Stylist Takeshi Kiama Photographer Miaa Rebane
ith summer around the corner for the northern hemisphere, things are heating up in this month’s AVENUE. Our new fashion editor Miaa Rebane and our team of stylists bring you a range of eclectic looks, ranging from earthy to ethereal. Gracing this month’s cover is AZUL, a successful label that’s carved its own niche over the years. We interview AZUL’s Mami Jewell, and she shares what’s new since her last appearance in these pages.
Be inspired by some of the grid’s favorite artists and let them lead you “Further Along the Path” with their new collaborative project, an extension of the installation “The Path”. For further artistic explorations, discover the ephemeral Daytime Dreams of French artist and builder Dolphin Aeghin. And here’s to running in the sun with the sand beneath your feet and the wind in your hair.
Enjoy every moment, because: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Unknown Carpe diem.
Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher AVENUE
40 miStyle ĂŠclectique
68 Trendspotting Ethereal
116 Interesting Sim Gulf of Lune
Fashion 32 40 50 56 68 84 98 106
Cover Story Azul miStyle éclectique Fashion Icon M4ri1yn Magic Featured Designer ISON Trendspotting Ethereal Edge of Style The Softer Side Blogspot Histoire d’A. Model of the Month Miaa Rebane Lifestyle
116 132 140 152 162
Interesting Sims Gulf of Lune Sports & Recreation LZ Productions Perspectives Club of the Month Energy Club DJ of the Month Bouncer Criss
AVENUE Magazine June 2012 cover Featuring Cieleste Magic in AZUL’s Shena Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel
Arts 172 182 198 208
Media Mojo Miso Susanawa Art Feature Further Along The Path Art Feature Daytime Dreams Inspirations
Publisher Managing Editor Fashion Editor Copy Editor Creative Director | Photo Editor | Designer
Emma Portilo Miaa Rebane Vivienne Graves Paola Tauber
Senior Marketing Executive Marketing Executives
Livia Mastroianni Xandrah Sciavo Absinthe [ sinontherocks ] Carley Benazzi
Augusta Carver Huckleberry Hax Lexie Jansma ShaiLi Alex Spruce Canning Umberto Giano YeriakTH Couturier
Boe Cortes Brie Wonder Dantelicia Ethaniel Diconay Boa Lulu Jameson Strawberry Singh
Annough Lykin Asia Rae Natasja Schumann Ozz Larsson Seashell Dench Sophy Meridoc Tillie Ariantho
Anne Dakun Eve Kazan Miso Susanowa
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
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Mami Jewell The Allure of AZUL
Writer Emma Portilo Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel
VENUE is pleased to have the opportunity to revisit an esteemed Second LifeÂŽ creator who weâ€™ve previously interviewed in these pages for an inside look into her life and her business: Mami Jewell, of Azul.
Since our last visit, many wonderful things have been happening for Azul. The Miss Azul competition has continued, the number of requests for custom gowns for SL pageants has grown, the creation of unique gowns for fundraising and relief efforts generously continues, and new releases continue one design after another.
to pageant stages. How does it feel to be such a sought after designer? MJ: Honestly I’m not sure what ‘success’ is for me though I know I’m happy that so many people in SL wear my creations, have a great time with my creations, and get something out of my work. I love being a part of people’s Second Lives.
Emma Portilo: Ms. Jewell, I’d like to thank you for the chance to speak to you today. Mami Jewell: I’d like to thank AVENUE for interviewing me. (Smiles)
The things I create from my own inspiration have been popular, but that popularity has led to much more custom work creating gowns for pageants. It’s sometimes not easy—I struggle a bit to make exactly what the contestant wants—but all the requests give me a chance to learn something new. It’s an honor to be chosen as a designer by so many lovely contestants.
EP: Many wonderful things have been happening for the Azul brand. Has all of this been overwhelming for you? MJ: My SL work has been busy nonstop since I’ve started with Azul—I’ve almost lost the proper balance between real life and Second Life at times. I sometimes have problems with time management, but I still enjoy creating! I’m happy that I can do something good with my creations, so I join charity events as much as I can. I’m always very happy when I see I have something to do today! I guess I try to keep myself busy. (Laughs) EP: You certainly seem to be succeeding with that. Your success is obvious, and your gowns are seen all over the grid from the ballroom floor
EP: I’m sure it is an honor for the contestants that you can accommodate them. We’ve seen so many beautiful and inspired releases from you—do you feel you’ve reached the end of your creativity yet? MJ: Never! (Grins) I am always thinking of how to manage my time, improve my skills, and create what I have in my head. I have quite a few incomplete works in progress in a folder on my PC, and there are many rough sketches in my notebook. I try to find the time to continue to work on these things and I get new ideas almost every day...
it’d be easier if there were two of me. (Smiles) EP: How has the evolution of mesh into SL and the fashion world affected you? MJ: Mesh is definitely evolutionary for SL; I’m enjoying wearing mesh items myself. Unfortunately, my workload of custom orders for pageants hasn’t left me the time to really work much with mesh, yet. I believe mesh still has some issues, but I do hope to make use of it— it’s a bit difficult to explain my thoughts on this, but I’d say I try to get digital results with analog methods. I’ve worked hard to overcome SL’s limitations, and mesh blew away all my efforts! (Laughs) However, it definitely gives me more tools for creating the things I see in my mind; I feel that mesh will let me go to the next level, and I look forward to updating some of my current items with mesh. EP: What do you think is the key to being beautiful in SL? MJ: Cooperation with people, being nice to people, helping one another, and not losing yourself, I think. (Smiles) EP: What are things you absolutely could not live without in SL? MJ: Creating and friends. EP: What are things you would love to live without in SL?
MJ: Drama and romantic relationships! EP: Youâ€™re quite generous with your time and devotion to charitable causes. Has karma treated you well in return? MJ: I am thankful for what I can do here in SL; my SL work was a help in real life when I was having a hard time. I like to think that most people would like to help others; I have something I can do with my skills, so I do it...and I like to think you get back what you give; I feel like karma has helped create the environment I have, where I still can run AZUL and enjoy creating in SL. EP: Can you tell us what kind of surprises Azul holds for the future? MJ: Iâ€™m building a new main store, and I hope to have it finished this summer. (Smiles) EP: I want to thank you for sharing your talent with those of us in SL and wish you much success in the future. Thank you for setting aside time for us and for opening yourself up to our readers. Learn more about Azul creations at the blog, or visit the main store at Joia Azul [129.130.25].
