Stylist Boe Cortes Photographer Sea Dench
VENUE is in a flurry as we go about preparing for our upcoming 5th Anniversary in October. As a way of thanking everyone for their support, we have created two promotions for our readers and advertisers. As of this issue and onwards, AVENUE Magazine readers will receive two free gifts each month from new and upcoming designers that we have specially invited to share their creative designs. This month, we are honored to showcase fashion designers JLB Apparel and BENS BEAUTY, so watch out for their featured ads within our smoldering fashion pages. We can’t thank our advertisers enough because without their support, we would not be here reading this wonderful publication. For allowing us to continue with our labor of love in AVENUE Magazine, we are
offering special 5th Anniversary rates to all advertisers. It’s a gesture of goodwill and support back to the creative community to assist in any we can to help in a challenging economy. More information can be obtained through our inworld issue or from one of our marketing staff. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This month’s cover is a special one where we at AVENUE Magazine decided to make a stand together by supporting the wonderful initiative, STAND4LOVE, started by Ricoracer Flux and Editorial Clarity. Along with my very first cover on AVENUE, several others of the AVENUE Magazine family members and their partners have teamed up to make a concerted stand with a spread made especially for this tribute.
It is a tribute to all the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered community all over the world. It is my way of saying, “This is me… us… accept us as we are.” And we are no longer keeping silent and being that marginalized minority. We deserve to love who we want, and our love has as much authenticity as any other. I believe in the power of love, empathy and understanding that will help us break down these walls and any other form of discrimination. Let’s stand for love together always.
Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher and Editor in Chief AVENUE
32 Cover Story Stand4Love
Fashion Forward arbiter elegantiarum
186 Business Feature AKEYO
Fashion 32 42 52 60 68 80 96 110 124 132 138
Cover Story Stand4Love miStyle high summer Fashion Icon Kyrie Source Featured Designer Leverocci Fashion Forward arbiter elegantiarum Trendspotting Dolls Edge of Style Cheeky Chiccy Denim Homme Summer Chic Blogspot pendant l’été Between the Pixelated Lines The Politics of Skins Model of the Month Daniele Eberhardt
AVENUE Magazine July 2012 cover Featuring Rusch Raymaker Photographer Miaa Rebane, Paola Tauber
Lifestyle 146 156 166 176 186
Sports & Recreation JingJings Perspectives Club of the Month BeBu Club and Gallery DJ of the Month Goodes Bade Business Feature AKEYO Arts
192 204 212 226 236
Media Mojo Forren Ashford Art Feature Fragile Reality Featured Artist Simotron Aquila SL9B Celebration Insights no words
Publisher | Editor in Chief Creative Director | Photo Editor | Designer
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Irie Campese Forren Ashford Simotron Aquila
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: email@example.com
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Jae + Xandrah
â€œFor it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.â€? Judy Garland A law will never sway or alter the truth in my heart, the certainty of my soul.
Photographers Miaa Rebane, Paola Tauber
â€œBeing deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.â€? Lao Tzu He is my strength, and I am his courage.
Emery + Umberto
â€œLove looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.â€? Shakespeare
“No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love... The only queer people in the world are those who don’t love anyone.” Rita Mae Brown
Vivienne + Paola
Shirt: Mon Tissu | Slouchy Sweatshirt Skirt: Milk Motion | transparent long skirt (mesh) Hair: LeLutka | CHERYL hair Sunglasses: Mon Tissu | Harlow Sunglasses Jewelry: Yummy | Heart Window Necklace Jewelry: Donna Flora | MILUâ€™ ring Jewelry: MAGIC NOOK | Vintage Watch Necklace Watch: DDL | BitterSweet Skin: Atomic Shoes: Magnetized | Sneakers Bag: DDL | Hypnotize
high summer by Miaa Rebane
Shirt: Leverocci | Tied Satin Blouse Jeans: Maitreya | Zipper Skinny Pastel Boots: Maitreya Hair: DeLa | Mesh Hair “Shell” Bag: Vive Nine | Wynne Clutch Nails: Mandala Jewelry: LaGyo | Bonbon ring Jewelry: LaGyo | Domi bellique necklace Jewelry: ZC | Pratha silver cuff Skin: Atomic
Top: Kyoot | La Reine Noire Cocktail Dress Skirt: Eels | Crochet Skirt Shoes: Leverocci | Knox Wedges Hair: Fab-U-Lous | Tia Jewelry: LaGyo | Garska earring Jewelry: LaGyo | Solemne bangle copper Clutch: GizzA | Mesh Clutch Nails: Label Mode Skin: Atomic
Dress: Ricielli | Mesh - Peplum Dress /lacedsky Necklace: Paper Couture | Long Beaded Bow Necklace Leggings: SHOP Toshy | Panty Hose Black Seducer Hair: Elikatira | Rush Skin: Atomic
The Quest for Perfection
Writer Emma Portilo Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel
ne of Second Life’s True Fashion Experts - Outstanding photography, Impeccable styling, Discerning eye, Flawless composition. There is only one Kyrie Source.” A quote from Thalia Heckroth on flickr. Reading through comments regarding Source’s photography, words like classy, elegant, beautiful, amazing, chic, glorious, flawless, stunning, strong, and sophisticated all are found repetitively. Viewing the accompanying photos, it’s easy to understand why people are using such words regarding her work. Her talents, however, go above and beyond the visual beauty she is so adept at producing.
AVENUE Magazine’s Fashion Icon for July is Kyrie Source. We took time to discuss with Source what brought her to Second Life®, her talents, and her focus for her virtual time as well as discovering more about the person behind the avatar. Source is a photographer, stylist, model, and blogger in SL®. While she enjoys sharing her pictures and links through her blog and feels that styling is “pure fun”, photography is a “kind of meditation” for her. She notes that, “Even my breathing becomes more profound while I’m in edit mode…” “Intuition is key”, she says, when asked what inspires her photography. “First, I have to be amazed by a design. Then, it’s like playing music; I need to feel a sort of harmony between each piece that I style together.” And, as one might expect of the conductor of an orchestra, Source prefers when her clients depend on her for inspiration once provided with basic information. She says, “I like to present my ideas before I actually work them out. At the end of the day, I want everybody to be happy in the process.” Source is a published author in real life; she says of her second novel (released in 2004): “The main character was obsessed by her beauty, and wanted to
become Photoshop® perfect, literally. I had a lot of fun following her twisted mind.” So, when she heard about SL in 2006, her thoughts went beyond average curiosity, and immediately went to the character from the 2004 novel and how the character would love to create her ideal self online. So naturally, Source brought the character to virtual life to pursue her quest in order to write a new book. “The character wanted to become a perfect image and I decided I would try to give it to her, knowing that her quest might just be infinite. So, basically, my blog was a workshop for this project.” She continues, “The main idea, at the beginning, was to create a journal of the character’s transformations. I wanted to find the best skins available, the best designs, to define her, more and more. My journey into SL was rich, full of fascinating experiences; in the meantime, I published other books, not related to SL, and recently I finally wrote Kyrie’s diary… the book should be published in the next year.” Source states on her blog: “Designers and beauty creators can send me items. I reserve the right to showcase only what will define my own quest.” When asked how she defines this quest, Source responds, “Kyrie Source, the main character of my novel Ataraxie, is a perfect
girl with a very special way to see perfection. Her mood is usually black and white…she loves minimalism. But she can be very theatrical when things become a crisis...and she experiments with a kind of aesthetic illumination at the end of the first novel that opens her mind to new perspectives. So her quest is a mix of obsessive disorder...and sudden extravaganza!” Source indicates, however, that we will have to read the upcoming book to get the full answer of how virtual incarnation is evolving for Kyrie, the character! She says Kyrie can’t ever achieve her goal, as it is an infinite quest...she did understand one or two things in her journey so far, but yes, we need to read the novel to discover how her mind works. Beauty is a fleeting thing in real life, but in SL it is easily attainable. However, beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder. Asked whether she agrees that beauty is subjective, or whether she believes it can be objectively defined, Source says “that’s a complex question...and I explore it in my books. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and yes, there are some ideal markers at some point of human history...let’s not forget there are some kinds of ideal markers in other species, also… All of it is an evolving
process, a natural one, a quite intriguing one, as we also have our own individual tastes mixed with some cultural influences…” Referring to the person behind the avatar and her ideal of beauty and fashion when it comes to what she strives to attain when trying to achieve perfection, Source says, “as an artist, I always need to find the perfect mode of expression. I have the same drive, the same desire of perfection in my writing and in all my artistic projects, but my own physical beauty is not my main concern, it’s more of a tool. Kyrie is really a novel character, a pure feminine diva, very different from me. But when I created her as an avatar, when I started to sculpt her digital bones, I spent many weeks trying to figure out her appearance, as she was only a voice in my novel. I did not want her to look as a generic doll. I wanted her to be unique, so the easiest way was to give her something of me, as I’m a quite unique blend of different nationalities. That said, the RL me is more of a tomboy, I spend a lot of time climbing mountains, playing adventure videogames, and I only dress up when I really need to…” When expressing a concern over whether Kyrie has accomplished all she has needed to and could possibly disappear from the SL scene Source states,
“I have accomplished what I needed in order to write the book I wanted to write. That said, I’m truly in love with SL fashion and creators, so I still want to be part of the journey. Kyrie Source was a novel character at first but now she’s an online presence. She found her ideal dimension...and she just wants to have fun in it.” So it appears we have plenty of fashion to look forward to from Ms. Source!
