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AVENUE ultimate style Magazine issue 60 / September 2013

STANDTALL


Style & Photography by ThePierrot


Publisher’s note

Fall is my favourite season of the year. Bright oranges that burn into the reds, falling and fallen leaves that represent the shedding of the old, making way for the chilled hibernation of cold before breaking out and growing into the new. We don’t have to wait for the New Year to take stock of our lives and consider what needs changing and where we should go. This September issue is a marker of that on so many levels. This month, we grieve the loss of one of Second Life’s beloved fashion designers, Squinternet Larnia, who is well known for her beloved designs for her brand, Donna Flora. Squinternet’s designs are charming, romantic and timeless and we would like to honour her with a memorable tribute in this issue that has been written by Cajsa Lilliehook, who was integral to the recent “Love Donna Flora” fundraiser. It is inevitable that you will be moved and touched as I was, as Cajsa encapsulates so succinctly and beautifully, the beauty and presence of Squinternet Larnia’s life in others. The saying that “Life is so short” holds so true. With that knowledge, would the human race not value its brevity and beauty and instead debunk ugliness and cruelty of any form? And it is in this spirit, that I had agreed to place Stand TALL as our cover story this month an initiative that aims to create

awareness among Second Life residents about the various forms of bullying, particularly cyber bullying that occurs online. And if you’re ever a witness or a victim of bullying of any form, then find out more what you can do about it. We can all make a difference. At the end of September, let’s celebrate the creativity of the fashion industry again with AVENUE Autumn/Winter Fashion Week 2013. A successor to our first instalment of the Spring/Summer Fashion Week, the AVENUE team has been working relentlessly over the past months to stage a bigger and better event, celebrating over 50 fashion designers. Within this issue, we will let you in on a sneak preview of what to expect. This fashion week will be no less than exciting and enthralling as we preview exclusive designs and see where designers will be taking us for fall/winter fashion trends. I hope to see you there! On that note, let’s all remember to celebrate life, beauty and creativity in a positive way. You know...we only live once. Cheers,

Rusch Raymaker

Rusch Raymaker Publisher

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Photographer ThePierrot


Editor’s note

September has our AVENUE family busy and excited because this month will herald AVENUE’s first Fall and Winter Fashion Week. With over fifty designers, a fantastic set, and one of the grid’s most talented production teams, this week-long event promises to be a spectacular journey that you won’t want to miss! Read all about what to expect at AVENUE’s Fall and Winter Fashion Week in our Fashion Agenda column in September, where you’ll hear directly from some of the designers and get a sneak peek at some of the fabulous designs that will hit the runway at the end of September. We also want to take a moment this month to remember and honor Squinternet Larnia, a designer who enriched our lives in so many different ways. She passed on earlier this month, and Cajsa Lilliehook, a close personal friend of Squinternet and one of our AVENUE writers, has prepared a beautiful tribute piece for our friend, complete with photos taken by Squinternet, herself. Our September issue is chock full of sparkle as our stylist team brings you their take on 70’s Glam. From luxe looks to styles for the casual male and accessories for all, our September fashion section has a little something for everyone looking to glam up in vintage style. September’s lifestyle lineup begins with a feature on The Realm of Asgard, an amazing Viking-themed sim, and includes an interview with the owners of the famed roleplay shop, Solarium.

You won’t want to miss seeing what the creators at The Loft have been up to! Come and take a look at the first of three new Tuscan-style homes that will be released at the end of this month. AVENUE also offers our readers an exclusive look inside the mysterious Chamber Society – a fascinating read, but best suited for adults only! Bryn Oh has graced the pages of our publication before, but she’s back in September with Imogen and the Pigeons and an in-depth interview of this talented artist. Check her out in the arts section and learn what makes her brilliant mind tick. Last but certainly not least, you will notice that our September cover is devoted to the Stand Tall campaign, an effort founded by a group of people with the desire to foster the awareness and the eradication of all forms of bullying. Bullying takes many forms, including rampant copybotting, threats, and harassment that so many in our community have witnessed during the last year. Learn about what Stand Tall hopes to do for our second lives. Relax, grab a cup of whatever it is you’d like to drink, and get ready for an interesting read, including all of the above and more, as you open the pages of AVENUE’s September 2013 issue.

Xandrah Sciavo

Xandrah Sciavo Editor in Chief

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Cover Story

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Featured Designer

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Fashion Agenda

160


September 2013

60 28 56 66 78 88 98 108 120 130 138 146 160

Fashion

Lifestyle

Cover Story 172 Stand Tall Featured Designer 182 22769 La femme 194 Fall Glam Homme 208 Man About Town The Trendsetter 70s Luxury 220 His Details Retro Specs Focus On 230 Two Faced Urbanized 242 Incurable Nostalgic To the Nines Era of Influence BlogSpot The Mature Perspective Liv Glam Monthly Contest Glam Girls Fashion Agenda AV FW Preview

Lifestyle Feature Vikings Architecture & Interiors The Tuscan Dream Roleplay Solarium HotSpots The Object of a Proposition Recreation and Leisure Big Things Come in Small Packages Trending Desura Perspectives The Withheld Smiley

Magazine cover Featuring MsChevia Resident Digital Imaging + Art Direction Dantelicia

Arts 248 268

Featured Artist Bryn Oh Arts Feature The Singularity of Imogen

Creative Direction Rusch Raymaker

AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates AVENUE Models + Academy and AVENUE Marketing + PR. Online issues: issuu.com/avenue AVENUE website: www.avenuesl.com Visit us inworld at: Zenshi East 62.118.26 For exclusive updates, gifts, events and latest releases, join our inworld group: AVENUE Magazine Readers Press releases to: editorial@avenuesl.com Ad queries: ads@avenuesl.com Advertising and vendor requests: Amazon Silverweb, Amita Yorcliffe, Xandrah Sciavo


Staff & Contributors

Publisher Rusch Raymaker

Editor in Chief Xandrah Sciavo Creative Director Leah McCullough

Graphic Designers Leah McCullough Grant Valeska

Fashion Editor Anna Sapphire

Lifestyle Editor Umberto Giano

Marketing Director Amazon Silverweb Marketing Executives Amita Yorcliffe, Fuzz Lennie, Leezah Kaddour, Rita Hazelnut, Tandra Parx


Writers Casja Lilliehook, Huckleberry Hax, Isadora Fiddlesticks, Lexie Jansma, Liat Reina, Louise McWinnie Roundel, Prisilla Avro, Spruce Canning, Ziki Questi Stylists Amita Yorcliffe, Anna Sapphire, Arscene Dubrovna, Asia Rae, Calima Dufaux, Dantelicia Ethaniel, Diconay Boa, Eira Juliesse, Gabe Bookmite, Hikaru Enimo, Honey Bender, James Schwarz, Jax Aster, Josiah Lee Baxter, Leah McCullough, Neva Crystall, Pierre, Syra Hyun, Winter Jefferson

Photographers Annough Lykin, Asia Rae, Arscene Dubrovna, Calima Dufaux, Citta Wiskee, Eira Juliesse, Eve Kazan, Leah McCullough, Linda Reddevil, Nariko Okawa, Neva Crystall, Zazie, Ziki Questi

Contributors Grazia Horwitz, Leaf Spiritweaver, Thalia Heckroth


Cover Story

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TALL

Stand Writer Prisilla S. Avro Photographer Dantelicia Nue Graphic Designer Leah McCullough

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” ― Robert Frost

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ullying is defined as the use of force or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or to aggressively impose a certain type of domination over others. It can come in many forms, the main ones being emotional, verbal, physical, and cyber. Bullying is largely considered a very serious issue in schools of all levels, but as many of us know, bullying is not limited to schools. Bullying is all around us, in our real lives as well as our second lives. Some of us have been the victims, and some of us have been the bullies, and perhaps some have even been both.


Second Life® is full of creative and caring individuals who seek to combat the ills of our society, virtual or otherwise. Often residents will band together to make a statement. Stand Tall is the result of one such uniting of residents. As it states on its Facebook® page, Stand Tall strives “to provide a positive and progressive statement through community activism to help not only the victims of bullying, but those who may identify as being bullies themselves. Stand Tall aims to reach all communities of our virtual world to contribute an encouraging and supportive environment to talk about experiences and to, hopefully, help us all self-reflect on how we can all be better people to build a stronger community.” Stand Tall is supported by many residents in SL®. One of the driving forces behind the campaign is Sinontherocks Resident, known to many as Absinthe. “It’s our goal to provide an avenue for people to seek help, to find resources, and to come together as a community to start treating one another better. Stand Tall was inspired by a series of events that happened in our SL community that really started to reflect negatively in some social circles. To me, it felt as if people weren’t respecting one another and there was so much negativity happening in several SL communities. So, it was really my goal to try to bring something positive to Second Life and show that together, we can all stand together and really try to make a change to be better

people. Ultimately this starts within ourselves.” Mschevia Resident, also known as Chevia Johanssen, works hand in hand with Absinthe to organize and plan Stand Tall events. “I am proud to be part of this organization, having experienced bullying myself. My heart goes out to those who still suffer in silence and we do hope that this awareness campaign will reach everyone.” In addition to the organizers, there are many supporters that make the campaign the inspiring entity it is. One of the members of the organizing committee, Jared Palianta, came to be a part of Stand Tall because of his work combating teen suicide. “Bullying and taunting leads to teens ending their lives is so wrong. No teen should be bullied to the point that they see suicide as the only way out to end the bullying.” Palianta is further motivated to be a part of Stand Tall because he has been a victim of cyber bullying, himself. “Stand Tall cares and wants to put an end to bullying.” Committee member Kerasia Hexicola remarked, “I am very proud to be a committee member of Stand Tall, to be one of a team of such dedicated, hard working, selfless people. I became a part of it after talking with Absinthe about how she wished to bring a group together to raise awareness of bullying, and it felt like something important that I wished to be a part of.” When asked why the Stand Tall campaign was important to her she replied “It is a group


that aims to include all. To join a community together to stand as one and try to understand each other, to raise awareness of what bullying is, why people do it, and to support those who are victims of bullying. Within Stand Tall no one is judged - it is an encouraging and supportive environment.” Warm Clarity supports the Stand Tall campaign with her graphic design. Her reasons for becoming involved with the campaign are close to her heart. “In real life I have children, and I don’t want them growing up with the threat of cyber bullying. No one should have to endure hate in any form.” She goes on to share, “I have never been subjected to bullying online; however, I grew up with it in real life. To this day I still see the negative effects that it had on my self image and attitude towards the world in general.” Clarity’s real life husband, Cold Jupiter, is also a part of the Stand Tall campaign. “I am a freelance Second Life filmmaker/ machinima creator that has had associations with Absinthe on a previous project, and asked to be to apart of the project because I believed in the whole concept.” He shares his feelings on why this campaign is so important. “No one should be made to feel as though they are lower than another. It’s tough as it is already with global warming, having to work for low wages, and taxes without adding hate to the mix. We all don’t need to get along, but we all do need to treat each other with respect and

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dignity.” Jupiter continues with a bold admission. “I used to be a bully, myself, when I was much younger, and I looked back on all the pain I have caused in my youth, and feel disgusted and ashamed.” Stand Tall officially launched its campaign on August 18, 2014 with an hours long music event that showcased some of the finest DJs and musicians in SL. When asked what else was in store for future Stand Tall events, Absinthe shared, “We’re planning on having more music events, commercials and open forums in the future. The dates have yet to be announced. It’s our goal to provide a moment of peace and harmony through music and friendship.” Jupiter commented that he was working on a series of commercials for the campaign, the first of which should be available via the Stand Tall Facebook page by the time this article is published. Johanssen shared that while the Stand Tall committee has several ideas for future events, they always welcome suggestions. Hexicola elaborated, “Stand Tall is in the process of organizing another live music festival similar to the one we arranged in August. We were also lucky enough to have several designers make us an official T-Shirt as another way to promote Stand Tall within our in-world community. We hope to expand on this and encourage people to take photographs of themselves in Stand Tall items and if they felt able, to share some experiences. As a therapist in real life (I feel) it would be amazing if one day we


