Sharing holiday joy in Second Life

An unexpected thing happened this holiday season…I was DELUGED with Christmas gifts and cards! It’s an overwhelming feeling have a handful of gifts waiting for you EVERY TIME you log in. Having been as detached from the SL scene as I’ve been (or at least felt I’ve been), these demonstrations of friendship hit me right where it counts. Thanks, everyone!

Beyond that, you really have to admire the innovative spirit in SL’s creative class. I decided to put out all of the Christmas gifts on the Second Arts plaza as a quickie display of this great work, and here’s a 39-picture slideshow of the world in and around Vig’s Christmas tree…

I didn’t mention that the particle snowflakes throughout the slideshow were from a rezzer by Alizarin Goldflake. Also, I received a number of no mod/no transfer textures that I could not put on prims to display…so there really was quite a bit more beyond what I set out at Second Arts.

Again, it’s humbling to know that one has so many friends across the grid. Thanks, everyone, for making my Christmas just that much brighter.

Looking back with Juria Yoshikawa

Juria Yoshikawa assembled a slideshow retrospective on his works over 2007 and 2008. Not only was Juria quite prolific over that period but the works themselves were really spectacular. Enjoy!

Farewell to The Quiet

SL is going to miss this wonderful space. There are few like it.

Does anyone want to try to set up something – a conservancy, perhaps – to save places like this? I’m serious. A core group of arts philanthropists, all donating tier, could do some incredible works in SL.
posted by Morris Vig on Princeton West using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Will AM Radio’s “The Quiet” go silent?

The Quiet by AM Radio, with Morris Vig participating

That’s what AmyFreeLunch is suggesting: 

AM Radio’s magnificent The Quiet – the artist’s most personal and, in my mind, important piece to date – is losing its home due to the impending price increase.  

If SL has anything resembling a cultural history (and I believe it does, and the need to preserve its history will become more and more important as we try and get this field to receive the credit and attention it deserves), then this piece is definitely right up there in the canon. Losing it would be devastating.

She’s so correct.

Amy then throws a question out to the masses – whether there might be a benefactor that could pick up the cost of hosting this build.  I don’t have enough to cover an entire sim – and I’m not sure one person would want to be the host of a project like this in perpetuity – but I have 1,920 square meters of leftover space before my tier goes up and would be pleased to donate that to a conservancy organized to preserve “The Quiet.”  

Anyone else want to step up?

[UPDATE: Apparently Princeton is dumping 4 artistic-themed sims.  It’s not entirely surprising, though.  I’ll refer you to the prior paragraph in this post: “…I’m not sure one person would want to be the host of a project like this in perpetuity…” – and this is why.  SL needs a core group of committed leaders on this issue, not the fickle generosity of a sugar daddy.]

The “Bay City Visions” RL book arrived!


And, if I may, this book is downright stunning.  The Oyster Bay book is a great historical tome, with over 700 SL photos across the 200 pages, but the Bay City Visions book is about the art…not photojournalism.

Blurb does an amazing job transferring the very high resolution SL images onto the printed page.  The book itself is an 10×8-inch landscape format, so the photos themselves are around 6 inches tall (accounting for margins, captions, etc.).  The glossy covers complement the matte pages quite well, too.  I hadn’t purchased a softcover book from Blurb before (my Oyster Bay copy is hardcover with slipjacket), and the quality of the covers and the binding lead me to think that it’s very acceptable as a coffee table-quality edition.  

Here are a few RL photos of my copy…

46 pages of top-quality Second Life photography by 24 creative minds, all themed around the SL experiment that is Bay City.  The softcover edition is $24.95+shipping, hardcover with slipcover is $35.95+shipping and hardcover with imagewrap (imagine a hardcover book with the cover images printed onto the hardcover itself) is $37.95+shipping.  

Oh yeah, I’m not taking a dime in profit from this publication.  Don’t think that I’m hyping to line my pocket.  I’m darned proud to have done this project and want to share the incredible feeling of holding SL images in real life with you.  

And, yes, there will be more such projects to come in the future!

Farewell, Manzanillo Artist Enclave…what does this tell us?

Manzanillo Artist Enclave - in partial disassembly

Manzanillo Artist Enclave - in partial disassembly

Upon returning home from a brief holiday trip, I saw this notecard:

For the new year, Mark and I have made a few resolutions and will be starting anew on several levels including SL. Unfortunately, this extends to Manzi which we will begin tearing down immediately. If you have the opportunity to collect your items, please do or we can start returning them to you after the 1st.

We want you to know that you are what made Manzi what we envisioned and loved having your art around to selfishly enjoy for ourselves. It was certainly our pleasure to provide all of you with a place to hang your art and hopefully gave you an opportunity to show to others in SL!

I would also like for all of you to know that what I believe the best part of SL for me has been meeting all of you, the friendship, the conversations, all I’ve learned from you, and the laughs. I’m not leaving SL permanently but I won’t be around very often. I’ve missed being more involved with Manzi and putting on shows for you and I’m going to miss everything it has brought to my life and that includes you. Thank you for hanging around here and your constant support which I truly appreciate and value.

Much Love,
Michelle Babii
Mark Athens

I didn’t make a big deal of it (largely because I’m not much of an artist), but I was part of Manzi and am proud to have had the opportunity to be associated with Michelle, Mark and the many other artists and personalities that made up the “Artist Enclave”.  It was a pleasure to have a unique little gallery space of my own – a room, that’s all, but it was enough.

Reading between the lines and knowing a little of their personal situation, let me summarize my perspective on this development with some first-person perspective: It is very hard to run a successful Second Life community hub. Manzi served this purpose for a few months, and it does not surprise me that Michelle and Mark chose to take their lives in other directions.

At the same time, their withdrawal does not suggest that Second Life and its many communities (including artists) does not need places like Manzi (or Oyster Bay, for that matter).  It most certainly does.  I hope that some other venue owner picks up the mantle and strives to become the hub for activity in the artistic world of the grid.  Xander Ruttan’s Cetus district does a strong job at this.

The other big lesson I’m taking from Manzi’s exit is that for a hub concept to work, it requires either slavish devotion to the property and its goings-on by the owner or the active involvement/participation of many leaders.  Simply put, many hands make light work.  The challenge I see is that SL’s artist community as individuals are loathe to devote themselves to a single property or location unless it is their private gallery.  Some do, to be certain, but most are working to have their works shown in as many locations as possible.  This may be good for the artist, but it does nothing to sustain the venue owner who needs active participation for a facilty to survive.  Had Michelle and Mark been able to count upon some help in managing Manzi, perhaps it may have survived (longer).  Perhaps not.  We’ll never know.

Anyway, it’s a shame when such a great duo has to move on.  That’s the transitory nature of Second Life, and it’s also a main reason why places like Tayzia Abbatoir’s Crescent Moon Museum are so fantastic.  Resilience has a place up there with uniqueness and distinction, at least on the grid.

Here’s to Michelle and Mark.  They tried where others didn’t.  That is worthy of commendation.  I hope they do indeed stick around the grid – we need more people like them!

Machinima: “Stop Making Sense & Dream”

Mariposa Upshaw sent me a link to this montage of the “Stop Making Sense & Dream” show at Angel Dorei and Caerleon Isle.  Enjoy!