wix.com/kyriesource/studio. Additional information about the person behind the avatar can be found at www. karolinegeorges.com.
Asked what advice she’d give our readers regarding fashion, Source says “Fashion for me is about identity, and identity is a very personal creation, an evolving creation, a mix of intuition, profound values and superficial moods.” Asked what other interests she has in SL outside of work she responds, “People! I met so many great friends in SL. SL is a new way to communicate and share creativity. I’m deeply in love with SL creators, so I’m excited to be part of this collective creation…and I know it’s only the beginning.” Source is the founder and direction of FOSYMO, a studio that offers complete services of styling, modeling, photography and editing. For more information about Kyrie source, the avatar, see her blog: www.
Writer Lexie Jansma Photographer Sea Dench
in Elfan is living out her dreams in Second Life® with her hot new fashion label Leverocci. From stylish new clothing to sleek accessories to fabulous hair, she has everything for the fashionable SL® woman. Elfan stays busy, releasing new items, working on new designs, and living out her fashion designer dreams. She took the time to chat with us about her beginnings in SL fashion, and where she’s heading next.
Like so many, Elfan came to SL® out of curiosity. She saw the infamous CSI: NY™ episode, and that piqued her interest. She found that she could be as creative as she wanted to be, make whatever she wanted, and be whatever it is she desired. Needless to say Elfan, like so many others, was hooked. After a few small glitches and a brief stint as a sandbox griefer, Elfan began to make clothing. It wasn’t until several of her friends insisted that she sell her creations that Leverocci came into being. Elfan locked herself away and “instead of going outside and enjoying the day I closed my blinds and started working on a shop and I haven’t opened those blinds since.” Her success comes from her ability and work ethic,and the ease and versatility of her clothing. Her designs are bold and graphic; each piece can stand on its own as well as blending into one’s current wardrobe. Then there are her shoes--and what woman doesn’t love a pair of to-die-for heels? Elfan draws inspiration from many places, including the everyday fashion she sees around her. The influence of her favorite design house, Versace, is evident in some of her clothing. There was a desire to design from an early age for her: “when I joined SL...it was...natural
for me to start designing and creating. I don’t have any design background in real life, except that I’ve been sketching clothes and such since I was 10.” Elfan’s SL work leaves her without much leisure time; when she does get a few moments to herself she likes to paint, draw, or head out to the gym. She’s been so busy that she’s had little time for outside activities. “My next big project is creating an all-mesh sim for Leverocci,” she says. As if that weren’t ambitious enough, Elfan is also planning a skin line as well as a menswear collection. Style-conscious SL men can look forward to clean and classic Italian-influenced designs from Leverocci in the near future. Leverocci will surely continue to rock the SL grid for some time, and Jin Elfan’s stylish creations will no doubt continue to turn heads. If you’re a fashion-savvy SL shopper, it’s only a matter of time before you find a little piece of Leverocci in your closet.
arbiter elegantiarum by Thalia Heckroth
Dress: ARGRACE | Tweed dress Scarf: ARGRACE | Long Scarf Clutch: MON TISSU | Envelope Earrings: SOULSICK | Sun Hair: BOON | KBO906
Shorts: MON TISSU | Cuffed Denim Shorts Coat: TRAM | Collar Long Shirt Tank: MON TISSU | Lollia Hair: DELA | Dolce Necklace: JE SUIS | Voyante Bag: CELOE | Sack Bag
Top: LPD | Sailor Pants: CELOE | Nikola Footwear: COCO | Thong Sandals Sunglasses: MON TISSU | Harlow Hair: DELA | Mango Bag: ARBIZU | LV Backpack Gloss: BLACKLIQUID | Caramel nude
Dress: CELOE | May Hair: LELUTKA | Cachet Sweater: FASHIONZ | Sweater Scarf Footwear: AMARELO MANGA | Summer pumps Eyewear: MUSCHI | Goldbee Ring: LAGYO | Bonbon Lipstick: DDL | Paris Purse: GLOW STUDIO | Spiked around bag
Dress: SHIKI | Envy Belt: CELOE | Abel Hat: CELOE | Nile Bag: [mdrm] | tote bag Footwear: TOKID | Immer Watch: CHRONOKIT | watch no.36 Dio Black Hair: DURA | 17
Tunic: Tomoto | Hifu Kurenai Harem pants: TrĂŠs Beau | Sabyn Shoes: Similar Hat: Tomoto | Hanagasa Earrings: Mandala | Noodle earrings Lipstick: Kooqla Eyeshadow: Kosh Skin: Lara Hurley | Snow White
Dolls by Dantelicia Ethaniel
Shirt and tie: Iruco | Loose tie Dress: Nicky Ree | Antonia gown Hat: Baiastice | Huge brim mesh hat Ring: Donna Flora | Opera ring Necklace: Mandala | Pearl rain necklace Hair: Cake | Dakota Skin and lipstick: Kooqla | Ojen Eyeshadow: Kosh
Dress: Chantkare | Sequin patchwork gown Tunic: Tomoto | camisole tunique astre Sleeves and hair piece: Atelier Chocolat | Ruby red Hair: LeLutka | Velma Skin: Kooqla | Ojen Lipstick: Pididdle
Dress: Tomoto | To one lounge honey Haori: Tomoto | Antique flower Fur stole: Sonata Morales | Beihai Hair:Tuti | Mathilda bob Hat: Donna Flora | Secret hat
Kimono shirt and Obi: Nonko | yukata Dress: Bliss Couture | Wynn gown Hat: Donna Flora | Christiana hat Hair: Tuti | Shock electric bob
Dress: A la Folie | Floralie dress Jacket: Diram | Bolero Hair: Cake | Dakota Hairpiece: Tomoto | akinoyoru head dress
Pants: Miamai | Mahvi pants Jacket: Tres Blah | Relaxed kimono Obi and skirt: Nonko | Kimono rose & butterfly Necklace: LaGyo | Alice necklace Bangle: Amelierae Beauparlant | Kumlatta Bangle Hair: Vive Nine | Dreamcatcher hair Hat: Donna Flora | Romina hat Eyeshadow: Loovus Dzevavor
Edge of Style
Cheeky Chiccy Denim by Boe Cortes
enim seems to be all the rage amongst Second Life designers lately, and if you havenâ€™t noticed there has been a surge of Denim releases especially for men with new mesh jeans, shirts and jackets. So this month I thought I would be cheeky and go chic with denim. Hopefully these styles will inspire you to mix, match and layer your denim going beyond your average tanktop and jeans setup.