"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore


could have a place where people could come to, to be able to talk to someone in a non-judgmental environment or to learn more about what they are going through, or why they find themselves bullying.” Rusch Raymaker, AVENUE’s CEO, described her reasons for becoming involved in Stand Tall, honing in on the copybotting and harassment that has been felt by the fashion industry in the last year and naming it as a clear form of bullying. “Stand Tall is significant to me as it is not about a fight against bullying but creating awareness that such bullying is occurring within Second Life. Whether someone is actively bullying or standing at the sidelines passively agreeing or encouraging the bullying, they are all still forms of bullying. I support this cause especially with the spates of attacks by copybotters and griefers that have been launched particularly at innocent victims of the fashion industry in the past year. Fashion events, designers, agencies and models have been the subjects of these attacks which range from disrupting sim events, fashion shows, copybotting models and designer’s creations. In spite of numerous abuse reports to Linden Lab of these disruptive behaviors and activities that flout community standards, no assistance or acknowledgement to rectify these forms of bullying attacks have been forthcoming. This is where Stand Tall can come in with creating awareness amongst residents and to provide resources to educate

and enable everyone on how they can recognize and stand up against bullying of any form.” In closing, Absinthe expressed her desire for more to join the campaign. “Stand Tall is not an organization of exclusion. Anybody can join us and our efforts! We really do have a genuine concern about our SL community and how we treat one another. There is a global message that there are all types of bullying that occur and that it won’t be tolerated.” Get Involved: Inworld Group: secondlife:/// app/group/eed53d6c-738f-4e4e1d6d-b79a7e75c5b8/about Facebook: www.facebook.com/ standtallSL®

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Squinternet Memorial

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Physical

Absence is

Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Squinternet Larnia Graphic Designer Leah McCullough

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ou cannot always know what someone means to you until they are gone. Then their absence becomes a space that you keep bumping into. You see something you know they will enjoy and its pleasure is dimmed because you can no longer share it. You do something foolish and regret they cannot be there to chide you and remind you that they told you so. You hear a song and you smile because it reminds you of them and that reminds you of their absence. For many who loved Squinternet Larnia, Second Life速 has become filled with absence.


One of her best friends wrote that every time he opens his viewer, he thinks of her and cannot log in. Her absence fills his Second Life beyond bearing. For others, her absence is felt like a heartbeat in the background, omnipresent - a kind of environment of loss. For some, her loss is a loss of camaraderie, a fellow feeling of shared interests and passions without someone to share. For some of her devoted customers and fans, her absence is filled with uncertainty about whether her store will remain open or not. It was her final request of her friends, though whether it will be possible in the long run is unknown - dependent on the vagaries of laws and terms of service and the unknown. For the fashion world, her absence is a creative void. Who else produced such a inimitable balance of luxury, whimsy and style? She designed with a sure and bold hand, with panache that cannot be copied. There is an emptiness where all the hundred of ideas that sparkled through her vision rest unrealized. But Squinternet’s great grace in life was that she was never absent. She was always there with a laugh, a smile, a kind word. If you found a beautiful sim and wanted to share it, she would come and take a look and maybe play onegokku there. If you were having a party, she was there to wish you well and have fun with everyone. If you had an event, she was there, lending her


presence to all kinds of shows and spectacles. If you had a charity, she was there with something new and exciting to help raise money. That was her superpower. She was present. Squinternet was no saint. She had a stubborn streak and liked to be proved right. She had a bawdy sense of humor and a salty tongue. Flaws are how you know she was fully here, that she was present. Flaws are part of being an authentic person, and Squinternet was authentic. On September 4th, she died of complications of her long struggle with cancer. Since her first diagnosis, she knew the outlook was grim. Bone cancer does not have the kind of statistical optimism of many other cancers. Her doctors gave her five months, an expiration date in May, 2012. What was she doing on her expiration date? She was living and living as well as she possibly could. And she continued to live on her own terms for another fifteen months. That is Squinternet - a fighter and an iconoclast to the end, unwilling to go gently into that good night, raging against the dying of the light. She could have gone into a hospice but fought to stay at home, even though that meant less effective pain management. She could have medicated herself with morphine and drifted through her last months in a waking dream, but she refused, accepting the pain as a price worth paying if that

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meant she could be fully alive and present. She lived to see her friends and admirers show their love for her with the Love Donna Flora! event that raised over $12,600 USD for her medical and nursing expenses. She lived to read the messages and blog posts of hundreds of people who expressed their hopes. In a way, she got to attend her own memorial, and she loved it. When she went to the hospital the last time, Squint transferred the remaining funds raised back the charity avatar so that it could be donated to Relay for Life - a donation of $5737 in her memory. Do not say she lost her battle with cancer. She won her battle to live with cancer on her own terms. She won her battle to stay fully present - alive and alert - as long as she possibly could. A few weeks before she died, she went to the beach and relaxing on the sand, the sun’s heat baking into her bones, she thought at that moment, she would be happy to die in that place and time. She did not quite manage that, but she did manage to enjoy such simple pleasures far longer than if she had followed orders and moved into a hospice. And who knows, perhaps when she neared the end of her journey, she opened her laptop on her hospital tray, logged into her Second Life and settled her avatar down on a beach somewhere and took a short nap in the sun, its heat baking away her pain as she said goodbye to both worlds.


"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore


Donna Flora: http:// maps.secondlife. com/secondlife/ Florencio/121/109/1005 Squinternnet Larnia Memorial Plaque at Relay For Life: http:// maps.secondlife. com/secondlife/ American%20Cancer%20 Society/58/57/21 Photographs can be found at Donna Flora’s Flicker: http://www.flickr. com/photos/donnaflora/

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Featured Designer

On her: Top: Mary Tank Black & White by 22769, skirt: Mary Skirt Black/White by 22769 On him: Top: Beach Tee Green by 22769, pants: Urban Beach Capris Black by 22769, necklace: Fabric Necklace Black by 22769


22769 Photographer/Stylist Calima DuFaux Graphic Designer Grant Valeska


Dress: Eiko Dress Champaign by 22769.


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Suit: Rob Suit black by 22769.


Top: Olabisi Top by 22769, skirt: chocolate leather miniskirt by 22769, turban: the badu 2 by 22769.


La Femme

FA

Hair: Rykiel by LeLutka, lipstick: Audrey Golden Life Sunglasses by Magic Nook, ri Toca Para Mi by DDL, dress: Gatsby Tana DDL.


ALL GLAM

y Semi Gloss Lipstick by PD, sunglasses: ing: From me to you by DDL, bracelet: ager by Emery, shoes: Obsession by

Photographer/Stylist Eira Juliesse Graphic Designer Grant Valeska


Hair: Rykiel by LeLutka, lipstick: Audrey Regina by Kunglers Extra, sunglasses: S Atelier Panel Dress by Belgravia, leggings Patent Leather Slingbacks by Belgravia.


y Semi Gloss Lipstick by PD, earrings: Superstar aviators by Legal Insanity, top: s: PVC Skinnies by Nerdosaurus, shoes:

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Hair: Rykiel by LeLutka, lipstick: Audrey Make Up Roses by Les Petits DĂŠtails for by Steffen Garcia, blouse: Bow Tie Blous Slingbacks by Belgravia.


y Semi Gloss Lipstick by PD, eyeshadow: r Angels and Demons, jacket: Tendance se by Izzie, shoes: Patent Leather


Hair: Rykiel by LeLutka, lipstick: Audrey Make Up Roses by Les Petits DĂŠtails for Sweater by Eclectic, pants: Krola pants by Slingbacks by Belgravia.


y Semi Gloss Lipstick by PD, eyeshadow: r Angels and Demons, sweater: Ribbon y Spirit Store, shoes: Patent Leather


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Hair: Rykiel by LeLutka, lipstick: Audrey Sunglasses by Magic Nook, long sleeve blo Mocca by Kunglers, pants: Suede Pants b Ison.


y Semi Gloss Lipstick by PD, Golden Life ouse: Alexia Top by Roule, overtop: by Overhigh, shoes: Billie patent heels by

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Homme

man about town Photographer/Stylist James Schwarz Graphic Designer Grant Valeska


Coat: Duffle Coat by Sheep Door, pants: Eddie by Fatewear, shoes: Wingtip by Deco, hair: Darmody by Action.


Suit: Slim Check Suit by Barerose.


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Hat: Hunt by Argrace, coat: Derrick by Fatewear, glasses: Quinton by Ison, pants: Eddie by Fatewear, bag: Suitcase by Shade Throne, skin: Option 1 by Zovo.


Coat: William Winter by ALB Dream Fashion, shirt: Pumpkin V Neck by Shiki, pants: Eddie by Fatewear.


The Trendsetter

Photographer/Stylist Anna Sapphire Graphic Designer Grant Valeska

70’s Luxury


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Hair: Ruby by LeLutka, dress: Thorn by Gizza, gloves: Jessamine by Belgravia, stole: Varanasi by Miamai, bag: Steffani by House of Fox.


Hair: Necole by Catwa, blazer: Marlo by Ladies Who Lunch, bra: Shiny by Ricielli, pants: Tube by Gizza, scarf: Silk Sun by Zeery, shoes: Femme by Ncore, eyeliner: DarkEyes by Miamai, nail polish: Chevron by Nailed It.

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Hair: Lauren by Maitreya, shirt: Bold Bow by Nyu, skirt: Slit by Ison, fur: Jea by Miamai, boots: Radical by Maitreya, belt: Wide Waist by Coco, gloves: Vaal by Miamai.


Hair: Moss by Leverocci, gown: Laguna by LeeZu, necklace: Harvest by Paper Couture, clutch: Knuckle Duster McQueen by Chic Zafari, nail polish: Gemstones by Nailed It.


His Details

Retro-Specs Photographer/Stylist Jax Aster Graphic Designer Grant Valeska

Jacket: Peacoat by Xiaj, shirt: Formal Shirt by HVK, watch: Invicta by Epia, glasses: Aviators by Redgrave, hair: Gosling by Burley.


Jacket: Tweed Blazer by Entente, sweater: Cashmere Turtleneck by Aoharu, pants: Mesh Corduroy by Hoorenbeek, glasses: Delta by Adjunct, hair: Laurent by Entente.

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Jacket: Jason by Diram, suit: Milano by Redgrave, hair: Laurent by Entente.


"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore


Sweater: Fisherman by Sleepy Eddy, shirt: Classic Polo by Redgrave, pants: Trousers by Kauna, hat: Fedora by Argrace.


Focus On

Jewels: Moriko Collar by Zibska, hair: Magdalen by Lelutka, makeup: Glam Eyeshadows by Dead Apples.


two faced Photographer/Stylist Amazon Silverweb Graphic Designer Grant Valeska


Outfit: Gabriel by Ladies Who Lunch, hair: Rush by Lelutka, makeup: Geometria by La Malvada Mujer.


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Hair: Diy Haircut by Lamb, makeup: Florrie Lips by It Girls, Full body freckles by Miamai, eyes: Lids and Lashes by Slink.


Outfit: Couveture Drape Vest by Shi. hair: Noah by Argrace, ponytail: Cachet Pony by Lelutka, makeup: Incolor by La Malvada Mujer.


