on Facebook, Yahoo!, or within virtual worlds. The inspiration for the exhibit came from a quote on a picture taken of one of Kegel’s most admired musicians, Amanda Palmer. It read, “You don’t see things as they are, you see things as you are.” That discussion evolved into a discussion of not only how you see yourself, but are we hiding in here? Are we hiding from ourselves or are we even freer to express who we truly are? Kegel says, “And, from there it sunk in that I actually had a whole virtual identity, and that it was probably to some [extent] a live virtual portrait of myself.” And, so it began… Expertly crafted, Amelia turns from someone who is missing into a guiding angel who helps you explore yourself, giving you a safety rope made of yarn to help you along the way. When you teleport into the installation, you are given a HUD (scripted by Trinity Dejavu) that asks questions along your path to your true self. It leads you across a bridge into our innermost thoughts and desires. The story of Amelia is a story that each of us must write about ourselves, at some point. And, it’s a story that, if we are truly trying to become self-aware individuals,
will be written and re-written many times in our lives. Kegel’s exhibit is a wonderfully creative way to bring those questions back to your forethoughts. I think that most of us have seen works of art that pose these questions in a judgmental or patronizing way, leaving the viewer feeling “less than”. Or, some of these exhibits are almost dripping with sugar, like a clichéd motivational poster. This is not the case with this exhibit. Earthy, sometimes gritty, but never morose or depressing, Kegel brings your own world into sharper view. And, it actually left me feeling inspired and lighter because it reminded me that each of us has an opportunity every day to create ourselves exactly how we want to be. Regardless of our own personal histories, we each have a chance to write our own present and future – in SL or real life. What could be more uplifting? “When I arrived [in] SL, I didn’t even think it was possible to do something like this until I saw Rose Borchowski’s and Bryn Oh’s work.” That inspiration led Kegel to devise a way of leading us into our own mind without forcing her opinions on us. Her work is one that stays with you, and teaches you about yourself without having to cut through her opinions and her own answers to the questions her art poses. It is an unbiased look into yourself that leaves you changed, hopefully for the better.
When she started to build this exhibit, she did not know much about mesh and she still has a hard time scripting. However, because of the people that have come into her path, she was able to get the moving boxes and HUD scripted. She was able to do the mesh in an outside program, email it to a friend and have that friend upload it to SL. It’s this kind of dedication to her desire to give each of us a mirror to view our own selves that makes this exhibit something that I believe everyone should come and experience. As you go through the exhibit, I encourage you to allow yourself to let go. Let yourself be taken deeper inside of your mind to the place where you create yourself and from where you generate your self-image. It’s in this place, where your ego, morals and social mores try to co-exist and shape who we are. This is where you get to decide what you’re willing to hold on to and what is important. And, it’s here that you decide how you enter the world (both the virtual and real world). Some of us spend a lifetime not even taking a hard look at what drives us to be who we are. However, it’s a topic that we owe to ourselves to delve into because what could be more important? Without knowing who we are, how can we consciously create our lives?
Most of us are taught that great works of art not only entice to our senses, but speak to our souls, as well. By this definition, Kegel has now become one of the great artists of SL. See â€œAmelia is Missingâ€? inworld at LEA22 [226.31.22]
Danger in Evolution
Writer Quan Lavender Photographer Annough Lykin
t’s part of human nature that we explore the possibilities of new technology without regard for the consequences and possible dangers. Kicca Igaly and Nessuno Myoo are expressing their concerns in the current installation ‘Danger in Evolution’. Igaly says: “The idea comes from a real concern for our future and that our earth is heavily endangered by human behaviour. Never before in human history scientific research has taken thousands of roads full of risks. The sim, given to Nessuno and me gave us the opportunity to underline our concerns and pass them to the attention of the visitors.”
The artists each decided to create their own installation. The visitor is amazed by two works which show their concerns from very different angles. Nessuno Myoo moves forward to the maybe inevitable cosequence if the human race does not rethink: The Big Bang. We see a huge explosion of maybe a carousel; falling apart in thousands of pieces – the fun is over! Myoo says of her work: “I had a strong desire for an apocalyptic vision, transfigured in a beauty that conveys a powerful message. That was my guideline during the long and difficult construction of this work. Now I can say that love it deeply.” Igaly’s works leads us back to the personal level of any apocalypse. We see scientists working in their laboratory, creating dangerous chemicals. In front of the work places, we find children playing in the grass. Behind them are leaking barrels, polluting their seemingly healthy world. With a closer look, one can see that these breathtaking works are built with regular prims. Myoo and Igaly don’t need sculpties or mesh for their endless variety of different subjects. Both are widely admired for their building skills in the art community of Second Life®. Igaly explains, that scuplts and meshes require external software to create. As soon as they’re uploaded, the possibilities of change are limited. A prim can be edited and modified in-world and gives her more freedom in the creation process to get the desired result. Myoo smiles: “One thing
I learned right away is that the expressive limit of the native-prim is alone in the inability of those who manipulate it.” He explains: “I find that the native-prim is just perfect. Quick, versatile and with a great possibility of manipulation. It is manipulated inworld, which offers the opportunity to greatly increase the immersive experience; that you can try standing shoulder to shoulder with other artists in a collaborative group. For all these reasons, today I am more than bound and attached to my beloved native-prims.” The love for SL®’s native prims is not the only thing they have in common. Both have a background in arts in real life, painting and ceramics(Myoo is also a musician). Both joined Second Life in 2007 and quickly moved into creation and art, which is still their main interest. Igaly: “Most of the time is dedicated to the creation, but I love also visit the exhibitions of other artists, no matter if they are friends or not. I like their creativity and sensitivity to bring me new emotions.” And she says of art creation inworld: “The art in SL, has meant to me the opportunity to express myself in new creative forms. The use of digital tools has allowed me more freedom than the traditional tools of RL. I also acknowledge to SL a specific originality, which makes it unique in digital expressiveness world.” Both began creating soon after joining Second Life and had already established themselves as SL artists when they met. Myoo says:
“Already the second month of life I had the good fortune to meet Lion Igaly, director of one of the most famous Italian galleries in SL, The Pyramid. He liked my work right away and asked me to participate in a collective....Working with Kicca occurred in a natural way. We made friends right away at our first collective art exhibition and since then we have never stopped cooperating. Even while we are engaged in different projects, we love to confront and exchanging impressions and advice. Ours is truly a symbiotic relationship in which I could hardly give up. I confess that after many years I would feel uncomfortable having to create without her near.” Igaly adds: “The Burning Man event in 2009 was the first opportunity to create this new fantastic experience, which is repeated with enthusiasm whenever we have the opportunity.” Of course, there will be collaborative projects in future too in the special environment of our virtual world.
is)!”, says Myoo. The magic of the visual art in all worlds is that it conveys a universal message freed from the straitjacket of language…and in the case of gifted artists like Nessuno Myoo and Kicca Igaly it can deeply touch the heart . ‘Danger in Evolution’ is open through February 28. Visit in-world [155.148.25]
Although there no real difference between art creation in real life and Second Life, there is a huge one in communication. “I recognize a great revolution in the way how art in SL is shared by the whole community. There is a direct contact between artists, art dealers, buyers, collectors and the fans. Something that never happens in real life. And only here we have the possibility of having countless original editions of a work directly from their creator at ridiculous prices. If this is not a revolution, I don’t know (what