Hair: Elikatra Bodysuit: Ă‰poque Necklace: Atelier AM
ĂŠclectique by Miaa Rebane
Outfit: BareRose | Mocha Hare Turban: Lelutka | BADU Earrings: Magic Nook Skin: Atomic
Lingerie: Fishy Strawberry Hair: Lelutka Skin: Atomic
Sunglasses: Fishy Strawberry | Vintage Candy Bar Glasses Dress: tram | vintage denim Hair: Lelutka | Watson Skin: Atomic
Writer ShaiLi Alex Photographer Boe Cortes
ark and stormy. Lightning a piercing of the darkness. Broken windows. Abandoned and destroyed buildings. Downed power lines. Trees stripped of color and life. Charred remains of vehicles on streets. Bridges that are only a shredded remain of their former strength. Hardly the progressive, cutting edge, and alluring set normally used to draw one into the excitement of the presentation of fashion. Yet, there is something about it. The eye will not release its gaze and the mind remains focused. Itâ€™s fascinating and powerful and draws you in.
This technique for presentation brought to reality is the result of an alliance between the minds behind Glam Affair and Tableau Vivant. A partnering created to bring mesh clothes, skins, eyes and piercings together in an inspired project showcase boldly known as “Sent to Destroy.” A dark and stealthy production, M4ri1yn Magic of Glam Affair and Aida Ewing of Tableau Vivant are the bright and creative minds that are behind the achievement. AVENUE talked to M4rilyn about the project, the inspiration, and the brands. ShaiLi Alex: “Sent to Destroy” is a collaboration between you, Aida Ewing, and Ayden Darcy, and is a powerful presentation. Where did you get the inspiration? M4rilyn Magic: We were inspired by the industrial music and the avant-garde fashion that led us to the “Sent to Destroy” project as you saw it. SA: How did collaboration between you and Aida first begin? MM: It started when Aida asked me to work with her (on) Beauty Avatar Couture back in 2009, and my real debut was in December 2009 for Boudoir Secrets. After that, we decided to work on a brand together.
SA: How did bringing - HoD into the effort come about? MM: Ayden (Darcy of - HoD -) is a great and talented artist and we enjoyed a lot to work together. We share a love for post-apocalyptic style and Aida and I were thinking to add accessories to the new mesh collection. Who better than Aydan? So we involved him in our project. SA: What do you think Glam Affair and Tableau Vivant have to offer to fashion in Second Life®? MM: Honestly? We follow the latest trends and keep up with what’s current in fashion shows, but we create things we like. SA: What is the focus of Glam Affair and Tableau Vivant? MM: It may seem obvious, but in everything we do from a skin to a dress, our guideline is always the refinement of details. SA: What characteristics do you think you express through your work? MM: A mix of heart and head. Neither can go far alone, because their strength is in the alliance— and of course the heart is Aida. SA: Your creations have been well-received by the fashion market. How do love and talent influence your work? MM: If our goal was mere profit, we would probably not have as positive a response. With
every creation we try to improve and face new challenges. And surely this wouldn’t be possible without a strong passion for what we do.
Visit Tableau Vivant at World of Beauty [47.133.24].
SA: Glam Affair and Tableau Vivant are prominent names in Second Life, to what do you attribute this success to? MM: You mentioned the fashion market. Well, we don’t consider our customers as being “the fashion market” but as people with specific tastes and high standards; based on this awareness, we always try to offer them the best; this attitude is probably the basis of our success.
View the powerful machinima presentation of “Sent to Destroy”.
Visit Glam Affair at Beauty Avatar [62.133.23].
SA: What can people expect from Glam Affair and Tableau Vivant in the future? MM: Lots of newness! We’ll be introducing new skins, with a new body with different features to our previous ones. And of course, (more) mesh clothing!
ISON Fashion that means something
Writer Seth Diabolito Photographer Annough Lykin
ashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.â€? - Coco Chanel
As Coco Chanel said, fashion is born in the world around us. Harry Hyx, owner and designer of the year-old fashion label, ISON, shares the same design philosophy. Whether conceived from within or from a trip as was the case with his Spring/ Summer 2012 collection, the pieces that Mr. Hyx creates for the women of Second Life® are truly inspired. Seth Diabolito: What was your vision when creating ISON? Harry Hyx: ISON reflects how I view fashion. I’ve always had an interest in fashion so when I created ISON, I wanted it to be the place to find current and fashion forward clothes at an affordable price. I’m forever finding inspiration in my surroundings and emotions —I recently went travelling around Asia, and have tried to incorporate some of that influence into my latest pieces! SD: Where did you get the idea to create your current line? HH: ISON’s clothing line is always evolving. I don’t really design for a specific season or theme; it’s all about the moment and how I feel. I try to create pieces that reflect current trends in RL fashion, but this doesn’t limit me. I did recently create a mini collection for the Culture Shock event that was inspired by the classic American road trip— driving in a convertible in the
hot sun is something I’ve always wanted to do! SD: I see that your current collection is entirely focused on women’s fashions; any plans for a men’s line? HH: My main passion is creating a strong, interesting women’s line. I’ve often considered creating a men’s line, but for the moment, I’m concentrating on perfecting and building on my female line, but never say never. Keep watching this space! SD: In addition to your clothing, you have handbags, shoes, and some wristwatches; do you have any plans to further expand your accessory offerings to include things like jewelry? HH: Not so much into jewelry. Whenever I design, I usually have a look in mind and I create accordingly. To me, the ISON woman isn’t big on accessories. She has a couple of statement pieces, but she lets the clothes speak for themselves. I do however love bags and shoes so you can definitely expect to see a whole lot more of that. SD: The ISON look is very clean and modern. There’s very little in the way of prints or patterns. Why is that exactly? HH: ISON is simple and chic, and we do have a few statement pattern pieces, but I love clean lines and modern pieces. I like
to play with construction, design and proportion. I’m not even big on color. I love muted tones and monochromatic shades. SD: Are there any other plans for ISON? If so, can you share any of them? HH: ISON is preparing the launch of its new website ison.sl, a redesign of our main store at Warrumbungles [123.65.1000], and a sister line called “H by Harry Hyx”. We’ll be releasing further info soon! SD: Who is Harry Hyx in SL? When you’re not creating, what do you like to do? HH: Harry Hyx is a man of mystery. I hate to say it but Harry Hyx in SL is very boring! My main passion in SL is creating, and I’m one of those designers that just enjoys it, so most of the time you’ll find me in my skybox naked trying on stuff! Occasionally, I’ll come out to go buy some stuff to change up the look of my home! SD: Who is Harry Hyx in RL? HH: Not a lot of people know this but Harry Hyx’s real life name is Harrison (HarrISON); that’s where my brand name comes from. I’m from Montreal; in my real life, I’m a graphic designer working in fashion. When I’m not creating stuff in SL, you’ll most likely find me playing video games. Right now, I’m addicted to Tera.
Mr. Hyx draws inspiration from the world around him. He possesses a real verve for design and a commitment to the women of Second Life. He gives them pieces that are both fashion-forward and versatile enough to wear anywhere, anytime. Though ISON is relatively new to the fashion scene in Second Life, the brand has raised its profile significantly since opening its doors in April 2011, and itâ€™s clear that the best is yet to come. Learn more about ISON on the website ison.sl or visit ISON main store at Warrumbungles [123.65.1000].