Dress: Antonella Mesh Ball Gown by Solidea Folies, gloves: Zarema by LaGyo, hair: Ruby by Ison, eyebrows: Crystal Brows by LaGyo.


Urbanized

Incurable Nostalgic Stylists Amita Yorcliffe and Hikaru Enimo Photographer Hikaru Enimo Graphic Designer Grant Valeska


On Hikaru: Hair: Andrej by Exile, necklace: Ero Sensei by Mandala, ears: Steking by Mandala, cuff: Hokusai by Mandala, bracelet: Utamaro by Madala, belt: Crocodile leather by Feel, jacket: Leather biker jacket by Grasp, pants: Low Rise Mesh Emo Pants by Apple May, shoes: Black Ramones by Lucien Marcelo. On Amita: Vest: The Black Leather Vest by Talabazaar, skirt: Mini Skirt Leather Black by Fanatik, hair: Dulcina by Lelutka, goggles: Sandstorm by Remarkable Oblivion, harness: Leg Harness by Shi, shoes: F Wings by 2Real.


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On Hikaru: Hair: Sehun by TakeTomi, ears: Steking by Mandala, necklace: Ero Sensei by Mandala, shirt: Simple Unbuttoned Shirt by Apple May, pants: Plaid Pants by RedDrum, shoes: Studded Long boots by Js. On Amita: Dress: Studded Cocktail by Aux, hair: Canto by Lelutka, boots: Hobnails by Remarkable Oblivion, hat: Tartan beret by Deviant Girls.


On Amita: Dress: Dazzle Gown by Ison, hair: Ana by Taketomi, shoes: Celina by Redgrave. On Hikaru: Hairbase: No 02 Long by Lanevo, hat: Fedora by Argrace, scarf: Depp Snood by Entente, suit: Harris Tweed by Kauna, shoes: Brogues by Kauna.


Outfit and boots: Little Suns by MEB, bracelet: Poipu Paua Bangle by Mood, hair: Canto by Lelutka, makeup: Lulu by Glam Affair. To The Nines


Outfit: June by MEB, jewelry: Shiraz by Finesmith, sandals: Stream by Finesmith, bracelet: Silver Cuff by Milk Motion, hair: Marie by LeLutka, makeup: Lulu Eyeliner 02 by Glam Affair.

Stylists AnnaG Pfeffer, Maile Michinaga, Laetitia Vella Photographer Zazie Graphic Designer Grant Valeska


Outfit, necklace and shoes: Maddie by MEB, ring: Diamonds and Pearls by Paper Couture, clutch: Stella by House of Fox, hair: Delta by Truth, nails by Mandala, lipstick: Voluptuous by The Skinnery.


Outfit and boots: Babe by MEB, glasses: Coco by PurpleMoon, earrings: Desultory by Cute Poison, bracelet: Selene by Sigma, hair: Lana by LeLutka, nails by Mandala, lipstick: Nude Gaga by Mock.

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Outfit: Kay by MEB, hair: Mochi by Analog Dog. makeup: Ophelia by Zibska, pullover: sally Turtleneck by Molichino, shoes: Fame by Lelutka, handbag: Hello Goodbye by DDL, sunglasses: Milano by Maxi Grossamer, gloves: Mery by Celoe.

"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore


Outfit: Suns by MEB, hair: Ella by Lelutka, makeup: Flatter my eyes by Boom, nail polish: French Manicure Pastels by Nailed it, tights: Gradient Tights by Izzie, necklace: Divinae by Kunglers, bangle: snakeskin by Armidi, bag: Delicious by Azoury.


Blogspot

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Hair: Lana by LeLutka, skin Cleo by Glam Affair, necklace: Luz by LaGyo, top: Sally turtleneck by Molichino, corset: Cazibe by Drift, belt: Hurley by LaGyo, skirt: Black Maxi by House Of Fox, boots: Hunter by Gos.


The

MATURE Perspective Photographer/Stylist Grazia Horwitz http://graziasl.com Graphic Designer Grant Valeska


Hair: Moss by LeLutka, skin: Cleo by Glam Affair, scarf by Coco, jacket: Structured blazer by The Secret Store, skirt: Annie pencil skirt by The Secret Store, boots: Jazz by Maitreya, brooch: Polly head corsage by Mandala.


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"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore

Hat: Nile by Celoe, hair: Adorable by Tuty, skin: Cleo by Glam Affair, jewelry: Alchemy by Cae, scarf: shoulder wrap by LaGyo, sweater: Cory by Erratic, belt: studded mesh by Bitch, pants: Val by Rebel Hope, boots: Range boots by Leverocci.


Hair: Emeli by LeLutka, skin: Cleo by Glam Affair, sunglasses: Zenith by Redgrave, jewelry: Nyorai by Mandala, coat: Confi by Shi, pants: leather leggings by Maitreya, shoes: Sunantha by Beetlebones.


Fashion Agenda

Writer Liat Reina Photographer Linda Reddevil Graphic Designer Leah McCullough


Glamming the Grid

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unky, fresh and totally far out, Liv Glam fashion house maintains a commitment to fab designs that are always fashion forward. SamanthaSJones and her team work hard to ensure every woman can look elegant and glamorous for any occasion. If that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t groovy enough, they have brought us an event that has the fashion cats on the grid keen to see what happens next. The search continues for the woman who will be the new spokes model; with the expectations set high, she will need to be the total package and able to handle herself in any situation. Can you dig it? Featuring a design by Liv Glam, contestants showed their interpretation of Casual, Business, Cocktail, & Club glam. Initially selected from the submission pool on Flickr, the semi-finalists were able to strut their stuff on the catwalk before the panel of judges and an eager audience. The finalists will go on to compete with other winners from each month in the grand finale taking place on December 20th, 2013 where THE GLAM GIRL will be selected.

Each of the finalists for the month will walk away with a prize bundle including Lindenâ&#x201E;˘ dollars, a Liv Glam gift card, an outfit named after them, the chance to model for an upcoming vendor display, and a $1000L voucher for AVENUE Models Academy. Last but not least, each of the finalists will have their own spread in AVENUE magazine. Now, without further delay, Liv Glam and AVENUE are pleased to present the GLAM GIRLS for August 2013. CONTEST INFORMATION & RULES http://www.avenuesl. com/2013/05/23/avenuepresents-liv-glam-glam-girls2013-contest/ SLURL http://maps. secondlife.com/secondlife/ zenshi%20east%20 two/125/175/28 FLICKR http://www. flickr.com/groups/2038164@ N25/pool/

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Casual Glam:

Ivyana Szondi

Fashionistas know that every day is a chance to show off your unique style. Ivyana Szondi, August 2013 Casual GLAM GIRL, is an excellent example of bringing style into an average day in her ensemble of the [LG] Boutique[Summer 13] My Head Is A Animal outfit. Her choice was motivated by the desire to put forth a funky, chic look. “I feel the ultimate in my casual, glamorous best with the lovely design in black and olive green and adore how the unique cut of the top reveals the black high waist button pants that captures my style of singer Janelle Monáe.” As a working model in Second Life® since 2008, Szondi also enjoys blogging for a number of designers and entering competitions. “My first taste of modeling and the fashion industry came from a contest of a different brand. I learned many things from that experience and continued to pursue being a professional model. Determination and a willingness to be open and learn has been a huge part of my longevity.” She draws inspiration from both her husband and friends in SL®. Their strength, support and shared experiences drive her to continue to pursue what she loves as well as strive for new heights. 148

“In real life, it varies on what artists, photographers, designers and genres of fashion inspire me. For confidence and reinvention in the industry, Naomi Campbell is my go-to model. Her strength and boldness to continue doing what she enjoys all these years gives me courage daily.” Then there is Liv Glam, from the thoughtful and eye catching vendors to the textures used in the designs. “Liv Glam is like a fashion wonderland; everyone can find something that will evoke their inner glam. I think the design team is very dedicated to creating perfection in their work and pleasing the consumers.” Szondi shares what she believes glam is in her own words. “It’s revealing part of your personality through fabric and style. Even if you took time to plan an outfit or threw something on, it’s letting the world into your own little world. Everyone has a sparkle of glam in them.” For all the potential GLAM GIRLS, she offers these words. “Find a style that really works for you but don’t be afraid to take some risks. Take your time searching the Liv Glam store and find clothing and accessories that inspire you. Write down all possible choices then think about how you can put your own glam spin on it. Like Tim Gunn says, ‘Make it work’.”


Business Glam: Evaluxury Resident

A stunning reminder that the boardroom doesn’t need to be boring, August 2013 Business GLAM GIRL Eva Luxury (Evaluxury Resident) got the job done in style. Her presentation of the [LG] Boutique [Summer 13] Kaja Outfit was both commanding and feminine. “I chose the theme business because I am a business woman; however, I also want to be feminine, sexy and chic… With the Kaja Outfit , I feel like it was designed exclusively for me, chic and glamorous with printed leopard fabric that gives just a hint of the ‘sexy touch ‘ to inspire me through my working-girl day!” Luxury is just beginning her adventures with competitions in Second Life and she reminisces that it wasn’t all that long ago that she was just a simple blogger. Her journey began when a friend came to her seeking advice on their styling for an upcoming contest. “She was very nervous and I laughed ... Then she got me, saying, ‘Do not laugh! If you were doing this contest, you’d be more nervous than me!’ So I say, ‘Yes, why not try?’” She threw her hat in the ring and was surprised to be chosen. “It was a pure happiness, and from that moment my second life has changed. I do some competitions to acquire more experience, and

I have met new people. I do not regret having become ‘a model’.” She remains deeply honored to have been selected as a finalist and is determined to continue to give her best to succeed. “My source of inspiration is Iman Abdulmajid from Somalia, professionally known as Iman. She is now more than 50 years old but is still always beautiful.” Liv Glam is one of her favorite stores and she finds the designs to be elegant, chic and sexy. “SamanthaSJones offers creations combining modernity, sophistication, femininity and elegance... a succession of wonders that reminded me why I love and admire fashion in second life!” For her, glam equates with elegance and the seduction of a woman who reflects her attitude in her attire. “…natural class of a woman subtly balanced with a sexy side assumed. Glam is synonymous with all that is class and luxury, but sexy at the same time.” To those ready to follow in her footsteps, she shares some advice. “Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe are glamorous icons.” She feels they set an example for women to dress to display both their beauty and their sexy attitudes. “Take the example of these wonderful women!”

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Cocktail Glam:

Dreamlove Resident

With unique vision, Dream Love (Dreamlove Resident) presented her look to the judges and claimed the title of August 2013 Cocktail GLAM GIRL. Her selection of the [LG] Boutique-[Summer 13] Evelina Print Dress designed exclusively for the ‘Love Donna Flora Event’, demonstrated the variety possible in this category. “I was very impressed by the unique and delicate details in the back and the way it perfectly fits the feminine curves for an amazing ‘wow’ factor! When I first saw this dress, it made me feel like it was a design that took you back in time! I thought of the incredible dancers for the movie ‘Cotton Club’ and that’s how I got my inspiration to style this amazing cocktail dress.” With two years in Second Life and four completed modeling programs, she feels there will always be something new to learn. She is committed to the ongoing process. “I feel very fortunate to be able to represent and work with most of the best SL designers like Liv Glam, and when I style for them or for my blog, what I always have in mind is how to make my outfit look very unique and glamorous.” When it comes to her personal inspiration, she had much to share. “I very much think of what Coco

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Chanel said: ‘Fashion is in the sky and in the streets it has to do with the way we live and what is happening.’ That is pretty much where I look at to get my inspiration.” She finds that Liv Glam fits the feel of this variety perfectly. “Playful prints and rich textures always surprise with something new, plus the fact that the clothes come with several options in color and sizes that I can wear in many different ways.” She is hard-pressed to decide what she loves most, in fact - the layout of the store, to the versatile designs, to the friendly staff. Love explains what she believes Glam to be best in her own words. “Glam to me is anything that makes people or things seem appealing, magic and very attractive to people’s eyes and can certainly be associated with anything that turn heads and causes a great impression.” For girls who are ready to join her in holding the title of GLAM GIRL, she has this helpful suggestion. “My advice to those who want to be Glam Girls is to be themselves, go pick their outfit with fashion in mind, and focus to find something that will make them stand out and shine. Every woman has a Glam Girl inside her - just let Liv Glam clothes bring it out of you!”


