Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Hearty, Arty Safari

         Some seriously fun art in OpenSim this week for the Safari, on two excellent art-friendly grids. HG Addresses at the end.
          First up, Francogrid and Michaël Borras aka Systaime with his show "Curating Money" curated by Wrong Grid organizers Ellectra Radikal and Frere Reinert.

Selby Evans (foreground)  and the gang take a look at Curating Money

          Michaël has a stellar career with net artists all around the world,  including collaborations with Asia Argento,  Helen Acosta and Alan Schaffer, as well as Nicholas Kantorowicz and this current show can be viewed in RL at Jed Vorras gallery in Paris.
Michaël 'Systaime' Borras

          So what is this show about? well, money!
          It makes the world go around, but does it really exist? Is it our friend or foe? Via photos and, above all, video 'portraits', Michaël explores the various faces of currency, a beast we delude ourselves into thinking we have tamed.
          Virtual money is not a new concept; medieval pilgrims travelling to Rome and Jerusalem used a sort of credit card developed by the Knights Templars.
          But today, with Bitcoin and Linden dollars, with debit cards and credit ratings, with Panama and PayPal and currency continually ebbing away from the tangible, this art show reminds us of how little control we have over both the global economy and the contents of our pockets. Does it matter? You decide.

          Technology was not my friend during the visit. The MOAPs kept zooming in when clicked on, - word of advice, if you're setting up a show, don't enable the zoom feature - it's not user friendly! Despite having the latest Quicktime, and even conceding to the use of Firestorm - ugh bloatbuttons -  I couldn't see the vids in the exhibit. But that's OpenSim for you, right? There is always the option of going direct to the Systaime blog website to glean a full view of Michaël's witty vision.
          This is a thought-provoking show, and we are so fortunate in OpenSim to have so much really original, vibrant and good humored talent to enjoy.              Our second stop was on Digiworldz grid. We pulled no punches, made no concessions to the Digiworldz servers, by rezzing on their Welcome sim (which I recommend as a neat place to find out about their freebie stores) ... Oh no, we just threw ourselves onto Spiral Silverstar's Artlandia region.        
          And Digiworldz rose to the occasion in spectacular style! Well done those servers, and server maintainers!
Spiral Silverstar in his 'almost SL' incarnation. Nice ears.
          Spiral, in rl Joe Zazulak, is a fractal guy of great charm and genius.
          So much so, that apparel company Vida have used some of his fractal art in their clothing range. OMG so want some.
          Joe is also a great machinimatographer. On this sim, though, it's his sculptures and images that reign. Fractals, along with a fascination exhibition of surreal photos, make this sim a place you'll want to visit and visit.

          After some time in Kitely, Joe has now settled on Digiworldz and seems to be enjoying his time here.        
            In typical Joe-nerosity, he has opened up his space on the grid to some other artists whose names you may know from SL: Gracie Kendall, FreeWee Ling, and Alpha Auer, who of course is also a member of NGrid and a previous host of some memorable Safaris.
          Artlandia on Digiworldz opens officially on Sunday May 15 at 1pm Pacific time with a concert by Morlita Quan.
Carousel by Alpha Auer aka Elif Ayiter with Gracie Kendall aka Kristine Schumaker's colorful exhibit in the background
           The juxtaposition of these four artists is pure serendipity rather than a thematic imperative, yet despite that freedom, once can parse a certain affinity in the creativity of these otherwise diverse imaginations: the narrative bent.
          It begins with Spiral's fractals. Study any one of them, and you will find a galaxy of stories within the canvas....
           Whether these original pictures in Spiral's main gallery, or if you sneak into the adjacent building....
          ...where you will find this wonderful collection of surreal images, within which your imagination is bound to take flight.
          Next up... texture bonanza!

         Gracie Kendall's contribution to the ensemble is a mass of forms and textures, a Church of art, it seems.
         Love it or hate it, you're bound to exclaim, what happened here!? The narrative is entirely in the eye of the beholder. Did a plane crash? Is this some sort of organic outgrowth?
          Fly around and try to understand... if it is a church, the twisted documents or doctrines, the entities that leap and lump together suggest 'faith, hope, and charity', in a vast kaleidoscope of interpretations.
           FreeWee Ling, a SL powerhouse best known perhaps for her close collaboration with UWA, has used her space in multiple segments.
          Portraits of her avatar in various guises invite curiosity and inventiveness, as one tried to guess what adventures they portray.
          Then there's the Victor Hammer printing press exhibit. In classic FreeWee style, it's a dual didactic experience.
Enter to be enchanted by the Victor Hammer printing press!

          There's the technology jewel from the 1920's, and alongside that, the interesting question of rapid prototyping in virtual worlds... you know you want to know more!
         Add to that the awesome Mop Head, on its scanner-like lake.... bliss.
          And finally, Alpha.
         Two avatars as gifts at the landing point.

         Fern trees, carousels, towers, all in divinely rigorous greyscale.
        This is a woman with design in her soul. Attention to detail, an exquisitely executed vision that begins with windlight and expands into forms and concepts that reek of the inquiring, erudite mind.
          Do not miss the heavenly spheres, housing deliciously contrasted shapes. The dialectic of shape here just seizes the mind. Straight lines, perhaps a city-scape, echoing blueprint city on Alpha's Shapeshifter sim in NGrid, are only pixels away from a ghostly family of vertebrae.... This is a symphony of design, design, dreams and design...
 HG Addresses
Curating Money

Artlandia - Grand opening 1pm Grid time, Sunday 15 May

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