Skin: VCD | Rafael â€“ Shaved, Brown Hairbase and Nobodyhair Hat: Sleepy Eddy | Gacha hat Vest: JOINT.oO | Shawl Collar Cut Vest Shirt: JOINT.oO | Dot Dungaree Shirt with Rolled-up Sleeves Pants: S h i | Denim Lounge Pants Shoes: Sleepy Eddy | Gacha sandal Belt/Bag: S h i | Denim Apron Poche
Skin: VCD | Rafael â€“ Shaved, Brown Hairbase and Nobodyhair Hair: Entente | Le Soliel Hat & Hair - B&W Jacket: Pivaaca | Leopard Cardigan Shirt: COCO | SkinnyTie & Shirt Tie: Hoorenbeek | Tuxedo - Collar with Black Bow Pants: Not So Bad | VINCE jeans Shoes: Hoorenbeek | Brighton Shoes Belt: YV | Timo Belt
Skin: VCD | Rafael â€“ Shaved, Brown Hairbase and Nobodyhair Hair: Shag | Suedehead Jacket: Mr. Poet | Work shirt Denim Jacket Shirt: 2byte | Art of Escher denim shirts Shirt Collar: AOHARU | ElegantSuit Option/Shirt Pants: Ladies Who Lunch | Drop-waist Skinnies Shoes: COCO | OxfordShoes
Summer Chic by Boe Cortes
Skin: Tableau Vivant | Jin - dark brows Hairbase: VCD | Express yourself - Elegance - Homme - Raie Droite in Brown Jacket: DECO | Fisherman Slicker Shirt: Iruco | Shirt Pants: Entente | Madras Pants Straight Shoes: Hoorenbeek | Devon Shoes Glasses: S h i | Geometria Glasses
Skin: Tableau Vivant | Jin - dark brows Hair: Shag | Pipeline Shirt: Connors | Dot Shirt with Tie Shorts: CheerNo | Suit Julio Shorts and Belt Shoes: FIR & MNA | The Emilion Shoes Glasses: ĂŠpoque | Roundabout Frames
Skin: Tableau Vivant | Jin - dark brows Hair: Shag | Choke (cut) Jacket: Shi Homme | Chinoi-M Shirt: COCO | TankTop Pants: GizzA | Pom Poms Set - Mesh Pants Shoes: TokiD | destiny loafers Necklace: Fusion | Feather Bracelet Bracelet: Fusion | Feathered necklace
pendant l'été by Irie Campese
Between the Pixelated Lines
The Politics of Skins
by Prad Prathivi
nother day, another skin theft drama. Of course, copybot theft in Second Life® is nothing new and has been a source of aggravation for many a designer, but why the huge interest in skin theft? To your average Ruth Bloggs, a well-made skin will be the most expensive single purchase the will ever make in SL®. To an established, longer-term resident, keeping up to date on the latest generation of skins is vital in order to maintain image and reputation. How your avatar looks isn’t just a vanity exercise – it’s how you say to others “I take Second Life® seriously, and I put in the effort (and money) to show that”. Which, when you think about it, is a vanity exercise. Never mind. Once someone becomes invested into the world of Second Life®, they feel a part of it. They’ve poured their hard earned money into the metaverse, and now they expect something back. Be it a feeling of
self-worth, recognition or simply just being part of a community, making that initial investment in something as basic as a skin marks the first step in being integrated within SL®. People stop looking at you funny and making those snide comments when your back is turned. Weirdly, a new skin also stops you from writing things like “can i haz L$™ plz?” True story. So what makes a skin so valuable? Skins are arguably the most complicated textured aspect of Second Life®. It’s very easy to get it wrong – so much as a single seam, a wrong shade or a third nipple is immediately visible and once you spot it, it becomes glaringly obvious. Especially the third nipple thing. On top of all that attention to detail, it can take months to develop a good skin. Months of working in Photoshop, painstakingly painting every part of the human body. And if you’re having to work on a
skin of the opposite gender, then you probably have enough “reference material” on your computer to warrant flagging up as a sexual deviant. Conversely, if you are a sexual deviant, have you ever considered a career as an SL® skin designer? The time investment, texturing skill and attention to detail required are much of what create the higher end value of a skin. But being a more expensive purchase also comes with disadvantages. A copybot thief is more likely to target skins for several reasons, with at the top of the list being the revenue return. When a crime syndicate counterfeits bank notes, they don’t waste their time and resources on smaller denomination notes. They go right for the values which will bring them the most profit. It’s a similar story with stealing goods in SL® – thieves aim for skins because, to them, they return
a large amount of profit for the same effort as stealing a lesser value item. Skins are also harder to distinguish as being ripped. Whereas somebody would be able to see immediately when a dress or piece of furniture has been stolen, a skin requires more in-depth study to detect similarities to other skins. And the majority of residents aren’t looking that keenly. Unless there’s a third nipple involved. So skins are high value goods, and harder to detect when they’ve been ripped. To your standard copybotting thief, it’s the jackpot. Except when they get caught. Then it’s bad news for them. Never mind the witch hunts, the boycotts and the backlash. The real drama starts when they find themselves in a lawsuit. Because skins require a high level of time commitment, many skin designers work full time in SL, slaving away to refine and perfect their designs. Hell hath no fury like a skin designer crossed. The recent “One Voice” event has highlighted the very real legal battle and financial struggle involved when lawsuits begin to fly. The fact that the $20,000 target was reached shows just how much the SL community is willing to back such an IP rights fight. So what’s Linden Labs’™ stance on all this hoo-hah?
Second Life’s in a pretty unique spot, in regards to the DMCA process. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a US copyright law which enables a creator to give a service provider (in this case, Linden Lab) a takedown notice when another person is found to have stolen their works. However, this particular law is usually used for things like taking down copyrighted content from a website, like infringing YouTube videos of teenage girls badly covering teenage boys’ badly written songs, for example. The problem within SL arises because the content in question is likely to be on sale, and has been bought by others. And so if the content is stolen and disappears from the grid, you have a bunch of customers who no longer have the items they bought, and they’re out of pocket. And they tend not to be too happy about that sort of thing. It’s not just the content that is affected, but a lot of other people who are innocent victims. And who represents them? Linden Lab are obliged only to comply with a takedown notice, and then with any counternotice that is filed by the other party. They don’t go around the grid removing any IP infringing content on their own accord, because they don’t see it as their job to do so. Add to this the further complexity of the scenario
whereby a rogue merchant selling stolen content then sends a DMCA takedown notice of a genuine creator. The genuine creator has all their products and assets seized by Linden Lab and we have a gross abuse of a system which was designed to protect creators, not hinder them. So it turns out that skins can be ripped, sold on for healthy profit and the system can be turned around on the original creator. Dropping the soap in a prison shower probably sounds like more fun at this point, right? One of the key positives I touched on before is the community spirit this gives rise to. Content creators across the grid will come together and support one another when such injustices become apparent, and will do what they can to help out. And it doesn’t stop there the wider community’s disgust transpires to boycotts and protests of the offending stores, effectively attempting to run them out of business. It’s like a self-governing witch hunt, which may not be the best way of resolving these things, but it’s what happens. It’s been several years of watching the same copybot dramas play out over and over again, and it seems like nothing really ever changes. Content creators get ripped off and thieves thrive until they
get busted, and then they’re run off the grid by the mobs. Occasionally, someone drags it all out into the real world to try and get compensation, and everyone watches with bated breath to see what happens. And then it all goes quiet for a few months until it happens again. Lather, rinse and repeat.