Tank: Just a Few Basics Tank by DDL, jacket: Just a Few Basics Cardigan by DDL, pants: Just a Few Basics Skinny Jeans by DDL, bag: Lucky Ones by DDL, glasses: I quit by DDL, shoes: On the floor by DDL, bracelets: Skull by DDL.


Club Glam:

Nayomi Gartner

It’s easy to envision August 2013 Club GLAM GIRL Nayomi Gartner stealing the spotlight in her styling of the {LIV-Glam}.:Spring-2013:. Arabel Chiffon Jumpsuit II. “I picked this jumpsuit because of the fit. It accents all the feminine curves in all the right places. I can always count on Liv Glam designs to accent the curvaceous shape of a woman in an incredible and elegant way.” She wanted to ‘shine’ at night and used that inspiration to add golden, glamorous tones to present a truly sensual and feminine look. “Liv Glam does upscale chic to perfection!” For Gartner, Second Life has been a place of joy and sadness all at the same time. She has made dear friends and overcome many challenges and now begins to reap the rewards of fulfilling her dream to model. Yet the harsh words of some along the way have made it a struggle to achieve. She has been honored to be named as a finalist in a few competitions, and she is grateful for the chance to push herself to be her best each time. “My desire to grow is increasing every day with a lot of responsibility without going over anyone.” In considering what sparks her creativity, she had this to say. “I seek

inspiration in the current fashion trends, colors, and prints. My style is based on myself. I always try to use what I like and what looks good on my body. I’m always under construction without fear of risking my style which is always renewing itself.” Her favorite things about Liv Glam are hard to narrow down, but she truly loves the fresh textures and perfect fit. “And of course, none of this would be possible without the wonderful staff that makes it happen.” Elegance, gentleness, self-esteem, beauty; these are a few of the things which she feels are necessary to embody glam. No element of a woman’s appearance should be neglected, from the style of her hair to the fit of her clothes to the care she takes of her teeth. She believes that wise choices will shine through in one glamorous look. “It is not easy to be glamorous, for glamour has its own personality, charm, presence, and know-how.” Glam will always be noticed without having to call attention to itself or being vulgar. What words of wisdom does she have for the GLAM GIRL hopefuls out there? “My advice is never give up. If you have a dream, focus and put all your energies to achieve that goal, be you and let your personality shine.”


Club Glam:

Zionp Resident

Whether the point is to turn heads or turn up the heat, August 2013 Club GLAM GIRL Zion (Zionp Resident) made a lasting impression with her presentation of the [LG] Boutique-[Summer 13] Jacqueline Spike Dress. “The print on this dress is so cute and fun, and the cut of the dress is sexy, making this a show stopper that will stand out on the dance floor. My styling was inspired by the print of the dress which made me think of the club kids of the late 80’s and early 90’s.” Zion initially came to Second Life for roleplay, to which she devoted her first year. She still loves it, but she has since discovered that fashion was to become her true calling. “I decided to switch when I would spend hours dressing my roleplay characters. I gave in and started exploring SL fashion, read the magazines and visited some stores. My first runway show was what sealed it for me, and I decided to go to a model academy. I learned so much there; it helped me a lot, especially with my confidence, and I definitely want to take some more classes.” She’s done a few castings and plans to gain more runway experience. “I have the ambition to be a top model but know I have a lot more to learn.”

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When she is in need of inspiration, she looks to strong women that she can respect. “I love the style of Zoe Saldana, Gwen Stefani, and I adore Dorothy Dandridge.” These are the influences she reflects in her own personal styling and contribute to her appreciation of Liv Glam fashion house. “I love the emphasis on glamour. I love the vivid prints and designs. Liv Glam to me is High End Sexy.” All are elements she represents on her blog in her ongoing fashion journey. With such an appreciation for glamour, it’s hardly surprising that she has a very clear idea of what she finds glam to be. “Glam means being and looking alluring and exciting. You can’t force it; it has to come naturally.” Though she is still acclimating to the modeling world, she has been diligent about increasing her exposure through several contests. This, combined with her feelings about glam, contributes to her view point that is also expressed in the guidance she has for aspiring GLAM GIRLS out there. “My advice is to go for it. It is the perfect platform for every stylista on the grid to express her personality.”


Tank: Just a Few Basics Tank by DDL, jacket: Just a Few Basics Cardigan by DDL, pants: Just a Few Basics Skinny Jeans by DDL, bag: Lucky Ones by DDL, glasses: I quit by DDL, shoes: On the floor by DDL, bracelets: Skull by DDL.


Fashion Agenda

Writer Prisilla S. Avro Photographer Eira Juliesse Models Amazon Silverweb, Amita Yorcliffe, Eira Juliesse, & Xandrah Sciavo Graphic Designer Grant Valeska

AVENUE

Fashion We


“Fashion changes, but style endures.” ― Coco Chanel

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ashion Week... the one week every design season that discerning fashionistas and fashionistos look forward to. AVENUE delivered a stunning assortment of designs in the Spring/Summer Fashion Week 2013 and will do no less for the Autumn/Winter Fashion Week 2013, which will be held from Sunday, September 29th through Saturday, October 5th. Designs fresh from the runway will be available for purchase in a special retail area until Tuesday, October 29th.

eek Preview Autumn/Winter

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For all of its six years in Second Life®, AVENUE has been a fashion innovator. With the Autumn/Winter Fashion Week, it will establish a seasonal industry standard: bi-annual fashion weeks where residents can preview and purchase the seasonal collections by the grid’s finest designers. AVENUE takes it one step further by assigning different classifications to the designers it will showcase in its Autumn/ Winter Fashion Week. Those classifications are “Bloom” and “Vanguard.” Designers in each category will get their own show as well as a group show with fellow designers of the same classification. “Bloom” designers are the up and comers of the SL® fashion industry. “Vanguard” designers are established fashion creators who may or may not have had a platform such as AVENUE’s runway previously. All of the participating designers are sure to impress. The finale of AVENUE’s Autumn Winter Fashion Week is a Haute Couture fashion show where designers will share unique, never before seen designs. This Fashion Week promises to showcase the most exquisite and fashion forward styles on the grid. Over 50 designers will take part in AVENUE’s Autumn/Winter Fashion Week, and over 20 shows are being planned. A few of those very busy and talented designers had a moment to share their thoughts on AVENUE’s Autumn/ Winter Fashion Week 2013. 162


Dress: Irina Dress by Kunglers.


Outfit: Tashia by Vero Modero.


Vanguard designer Lacovnon Resident of Blvck Anchor is not only looking forward to the event to showcase his designs, but to meet other designers, models, bloggers, and customers, all of whom are “very important parts of fashion presentations.” He enjoys the “unique take on fashion” each designer brings to the runway and “the presentation of their artwork.” When it comes to his own designs he shares, “Blvck Anchor specializes in West Coast urban fashion and street wear that adds a twist of class. It is a men’s store that provides very stylish clothing, accessories, and jewelry. Blvck Anchor is its own breed of store, classified in its own category. With its unique, refreshing, and individual take on men’s fashion everywhere, Blvck Anchor sets trends and raises the bar to higher standards. This fall line was designed to have something for everyone; it is casual and formal and intensified to suit the 2013 trends people seek. As Blvck Anchor, I am glad to be a part of this Fashion Week, and I thank all supporters, bloggers, and customers for everything.” Haute Couture designer Vikeejeah Xevion of Loovus Dzevavor is no stranger to the AVENUE Fashion Week runway. Reflecting on her participation in the Spring/Summer AVENUE Fashion Week she mused, “I enjoyed the challenge of creating an entire collection in similar style to the demands of a RL designer. I made 31 pieces and showed 20 unique looks for my runway show

during the Spring FW. I loved every moment. The staff was amazing. I never worry about anything with AVENUE. I know that it will all be done professionally and with up to the minute style.” As for her collection for the Autumn/Winter AVENUE runway, she commented, “I plan to push the envelope once again with innovation in mesh design. I will bring something very unique and spectacular. I wish to push my own design skills with this garment, and I hope the public feels I’ve done my absolute best.” Bloom designer Superjaix Resident of Xiaj looks forward to the reactions of attendees to what he has prepared for this Fashion Week. “My favorite part about big events such as Fashion Week is seeing people wear the clothes on Flickr. Also, I look forward to see what the other designers have created for the event. I hope it is an enjoyable experience for everyone.” Superjaix gives us a sneak peak at the Xiaj Autumn/ Winter collection. “My designs for Fashion Week are an all black collection. The clothes can be worn from walking down runways to simply wearing as casual wear. I have used different meshes for each outfit and have even created shoes and accessories to go with each.” Mila Tatham of Solidea Folies will be a part of the Haute Couture finale and had been a part of AVENUE’s Spring/Summer Fashion Week. When asked about her previous experience she commented, “I enjoyed the

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inclusive feel of the event. The shows were a celebration of all of the designers participating and the shops area had a large crowd drawn.” In thinking on her collection for the Autumn/Winter runway she said, “We look forward to the release of the Fall design line because we are excited to be offering a simpler rock and roll feel to the designs with this season’s hottest trends, scrumptious leathers and whispery sheer silks, giving the entire line a classy haute couture style.” Ava Gardener of Kunglers will also be a part of AVENUE’s Autumn/Winter Fashion Week. When asked what she looked forward to about the event, she replied, “I think fashion week is a great opportunity to reach a wider audience for every designer. Being produced by AVENUE’s staff and models is always a plus, and I can’t wait to see, on the runway, the result of so much work that every designer had.” Regarding her own collection for the Fashion Week runway, she stated, “As always, the collection has animal prints and bold pieces/colors as well. Everything is rigged mesh and each piece of clothing has some embellishment and details on it, such as gems and crystals. This collection is fun and elegant with a hint of boldness.” AVENUE founder and CEO Rusch Raymaker had this to say about the grid’s most anticipated fashion event: “AVENUE Autumn/ Winter Fashion Week will set the stage for an even bigger and better

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Gown: Dama by Les Petits Details.