Dress: Meghindo | Carmen mesh gown Hair: Bliss Couture | Dani Hair Earrings: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Vienna earrings Skin: MiaSnow | Sweety pale
Ethereal by Dantelicia Ethaniel
Dress: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Paradox Gown in Fruitista mesh Broche: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Human Nature headpiece Cuff: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Human Nature skull cuff Earrings: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Human Nature Earrings Hair piece: Claudia Jewell | Spirit avatar Head piece: CapCat Ragu | MetaBody Silver Face tattoo: CapCat Ragu | MetaBody Indigo Shoulder pieces: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Santigold Shoulder cuffs
Dress: House of Rage | Elona Hair: CheerNo | Aurora Wood collar: Plank Couture | Dog Tooth Collar Metallic collar: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Kumlysa necklace Circlet: Soedara | Tarantia dâ€™Or Unum Head jewel Hand henna: GoK | Aphrodisia Skin: Miasnow | Sweety pale
Dress: House of Genevriot | Vasique Hair: Faster Pussycat | Crown Gothic Earrings: Paper Couture | Organic Hoops Skin: MiaSnow | Sweety pale
Dress: Ana Lee Balut | Shoshana Hair wrap: Ana Lee Balut | Myrthe Turban Necklace: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Spanish Armada Necklace Kimono coat: Milky Kimono | (modified) Bindi: Soedara | Exotic Berjuang Tari Bindi Skin: Plastik | Aleria Elven Nautical
Dress: Vero Modero | Leylak Bolero: Ameliarae Beauparlant | Venessa Bolero Hair: Bliss Couture | Dani Head piece: Bliss Couture | Alethia Hat Skin: MiaSnow | Sweety pale
Skirt: Miamai Black Label | Amalia Black Wings: Vitabela’s Boudoir | Poe Chest feathers: Vitabela’s Boudoir | Kiss me at Midnight Cuffs: Osakki | Cuffs Gun Metal Circlet: Soedara | Tarantia d’Or Duae Skin: MiaSnow | Sweety pale
Edge of Style
The Softer Side by Boe Cortes
ith summer just around the corner, what better way to say goodbye to spring than with soft tones and natural colors? Earthy, natural spring tones don’t need to be dull, and there’s certainly a wide range of options and enough variety to suit all styles and occasions. So why not bring out the softer side and show that you don’t have to wear black to be mysterious?
Hair: Boon | EKE119 Jacket: KEANE | Quonan Suit Shorts: KEANE | Quonan Suit Shoes: FIR & MNA | The Solas Shoes Scarf: Tee*fy | Soft Cotton Tied Scarf Mask: Contraption | Mister Perplex Mask
Hair: Shag | Demolition Lover Jacket: SEY | Mesh Cardigan Shirt: NERD.P | Escher shirt Pants: Celoe | Yasmine pants Shoes: DP | Classic belt short boots Mask: Contraption | Waltonâ€™s Mask
Head: Plank Couture | Lord Brilliant - Lucius Wolfram Bulb Head Jacket: SHIKI | Plaid Blazer Shirt: NERD.P | Scoop Neck T-Shirt Undershirt: AOHARU | ElegantSuit Pants: Vive9 | Rolled Harem Pants Shoes: Shi | Fabrik Lace-Up
Histoire d'A. by Anne Dakun
Skin: Glam Affair | Leah Lipstick: Illusory | Love Lips Hair: Burley | Zia Sunglasses: Epoque | Cubism Shades Body: House of Fox | Anja Basic Bodysuit Pants: Glam Affair | Lou Pants Ring: LaGyo | Mongrain Bag: NYU | Pastel Brushed Leather Bag Shoes: NYU | Minimal Leather heels Pose: Label Motion
On the left: Skin: The Body Co. | Orchid Lipstick: Illusory. | Love Lips Eyeliner: MONS | Eyeliner Fierce Hair: Wasabi Pills | Hawk Swimwear: House of Fox | Basic Pushup Set Nails: Izzie’s | Spring/Summer Classic Nails Pose: Del May On the right: Skin: The Body Co. | Petal Lipstick: The Body Co. | Petal Makeup Hair: Wasabi Pills | Hawk Eyeliner: MONS | Eyeliner Fierce Swimwear: House of Fox | Basic Pushup Set Nails: Izzie’s | Spring/Summer Classic Nails Pose: Label Motion
On the left: Skin: Glam Affair | Leah Lipstick: Illusory | Love lips Sunglasses: Epoque | Oversized Shades Hair: Lamb | Ruby Flower head: Split Pea | Pluck all your silly strings Sweater: Elly | Sophisticated Knit Top: Ricielli | Blair Minijumpsuit Shorts: Ricielli | Summer Minishorts Necklace: LaGyo | Old Watch Bag: Mon Tissu | Straw Tote Bag Bangle: Mandala | Lotus Fall Nails: Izzie’s | Spring/Summer Classic Nails Pose: Label Motion On the right: Skin: Glam Affair | Leah Lipstick: TSG | Light Red Lipstick Sunglasses: Epoque | Tapered Shades Hair: LaViere | Wind Song Flower head: LaGyo | Nocturn Orchyds Fascinator Necklace: Yummy | Lobster Clasp Jumpsuit: Ricielli | Blair Blazer: Ricielli | Blazer Ring: LaGyo | Mongrain Bag: Ricielli | Yuse Bag Nails: Izzie’s | Spring/Summer Classic Nails Pose: Label Motion
2012 we got it covered.
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Model of the Month
Face of Inspiration Writer Xandrah Sciavo Photographer Miaa Rebane
rom model to style icon, there are few in the Second Life® fashion industry with the talent and vision of AVENUE’s June Model of the Month, Miaa Rebane. Rebane embodies the unusual dichotomy of quiet, regal grace and a fierce runway persona. With an incredibly creative sense of style to boot, she is a force not easily forgotten in today’s virtual fashion scene. Read on to learn more about her persevering and positive spirit and how her love for art has influenced her.
Xandrah Sciavo: Miaa, AVENUE is delighted to be highlighting you as the June Model of the Month. You’ve risen to the top of the SL® fashion industry, becoming a true style icon. Can you tell our readers how you got there? Miaa Rebane: I first heard about Second Life when doing a research paper for a real life class. Out of curiosity, I signed up. It was really fascinating, seeing so much creativity. I used to paint in real life, but since I started working a few years back, I don’t have time for artistic pursuits as demanding as painting on a day to day basis. What I do in Second Life® somehow fills that creative void for me. And that’s the reason for everything that I do in SL®.
and my experiences inspire my style.