Model of the Month
Writer Lexie Jansma Photographer Natasja Schumann
Daniele Eberhardt Dishing with
t may seem easy to be a model in Second Life®—just walk out on the runway, hop on a pose ball, and put on some clothes. Those who know better are aware that it takes a special person with a unique sense of style and fashion. A tremendous amount of dedication, flexibility, and hard work are keys to success. A model must possess a vivacious and outgoing attitude with just a touch of humility. And then there’s that certain indefinable je ne sais quoi the best models have that makes them a focus of attention. Daniele Eberhardt has all of this; we had the pleasure of talking with him about his experiences in SL modeling, and what his future holds.
Daniele first dipped his toe in the world of modeling shortly after his arrival on the grid. He noticed a unique fashionable male avatar and his curiosity was piqued. “I have a natural interest in RL fashion that I felt I could express here in SL®,” he says. Daniele started attending fashion shows and watching the models. He also joined SuperElite after winning a contest. There are those who believe that models don’t need special training; Eberhardt disagrees, believing it’s the perfect place to learn the basics. He says: “I owe a great deal of my success to Mimmi Boa and her modeling academy: she was my first teacher. After MBMA I studied at AVENUE Academy to improve my modeling skills and I really learned a lot there.” AVENUE has been his second home now for some time and he credits them with teaching him the importance of small things that are often overlooked. Eberhardt has had the opportunity to work with many prominent designers in his three year career. “I have had the opportunity to work with so many people and designers that I love including Sartoria, Violator, Champagne, E-Clipse Design, Mr. Poet, GlamDammit, AD Creations and many others.” He has modeled in over one hundred fashion shows and has several favorites. Eberhardt is one of those
rare models who comes along infrequently; he’s humble, and works tirelessly to bring the designer’s vision to life. He keeps himself out of the drama that can possess the SL fashion industry. “I’ve noticed that envy and jealousy between models is getting worse. There are many dramatic people in the industry, and it’s really sad. I think a model, to survive, should be confident in his qualities and go on in his own way, staying far from drama.” Like so many male models, Eberhardt feels that more designers should design for men. “Men are shopping more than they did three years ago. There is a whole market going untapped that designers can cater to. More men care about their appearance in SL than ever before.” In closing, Eberhardt offers some sage wisdom and advice to up and coming models. “It’s important to explore and experiment, take notes from other models but find our own style. I also think it’s essential to have professional training to learn the basics of modeling. If you love what you’re doing, try to create your own unique style, different from the other models.”
Sports & Recreation
Not your run-of-the-mill
Writer Seth Diabolito Photographer Piedra Lubitsch
f you loved Gizmo from “Gremlins,” the 1984 American cult classic film, then you’re sure to love Jingjing. Adorable and furry with big ears, this breedable has blue puppydog eyes that’ll tug at your heart strings. It’s the latest creation from LZ Productions owner, Twstd Ruggles, and will hit the market—and many Second Life® homes, I suspect—soon. I was able to catch up with Ms. Ruggles to learn more about what will likely be the next big thing in the breedable pet industry.
Seth Diabolito: What was your inspiration for creating Jingjing? Twstd Ruggles: We wanted to create something from our imaginations and also provide a great breedable system and product for our customers. SD: There are many breedables out there. So, why Jingjing? Why your brand? TR: Our Jingjings are much different than any system out there. Not only do our Jingjings come packed with traits and several variation breeds, but our system includes a gemstone hunt for our users and a card game battle that your pets participate in. We also did our best to make the system user-friendly no matter what language you speak. SD: What is a Jingjing? TR: Jingjing is a special pet passed down since the beginning of time. According to Chinese mythology, Pangu was the creator of all! He decided to make a companion... the Jingjing. After Pangu was laid to rest, the Jingjing pet was passed down to all the great Chinese leaders and rulers. You can read the legend of the Jingjing on our website at jingjing.info. SD: What can a Jingjing do? TR: Jingjings can eat, sleep, mate, play card battles and be any masterâ€™s life-long companion.
SD: What are you future plans for Jingjing? TR: Well, we’re just getting ready to start closed beta testing, and once we get the product working efficiently, we’ll release it to the public. Our plan is for the Jingjings to continue to develop and thrive in efforts to keep all our customers (future masters) happy. SD: Aside from Jingjing, what else do you sell to supporters of the breedables market? TR: My company, LZ Productions, was hired to be part of Krazy Kitty and Blooming Butterfly breedable pets. Both those products were our first endeavors in the breedable pets market. SD: Who is Twstd Ruggles in SL®? When you’re not creating, what do you like to do? TR: I do it all! I’m the creator of Oahu Vacation Resort and I created and produce “The Stream Scene” on Treet TV. In my past 5 years in SL, I have been involved with many projects, and when I’m not creating, I’m researching and looking to see what’s hot and what’s not in SL. I’m constantly thinking of the next thing to do. SD: Who is Twstd Ruggles in first life? TR: I’m a native Californian and mother of 3 children. Two of my children are autistic, and
prior to their births I used to own an accounting company. I decided to be a stay-at-home mother so I could work with my 2 autistic kids, and SL has allowed me to do work from the comfort of my home. But, it’s much better here because I can use my creative side to do things here. Besides the work in SL, I’m also chairman of the board of directors of a nonprofit organization called The Compassionate Coalition, which educates people on the issue of medical marijuana and helps to defend the rights of terminally ill and sick people and their caregivers. The Compassionate Coalition owns the Oahu, Hawaii sim in SL, and you can visit there and find out more about what we do. Twstd Ruggles makes the most of her Second Life experience. She uses SL as a creative outlet and does so with imagination and skill. Jingjing isn’t just a pretty face. This cuddly companion has brains, too, offering its owner an array of options for customization and interactive play. With much to offer both inside and out, Jingjing will undoubtedly find its way into many Second Life homes... perhaps even yours.
Building Matters Writer Huckleberry Hax Photographer Brie Wonder
n recent months, I’ve not been around in Second Life® all that much. It’s not so much that I’m fed up with it, as it is to do with having RL projects that require my attention, although it certainly wouldn’t be true to say that SL hadn’t lost its zing somehow. We all suffer cases of SL fatigue from time to time, some of which – as I’ve discussed previously in this column – can turn out to be fatal to our second lives. In my case, I decided it was time for an RL sabbatical. After nearly five years of life as Huck, I expected the withdrawal to be horrendous, but it turns out it was actually pretty easy. Then again, it wasn’t as though I’d committed myself to leaving for good. And leaving has its upsides: for starters, I don’t have to keep putting off the organisation of my inventory any more.