Ensemble: Kaya by Chrysalis.


platform of over 50 designers who have chosen to showcase their new fall/winter releases. From our first installment of AVENUE Fashion Week for Spring/Summer earlier this year, we gleaned some invaluable learning and have put this to good use to ensure for an improved event for our designers and audiences. Everyone can look forward to 7 days of a total experience in the stage set, promotions, publicity and shopping experience and a variety of shows that fashion lovers can look forward to from solo and collective shows by ‘Bloom’ and ‘Vanguard’ designers. The week will close off with the definitive HAUTE collection show where over 20 designers will present the most intricate haute couture and avant garde designs. As the only agency to stage a bi-annual fashion week, we look forward to serving up the latest fashion trends that cover the gamut of prêt-à-porter with street/urban wear and casual chic to couture and the avant garde to satisfy every fashionista’s wardrobe want and whim.” Raymaker didn’t stop there, of course, as the vision behind AVENUE Magazine, she is always creating and executing innovative ideas to enhance our fashion experience. “We will also be creating a HUD with the help of Fashioncentric that will allow our audience to pick up each day that will provide visual references to the outfits showcased for each show that can be selected as a wish list and then generate a report at the end of each show with what you have selected with a tally up of

how much it costs plus a teleport to the location to buy the items at the retail gallery.” Clearly this will be a fashion experience like no other. AVENUE’s Autumn/Winter Fashion Week 2013 is a must see for anyone who loves fashion and wants to be on the cutting edge of style. For more information regarding the schedule of shows and reserving your seat, visit AVENUE’s website. http://www.avenuesl.com/


Lifestyle Feature


VIKINGS: The Realm of Asgard

Writer Leaf Spiritweaver Photographer Eve Kazan Graphic Designer Leah McCullough

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he mere mention of the term “Vikings” conjures images of fierce warriors and bloody battles - and not without good reason. For nearly two hundred years, the Viking hordes spilled out of Scandinavia wreaking havoc on a weakened Western Europe. These Norse marauders indiscriminately attacked villages, churches and monasteries; slaughtering men, raping women and carrying survivors off into slavery. A common prayer from the period, “Deliver us, Oh Lord, from the wrath of the Northmen,” echoed throughout the continent, reflecting the widespread terror provoked by Viking raids. No one felt safe.

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Of course, when discussing the Viking phenomena, there is a tendency to focus only on the battle, bloodshed and plundering. Lost is the positive impact of the Viking legacy: trade, exploration, language and navigation. As a result of the frenzied Norse diaspora, stable modern states were established, such as Russia and England, and far-flung colonies settled in Iceland and the Americas. Even the English language, enriched by hundreds of Norse loan words (ball, blunder, call, husband, troll, are, were, etc.) reflects a Viking influence. The Vikings were more than just bloodthirsty berserkers, they were a hardy, innovative and artistic people who came from a little patch of ice and changed the world, and while the battles and raids are certainly vital to the traditions and history of the Nordic races, it is not the bloodshed, but the Vikingsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; passion for glory and adventure that holds particular appeal. These traits have all been captured by the creators and inhabitants of a sim I have recently had the pleasure of touring â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Realm of Asgard. In Asgard, the Old Norse spirit of unstoppable perseverance and zest for adventure is indeed alive and well. While battles were easily found (exactly as one might expect among Vikings), it quickly became apparent that there was something phenomenal and unique about the sim that a cursory tour had not revealed. It was not until I caught up with King Giannini Demonista and Queen Jackie Balbozar that things began to fall into place. While we stood at the edge of 176


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the battlegrounds observing the sparring of several seasoned warriors, I came to understand exactly what makes Realm of Asgard special. The sim had moved from a homestead to a full region barely more than a week before, yet all appeared as if it had been staged for eons. The royal couple explained that they had struggled with the constraints of their previous arrangements because the homestead did not allow many players in at once. In fact, a large portion of their play had included Viking raids on other historic sims. Frankly, I was astounded by the brilliance. Imagine the sheer delicious terror of a few dozen Viking raiders descending upon your home sim! Further, Balbozar and Demonista described their delight at having a full sim so that they might finally host not only the wars and raids they enjoyed on their own lands but also because the new sim includes a bay for maritime battles. While I did not have the opportunity to view the bay in action, I will certainly be returning to witness it soon. However, it was the next part of the conversation that captured my imagination most. Realm of Asgard also contains a new village so that non-combat players have an outlet for their stories, as well.

specifics of the realm’s combat system (in this case, Uraquitan Matova’s Ura Kombat – chosen for its extreme fairness and affordability), certain other themes continued to surface. For instance, the feeling of inclusivity engendered by the owners of The Realm of Asgard, both Balbozar and Demonista expressed a strong desire to welcome new players as warmly as old veterans. Also, the pair articulated a shared goal to promote the realm’s strong community values, and they remarked both separately and together that they considered the inhabitants of their lands a large, sincere family. While there may exist certain aspects of the realm that still feel vaguely unfinished, the missing pieces are not likely to be filled with set decorations or impressive scripted effects so much as new blood. Realm of Asgard stands as an open invitation to the residents of Second Life® to arrive and explore, to engage in the frenzy of battle, as well as the esoteric intricacies of Nordic mysticism alongside some of the most heartwarming bloodthirsty warriors on the grid. Visit the Realm of Asgard at DRAGONAS (55, 78, 3000).

Between the portions of the conversation where we discussed additions to the adventure, ambitions for the future, and the

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Interesting Sims

n a c s Tu

The American D 182


K Writer Cali Karsin Photographer Thalia Heckroth Graphic Designer Leah McCullough

Dream

nown for its realistic low prim furniture and accessories and unique, colorful, and tasteful mesh items such as couches, bathroom furniture, bedroom accessories, lamps, dishes, decorations, and outside furniture, The Loft is often the first (and only) stop Second Life速 residents make when shopping for their homes.


The women with all the vision behind it all, Colleen Desmoulins and Nardya Rousselot, released The Verona Pool and sets of outdoor furniture this summer, which is a precursor to their most exciting soon-to-be released project yet: a line of Tuscan style mesh homes, inspired by many Mediterranean influences and the traditional and historical Italian villas in real life. After teaming up with Desmoulins last year at The Loft after the release of mesh, ideas have been circling around about skyboxes, town homes and different houses, and they finally invested in a sound project this summer that is sure to be truly astounding! Close your eyes and imagine a world filled with rolling grassy hills, miles upon miles of luscious vineyards, rustic farmhouses and a handful of old world castles and parish churches. In this special place, nestled in a region of Italy filled with culture, art, and history, Tuscany exists. The birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and once a residence for famous creative artists and unique thinkers like Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, the very essence of its magnificence can be re-created in SL® with The Loft’s new line of homes. Brimming with realism and an eclectic feel that will transport you to an entirely different world based around Italian and Mediterranean architecture, this new collection features, “three new houses starting with two big residences that are 4-5 bedrooms, with very detailed interiors, at the highest quality with the lowest prim count 185


possible,” explains Rousselot. With detailed displays of classical glamour like arched serene windows and hallways, spacious cathedral ceilings, beautiful glass doors and corridors, tasteful stone walls on the outside, plenty of garage space, a huge stylish range of intricate textures, and possibly even a Tuscan kitchen, these homes are sure to be one of a kind. Rousselot hopes that each customer walking into her shop and viewing the new homes for the first time will be truly captivated by the artistic, picturesque, and grand scale of the new line. “After I built my first house last year, people have been asking for more, so maybe it’s time to give them more houses,” says Rousselot, as she describes the meticulous detail that she places in each home. Picture the small traditional balconies with columns jutting out, complete with eaves offering deep summer shade. This paired with the ornately swirled glass surrounding the classic wooden front door and the multitude of richly textured field stones and ledge stones with hues of tan, white, and different yellows covering each villa, will all add realism to your Tuscan life in SL. Of course, special attention is placed on room size and proportion, also. “I want my customers to be able to cam around without having any issues,” she remarks, noting that a home must be livable as well as beautiful. She hopes that the amazing detail that went into creating the homes and the proportionately sized rooms will make them very different and

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appealing, setting this new series of homes apart from many of the mesh homes on the market so far. Rousselot has been dabbling at 3D animation and graphic design for a long time. She began with furniture and her first building structure, expanding her skills to include tattoos, shoes, and clothing. Rousselot informs AVENUE that she always knew she would eventually get into building more houses, but she had too many other projects going on at the time to invest solely in it. This is no longer the case. Expect the first release of the Tuscan homes to hit the market this month in September, following with one each month after that. The location for the sample models will be located at the main store. Let the beautiful images of an old world Tuscan paradise cascade you to your happy place, and allow them to speak for themselves in their own fantastical, one-of-akind way. Follow the blog for the announcement on the first release happening soon, and meanwhile, check out The Loft’s main store, so you can see the other creations for yourself and envision interior design ideas for your new Tuscan home so that you, too, can achieve the Tuscan dream. Visit The Loft: http:// slurl.com/secondlife/The%20 Loft/211/137/2537 Visit The Loft’s Blog: http:// theloftblog.wordpress.com/


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Roleplay

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Sqla


arium Writer Prisilla S. Avro Photographer Ziki Questi Graphic Designer Leah McCullough

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

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he magic of role play is quite often captured in the words of the players, the give and take between two or more creative minds to bring a story to life. Our avatars, outfits, and the sim we role play aid us in developing our story and the magic in it. HUDs are yet another significant way to augment our role play; this goes beyond the meter that many role play sims require. There are some very interesting and role playenhancing HUDs available to any and all role players… if you know where to look.


Solarium was created in 2010 by long time friends Rynn Verwood and Encaitaron Korobase. They sell a wide array of HUDs that can transform any resident role player into just about anything their heart desires. As Verwood put it, “Witch or wizard... demon or angel... hero or villain, there’s something for everyone.” Verwood and Korobase used to role play together, and it was the merging for those experiences that is the foundation of Solarium. Verwood explains, “Although we came from really different areas, which is probably noticeable in our products, both in-world and outworld, Encait was making his first HUDs while I was a sim builder/ outfit designer. We had a common interest to create. So eventually, we decided to combine the best of each side and started our new hobby, Solarium.” The selection of HUDs offered by Solarium for use in role play is impressive, and they have a number of popular items. Verwood comments, “I have three bestsellers that tend to shuffle and fight between themselves, those being Necromancer: Rise of the Fallen, Raven: Angel of Darkness, and Art of the Shinobi. I would say what one my favorite is, but I just can’t. It would be like deciding which of my nephews I prefer; you just can’t choose that kind of thing.” Korobase has his bestsellers, as well. “It has been one of my personal favorites - the ProtoShifter HUD Reboot, also known as Prototype Hud Reboot. It’s a small weapon and power set,

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that besides allowing the player to slash here and there, allows them also to climb or run walls, and glide in the air.” Then there is the “Living Shadow HUD. Long story short, it allows the player to somewhat control the actions of a shadow-like creature.” When asked about their inspirations for the work that they do, Verwood and Korobase were unanimous. “Well, the most obvious sources of inspiration we get are probably video games, immediately followed by books and movies. However, these are far from being the only ones. Pretty much anything can work as an inspiration, really – a mechanic we like to use, a concept so vague such as weather, mythological creatures, and almost random ideas or thoughts like, ‘What if I could control lightning?’ In fact, we’d say that most of the time we are inspired by the little concepts and ideas first and may look for further inspiration on more ‘composed/organized’ stuff.” As one would expect with any business in Second Life®, there are highs and lows. “I really enjoy creating all the builds within the HUDS and seeing how our skills progress,” Verwood commented. “A lot of small details which take time to build or script go unnoticed, but they’re what makes something special and different. A lot of our HUDs tend to have a specific color or theme, so choosing and designing those parts is by far my favorite. Also, when I see the store group chat open, many wouldn’t


think it plays a part in our work, but it does; seeing people chatting about our HUDs does give you a boost of energy to continue your work and make things better. My least favorite part is listing it on Marketplace - it can be so slow sometimes, especially when you have to do it for 9 different colors.” Korobase had an amusing response to the same question: “Well, the money is nice and the compliments are always good for the ego, but as goes the saying, ‘It is not about the destination but the journey.’ It may be silly to quote that, but it’s not really far from the truth. We enjoy the challenge of bringing things to life, from the abusive amounts of research to the actual releasing of the product.” When asked what he enjoyed the least about his work, Korobase was just as entertaining. “Am I really allowed to say that? I have a few in my mind: writing instructions that no one will read, having SL® destroying what you’ve spent the entire day working on, having a good idea on the HUD that you’re working on that causes you to nearly re-start your work, and making different colored versions - it feels repetitive.” Often our readers and consumers are curious about what a content creator is interested in apart from their work. “I tend to do a lot of shopping for stuff I really don’t need; I mean, how many hairstyles does a girl really need? My biggest weakness, though, is sim-building. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve demolished our sim just for an excuse to rebuild it or nag Encait to

let me change it. He so doesn’t like change. As for outside interests, I enjoy history, my specialty being Egyptology, having earned a degree in it. But sadly, a lot of my time is taken up by my real life job which can be rather demanding at times and often causes me to fall asleep on my keyboard.” Korobase expressed that his interests are much in line with the work he does with Solarium. “I like mostly to build/script new things, e.g. using certain LSL functions I haven’t use before, trying a different method of interaction, and making prototypes. Although I haven’t been having much time for it lately, I also enjoy role playing. Kind of by the same reasons I play SL. It’s a nice/fun way to interactively write a book or rather, a story. Naturally, I also like to play with our HUDS, both to explore some sights and simply to brawl a bit.” Korobase’s response to what he enjoys out of SL came with a bit of humor. “Aside from the standard reply (I like video games and music), I’d say that out-world, I like also to swim, nitpick on games and movies, and eat.” Verwood and Korobase agreed on their greatest accomplishment when it came to their work as Solarium. Verwood explains, “For me it’s obvious - it would have to be the impact we make during Fantasy Faire. We make new HUDs especially for the Faire where 100% of the money goes to the American Cancer Society for cancer research. We both also make huge donations which really wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for