XS: After witnessing the creativity of everything you do here, I don’t think anyone would be surprised to learn that you a have real life background in art. As an artist, a model, and a stylist, what things inspire you? MR: I heard a scientist on the Discovery Channel say, “The greatest gift the Earth could give to the Universe is life.” I guess life is the inspiration. Each and every one of us is a unique and interesting individual. One of the ways we show our individuality is through our style. Style can have many inspirations—experience, emotion—inspiration can come from anywhere. The things I like
XS: Like real life fashion, Second Life fashion certainly has its trends. What do you think are some of the most exciting things to happen in SL fashion? Do you have any predictions for the future? MR: There was a time when SL fashion had nothing to do with what was current in real life fashion. Today we see the latest trends in real life here in SL around the same time that they’re popular in real life, which to me is very exciting. I hope to see what I would expect in real life fashion here in SL, such as color blocking, psychedelic prints, metallic basics, and lot of skirts and dresses.
XS: Most people involved in SL fashion circles have an interest in what’s happening on real life runways as well; which real life designers pique your interest? MR: Right now, I really like Angela Brandys and Issey Miyake. Both have very different styles. Angela’s latest collection is in vibrant colors, combining fabric trim and other materials fused to create an outspoken collection that brings to mind everything from Harajuku girls to Liverpool punks. Issey Miyake is a Japanese avant-garde designer. Miyake’s approach to creation is the freedom of ideas, unconstrained by any preexisting rules or framework.
XS: After a short period of time as a model, your career really took off and you became a recognizable name in the SL fashion scene. How did your Second Life change for you at that time? MR: Honestly? I don’t feel any different than when I started to model. My competition is with myself. I try to improve in anything I pursue and that’s what keeps me going. I’m amazed when someone leaves a touching comment on my Flickr or sends me an IM. I don’t feel that I’m all that. I think keeping what you want from your SL in perspective and knowing your priorities from both lives is the only way to enjoy SL without letting what happens here overwhelm you. XS: How did you deal with any challenges you may have faced during your career? MR: There have been some incidents which made me reevaluate my attitude towards SL. I’ve accepted the fact that no matter what you do, there will be a small group of people who will try to bring you down— directly or indirectly. I just ignore the negativity. I will continue to prove myself through my professionalism and my work. It isn’t easy to handle negative feedback—but if you learn the art of dealing with it, I believe that it’s beneficial for personal growth.
XS: What advice would you give to up and coming models? MR: First, be unique. In SL, anyone can be attractive. What makes you stand apart is your personal style. Creating the perception that your avatar is one of a kind can help you capture people’s attention and make them remember you. You can achieve this creating a unique shape, having your own oneof- a-kind aesthetically pleasing style, or both. Imitating the style of others will help you get into modeling, but it won’t help you set yourself apart from the crowd. Second, stay current. It’s important to know what’s current in fashion in both SL and real life. Lastly, networking is important. Whatever area of SL fashion you’re in, whether you’re a stylist, store owner, designer or agency owner, you have to invest time in meeting people who can help you get to the next level. Networking is invaluable and it works. As much as you want people to be interested in your work, you need to be interested in theirs. Meet people and genuinely get to know them, don’t fake it. Engage, find common ground, and remember that networking isn’t a one-way street. People may not respond straight away or ever, but keep going forward. XS: What can you share with us about the woman behind the avatar and what’s important in her life?
MR: The person behind Miaa Rebane is in her late twenties. I grew up in India, which I wouldn’t trade for anything because it made me see the extremities and contrasts of life, and appreciate even the little things that I have. I love to paint and tend to do it when I am feeling very strongly about something—I can be inspired by of joy or sorrow. I like dressing up, but I don’t follow trends blindly; I go for creating a beautiful picture. I’m obsessed with jewelry, but not the delicate type—I prefer statement pieces, bright and colorful. From what I’ve said, you may get an impression that I’m a brooding artist in real life but I’m far from it - I’m a goofy geek who works as a user interface designer for a software company. I need music in my life; it completely drives my soul. I listen to lot of classical Indian, Emily Sasson, Norah Jones, The Beatles, etc.
AVENUE pleased to announce that Miaa Rebane will be joining us as Fashion Editor; To see more of Miaa, visit her blog or check out her monthly column, miStyle, in AVENUE Magazine.
XS: And a final question: If you left SL tomorrow, what legacy would you hope to leave behind? MR: I’d like to know that I had created something beautiful through my avatar and my work that is beautiful for people to look at and cherish - that I’ve used my creativity to the best of my ability and knowledge and was able to make a space for myself, even if it is small, that set me apart in this virtual space.
Writer Lexie Jansma Photographer Sophy Meridoc
he hectic lives we all lead aren’t merely confined to real life. So many Second Life®denizens are just as busy; rushing off to events, going shopping, hitting a club, getting ready to work, fill up the average SLer’s day. It can be tough to find the time to appreciate some of the natural wonders to be found around the grid. The Calas Galadhon parks bring 11 sims of woodland, grasslands, mountains, beaches, lakes, and marshes to soothe and relax. Be prepared to spend some time and some walking, as there is no flying or rushing in Calas. Taking a Break at the Gulf of
As soon as you arrive at The Gulf of Lune, you find yourself immersed in the sounds of natureâ€”crickets chirping, birds calling, cicadas singing â€”transporting you to a more relaxed and peaceful place. The Gulf of Lune is a perfect destination to escape to with someone special and enjoy a few quiet moments. There are plenty of special little couple spots including couples walks, romantic boat rides, and inconspicuous dance machines for tripping the light fantastic among the mix of enchanting marshes and luxurious grass. For those who are afraid to get their tootsies wet in the crystal clear waters, bridges of weathered and aged woods connect one grassy island to the next. Wildlife and water fowl abound in the gulf. Mallards swim among the marshes, while pelicans can be found nearby, perched on a dilapidated dock. Elk graze on nearby grass as turkeys waddle about, displaying their plumage. Winding trails connected by covered bridges are perfect for horseback riding. Overlooking the natural splendor is a romantic and rustic lodge set among low mountains that blends perfectly into the natural surroundings. Cattails sway nearby, surrounding a stained glass solarium that houses several overstuffed
comfortable sofas perfect for snuggling up and taking in a bit of nature. Elegant furniture and art deco touches blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, providing creature comforts in the woods. The lodge and solarium aren’t the only buildings to explore in The Gulf of Lune. Each location is unique and interesting. If you’re an intrepid wanderer and fancy seeing all 11 of the sims, you can do so from the air. Calas Galadhon offers an amazing hot air balloon ride that flows seamlessly from location to location, showcasing all the natural wonders and amazing sites you’ll want to discover later on foot. The Gulf of Lune blends seamlessly with the rest of the Calas sims. It is easy to wander among them and find yourself in yet another location spotting new wildlife, finding new hidden gems, and slipping further and further from your everyday hectic Second Life. Visit: Gulf [225.211.21].
Sports & Recreation
Not your run-of-the-mill
Writer Seth Diabolito Photographer Sophy Meridoc
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.