Of course I miss the people; of course I miss all those regular events: these, after all, were the things by which my SL was defined; it was the fabric of my virtual universe. Life’s old tapestries fold all too easily into boxes if new occupations tumble upon their space, however. Be they physical or digital, past times are past times – it’s not important to the brain the medium in which social connections took place – and we’re used to moving on. I made a book of pictures at the end of my five year run as Huck (you can see it for yourself at http:// issuu.com/huckleberryhax/docs/ five) and largely this has served when the mild urge to reconnect to those times has asserted itself. What’s surprised me, however, is just how significantly I miss building. Never really, a mainstay of my SL – more of a side-line; something I dabbled in from time to time – I didn’t for one moment assume that this would feature at all prominently in any tug back towards the virtual world. Don’t get me wrong: when I was in the mood to build, I could do it for hours and barely notice that the time was passing. I built things from that post-war period when the future we now live in was envisioned as a wondrous time of atomic rockets and robot servants and flying cars: ‘60s and ‘70s artefacts such
as Danish Modern furniture, teak-veneered electronics and concrete buildings with angles that seemed determined to defy nature in every manner possible. But this celebration of the childhood memories and fantasies of Generation X was more about nostalgic play than it was about any determined effort to make and sell retro-futuristic merchandise. The grand opening of my Second Life shop was always just around the corner because the small business of actually building my Second Life shop was something I was just too lazy to do. I never bothered learning how to make my own sculpties, buying off-the-shelf blanks when I needed one for furniture I was building, because getting into third party software was just too much like hard work. And there was about as much chance of me learning how to design mesh, once I’d seen the user interface for Blender, as there was me spending the several weeks it would take me to sort my aforementioned inventory into neatly categorised folders. Basically, I built stuff for occasional, therapeutic fun, and nothing more than that. Yet, bizarrely, building is one of the things I miss most of all about SL right now. Building, after all, wasn’t a set of people or a place belonging to a time now over; building was something I did – albeit only occasionally – and did
throughout my entire SL. Many of the other things I did whilst I was inworld, like writing poems and stories, I actually did alongside it and can continue to do now; building, however, is an SL-only activity. Yes, I know I could learn 3D modelling in an external application, but given my feelings about the amount of commitment required by such things, this isn’t very likely. One of the things I loved about building was the keen eye it gave me for potential textures in the real world. The sheer joy at finding a texture that both offered a good angle and looked like it could be made seamless without too much effort was a difficult phenomenon to relate to those unacquainted with its quality. Some 1970s sky blue tiles between two shop fronts which had just been revealed by a large patch of plaster falling off. A forty-year-old wallpaper in a beach shop in Normandy. An avocado-on-white lattice design on a ledge in the gents’ toilets of a conference centre that used to be a secondary school. Yes. The mobile phone camera is a wonderful thing when such treasures reveal themselves to you in your passing (the women in the beach shop to this day must wonder what the hell I was doing taking photographs of her wall). My most used texture of all was the teak veneer I used for my DM furniture: part of
the reason I love this style is that my parents had loads of it when I was growing up and my mother still owns quite a bit. But the years haven’t been kind to these surfaces (I confess, I played my part in their current grubbiness) and none of it looked good enough to sample for the creation in SL of something I wanted to look brand new. Imagine, then, my excitement when I remembered the rarely used expansion leaf hanging under the centre of my mother’s dining room table and rotated it out to reveal near-virgin quality teak veneer. I felt like a fiveyear-old at Christmas. I’ve written here before about how immersion in SL can sometimes bring about a heightened sense of awareness of RL detail; to be able to look at a blandly refurbished 60s building a thousand times previously ignored and spot suddenly a glimpse of its original design and aspiration – a miniscule breakthrough of the recent past, blinking through a crack into the future – is a new pleasure I relish and one I would not have if it wasn’t for my building in SL. I enjoy my surroundings more, even if I don’t now rush every time to take pictures of what to everyone else looks like a badly maintained bit of wall. Simply looking and relishing the look is enough.
There’s a lot made of building in SL from the perspective of creating saleable content. I, for one, will always maintain support for the notion of a virtual world in which the content is user created: this is one of SL’s defining and most magnificent features. But building is also just fun and everyone should at least dabble in it from time to time. And if the cost of uploading textures puts you off, I feel duty-bound to point out that InWorldz® has an identical building system to SL, except that texture uploads are free. Don’t worry about making something that’s going to earn you millions: just find a sandbox and build something you’d like to build. It’ll make you happier. Huckleberry Hax writes novels set in Second Life. You can download these for free from www.huckleberryhax. blogspot.com.
Club of the Month
Club and Gallery
Writer Kathy Nikolaidis Photographer Natasja Schumann
tâ€™s unusual to find a club and gallery together in one space but for Lanne Wise, owner of the BeBu Club and Gallery, the two work in perfect harmony together. Wise is no stranger to owning a club and knows exactly what she wants to present to visitors; she delivers her vision with elegance and style. The first thing one notices when visiting her sim for our talk is a sense of peaceful relaxation. Itâ€™s a place to visit with a friend, pull up a chair, have a drink and unwind.
AVENUE: Why did you come to Second Life® and how have you enjoyed it to date? Lanne Wise: I’m an artist and educator in real life, so I originally came into Second Life to take a digital copyright course at the SL Harvard Campus. It was really wonderful, but during this time I’d just log in, and go to class, and then log out...(I didn’t really go anywhere else). One night someone in the class asked me if I’d like to go dancing. I said yes, and that was the beginning of everything. AV: What’s your passion in Second Life? LW: In no particular order (my passions are): art, music and people. AV: What gave you the idea to combine a club and gallery? LW: They’re both passions of mine. I’ve learnt a lot from the clubs I’ve been a part of and the DJ’s I’ve met and worked with from all over the globe, as well as the artists I’ve met. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t interact. This gives me a way to bring them together. AV: What have you learnt from the experience of SL in general and from owning a club in particular? LW: That’s a hard one to answer. I think overall I have a lot of respect for the possibilities of SL in general. The things that
I see people doing here are amazing. I sometimes bring my real life students in-world and try to show them the potential and that SL isn’t just a game; it’s a workspace as well. SL has a steep learning curve, and sometimes they don’t see it right away. I know that I wouldn’t have known the people I’ve met and the things I have been introduced to if I hadn’t been in SL. I have a healthy respect for Linden Labs™. I don’t like everything they’re doing, but they seem to be trying to find a way to balance their needs and the needs of the people who want to create in world. I hope to see more of that. AV: Have you had previous experience in running a club or gallery in Second Life before this venture? LW: Yes, I have. My first club was also called BeBu, (I ran it with) two guys (called) BEli and BUgs (hence the name). I had a gallery upstairs there, and the first DJ and artist I worked with were Dane Koba and Yvonne Bourgin, respectively. I then met a fantastic DJ, Silus Kappler, who taught me more about music than I ever thought possible. We had a place called Enigma. The next place was Terra Lounge. It was built by Court Goodman and there was a gallery there as well. I now have Bebu again and have come full circle.
AV: What are your goals and hopes for the club in the near future and long term? LW: Well, I finally feel like I’ve come to a place where I do this well. People come for the music and they know it’ll be good. I hope they stay and look at the art (or come for the art and stay for the music). I don’t really care about how MANY people come. Popularity isn’t a primary concern; that isn’t why I’m here. I want to have a quality place where people feel comfortable and have fun. AV: Do you scout for artists or do they find you? LW: I generally find them or have people suggest them to me. The gallery is, at present, really set up for and focused on two-dimensional work, although that could change in the future. I generally think of a theme for an exhibit and then invite the artists. The exhibit I have on display now, for example, was the idea of bloggers and business owners who use SL photography, but don’t think of themselves as artists--but the images are wonderful! Also, I’m only interested in SL art, not real life photos. AV: How long did it take you to complete BeBu Club and Gallery and what have been the challenges putting the club together? LW: Once I decided I wanted
to do the club/gallery, it didn’t take that long. I thought about things like how people would move through the space, what would make the music work, making the DJs feel comfortable, the kind of wall space I wanted for artwork and the landscaping that would pull it all together. When I lost the Terra Lounge club, which was on a homestead (so we could never have more than 30 people), because the landlord left SL and Court (Goodman) didn’t want to be involved anymore, I was able to reflect and regroup myself. There’s always a period of time when you more from one club to another where you take a step back and decide what you want to do moving forward. I did that for a while and then it just fell together. I’ve been working with people in here for a long time and things have been fairly drama-free (laughs), so I’ve had a lot of support from deep house music lovers. I work with all kinds groups of people in real life so I’m fairly good at getting along with people. You have to. AV: What have been the best rewards of running BeBu Club and Gallery to date? LW: When people are here and I know they’re enjoying themselves. That’s the best. Another rewarding experience when I am thinking about the next exhibit. As an artist in real life I like to do that.