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people purchasing HUDs from us.” There are many updates in Solarium’s future. Korobase elaborates, “Our to-do list has some huge and scary, yet promising projects. The scary part is for us, at least.” Verwood continued the sentiment. “Each of our to-do lists are endless, however, apart from creating new HUDs and our annual participation of Fantasy Faire, we’ll also be helping on ‘The Blackened Mirror,’ a drama series written by David Abbot for Treet.tv, whom I had the pleasure of working with during this past Fantasy Faire and will hopefully be working with again for the 2014 Fantasy Faire hunt.” Verwood takes an opportunity to tease a new product. “All I can say is that it’s bigger, it’s better, and you’re going to want to make magic happen. Just remember this name for when it is released - ‘The Enchanter.’”  She went on to say, “Also, we do Solarium Quests. They’re interactive stories in which at the end of each chapter, you’ll get a limited edition HUD for a prize.” It is clear that Verwood and Korobase enjoy their work and the support of their customers as Korobase expresses his closing thought. “It may take us forever, but if we said we’ll do something, we will REALLY do it. Real life stuff, however, is a priority and, sadly, gives us less time than what we need. But don’t worry, the quests, new HUDs, and updates are indeed being built or at least planned and researched. This may

sound cheesy, but it’s true, so… thank you to everyone who has been supporting us!” Visit Solarium: http://maps. secondlife.com/secondlife/ Whisper%20Cave/189/126/29 Shop stores:

their

Marketplace™

https://marketplace.secondlife. com/stores/42817 https://marketplace.secondlife. com/stores/25166 Visit their blog: http:// solariumsl.blogspot.co.uk/


Hot Spots and Entertainment

The Object of a

Proposit

Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Eve Kazan Graphic Designer Leah McCullough

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I

t was the 1920s. The world had come out of a devastating war that decimated a generation and survived the worst global pandemic in human history. People felt lucky to be alive. Their desire to kick off their heels, dance and celebrate was unstoppable, even by the ill-advised, unpopular Volstead Act that launched Prohibition and created a nation of scofflaws. Speakeasies and jazz clubs proliferated, infused with a new, rebellious music, more explicit, more demanding and more outrageous than anything before.


tion


I want a little sugar in my bowl I want a little sweetness down in my soul I could stand some lovin’, oh so bad I feel so lonely and I feel so sad. Nina Simone continued her lyric, demanding some steam in her clothes. That proposition has the kind of explicit, open sexual hunger that typified the Jazz Age, a demand that was catered to in clubs across the country. Here in Second Life®, Max Butoh and Mollie MacBeth set out to capture that long-ago zeitgeist and infuse it into their own social club, The Chamber Society. If you visit The Chamber, you will see how very well they have succeeded. It is the kind of place where every conversation can end with a proposition. Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Let’s do it. Let’s fall in love. In Spain, the best upper sets do it. In Second Life residents do it. Let’s do it, let’s fall in love. Cole Porter’s euphemism fools no one. He was talking about S-E-X, the universal drive that animates everything from lazy jellyfish to your average SL® resident. There is ambivalence about sex in Second Life that discourages people from writing about it. We all know that sex is an integral part of our world but resent the tittering, gawping mainstream media portrayal of our world as a never-ending orgy of the socially inept. It is long past

time to write our own narrative of sex in Second Life in all its variety, subtlety and beauty. Butoh and MacBeth have begun that narrative. Inspired in part by Eyes Wide Shut, the Stanley Kubrick film based on a Jazz Age novella, and by the recent HBO® series Boardwalk Empire, they have created a social club that elevates sexual exploration to a performance art. With an open, adult environment, seduction and experimentation are on the menu to be enjoyed a la carte. You will know that The Chamber Society is different from other clubs in Second Life the moment you arrive in the little period plaza that surrounds the club. Attention has been paid to create an atmospheric ambiance that takes you out of the here and now and transports you to another place and time. Using elements from Van Auster’s POST hotel room and other furnishings, they created a vintage world rich with possibilities. According to Butoh, “Deep rich colors, dark lighting just add to the atmosphere we are trying to provide for our members.” My man rocks me with one steady roll There’s no slipping when he once takes hold I looked at the clock and the clock struck three. I said now daddy, you’re killing me. He kept rocking with one steady roll.

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The Chamber is also distinguished from most Second Life adult clubs in that many of the people are there to socialize and are not necessarily seeking sexual partners right then and there. The social aspect is of equal importance to the sexual element, and the parlors and lounges are often crowded with people enjoying conversations in voice and IM. MacBeth continued, “We run in cycles; sometimes there are only people chatting in IM, and lounging around... while other times, people are engaging in role-play and sexual activity. It’s exciting to see what could happen next.” The Eyes Wide Shut inspiration is most obvious in the dominant roles of men in the The Chamber Society. They are the subjects in the sentence, women are the objects and sex is the verb. Men are often fully dressed while women may be fully dressed, nude or in lingerie. In MacBeth’s words, “The women are for beauty, to serve, and often on display.” Roleplay may include bondage, dominance games and exploration of the power of submission. He came home one evening with his beret way up high What he had to give me, make me wring my hands and cry He give me a lesson that I never had before When he got to teachin’ me, from my elbow down was sore MacBeth and Butoh take justifiable pride in their creation. MacBeth revels in the diversity of the membership and the richness that brings. “I’m most proud of the fact that we have so many different personality types

and interests throughout the Chamber Society.” Butoh is most proud of their ability to add and expand without “losing the integrity of an intimate sex club... I think people really enjoy when we redecorate or open a new room to explore with our loose backstory of the former hotel owner and his sexual history.” As MacBeth describes it, “You belong to a society and can access beautiful accommodations, talk with and enjoy beautiful people, while immersing yourself in a dark and decadent atmosphere.” There are rules for dress and conduct which ensure that everyone is comfortable and dressed in the character of the club. Butoh elaborates, “Rules are the foundation of any society, and we aren’t any different. The audiences we are trying to attract are people we want to get to know, be around and socialize with... the rules keep everyone on the same page with dress and behavior.” The Chamber is a labor of love. As MacBeth says, “Max and I put a lot of thought and effort into our projects, including ourselves. People love beautiful things, and just a little bit of effort goes a long way. Max and I try to lead by example in appearance and attitude about our second life.” Butoh elaborates, “We were tired of the same clubs to hang out in and really wanted to create something special that we wanted go to. Our lifestyle and exploration of it was the idea behind the Chamber Society. By having a concept, I believe it separates us from the typical SL sex clubs. Anyone can decorate nicely and landscape beautifully; it’s the concept people come for and it’s what they enjoy most.”

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Oh he could grind my coffee, cause he had a brand new grind He’s a deep sea diver with a stroke that can’t go wrong He can stay at the bottom and his wind holds out so long He knows how to thrill me and he thrills me night and day He’s got a new way of loving, almost takes my breath away The process of collaboration is always fascinating, and Butoh and MacBeth work well together. Butoh does all the building and MacBeth helps with the decorating. She explains, “He is the mechanics and the brawn, and I try to keep up with our ever-evolving ideas. Max is the Chamber Man and I’m lucky to have this place with him.” He thinks their skills and talents balance each other well. “The concept was definitely born out of our relationship and what we would enjoy in a club, so we just created it together.” Whatever your personal narrative of sex is in Second Life, there seems to be a place for you at The Chamber. The Lobby is open to non-club members to get an introduction to the Society. There are several rooms, from the Lounge, which is the main area where people congregate, to the Parlour, where lively discussions are on the menu, to the Ballroom, where group sex is served, and onto the Study, where voyeurs can find their dessert. On the far side of the club, there is the entire Village of May’s Landing with its movie theatre and Jazz Age lifestyle. All is

provided with taste, sophistication and an urbane decadence that refutes the media stereotypes of sex in Second Life. What Butoh and MacBeth understand - what most SL residents understand - is that the mind is our most powerful sexual organ. Amputees can feel sensation in their missing limbs, so it is not surprising that we can feel the stroke of another’s tongue on our necks or feel the warmth of their breath in our ears even though our partner is half a world away. Sex is not just an action; it has a narrative, one that comes to life in Second Life. It has a grammar of its own, a subject, a verb and an object. It has a story, a beginning, a middle and an end. So, explore your own narrative at The Chamber, where every conversation may end with a proposition. The Chamber Society (requires membership for some areas and dress code) http:// maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ Floris/109/171/24 Web Site: http:// chambersociety.wordpress.com


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Recreation & Leisure

Big Thin

Com

O

ne of the wonderful things about Second Life速 is the diversity of our community. There are abundant opportunities to mix and mingle with residents from around the world, letting us all expand our own experience and horizons. At the same time, though, while we can initially be certain to have one shared interest which brings us together, it can be difficult to really get to know one another. A new solution to this dilemma is now available which makes getting to know someone all fun and games! Emery MilneauxGiano has released to the grid, the Chatterbox. This one prim game currently comes in two editions, All About Me and All About Me Too, with fifty unique questions a piece designed to help residents learn more about one another.

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Writer Liat Reina Photographer Thalia Heckroth Graphic Designer Leah McCullough


me in

ngs Small Packages


Milneaux-Giano first discovered SL through the show, Gossip Girl. “I was a big fan of the show and at the time, Gossip Girl had a presence in-world that they’d push during commercials… Years later and to my own shock, I’m still a resident of Second Life. My work, my friends and my relationship with my partner, Umberto, keep me here.” A passionate lover of art, both in world and out, he uses his store, Commoner, to express this in-world. “I love the process of creating and can spend hours in a museum, observing what others have created. I can also lose

hours of my life in bookstores and gift shops.” An additional delight he allows others to experience is his Common Grounds coffee shop attached to his store. The combination provides the perfect place to relax and discuss common interests such as a few others near and dear to Milneaux-Giano. “I enjoy theatre, interesting people and all things Sex and the City.” With an eclectic fascinations already from Commoner, the certainly promises to its name. “I designed

variety of available Chatterbox live up to Chatterbox


to look like a wooden cube that holds a collection of cards. Its name comments on both its form and function. It’s a box that promotes chatter.” The small but beautifully crafted mesh Chatterbox will fit well in almost any decor, but don’t let its size fool you. This game is packed with potential for all types of gatherings. “Sometimes inworld, it’s hard to break the ice and have an actual conversation

with someone. Chatterbox is designed to help with that. Each edition of Chatterbox asks its players 50 questions, specifically written to inspire conversation.” The two All About Me editions of Chatterbox will soon be joined by all new collections of questions to keep the good times rolling. “Upcoming editions are in the works and will include ‘Couples’, ‘Girls Night Out’, ‘What

225


Would You Do?’ and ‘Would You Rather...?’.” Collecting the entire set will be made both easy and affordable as new releases will be offered up first through the Fifty Linden Friday events. Any who miss the sale, however, can rest assured that the game will remain available at Commoner and on the marketplace. Even at full price, this game is an amazing value both from a quality perspective and the replay ability each version offers. When asked to share his personally favorite questions from the available packs, MilneauxGiano was happy to oblige. “I like this one: ‘If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?’ I’d have to say, the sinking of the Titanic. I think that’d be fascinating to see. This one’s good, too: ‘If you knew the world was ending within the next year, what would you do differently?’ If I’m being real, the first thing I’d do is buy a pack of cigarettes. Haha... I quit four months ago and have been on edge every day since.”