Writer Huckleberry Hax Photographer Eve Kazan
t’s that time of year again, when we momentarily put aside our grumbles about lag, TPV clauses and the whimsy of online relationships and pat Second Life® on the back once more for extending its existence by another year. Yes, SL® is nine; one more year to go to the almighty decade, provided a Mayan prophecy doesn’t come true between now and then and ruin things for everybody. Bloody Mayans. They clearly had far too much time on their hands.
Visualizing the metaverse of the future
Assuming, then, that we do indeed make it to this momentous anniversary, the likelihood is that the blogosphere will use the moment to make a few prophecies of its own. What will SL be like on its twentieth birthday? Will there be a twentieth birthday? I’ve decided to jump the gun on everyone and begin that speculation now. After all, if the blogosphere is right, there might not even be a tenth birthday, and that would be an opportunity for carefree, utterly-without-evidence speculation lost. In fact, I’m going to ignore SL completely in my 2023 visualization. Let’s just say, “What might the metaverse look like on SL’s twentieth anniversary?” Whether or not SL is going to still be around to fill that role by then, I confess I have absolutely no idea. But I do believe (Mayan prophecies and other foretellings of the imminent Eschaton aside) there will be a metaverse of some description around then. I can’t actually imagine how it could be otherwise. Online 3D gaming and social networking are huge. The desire to exist beyond that which physically surrounds us is as great as it’s ever been. It’s only a matter of time before these things converge on a large scale, and if SL hasn’t captured—
and doesn’t ultimately end up capturing—a mass market on the concept, I suspect this will only be viewed in retrospect as an attempt at an idea that failed because it was just too far ahead of its time and didn’t quite get the finer details right. A bit like the Apple Newton. So the 2023 metaverse I’m imagining is immensely popular. Gone are the days of snickering at the guy who let it slip he had an avatar in ‘Second Life’ and residents no longer have to fight the desire to respond to such poorly concealed mirth by smashing people’s faces in. It’s now pretty much accepted, in fact, that metaverse activity and trade is the new direction for online time— much as Facebook is accepted today—and the only poorly concealed smirks to be found are those of the smug, oldtimer metaversians privately giving each other gleeful highfives each time a real life work colleague asks discreetly for tips on managing inventory or cybersex technique. How has this been achieved? Improvements in technology have, of course, helped. That all-important ‘first hour’ is now smooth and slick and satisfactory. Super-fast broadband speeds of 100Mb or more have reduced lag to hardly noticeable in all but
the most crowded of regions. Large screen displays offering life-size avatars; photorealistic environments, simulated down to the smallest blade of grass; cameras that watch your real life body for movements that can be mapped onto your avatar: all these things make immersion more complete and more immediate than it’s ever been before. 3D immersion glasses also have a following, but the tabloids have had a field day with research linking them to headaches and occasional epileptic seizures. It’s not at all the technology that’s had the biggest impact on mass uptake, however: the metaverse’s redesign is acknowledged as being largely responsible for that. In the end, all it took was for someone to look at successful social media and actually apply what had been learned there to virtual worlds like SL. For example, there were certain things that most new Facebook users ‘got’, even before they’d logged on to the network for the very first time; the most powerful of these was the understanding that everyone on Facebook had their own space where you could find out things about them. In the 2D world of the web this space was understood to be a web page. In the 3D world of the metaverse, therefore, it was
realized that this had to be some sort of three dimensional place that represented in some customizable way the person it belonged to. In the new, successful, metaverse, then, signup takes you straight to your very own place. For free. The notion that having any sort of a home is a luxury residents should pay for has been identified as an unworkable business model; instead, everyone gets a free place of a certain size and money is required to make it bigger. You start off with a default house and small garden that you can customize to your heart’s content and if you want a bigger area, then you pay. Simple. And if you want your own space to be something promotional while renting to actually live in someone else’s space (or have residences in a number of different spaces) then that is just fine too. It’s no longer a single cyberworld, then, as SL was. But SL was never really a single world in any case. Few people actually walked or flew from region to region in the days of SL; teleportation was, of course, the norm—and, in the case of private sims, essential. Naturally, you can still teleport from place to place in metaverse 2023— let’s call it ‘Huckverse’ for future retrospective patenting
purposes—it’s just that the old pretense of a single world has been dropped. If you have the money, you can extend your own space into an entire planet if you want to, or you can link your space to the spaces of your friends and make one up between you. Linking spaces, in 2023, has become the modern day equivalent of friending. Did I mention that all these spaces are accessed via a web page? Of course they are; why would anyone in their right mind ignore the number one infrastructure in use for accessing the internet (why indeed; why indeed)? The knowledgeable amongst you might just be thinking right now that the metaverse described thus far isn’t an entirely new concept. Google, in fact, tried something not completely dissimilar back in 2008 with its Lively experiment. Announcing the product in July 2008, Google manager, Niniane Wang said of it: “If you enter a Lively room embedded on your favorite blog or website, you can immediately get a sense of the room creator’s interests, just by looking at the furniture and environment they chose. You can also express your own personality by customizing your avatar’s look, showing people
who you are without having to say a word. Of course, you can chat with each other, and you can also interact through animated actions.” But Google Lively lasted for just six months. Because what it was was an attempt to apply that which made social networking successful to a 3D environment which completely ignored that which made virtual worlds successful. What seems to be ignored by the ever-searching eye of IT hunger is that Second Life is a successful venture. Where it hasn’t succeeded so far is in achieving mass-appeal, but where it has succeeded— and spectacularly—is in the retention and creativity of residents who do become immersed in it. Once you get past those first few awkward hours that are such a turn-off to so many, the time and talent invested by residents in SL becomes very considerable. Any serious strategic consideration of a mass-appeal metaverse, therefore, has to consider not just what makes people sign up in the first place, but the things that make them want to stay once they’re in. Google Lively was just a 3D chat-room with a few frills—not massively different from Microsoft’s ‘Comic Chat’ in 1996 (also discontinued). Customization of your room and avatar was
extremely limited and making new content was nothing like as easy or as comprehensive as it is in SL. There was very little sense of immersion. The graphical look was very cartoonish. Navigation controls were fiddly and non-intuitive. Basically, it sucked. Huckverse, then, will combine social networking expectations with all those features we know and love in SL—and just know that others would love if they ever gave SL a proper chance. User content creation will form the basis of a thriving online economy (an economy which, incidentally, is not limited to the metaverse alone—you’ll be able to spend your Linden™ dollars earned on Amazon or iTunes, for example) and more tightly interlinked with real life products (clothing manufacture, for example, will adopt the principles of current print-on-demand technology, enabling people to design clothes for avatars which can also be bought in the real world). Inworld events and experiences will be regarded as real and tangible and worthwhile pursuits. Online relationships will be attended to by some as the biggest threat there’s ever been to conventional life and by others as the beginning of a new understanding of human interaction and love (although
psychologists probably won’t get around to studying it seriously until about 2053). And so on. My dearest hope is that Metaverse 2023 will in fact be SL. On that issue, we shall just have to wait and see if Linden Lab’s™ imagination and courage is up to the task. For the moment, however, such fancies can be put aside. Nine years is quite an achievement, regardless. Happy Birthday, Second Life. Huckleberry Hax writes novels set in Second Life. You can download these for free from www.huckleberryhax. blogspot.com. Visit Eve’s Flickr stream www. flickr.com/photos/21669146@ N06/.