AV: What words would you use to describe BeBu Club and Gallery? LW: Comfortable environment, quality house music, interesting artwork. There are a lot of different kinds of clubs in SL and some I really love, such as Dogglounge and Deep Connection, but BeBu is also a reflection of what I love. AV: What events do you have? How can people who are interested find out what events you have or more information about the club/gallery? LW: I have a weekly party on Sundays, and occasionally during the week there may be something spontaneous. I generally post them on Twitter and send out notices in different groups, such as: World of Deep House or A list. I also post them on Posterous. AV: Is there anything else you’d like to add that you haven’t mentioned yet? LW: There are so many great DJs and artists in SL, and I’m happy to support them. I hope people will drop by! BeBu Club and Gallery, Whispering Falls [122.11.21].
DJ of the month
Writer ShaiLi Alex Photographer Sea Dench
usic is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre. Music is the art of combining sounds. Our lives would be much emptier without music. This is why the work of a DJ should be appreciated; if music adds drive to life, then a DJ like Goodes Bade is the fuel that moves the fun engine.
“I can say that being a DJ is just one part of my life. It’s my principal hobby and a way of expressing myself,” Bade says. He started out by recording some podcasts for his friends’ parties, usually recorded to CD so he could enjoy the party with them instead of being behind the turntables: “As I had many things happening in my Second Life® was the easiest way to show my work and continue my hobby when I could get some free time.” Bade had regular gigs in a few clubs, and was in demand parties and events: “I had a couple of projects, some died, others continue, many may rise hopefully,” he says. Bade started out playing tech house and minimal. Occasionally he would mix eletronica in his sets: “electronica is a specific genre within electronic music - I also play techno and dub, mostly because of the atmosphere it creates. These are what I call my base genres. I also play UK garage and future garage, glitch and IDM, and classical music is to create transitions or to just bring a pleasant break in the groove” he says. Bade says his work is directly related to the arts. In college, he majored in arts because he’d always felt the need to express himself artistically--usually through visual media: “Honestly, I’m not sure when I became a DJ, I never saw myself as a DJ. At one of our art projects we
discussed the idea of connecting visual and audio arts. Even not going forward with the idea the concept stayed and the curiosity to explore this subject kept nagging at me, so I had to try. First by making some simple tracks compiling samples, then starting mixing. This was back in my teens, so around 2002. This was my starting point, and what led me here today”. Bade says his inspirations come mostly from emotions: love, sadness, happiness, memories, dreams. “ The result of that inspiration is his great success as a DJ, which he says only happened because of a the people who supported him and all the musicians and artists who’ve inspired him. Asked to name a memorable experience, Bade recalls a time when he was an unknown in Second Life® and was invited to play in a club “ Vega or something, they changed the name to Home and I’m not sure it’s there anymore”. His idiosyncratic set arrangements drew attention, and got him more gigs. He says “nowadays sometimes people IM me and tell me that my music has such soul and feeling, this always gives me a smile since I know I can thank my girlfriend for inspiring that emotion”. Now, Bade is working in a new project: he has a half interest in Drain club “but for a long time no parties have been held there. So we’re thinking of bringing it back, not
for residency, but more for some events happening few times per month. It is a very inspiring place, not a common club, more like a little place in forest lost from time and it perfectly fits my sets and the other DJs I like in SLÂŽâ€?. For those who still do not know DJ Goodes Bade, our DJ of the month, you can find him in-world every Tuesday at Poligon, located at Aeon Flux [126.28.23], sometimes at DeepConnection or Bebu, and maybe soon at Drain, all around 1 or 3pm slt. Follow him at: www.mixcloud.com/GoodesB.
AKEYO A Leading and Innovative Animation Creator in Second Life®
Writer Spruce Canning Photographer Sea Dench
here are many creators of animations in SL®, but Artoo Magneto’s detailed animations and painstaking creation process make AKEYO stand out from all the rest--as the brand’s loyal fan base would tell you. We had the pleasure to speak with Magneto about AKEYO and what he sees for the future of the business climate in SL.®
AVENUE: How does AKEYO compare with other major creators of animations, and what sets your brand apart? Artoo Magneto: I guess the main difference is innovation and passion. Most of the productive time at AKEYO goes to the creation of new ideas, technologies and motions. For me, Second life is one of the first steps into something amazing that I’ve waited for since the term “cyberspace” came up in the mid 90s. So, much of my motivation comes from the desire to push the boundaries. One example would be the AKEYO PowerAO System, on which I have spent huge amounts of time and development. It’s now a great system with cloud computing based on powerful database servers; other brands just...take the free ZHAO, make a new skin and throw in all kinds of freebies like arm overriders, emoter functions and such and then call it “the most advanced AO in SL”...which is just sad. Another example is my animations, for most of my Overriders I had to run multiple approaches until I was satisfied with the result. I use different actors performing the motion that I have in mind, and do motion capture sessions on the same thing again and again until I am happy with it. (To)... do...something similar (to other creators) would be much easier, of course, and would leave
plenty of time for marketing and selling. Which is where I see the focus in most other brands. AV: What new product lines have you come out with this year, and what are your plans for mesh integration? AM: I thought I’d just skip the whole mesh thing, but then I couldn’t resist making a hoodie that I always wanted for myself. So now I’m playing with it and working on my second mesh clothing item. Also I still work on my third female AO Animation Set. But that is really tricky. I have something awesome in mind. Artistic, feminine and beautiful. And like the alterNate AO. It’s going to be something NEW. There were already 3 Motion capture sessions for this AO, but I didn’t yet find a girl who can perform what I have in mind. I hope the best for the next attempt. Also there might be a new AO System coming up. It is already in production and it’s starting from scratch. People love the PowerAO and how easy it makes putting together your own custom AO. The new system however, believe it or not, will make it even easier and at the same time more flexible and powerful. AV: Where do you see AKEYO a year from now, and how do you plan to get there? AM: AKEYO is my passion, which I do aside from my RL
work. I want to put more time into it now, to be more productive - especially regarding the animations and AO system. My dream would if AKEYO would become a special place where people just hang out and having a good time. There is a lot to explore outside of the store. Places with atmosphere where you can take pictures and meet and relax. It would be awesome to make all that even better and nicer. I’m tired of all the places that have no other goal then to sell you something. AV: What’s your opinion of the business climate in SL, and where do you see it heading under the current management of Linden Lab? AM: if business climate regards to the stores and brands in SL and their selling of virtual goods, I guess it’s going pretty much downward. Of course I don’t know how the others are doing, but when I move around in SL it feels like 95% of the places are just shops and malls...which are like the leftovers of a big gold rush that is pretty much over. I hope people will return into creating awesome places and expressing something to make SL a place that’s worth visiting. Linden lab is doing well, if you ask me. Of course one million people have 3 million opinions on how Linden Lab could do better. But that’s always easy to say. Its still a user created world.
And you can’t blame Linden Lab if most of what people create is junk. AV: In conclusion. What advice can you give to a new SL entrepreneur as he or she is starting out on the grid? AM: Try to be innovative and create something awesome. Don’t redo things that you see other people do. Make something new, and also make places that are at most one quarter selling, and 3 quarters fun. It’s our own task to make SL something great and awesome that will survive and grow. Artoo Magneto is one of the visionaries who’s seen SL as the future of the Internet, or a very large part of it. There’s much to look forward to from AKEYO and with what we know is in store it looks to be worth the wait.
Forren Ashford Talent and love of
Writer ShaiLi Alex Photographer Forren Ashford
o anyone who’s currently reading: Take advantage of any skill that you possess and press forth with what you love to do despite others that try to tear you down, the obstacles that may seem to be placed on your path and the doubt that may encamp your mind that seems to scream“give up”. Second life® in particular is a platform where you can be whatever you want with practice, guidance and a little bit of faith. Do your best with whatever is placed in front of you, whether it is what you want to do or what you don’t feel is worth your time because at the end of it all, you doing that did help you with an aspect of yourself and may even build a new sense and definition of morality, along with increase your love for what you’re already doing. Peace and Love.” shared by Forren Ashford.