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There’s no question that the Chatterbox and the interactions it promotes are as unique and endearing as its creator. With a little something for everyone, this game in any version makes a wonderful addition to gatherings of large groups or those which are more intimate. “After playing a round or two of Chatterbox, I hope residents walk away, feeling as though they got to know their fellow players a lil’ bit better. I hope that through its game play, Chatterbox creates an experience that is, all at once, enlightening, exciting, shocking, humorous, outrageous, thoughtful and most of all, fun.” SLURL: Club (174,144,24)

Road

South

Marketplace: https:// marketplace.secondlife.com/ stores/93020


Trending

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S

ince Philip Rosedale and company founded Linden Lab in 1999 and released Second Life速 in 2003, the company and the grid have always been in a state of evolution.

Linden Lab and Desura: An Evolutionary Step

Writer Spruce Canning Photography Courtesy of Desura Graphic Designer Leah McCullough


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Since the grid’s launch, the company has always added features in gradual stages; some were welcomed like the permission system on objects and files, and some were reviled as in the overhaul of the viewing experience (Viewer 2), which led to the third party viewer running on the core code open-sourced by the Lab. Viewers such as the ill-fated Emerald and its resurgent Phoenix Viewer blazed the way for many residents to customize their SL® experience. Nowadays, residents use mesh-capable viewers, another evolutionary step, and viewers such as Firestorm and Singularity come to mind. Now Linden Lab brings us to the next step in the journey with its acquisition of Desura, an independent game distribution service similar to Valve’s Steam service but with the ability to modify games and communicate with developers worldwide. “Desura’s talented team, thriving business, and impressive technology are a great fit for Linden Lab,” said Rod Humble, CEO of Linden Lab. “This acquisition gives us a global platform for serving creative developers of all kinds, and we’re looking forward to growing both Desura’s global community of gamers and its fantastic portfolio of thousands of games, mods, and other content. Our aim is to invest and support the Desura team in making it the most open and developer-friendly platform in the world.” In an interview with Gamasutra, Humble went on the record: “[We want] to make it the most open, developerand user-friendly 235


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distribution service for all kinds of digital goods, starting out with games and mods and going from there,” CEO Rod Humble said. “For us it’s a natural step... We’re about user-to-user transactions and empowering people’s creativity.” Given that Steam is the more renowned one stop shop for gamers of all platforms, this move by the Lab has put it on an almost even footing with Steam from Valve and the Origin platform owned by Electronic Arts, Rod Humble’s former employer. “When the market is so narrow, competition is a good thing. They will bring different people into the space,” Humble said. He referred to the virtual world space where in fact, Second Life has little competition from the OpenSim grids and Utherverse. He then added, “The same with digital distribution... It’s certainly not saturated, right, when you have one very significant player dominating a lot of it.” Therefore, along with the distribution aspect of Desura and the Second Life economy, SL content creators will have more places to sell their wares outside of the SL Marketplace. “We’re always on the look-out for key partners to further our strategy,” Humble says candidly. “We’re a very profitable company, we’re cash-rich, and if we can find potential partners, we will. That said, the strategy going forward is quite clear: to take all of our creative platforms, make them more and more open, and hopefully allow people to share and, if they want,

sell their creations.” “In Desura’s case, that means it’s going to be getting a lot of resources, so Scott [Reismanis] and his team can actually work a normal day for a change, and making sure that we can invest in infrastructure, hardware, and hopefully bring in new partners as well to grow the business. And, hopefully, help people sell more of their games and enjoy more games.” Would we see Desura as a place where the ordinary resident and the third party development teams come to download their viewer of choice and for the development teams to quickly modify their viewers or games and get them to the resident/user faster than it takes in the normal development and maintenance cycles? One would only hope. For more, check following links:

out

the

http://www.lindenlab.com/ releases/linden-lab-acquiresdesura http://www.desura.com/about http://gamasutra.com/view/ news/196498/Behind_Linden_ Labs_surprise_entry_into_the_ digital_distribution_space.php


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Photography by Leah McCullough


Perspectives

The Withheld Smiley Writer Huckleberry Hax Graphic Designer Leah McCullough

T

he written word, as we all know, is a wonderful thing. As it has done over the centuries, it constantly shapes and remoulds itself to suit our contemporary needs. What fascinates me most of all about text communication is the ingenious ways in which we bend it so that it includes the very non-verbal information it’s supposed to lack. Perhaps the most obvious and well-known way of doing this shorthand today is through the use of smileys. Those cute little sideways faces are an easy way of showing happiness, amusement, cheekiness and sarcasm; although technically they’re not as such an employment of the written word (they’ve elbowed their way in). Of course, smileys exist for negative emotions also, but the thing with negative smileys is they’re not quite really, well, negative enough. The very word, ‘smiley,’ after all,

hardly sits with any attempt to express genuine anger or despair; whether it’s a sad-faced open bracket you’re using or a thinlipped lower-case l, negative smileys are still just too cute and clever to be taken all that seriously. Using them to communicate genuine states of displeasure is a bit like announcing you’ve been made redundant through an arrangement of alphabet noodles. For all their valiant efforts, they’re ultimately best suited to expressing the milder side of negativity, such as inconvenience or a smattering of frustration. “That book I ordered by Huckleberry Hax still hasn’t arrived yet :(”. That sort of thing. When it comes to real annoyance, real anger, real misery, we turn to a different, far more subtle set of strategies. Whenever we’re feeling really low, after all, we lack the energy and emotional literacy to simply tell people what we’re feeling – and 243


don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean. Instead of simply saying how we feel, we offer up clues to our dearest and closest so that they might infer our emotional state. In real life, these clues are relatively obvious and include: The Silent Treatment, stomping about, applying significantly more pounds per square inch than required when returning objects to a surface. And so on. In text, it’s a lot harder. Smileys are still a notable part of our strategy, but they’re now notable chiefly through their absence: when we’re really pissed off in text, we withhold them. All of them. Deciphering the meaning of an absent smiley is a complex issue. Here is my brief guide to this art form. The Greeting Without Smiley (GWS) Withholding smileys can be a very powerful form of expression, particularly in the initial IM greeting. There are two essential forms of this action. The first – opening an IM exchange without a smiley – is relatively moderate in its severity as a face slap. Starting a conversation, then, with: Someoneyouknow Resident: hi is usually a communication that

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translates along the lines of, “I’m feeling low and I’d appreciate it if you ask me how I am (I’ll probably reply with, ‘I’m fine’, but rest assured any negativity you then subsequently experience from me will be far less than if you hadn’t asked).” Receiving such a message when you weren’t expecting it is often accompanied by a feeling no more serious than “It looks like a significant percentage of my carefree evening in the metaverse can be written off, then; I suppose I’d better ask what’s wrong.” The Reply (RWS)

Without

Smiley

The second form of this strategy, however, is far more biting. This is to wait for your close friend or partner to greet you with their own smiley and then to reply without one: You: hey there :) Someoneyouknow hey

Resident:

Depending on the closeness of the relationship you have with your correspondent, this could mean anything from, “I denounce your generally cheerful state as naïve, bourgeois ignorance of the pain I suffer; I doubt very much


you could have the merest hint of insight into it,” to “You, buddy, are in serious trouble.” The length of the pause between the greeting and the reply is especially significant: too long and the recipient might assume the sender to have been AFK or in another conversation, their non-smileyness connected to an entirely external issue; too short and the apparent eagerness to deliver the absent smiley might be inferred by the recipient to mean that the sender was strategically waiting for the greeting, their non-smiley reply prepared and awaiting the fall of the enter key – it might just possibly be a bluff, a pretence at anger to distract from a deeper issue: You: hey there :) [thinks, “If I start cheerfully, she might feel less threatened by a conversation about why we’ve not been spending time together recently.”] Someoneyouknow Resident: hey [thinks, “If I fake anger over

him being on half an hour later than usual, perhaps he won’t ask me difficult questions.”] The Reply Without Smiley is the wrong-footing technique of the text conversation world; it leaves the smiling initiator suddenly knowing they’ve completely misjudged the direction from which the correspondent is coming and defenceless to make any sort of powerful return. To the Greeting Without Smiley, of course, there is always the option to reply in kind, to answer the sender’s grimace with your own: “I’ll see your pain and match it.” You can reply nonverbally; the opening moves of a game I refer to as ‘Pissed Off Poker” (POP): Someoneyouknow Resident: hi You: hey But to the RWS, any attempt to imply your own annoyance following that initial smile – that

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gawping, inane, frankly idiotic grin – is certain to be met with failure. A smiley, once offered, cannot be taken back.

you write might like to rethink this approach: your ‘Hello.’ will be greatly diminished in its power as a result.

Adding extra bite to the withheld smiley

[Even more incidentally, whilst we’re on the subject of literary pedantry, if you’re one of those people who just can’t lower yourself to the pictorial arrangement of alphanumeric characters, “/me smiles” is not the grammatically correct equivalent of “:)” – the fact you’ve gone to the effort of typing the extra four characters makes it a non-spontaneous smile - thought through, calculated, and possibly insincere. Don’t like that? Go to the extra effort of writing “/ me smiles warmly” or “/me smiles in delight” then.]

Veterans of POP will know that there are, of course, a number of additional techniques to strengthen a RWS or own opening gambit. Capital letters and fullstops (or ‘periods’, as I understand they’re called in the US) are one such play. Restraint from the use of familiar forms of greeting is another. You: Hello. is, therefore, a hard GWS that signifies trouble and only trouble lies ahead for the recipient. On the other hand: Someoneyouknow Resident: hi You: Hello. is the POP equivalent of “I’ll see your pain and raise you my misery.” Finally: Someoneyouknow hey there :)

Resident:

You: Hello. is the ultimate in RWS replies – less of a slap across the face and more of a punch to the nose – and to be used very sparingly. Incidentally, those of you who insist on initial letter capitalisation and full punctuation in every IM

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Responding to the withheld smiley What options remain to the recipient of a RWS? It all depends. There will be those times when your reaction to one of these is a genuine ‘huh?’ and a frantic searching of recent memories for clues of something you should feel guilty about: profiles will be hurriedly examined for their rez dates (if you can enter a “Happy Rez Day!!” within ten seconds of a RWS, you might just pull it off as an unresearched comment; you can be fairly certain, however, that you’ll be in a busy region in such moments and profiles will take no fewer than 90 minutes to rez), IM logs will be rapidly scrutinised for mention of real life issues you should have attended to better. If nothing is discovered, one option


is to take the ‘standby gambit’ and just await a further response (depending on the circumstances, this will either reward you with an eventual comment that strengthens your position – since it betrays your partner’s desire to speak with you – or it will result in a silence until logoff for which you will pay dearly at a later date – probably with your life). Another is to over-commit to happy smileys in every subsequent comment as some sort of stubborn, post-hoc rationalisation of cheerfulness, slapping them merrily to the end of every sentence visible. For example:

Huckleberry Hax is the author of ‘AFK’ and other novels set in Second Life®. You can read these for free from www.huckleberryhax. blogspot.com

You: hey there :) Someoneyouknow Hello.