Club of the Month
T Writer Lexie Jansma Photographer Seashell Dench
he music is pumping, you can feel the vibrations radiating through your body, and you havenâ€™t even entered the club. Youâ€™re still standing outside in the middle of the mall. The energy is palpable as it radiates from the open and inviting doorway that leads to rhythm nirvana. The fresh and funky mix of house, techno, and trance all mixed live by world class DJs makes your body itch to move to the infectious beat.
Energy Club has a hip ultramodern lounge vibe that belies the intense beats and energy that can be felt the minute you walk into the cool gray, white, glass and metal club. The multilevel dance floor presents plenty of opportunities to see and be seen. Crystal lights reflect rays of light over the pulsing floor as the worshipers of the high energy tunes sweat out on the floor. Behind the impressive DJ booth with its multi-tiered boxes for the high-energy Energy Dancers is the slogan “100% Energy Sounds.” That energy radiates through the club; there are comfortable seats, but they’re always empty—everyone is out on the floor shaking it up. The owner of the club, Thelemaxos Rewell, is a suave Italian Casanova who’s just as high energy as the club he founded. If you’re lucky you can catch his live set on Fridays from 12-2pm SLT; it’s sure to make you work up a sweat on the dance floor. The staff of the club are helpful, playful, and international, and they go out of their way to be welcoming and make sure everyone is having a good time. The patrons of the club are just as cosmopolitan, and you’ll meet people from all over the world. There’s always someone around to help and every time I’ve been there the floor is always packed with eager supplicants worshipping at the sacred altar of the DJ.
Of course the heartbeat of the place, the music, is exceptional. Each DJ brings their own flavor, funk, and unique global perspective to their set. With Energy Club being open 24/7, you’re sure to find something to appeal to your musical sensibility. The DJs serve up an eclectic mix that includes deep house, dance trance, and funky techno beats that’s sure to keep your feet moving and your ass shaking. Energy Club hosts a variety of events including charity DJ exhibitions, which aren’t to be missed. The best way to keep up with the sheer variety of events is to join their group. They’re always trying out new DJs and adding new and interesting sounds to their lineup. Make sure you come ready for a high energy time and be ready to move as the beat pulses through your body and transports you to dance floor utopia. Visit: Energy [108.124.32].
DJ of the month
A rock music
fan Writer ShaiLi Alex Photographer Seashell Dench
eople generally think that it’s easy to be a DJ; of course, it isn’t, as Bouncer Criss shares with us. Before becoming a top DJ, Criss tells us, he had a rather different Second Life® job: “(I was a) male dancer”, he says, with a slightly embarrassed cough. “(but after a while) I was burned out, and it was time for a change.” His love of music made him decide to become a DJ: “ I’ve always loved music, I’m a rock music fan at heart and always have it playing in-world and in real life. I did some research on the Internet, talked to a few DJs I knew and taught myself, or asked questions of people I could trust,” Criss says.
That was two years ago: “I started out learning in some small clubs that aren’t there anymore. Now I DJ at Ambrosia Dance Club, one of the longestrunning and most popular clubs in Second Life,” he says. He tells us he’s inspired by the music and the energy of entertaining a crowd, drawing enjoyment from giving people a fun experience, but despite his success he’s remained modest: “I don’t consider myself a great DJ. the few in SL® who actually use turntables and spin live? Those are the great DJs, but there aren’t many of them.” In his two-year career, Criss has had memorable experiences: “I have two experiences that stick out for me. The first one is the very first night I DJ’d, I was very nervous, I didn’t have a lot of music in my collection at the time. I was almost to the point of stuttering, and also working my butt off to download requests that I was getting for the clients. The second experience was not long ago. I was DJing and we had about 80 people at Ambrosia. The place was packed, everyone was having a great time, and I was feeding off the energy. A amazing night!”. Of course nothing is easy, Criss says the hardest part of a regular DJ gig is maintaining originality and finding the latest and greatest tracks. “I usually
spend about a hour before each DJ set, looking for new and good music. I’m more of a entertainer. I like to keep the crowd active and talking. Anyone can put music in a broadcaster, rent a stream and play music in SL. For me, it’s about interacting with the crowd and having a good time. There are many DJs in SL you’ll never hear speak, or the customers at the club are dead quiet. The DJ may as well be an iPod!”. So how does Bouncer Criss spot a good SL DJ? “I define a good DJ as one that entertains the listeners, keeps their virtual booties moving on the dance floor. The best feedback any DJ can get is, after a 2 hour set, some random person sending an IM to say ‘awesome set, loved what you played tonight’ or ‘thanks, I had a great time’. That’s the thing that puts a smile on my face.” To end our interview, I ask if he has any new projects: “I have three things that keep me very busy in SL®. I DJ three times a week at Ambrosia Dance Club. I also have my blog Pixel Phasion 4 Men that I’ve been doing for a little over a year. My latest project is my new pose store, Bounce This Poses. I’ve gone from a very small shop to a quarter-sim urban build. That’s my baby, and I’m working hard to make quality poses at an affordable price.”
You can find Bouncer Criss spinning at Ambrosia Dance Club, Tuesday nights 8 - 10pm SLT, Thursday nights 6 - 8pm SLT, and Sunday mornings 8 - 10am SLT. Go there for dance music in a fun atmosphere: Ambrosia Dance Club [48.123.687].
Writer YeriakTH Couturier Photographer Miso Susanowa
iso Susanowa’s “DADDY” is a powerful and emotional work, echoing with the voice of Sylvia Plath, from her poem of the same name (originally written in 1962 and published posthumously in 1965). Susanowa’s machinima adaptation and original soundtrack capture the rawness and emotion of Plath’s poem. Susanowa’s work on this project comes from the heart, expressed with the nuance of feeling of a true artist.
YeriakTH Couturier: What does this machinima mean to you? Miso Susanowa: (It’s about) the ghost of abuse and the influence it has on a person, especially when it comes from a parent...to express this I used Sylvia Plath’s poem of the same name (‘Daddy’). YT: What inspired you to undertake this project? MS: Sylvia Plath has been an influence on me since before high school. The sculpture piece was actually a 3D construction from a painting I did when I was 16—I’d forgotten about that painting, until recently. YT: Did the project present any particular difficulties? MS: Only prim limits, I have a very limited workspace here, so that piece had to be done in sections and filmed on a friend’s sim. YT: What’s your advice for aspiring machinimatographers? MS: To watch many films and try to understand the language of the camera and of cinema. YT: What tools do you use in your work? MS: I use a variety of musical tools—keyboards, recorders, processors; computers. YT: What’s your favorite genre of film?