For some people, the virtual world is very far removed from reality...but if you’ve seen the work of machinimatographer Forren Ashford, you may find youself questioning that idea. Her use of first person camera angles adds a deeply immersive element to her work. It’s thanks to her talent and creativity that Ashford has achieved success in a relatively short time; we sat down with her to talk about her work. AVENUE: To start with, I’d like to ask what inspired you? How did you start making videos, and what do you consider to be your best works? Forren Ashford: Right, well, film and the arts have always been a major part of my first life as well as Second Life®. Film (machinima) in particular, in SL® was something that I came across quite a while back even before I created an account – I think it was a fashion show that I saw, and a few other artistic pieces that just really left me in awe, so I set off into SL looking for a way to express this love of mine through a new medium. After a few months of being in SL and balancing a modeling career and creating machinima, I was gracious enough to have been given the opportunity to film Glam Affair & Tableau Vivant’s show “Sent To Destroy”. It made an impact on my SL, for the better of course – just the thought of it brings a smile to my
face. I’ve been doing machinima since around December of 2011 to be exact where I first tested my skills by filming a Winter Fashion Week. So just a few months. AV: “Sent to Destroy” was an event widely reported in SL fashion media. How was making the video for this event and what inspired you? FA: Well, taking it back a few days before filming the magnitude of the set itself - the post-apocalyptic meets the day after tomorrow theme was just absolutely amazing and from that point I had a slight vision of where I wanted to go with it – create a balance and get the vibe of the show across to the viewers watching the video. That meant showing the set while focusing mainly on the clothing being showcased. Now, the making of the video was quite exciting in itself--being able to build an emotion through film (the whole process was just excitement all around to be honest). Within edit, there were a few things I did want to touch on – such as the poses that were held toward the end of the show by the collection of models along with camera shakes that sort of added a grunge to what the set/outfits and video would eventually combine to become. AV: I see that all your videos are related to fashion. Is this a
coincidence or you decided to devote yourself exclusively to fashion? FA: Not a coincidence at all, I live and breathe fashion and as that is an aspect of who I am, being able to combine everything I love into one just seemed like the perfect route. The filming, the clothing, the art within the builds, the music arrangements and the overall creation and being able to satisfy others – just a beautiful thing. AV: You seem to love what you do. How do love and talent influence your work? FA: I do – I often strive for creativity while still staying true to who I am – having a familiar nature that people recognize in film is pretty important to me so having an identity really does mean a lot. Love and talent really can influence a person’s work – you can love something but may not have the skills or talent to pull of what you envision. Then there’s having talent but not really loving what you do, which can often result in lackluster work or just a “lack of” it altogether. Personally, I really love what I do and I like to think that I have a sort of talent with doing what I love. These two things together produce drive, a sort of drive that makes you eager and excited to move on to the next thing whether it may be bigger or just another challenge that brings you to develop more
of whatever you may have been lacking (as to why it may have been a challenge in the first place). AV: You say you love all forms of artistic expression. Everything we create has a little of ourselves. How do you identify yourself through your art? FA: Yes, very true. As a person I’m very…out there I suppose I should say, VERY dark, styled a bit on edge, thoughts quite vulgar, but then I’m also very positive and from a design point of view I’m a perfectionist – so usually everything that I do will have my thought process of dark vulgarity in it. I just love things that identify with the darker side I suppose – it’s always great to experiment with that part of yourself, being the villain instead of a hero – being the outcast instead of the incrowd. I identify with the world as well, I feel that there are too many similarities and not enough differences so I always strive to push myself mentally to take it to the next level with whatever I’m doing – whether it may be film or something fashion related; all forms of art – the way I see it.
still be on the rise to something bigger and better; hopefully. The feeling of accomplishment and anxiety seems to be a constant emotion of mine tied with the hunger to want to do more-you can never do enough, even if you’ve done all you personally think is possible. Overall in terms of what I’ve done, I’m proud of myself. In a short amount of time I’ve made my name known by some and that alone really does say a lot to me. See her work on her Youtube site.
AV: To what do you attribute your success, and how does it make you you feel? FA: Well, I feel my success will be defined when I make a change altogether in various SL industries and yet even then I’ll
Writer Quan Lavender Photographer Eve Kazan
hat is real? What is not? We think we can tell the difference. But can we? What if we are residents in Second LifeÂŽ? Most would say that it isnâ€™t a real experience. But if Second Life is not real, then why do we have real feelings here?
Virtual art is still fighting for recognition as “real” art, as did photography. It’s encouraging that four Second Life artists were invited to participate in the currents2012 New Media Festival in Santa Fe, held from June 22nd to July 8th. Artistide Despres, in “Huxley, Orwell and Ivory Towers”, deals with current world events and their influences on artistic creativity. In “Stirring the Dreams”, Haveit Neox illustrates personal darkness and different paths back to the light. (The works of Despres and Neox are still on display.) The third artist was Tyrehl Byk, who contributed his breathtaking particle shows. The fourth participating artist is Bryn Oh, who is by far the most popular artist in Second Life. Her installation for currents2012 has been open to the public since July 9. On arriving inthe sim Immersiva, we see a typical Canadian landscape, with the slight darkness and intricate details characteristic of Oh’s work. Oh explains that the sim design is a tribute to a group of Canadian artists who were active about 100 years ago: the “Group of Seven”. Oh says of a tree: “This Jack pine is based on a painting by Tom Thomsen, who was one of the Seven.” But in Oh’s contemporary 3D version, the needles have been replaced with plastic bags, fluttering in the wind. This detail references not
only pollution, but also the decay that awaits us in the house that is the sole structure in the sim. The house is a replica of a real house in Canada, where a woman named Virginia lived before she moved to a nursing home. Virginia is 80 years old and nearly blind, and lived in the house, alone, for 20 years. Over many years Virginia recorded hundreds of audiocassette tapes. Oh listened to them all and believes that the suffering of Virginia suffers from undiagnosed schizophrenia; the work, “Virginia Alone”, is about a woman who struggled all her life with reality and her perception. Entering the almost-empty house, we see Virginia seated in her kitchen in an armchair; there are cardboard boxes scattered about, the floor is strewn with photos and letters, the rooms are streaked with dirt and cobwebs. In a room to the right of the kitchen is a piano, keys yellowed and discoloured like a mouthful of bad teeth; in front of it lies the skeleton of a cat. The dirt and decay is clearly visible, but at the same time the house has a dreamy, somehow magical aura. The nature of Virginia’s illness cannot be seen at the first glance; visitors have to dig for it. The extent of her suffering has to be explored step by step. Visitors have to open cabinets and boxes.
By interacting with scattered tape-recorders they hear parts of Virginia’s recordings, as well as an recorded interview with Oh. These fragments, and the contents of the letters strewn about the floors, put together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, slowly give a picture of Virginia’s life. The reality she inhabits is different than that of other people. And even awareness of that difference can’t keep her from losing those she knows and cares about, one by one--husband, children, relatives, friends and neighbours. She is unfailingly pleasant, but her words and actions, which others around her can’t understand, make it impossible for them to get along with her. She understands that. She says in one of the recordings that she repeatedly tried to fix things around her, but failed. She talks of things and people appearing and disappearing mysteriously. She tries to explain these phenomena by concluding that she must have multiple personalities. When Oh, in her interview, tells Virginia about Second Life and virtual worlds, she compares her perception of reality to a virtual world.
haunting and disturbing portrait of a world where nothing can be taken for granted, and where sooner or later everyone goes away. One gets a great respect for this woman, who tries to cope with her condition and unhappy life with humour and optimism. Residents of a virtual world may be closer than others to the understanding that virtual realities…things we feel and experience, although they may not “exist”…are “real” as modern neuroscience tells us. All of our experience is virtual, in the sense that that our brains create coherent images from our sensory impressions. Our experiences in SL are real, even if we’ve learnt not to talk about them outside it…because we expect others to look at us as though we’re slightly mad. That’s how Virginia must have felt all her life. See Bryn Oh’s “Virginia Alone“ at Immersiva [141.146.33].