Resident:

You: how are you? :) effectively says, “I refuse to succumb to your attempts at reducing my well-earned positivity.” It’s a bit like those Facebook picture-quotes on happiness and love and not changing that you sometimes find yourself wishing you could roll into a cone and use to stab the poster in the eye. But there will also be those times when you know full well why you haven’t received, won’t go on to receive and – quite possibly – don’t deserve to receive a smiley in reply to your greeting. To this, I can only ask, why the hell did you open with a smiley in the first place? Talk about just asking to be slapped.

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Featured Artist

B

ryn Oh is one of the most well-known Second Life® artists in both the digital and analog world. She creates immersive art installations that guide people through a pathway of experiences with such subtlety that people feel they have agency. There are places to go and things to see, and everyone believes they can steer themselves in any direction they choose. Because they interact organically with the installation, for many people it may seem more adventure than art. And that is alright, because art does not need to received as “Art” for it to work its magic.

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Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Eira Juliesse and Bryn Oh Graphic Designer Leah McCullough


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. Dr. Seuss

Oh, the Places Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Go


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Oh has created a world that is different from our own by degrees. It is a world of muted colors, overcast skies and populated with characters out of a Charles Dickens novel edited by Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells. It is rich in atmosphere, moody and menacing at times, often acerbic and always rich with subtext.

For example, in the current installation Imogen and the Pigeons there are several mordant advertisements that suggest such solutions to parenting dilemmas as a dental coating that enables you to give them all the sugar they want. Another asks, “Why supervise when you can retelevise?” You might smile, amused at Oh taking contemporary advertising tropes to their extreme. But underneath that humor, Oh conveys her concern that the “commercialization of everything in our lives is detrimental to our society.”

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You're on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who'll decide where to go...


Creating immersive art forms is not for the faint of heart. As Oh describes it, “Immersion is so fragile and there are many different aspects to consider when trying to draw the viewer into your creation.” Her goal is to create an artwork that enthralls people to the degree they forget their first life. They stop thinking of themselves as a person sitting in front of a computer navigating an avatar and become the avatar moving through the world. For Oh, the ideal way to experience her art is alone in a darkened room, without the distractions of other people or visual reminders of real life. As far as possible, she avoids arrows and text explanations as they remind people they are not in a real environment. She employs techniques such as ambient sound to align your subconscious to the mood of the environment, interaction to promote your

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engagement with the environment and agency, or freedom of movement and interpretation. All of these processes work together to immerse you more fully in her world. Imogen and the Pigeons has had about 40,000 visitors so far, and perhaps 30 to 40% of them have puzzled their way through to the end. Oh designed it to challenge people. As she explains, “I have always appreciated most that which I had difficulty to achieve. My artwork reflects that. Some people make artwork that is accessible to everyone and I think that is a noble thing to do. I create artwork whose initial surface is accessible to all, but the full work tends to be for those who like to look under and between things. The curious, patient and persistent. Especially those with empathy.”


And then things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew. Just go right along. You'll start happening too.


For Oh, the metrics of success are less important than how she feels after the work is finished. “All my artworks in Second Life are a form of diary... there is a sense of release when an artwork has been completed and conveyed the way I needed it to be done. If I feel content when it is done, then it is successful.” Art is an essential element in the image that SL® wants to present to the outside world. Art reinforces their idea of SL as a place for high-minded pursuits and hints at its still unrealized potential. For many, including Oh, it seems logical that Linden Lab® would recognize the contributions of artists to its success. Clearly, if SL offered a discount tier to artists, everyone would suddenly discover their previously untapped artistry. However, SL could develop stringent qualifications that preclude instant artists. “If Linden Lab feels that artists bring content and experiences to their virtual world which strengthens their product, then they should be proactive and ensure those artists remain.” Oh would also like to see Linden Lab provide the ability to backup her artwork from her inventory to a computer. “I don’t like the idea of Second Life closing one day and losing everything. They could charge a fee and put a lock on it

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that would open only should SL ever close down.” Recognizing that there are possible technological and legal complexities involved, she still would like to know that she can have access to her creations no matter what happens to Second Life. With an artist as talented as Oh, one may wonder why she puts limitations on her potential audience by creating her art inworld. She counters that this perception is not the reality, “The walled garden idea is a common concern for many virtual artists, but to be honest I think it is a bit of a myth.” Contrasting her experience as a painter showing in galleries with her life as a virtual artist, she points out that in her first life, she can have one or two large openings a year in a gallery. The success of that first night opening is everything. A tornado during an opening, which really happened to her, can crush opening night and all the subsequent sales that would have come of it. “Quite a bit really rests on that opening night and you just pray for sunshine and warm weather. The opening reception might get around 300 people over the course of the night. Then each day for the rest of the month, there is a trickle of people popping in.” Moreover, the audience is limited by geography.


You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights! You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.


Now consider a show in Second Life, where her work can show for a year instead of month and be seen by 350 people per day instead of an estimated 30 and that audience is literally from all over the world. Right now Imogen and the Pigeons is being exhibited in first life at the Fundação Bienal de Cerveira, in Portugal. “The curators discovered my work through Second Life. Due to its worldwide accessibility regardless of location, they didn’t need to take a flight to Toronto to find me, and had my work been only available in a first life gallery space, then I think it is safe to say that my opportunities for global exposure would be greatly diminished.” The real advantage, though, is on the aesthetic level. “The artist is given a whole new range of tools to work with if your focus is on Immersion. A 2D painting is a static image; a virtual artwork is a painting you can enter and explore. It possesses ambient sound, interaction and duration. It is a powerful form of art and with things like the Oculus Rift™ virtual headsets coming out, it will only become more effective.” Oh can readily identify her strengths and weaknesses. Her greatest skill is instilling emotion or mood in her artwork. People react strongly to her creations. On the other hand, she realizes her work is not accessible for everyone. “One of the problems with making it difficult to navigate is that there are also those who might really enjoy the work, but


just are not given the opportunity to experience it due to being new or unaccustomed to clicking on things etc.” She also struggles with delegation, feeling the work is not really hers if she did not do everything herself. Unlike Rodin, for example, she is reluctant to commission custom items or buy pre-made mesh to assemble her environments. For that reason, it takes her far longer than she likes to create things. Currently she is working on a first life project with director Peter Greenaway that will exhibit in Switzerland. Called the Danse Macabre, it will include five machinima that will project onto a gravestone as the people at the exhibition walk past. In-world, she has created a scene for Madpea on a new project called Unia that opens in October. With all that, she still has time for some private commissions and preparing the next artwork to be shown at Immersiva, which she hopes to open by December. Odds are it will be a success. See more of Bryn Oh’s artwork on her Flickr: http://www.flickr. com/photos/bryn_oh/ Visit Bryn Oh’s blog: http:// brynoh.blogspot.com/

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Arts Feature

Imogen The Singularity of


Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Ziki Questi Graphic Designer Leah McCullough

I

f you could rewrite your life, what would you do? Would you snip away the loves and friendships that brought you pain, trimming your life of grief and loss? Or would you remake the world and all that is in it to save your love and hold it close forever? How would you protect your heart if the threads of fate were in your hands? What magic would you weave if your hand was on the loom?

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These are some of the metaphysical questions that Bryn Oh tackles in her meditation on human consciousness, Imogen and the Pigeons. Oh sees consciousness as “our individually unique awareness and interpretation of external events as well as an awareness of our inner ‘self’,” With Imogen, she allows you to walk within the composed reality or consciousness of Imogen and observe her efforts to reshape reality. Imogen’s story is one more edition in the “book” of wonders Oh has been writing in Second Life®, an extension of the fantastical world that includes Rabbicorn, Anna’s Many Murders, Gretch and Teddy and the other immersive installations that are her storytelling medium. As she explains, “I have been composing this world and society for years now and I guess I would characterize it as our society with slight deviations in technologies and social norms.”

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Imogen’s story is also an extension of current trends and advancements in contemporary technology. We are moving toward the singularity, the technological event horizon when machines will be more powerful than human intelligence, the moment when all bets are off and our world embarks on an unpredictable, unknowable future. Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity Is Near, believes we will have reverse engineered the human brain by 2029. In terms of processing speed, we are nearly there. In April, IBM’s Sequoia was clocked at 25 petaflops per second (pps), still slower than the human brain’s 36.8. But when you consider that just three years ago, the top speed was 10 pps, it is clear the computational power required for the singularity is within reach. Of course, there is more to the human consciousness and capacity than speed. Scientists


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have already partially reverseengineered hearing and speech processes, bringing major advancements in artificial hearing and speech recognition. With information technology advancing exponentially, doubling every couple of years, the technology event horizon draws ever nearer. Many believe the singularity will bring us a form of immortality — an immortality of the consciousness. Imogen’s society has made it halfway to the singularity, able to download and store a lifetime’s experience, memories and consciousness. They have the storage space but have not yet engineered the ability to implant that consciousness in an organic lifeform. That could be us in just a few decades. Sadly, before crossing that horizon, Imogen’s world was destroyed in an unknown, unexplained event. With their extinction, the machines fell into disrepair, all those hopes and memories rusted, broken and buried in sand. Imogen’s storage machine, however, still works, holding the sad, heartbreaking life of a woman who lost her child, her sanity and her freedom, locked up in an asylum. Alone, the single survivor in binary code, Imogen is a singular singularity.


According to Oh, Imogen’s story is a layered one that benefits from rereading a second or a third time. Of course, by reading, we mean exploring the installation. To “read” the story, you must become an anthropologist of the mind, clicking on items to uncover relics that hold Imogen’s secrets, touching items that unlock your passage and decoding puzzles as archaeologists decode languages. Your active participation in the story draws you deeper into Oh’s world and deeper into the mind and memories of Imogen. Imogen wants nothing more than the impossible - to bring back her child. That hunger infected the code and rewrote the events of her life, a transformational singularity. Mixing elements of her despised life in the asylum with her desired life with her child, she transforms elements from her lived experience into her new reality, the blue whale in a bedside book becoming a midwife to her miracle, for example. Oh says, “It is for the viewer to decide whether it would be right to remove all the hurt from our lives if we could somehow make everything good again. Or does happiness exist only because we can compare it against sadness?”

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Technology is advancing faster than our culture can evolve. Philosophy is in thrall to its past, unprepared to imagine the world beyond the technological event horizon. Political and social science are engulfed in a cultural war of attrition that looks backward more than forward. Art, unfettered and free of conventions and good manners, can not only keep pace with science and technology, it can run ahead. We need that because science, for all its investigations, experiments and explorations, is singularly nonchalant about the potential consequences of technological advancement. Science asks what, how and when. It does not ask “Should we?” That is the role of art. Society needs art because art is life unmasked. Art asks the important questions. With Imogen and the Pigeons, Oh explores the what-if’s of the singularity. What if our consciousness is recorded? What if the binary code of life is hacked and rewritten? What if love is so powerful it becomes a “virus in the machine”? These are the questions we need to be asking before our own event horizon. Thanks to Imogen and the Pigeons, thousands more people are better prepared to find their own answers. Web Site: http://brynoh. blogspot.com SLURL: http://maps. secondlife.com/secondlife/ Immersiva/16/127/22/?


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AVENUE Magazine September 2013  

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