MS: I have eclectic tastes in film and enjoy many genres; my favorites are speculative science fiction & art films (Fellini, etc.) YT: What has been, for you, your most memorable machinima project? MS: This one (Daddy/ Venomous Constrictor) has. YT: Was working on this piece very emotional for you? MS: As this piece was done in homage to Sylvia Plath, I can only say that I understood Ms. Plathâ€™s poem very deeply in my heart, from similar experiences. YT: What message are you trying to send with this piece? MS: The feeling of overcoming a great weight; the weight of the Father, the abuser, and the chains put upon the soul by such abuse and cruelty. The feeling of being overwhelmed by such a powerful, cruel personality and the feeling of being invisible. The feeling of surviving a terrible ordeal, but not unscarred. YT: Do you plan the sequence of shots, or improvise as the project progresses? MS: The shots were planned. Many of them came in the creation of the sculpture, in studying it and working on it. More came from the music soundtrack, which I composed before filming.
YT: And what creative influences inspire you in your work as a director and producer of machinima? MS: I am an artist based in sculpture; I am also a musician and sound technician. My influences are avantâ€“garde, musique concrete and ambient sound. YT: What was your original vision in working in machinima? MS: Mostly I wanted to document my sculpture. YT: What is your dream? MS: To be free of my past. YT: Is there someplace in Second Life that particularly inspires you? MS: My friendsâ€™ artwork inspires me, all across the grid. But my special place to work is near the Linden Sea, when I can. I love the Linden water; it is very well done and very conducive to my working. YT: And how would you describe your personality? MS:An introvert who pretends to be an extrovert. YT: What is your favorite film? MS: Blade Runner. YT: What is the biggest challenge you have in creating machinima? MS: Editing; I have only the Windows editor and it does not do HD.
YT: If you were to act in a film, what character you would like to play? MS: I would like to play Trinity in the Matrix; but Sylvia Plath is closest to myself. YT: Is there some mythological creature or fictional character you’ve created that you like most? MS: Long ago, I began writing a novel with a character that is very dear to my heart, a young fairy woman; in mythology? The fox. The wise trickster. YT: What would be your perfect evening? MS: My perfect evening would be... working while the sun sets, and then sharing the moon and stars with someone special, while listening to Shonen Knife. YT: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. MS: Thank you, I am pleased and honored. You can see Miso Susanowa’s latest work, “Daddy”, at Youtube®. And her website can be found at gomiso.blogspot.com.
Writer Spruce Canning Photographer Vivienne Graves
ryn Oh’s work “The Path” was a view through the looking-glass to what lies on the other side of reality. Further Along the Path is an extension of that; it’s based on the “exquisite corpse” (cadavre exquis), a technique used by Salvador Dali and the Surrealists, which involves collaborative assembly of a collection of words and images. According to Bryn Oh, the creator of the Path, the concept would bring the exquisite corpse to the virtual and interactive world that we know as Second Life®.
A Trip Through the Looking Glass
When one comes to the starting point, one sees a ringing telephone on a table; this serves as a unifying element as well as the teleport to each section of the build. The first section features a book on a stand; as one leafs through it, the elements of the scene reassemble themselves into a skeletal figure, who shambles toward the ringing telephone, inviting the viewer to follow. This piece was constructed by Glyph Graves, who explains of his part of the work: “The premise of Further along the Path, was to create... a loose collaboration based on the exquisite corpse technique. It didn’t necessarily have to be a surrealistic work. Having said that, there are obvious surreal elements in the piece. This would be that the inanimate could possess an avatar... that a work of imagination, the book, plays out in reality as you read it. Fundamentally... it’s about change... the ephemeral nature of virtual environments. Change, not coincidentally, is also what happens to people when they set out on a new path. This piece is more about revealing the unexpected, the unlooked for, hidden within the entities that inhabit the visual space. The morphing of the elements that compose the scenery into the human form was done to link the two as one. (It) also delineates a path for the viewer (who is also a participant). A path that may
contain frustration or even be unattainable but contains beauty as well. The frustration and unavailability symbolized by the enclosed telephone that runs away. As you see it is a multilayer piece that shouldn’t be neatly categorized.” One next finds oneself transported to Paramparamm Papp’s section of the piece. Papp’s work, like Graves’, evokes something of the Underworld of the ancient Greeks: Graves’, reminiscent of the banks of the River Styx, with the skeletal avatar the virtual Charon beckoning one across; Papp likens his to the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness. “The underworld appears in most religions and mythologies; the ancient Greek underworld has a good measure of water in it... my (part of the work) could be the cave of Hypnos, with the waters of the Lethe flowing through it. To proceed one must drink from it... or in this case, dive into it. So water has a valid presence.” As I jumped into the pool before me, I saw figures in various states of repose about the central table with its ringing telephone. Papp gave a very noncommittal response to my suggestion that his creation represented of the Greek underworld; “Since (this) isn’t really an explicit representation of one underworld or another... or an alien brainwashing device
in the outer void, I’d like to leave it to the audience to find their own meaning in the presence and state of the figures down there. They are welcome to meditate on it while listening to the monotone humming of the structure.” One next finds oneself in Alpha Auer’s installation, among gray figures... tumblers? wrestlers? Against a monochrome backdrop where float words in many languages, forming the sentence “they are speaking in unknown tongues”. Auer says of the piece: “The monochrome color scheme and typography are visual elements I use often... they’re not really specific to... Path 2. The thing that’s different here is that the text (and the sounds, of course) are meant to be in a language that we can’t understand, or maybe even a non-language that we aren’t meant to understand at all. So, then how do we communicate, when we can’t use language? That’s what I’m asking with all of this; that’s the message in all of it, the structure as well as the bodies piled inside . If there IS a message at all, that is—since again, if language does not allow us to convey meaning, can there be a message? Can words alone ever convey the entirety of what we see? And most importantly, is a verbal message needed? Can the visual not also be purely visceral?”