The meanings in this installation only become apparent to visitors if they’re prepared to explore and patiently browse the scattered bits of Virginia’s life. The reward is a
Writer Quan Lavender Photographer Simotron Aquila
S Where the Eagle DarEs
imotron Aquila is one of the most popular artists in Second Life速. Her works have a unique, clean design, and generally a serious theme. Her use of interactivity and animations guarantee fun for visitors exploring the slightly surrealistic works.
Aquila relates her beginnings in SL®: “I started in Second Life in 2009 mainly as a visitor, because I was interested in exploring interaction with virtual reality. During that first year, spent exploring the world, I started to think about the relations between the real and virtual dimensions of life. I’ve seen that in our “real” first lives as well as in our virtual Second Lives we have the need to establish limits that we’ll try to overcome. I started to capture these reflections in drawings, and the natural next step was 3D modeling.” Her first exhibit in SL was in 2010. There she showed “AERO”, a group of 4 independent scenes that investigate the double theme of being suspended above and anchorage and that represent the birth and the infancy of a new virtual identity. The ties to “real” identity progressively open to delineate a new dimension, a new role, new temporal and spatial coordinates. Lightness and suspension in some of their different meanings and properties have been the central theme of her artistic works in SL. The lightness of hanging above, suspended, while pulled by the weight of gravity, but also the sense of absence of void space and the weight of new possibilities. Aquila says: “I like to make my works in-world, using SL’s modeling tools and finding the
shape of my builds combining basic prims. I like to think that is Simotron (my “Second” me) who works at “our” creations. I’ll experiment with mesh for some parts of my installation when I feel that will be the better way to express my idea. I always try to use very simple, clean shapes. I use as few textures and colors as possible, to get almost a stark effect. I want the whole attention on the underlying message, so shapes, textures, colors and movements…and the name of the piece, of course…work together to evoke the meaning, but leave space for imagination.” As do all artists in Second Life she began with small pieces. She finds working on her big pieces today a bit difficult, because she’s very attentive to fine detail, and on a larger scale that means proportionally more work. The actors in her stories are always the visitors. She creates her environments in a way that makes one want to live in them. Aquila often builds the main scene with smaller scenes nested within, yet each with its own independent identity. She chooses for her titles the language that seems to fit better in terms of euphony of sound or nuance of meaning with her works. When AVENUE asked her about her artistic influences she said that she is not influenced by particular artists, but that she appreciates the camaraderie of
the art community: “ I know so many talented people in SL, both artists and not. They always give me new ideas, new visions and new perspectives on things. Working together on a co-operative project, to share my reflections and my efforts with them is one of thing I love most in my SL experience. I have many interests in art outside of SL: I’m following some of my favorite illustrators and lately, I’m very taken by some artists who make their ‘artistic action’ in urban or sometimes abandoned spaces: to mention a name, I’ve recently discovered Isaac Cordal and his ‘Cement Eclipses; I very much like his installations.” Her current installation “Wandering off the point” is her biggest work so far. It is a sort of slice of an imaginary city, developed on two levels. In the streets, fierce figures go around framed by the spot of powerless spectators bent under streetlamps, while flock of surveillance cameras look at you “for your safety”. Simotron has tried tried to capture a biting snapshot of a frenetic ordinary day full of small things and repeated occurrences, with a critic eye on the vulnerable “unlimited” freedom we have conquered and on the influences that various mechanisms of control…from advertising to CCTV…have on our everyday lives.
For this installation Simotron has chosen three of the characters who lived in the city and she has transformed them into avatars. These are available as gifts at the entrance and can be worn during the exploration of “Wandering off the point”. The visitors become part of the composition and animate it with their presence. Two machinima and countless photos have been taken at the installation. They can be seen by clicking the flyers scattered around on the floor. Don’t miss this cool and funny installation. It is currently a guest exhibit at Eupalinos Ugajin’s “A [Kou!] simulation” sim at LEA23. Aquila is now working on a new piece to be exhibited at Two Fish, Rose Borchovski’s sim. Although the opening date isn’t set, AVENUE asked for a small preview: “I cannot give you anticipations, but I can tell you about the theme Some time ago I read an article that spoke of research that neuroscientists are conducting to see if it’s possible to erase - not just alter, but totally wipe clean - traumatic memories, by means of chemical substances in combination with traditional therapy. It explained that memories are not so defined and unchangeable. Every time that we recall a memory, we have a different representation of it, modified by its relationship to our present feelings and knowledge. And also: relating an event, sharing it
with others, produces a change in the memory that we have of this event. If the personal memory, that is tied up with our experiences and the emotions, is so precarious, how much plastic and easily-manipulated can collective memory, intended as a shared and commonly approved representation of the “truth” of the facts, be? Can we be sure about the authenticity of the testimonies and documents shown as real and guaranteed by the media? In a society globalized and dematerialized, this uncertainty can turn into a serious threat to our independence of thought.” We are looking forward to another exciting installation from Simotron Aquila; in the meantime, enjoy ”Wandering of the Point” at LEA23 [128.128.2].
Twenty Sims, Three Hundred Exhibits
One Diverse Community Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Vivienne Graves
t the recently concluded Second Life® 9th Birthday event, people were reminded once again of Second Life’s past, present, and future. There were twenty sims for exhibition space, andvarious activities such as concerts, parties and speeches--all sticking to this year’s theme: community.
A little number crunching: on the twenty sims donated for the event, there were a total of three hundred exhibits, all built by Second Lifeâ€™s residents and the diverse communities they belong to. Amazing. Yet all were united in passion and creativity. We all took this platform and made a lot of truly amazing things. We stand united with our various talents, equipped with our drive and fuel to do wonderful things to share to everybody. It was a celebration of diverse communities sharing passion for their shared world, Second Life. In those three hundred exhibits,a vast array of SL communities were represented; LGBT, the Asian community, musicians, SL media, artists, builders, role playing groups, the disabled, and more. Among many things to see and do, there was a fun exhibit that traced the history of SL content development in a ride through a tunnel (it was fun looking at how skirts and shoes evolved in SL), immersive art, a train, an automated tour pod to ride if one feels too lazy to move around, and as per tradition: an exhibit of contents from inside past time capsules. Something massive as this event must be incredibly hard to organizeâ€”especially when the residents themselves have done 100% of the work. Linden Research, the company behind
SL, chose starting this year to no longer host the SL birthday celebration, to widespread disappointment. So it was left to residents, some of whom have volunteered since the first SL birthday in 2004, to come up with sponsors. Many questioned whether the event would be successful left without Linden support; however, it was—a success story despite the many occurrences that tested the organizers’ mettle and determination. Even with time constraints, SL9B was executed with great care, love and determination by residents, the people who are most passionate about the virtual world. Saffia Widdershins gave a rousing keynote address at the start of the event with many phrases that speak to SL’s wonderfully eclectic community. Out of those words, a phrase jumps out: “But it’s not their birthday... it’s ours.” This sums up what Second Life is for so many who’ve embraced this world and made it their own. They were given a canvas to play and create into, and for a lot of people, this is a very powerful thing. It is also a rare thing, and not everybody understands what people do in SL, and why—but that’s okay; they will understand eventually.
Turning over the celebration to the residents was a smart move from the Lab; by relinquishing oversight, Linden Lab shown great respect for what SL’s residents can achieve together. It is truly “your world, your imagination” in SL, and together, we’ve made this place magical, beautiful and ours. Happy Birthday to US. website: http://sl9b.wordpress.com/
by marimari Yuitza
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