The teleport from Auer’s work brings one to Oberon Onmura’s piece, which calls to mind themes of mortality and the uncertainty of life. On a table is a telephone; at a touch, floating blocks assemble into stairways before one’s eyes. Two of them lead to certain death (in SL terms, an instant teleport home); there is but one safe path, and which it is is not immediately apparent. On finding the right path from Onmura’s build, one arrives in Eupalinos Ugajin’s part of the work, which brings to mind the interior of a dirigible or zeppelin; there’s a riddle here, whose solution leads to a secret room with two teleports; one of them places one in the air, circling the airship, the other leads on to the next section, the contribution of Ux Hax and Romy Nayar. Hax and Nayar have created an island where a woman with an elaborate, 1890’s hairdo rides a pennyfarthing bicycle in an endless circle, in front of a gentleman who is eternally caught just about to overbalance and fall into the water behind him; across a wooden footbridge, silhouetted against a backdrop that suggests the severe abstraction of a skyline, all spires and windows, an enigmatic, top-hatted figure brandishes a baguette, while off to one side a veiled woman dressed in mourning raises her hands to her eyes. Sitting on a
chair near to the landing point, one finds oneself under water, in the midst of a scattering of domestic detritus... a stove, bookshelves, a wicker laundry basket... and on a table, a ringing telephone. One next finds oneself in Ub Yifu’s installation, at the bottom of an enormous aquarium, surrounded by gaily-colored tropical fish. There is a spiralling ramp up through the murky water, symbolizing the path to consciousness—Yifu says of it,” The visitor arrives in a dream, deep in unconsciousness, and the fish is the guide to emerge into another level of that dream.” As one ascends, one is confronted with figures which permit many interpretations. Yifu goes on to add that “in my opinion, every visitor has a different interpretation of what they see, depending on their culture and background. I want them to use their imagination and so my work becomes multidimensional, since everyone views it differently. What I can tell is just my own interpretation of it... the scene is a tesseract, a multi-dimensional cube that can be use to travel between dimensions... so maybe that dream... or nightmare... scene is in fact a view of another dimension.” As one arrives in the “awakening”, the last section of
the sequence, there’s one more thing to see: a work by Bryn Oh, left out of her main build because it created script issues. As one approaches, one sees a collapsed house, planks scattered about, the porch the only part still mostly intact; coming closer, the parts of the house nearest one spontaneously reassemble, order briefly wrought from chaos, only to collapse again once one has passed. On the first floor, a man with wheels where his legs should be leans intently toward a flickering television screen to which he’s attached by an umbilicus. Ascending a staircase, one finds a nude, armless woman, reminiscent of the Venus de Milo. When asked how this tied into the exquisite corpse concept, Oh had this to say: “The disintegrating house is symbolic of a traumatic memory of an earlier time. The figure on the first floor represents what I think of as TV drones or people who follow the wake-commutework-commute-watch tv-sleep loop. The world of the character on the second level is falling to pieces in silence around her. The advertisements around her body are pressures and influences. All is deteriorating around her and she is helpless to stop it.” Oh continues: “The artists involved in an exquisite corpse build such as this generally do not collaborate to create a ‘theme’ but rather look back
afterwards to see what has grown from the planted seed. So what I would hope is that the viewer enjoys the organic and unique way which the creation grows from scene to scene as influenced by each individual artist. So while the questions for this interview revolve around the idea that Further Along the Path is about life and death, I personally see there being many other interpretations as well. Each interpretation differs from artist to artist and viewer to viewer. One of the fun things about an exquisite corpse build is that there are no preconceived directions for it to follow, its success or failure depends on how each artist is able to play off those artists before them.â€?
Like the Path before it, Further Along the Path invites more than just reaction to an artistic concept; it challenges observers to create their own interpretation of what they see.
Ub Yifu: LEA2 [43.49.1]
Start: LEA2 [177.181.23] Glyph Graves: LEA2 [220.99.22] Paramparamm Papp: LEA2 [224.10.21] Alpha Auer: LEA2 [101.49.634] Oberon Onmura: LEA2 [114.242.1011] Eupalinos Ugajin: LEA2 [65.194.3508] Romy Nayar & Ux Hax: LEA2 [57.116.22]
End: LEA2 [183.177.47] Bryn Oh: LEA2 [120.120.20]
Writer Lexie Jansma Photographer Annough Lykin
surreal island of black and white. A world of oily, inky blackness contrasted against white sandy beaches and crystal rippling waves. A place with mysterious keys suspended from nothingness that transport you to magical places. A snaking path, lined with ebony lampposts, where the laws of gravity are suspended and one can knock over stacked black boxes with childish glee or stare down faceless, immobile white mannequins that seem to move from the corner of oneâ€™s eye. This is Daytime Dreams, the creation of the amazing French artist and builder Dolphin Aeghin.
Aeghin has combined naturalistic and organic forms with architectural and manmade shapes in perfect harmony, creating a space in which to frolic and explore. Daytime Dreams is not just a static art installation, there to be looked at but not touched, but an interactive experience with a plethora of places to explore—touch a key to be transported to a mad chess game or a surreal tree dangling with television screens that hang like fruit, or play amongst the blocks and find a secret love nest. Second Life® for Aeghin was her saving grace. She was introduced to it at one of the lowest points her life. “SL®, for me, was a tool of reconstruction and transformation. I was in full burn-out. I had experienced an emotional and professional fall. I had lost everything.” For Aeghin it was a new beginning as she began exploring the virtual world. It wasn’t long after starting to explore the world of Second Life before Aeghin was inspired to create. She first got Daytime Dreams three years ago. It began as a communal place to have fun and create with friends. The sim quickly became “more personal... an exutoire (note: outlet for the release of desire)... I had discovered a new way to express myself through
SL; I love creating new worlds,” Aeghin says, though she doesn’t recall precisely how the current incarnation of Daytime Dreams began. Her inspiration comes from many places: novels, magazines, films, dreams. When it comes to inspiration, Aeghin feels “...man usually doesn’t create anything (in the sense we understand it), he combines, he compiles, and this is what gives something new and unique, it is personal and becomes what is called ‘creation’.” Her creations are very rarely commercialized or for sale and often are ephemeral. Aeghin will create a sim or an installation that will last a few days or weeks at most, simply as a means of expression. This need for articulating emotion through the canvas of SL has caused her to “trade in [her] brushes, acrylic, and tria in real life for a graphics pen and tablet.” Aeghin often collaborates with other artists, as in the project “The Fetish Circus”, working with with m0rgan Baxton, which can be found at Vice City [197.163.22]. The product of two unique and creative imaginations, this installation is not to be missed. Aeghin enjoys many pursuits —most recently pursuing an interest in photography and honing her Photoshop skills —but she does take time off
from her artistic endeavors to socialize and relax. The fluid and mercurial nature of Aeghinâ€™s creativity makes her an artist worth following. Past work can be found in her Flickr gallery. Take some time out... and discover a Daytime Dream as seen through Dolphin Aeghinâ€™s eyes.
Untitled Curated by Paola Tauber
artwork ÂŠ Piedra Lubitsch
artwork ÂŠ January J. June
artwork ÂŠ Marie. R
artwork ÂŠ Catherine Fairport
artwork © Teawood
artwork ÂŠ ~Amaranth~|.:Eclair:.
artwork ÂŠ ReiTuki Noel
artwork ÂŠ Eve Kazan
artwork ÂŠ suziqq honi
artwork © Yui Pooley
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