Saturday, May 24, 2014

HPMD (Happy Mood) at the Plateau of Man

Aerial view over Plateau of Man Park. The addition of 4 new trees
softens the landscape with rich, yet delicate detail.


     SILK ROAD 5 is just around the corner: the upcoming month of June. This year, the theme for the grid-wide hunt is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves… a story I loved as a child, and one of the many early influences that lead to my continued interest in Asian cultures. Not only did I make a couple decorative changes inside the House of ACCentaury to accommodate the theme, but also, I wanted to enrich the landscaping in the park that visitors overlook from inside the building. I went shopping, and arrived back home with some new trees and orange flowers from Happy Mood (HPMD). Their trees are painterly, like washes of water color. The pastel effect helped soften the old gardens of the Plateau of Man. I removed a few of the older plantings, and laid in 4 HPMD trees, and a small bed of flowers to relieve the uniformity of green grass. 

Bed of orange flowers encroaching on the grassy field
before the Steward's Fountain.


     These few changes brought a huge difference in the feel of the park. There are not enough trees to suggest a forest, but their large trunks and generous canopy of leaves plot spaces such that the visitor sees the sites in the park as partially veiled. This is one of the things I love about trees. They are beautiful in themselves, and they also create mystery about the places behind them, which we cannot yet see in full, until traveling beyond them.





XXX

Friday, May 9, 2014

FANTASY FAIRE 2014


     Delighted by Elizabeth Tinsley’s invitation to create an installation in a garden, I had the opportunity to set up my work on the grounds around Rynn Verwood’s exquisite Palace of Tears. With the massive stone edifice in the background complementing the flowing green gardens framing it, I had an ideal site at my disposal. The cherry on the pie was the hunt story David Abbot had written. He described it briefly to me something along this line: An Emperor has gone missing, and if not found soon, civil war might be on the horizon. With a family visit planned in RL, I would only have about 3 days to build the garden scenes. I decided to base it on my interpretation of the hunt story.



     This being Fantasy Faire, I set down fanciful rival clans: frog people, centaurs, and yes, even humans from average height to the size of a mouse. The armies are composed not only of the soldiers, but their whole villages including streets and houses which are towed into the promise of battle. In the case of the Fiery Centaurs (red, orange and yellow skinned), a city grows from the back of their queen’s long robe, stringing its buildings and streets down the length of the garment, overflowing onto the ground like a delta, and finally disseminating itself into the green hills. Up the weighted robe they gallop, the Fiery centaur warriors, as their giant leader, intent on taking the title of Empress, trails her precious load with slowly measured but enormous steps, shaking the earth and rattling the bones of her enthusiastic subjects. Every citizen of the land, their houses and their fields march, converging on the Palace of Tears.



     This was the first time I participated in Fantasy Faire, which is a week-long charity drive for Relay For Life. There are lots of fabulous stores and events within the eleven highly imaginative sims. Exploring is the name of the game. You can't see it all, but what you will find is guaranteed to spark your imagination. For information, click here for their website. 



XXX

Monday, April 14, 2014

ROLL OF THE DICE

“ROLL OF THE DICE”
April and May, 2014
At the MBK Galerie

The MBK Galerie. My dice, 2D and 3D, are falling from every corner of the
building. I enjoyed texturing from floor to ceiling,
inside this attractive building on a German sim. If you visit, also tour the sim.


   
     The opening reception for Roll of the Dice was Sunday April 13. Asmita Duranjaya arranged for Miriam Evanier to stream traditional music from all over the world, with a focus on India and Indonesia, because she knows I love that style. There were also Western pieces included. Asmita at the sitar, and Miriam at the tablas, the reception began with a performance of raga music and Indian dancing.

THE EXHIBIT

     Survival is a gamble. For many, it is a series of moves in a game of chance. On the face of each die is a number from 1 to 6. The odds are we have a one in six chance of hitting our desired number. The approach we take to the environment is akin to a throw of the dice. The survival of the planet in our hands is a game.

     I’ve referenced Sally Painter’s list of the seven biggest threats to the environment for my exhibit. There are so many others. The melting of the polar ice caps, for instance, is not mentioned. These are seven among the ambassadors of an ailing planet. While creating my build, I couldn’t help from noticing a correlation with the seven deadly sins. These sins turn an indifferent eye to the planet’s rapidly diminishing health. The largest threats to the environment are most surely earned from our deadly sins.

     In each of the six nooks of the MBK gallery, I’ve represented one face of the die. Each roll of the die tells a story for which we gamble. Their faces are represented as follows:

1. Human Population (Over population with resulting depletion of resources)
2. Earth Changes (Human induced climatic changes)
3. Deforestation (Losing biodiversity)
4. Ozone depletion
5. Acid rain
6. 160 Dead Zones in the ocean
     And what of the seventh face of a six sided die? Where is that? And what is the threat related to it? At the end of the center isle of the building, in place of an altar, is the last die. All its faces are blank; there are no punctuated numbers on its surface. It falls upon this last die to reflect a resultant threat:
7. Species Extinction

     Is the Earth real estate? Are its life forms, vegetation, and resources rightfully subject to our beliefs? To what extent do we own it? The classical answer is ‘might makes right’. We are greedily consuming resources, polluting the planet from the oceans to the skies, from a compromised present to an endangered future. The vast majority of humanity doesn’t recognize this emergency state, and find little wrong with our specie’s domination of the planet. But in truth, we did not inherit the earth, we stole it. It is not ours any more than the other non-human inhabitants. We still haven’t learned to share. The Earth is not ours, but the responsibility to clean it up immediately is only ours. That is our charge. Denial is the eighth sin: that sin which escapes the traditional list, the deadliest of all, for which there can be no die face capable of holding a number which erases itself. This 8th nook is not represented in the exhibit. It is something we already carry with us daily, and everywhere we go.

Haveit Neox

2014




XXX

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Preparing the Paper Tower

     The Paper Tower is one of my pet builds - one of my first. Working on its grand scale and industrial motifs was an exciting new adventure in my new exposure to 3D building. I have many fond memories with friends, and with public events in and around the Tower. It is one of the last standing of my newbie builds. For years it has been the symbol of the city. In March 2010, Derek Michelson invited me to build his ACC Alpha sim from bottom to top. After terraforming was complete, I built several buildings, of which the arena called ACC Studio of Builds (currently named Paper Tower Court) defined the central hub of the sim, and still does to this day. On April 10, 2010, the Paper Tower was erected over the ACC Studio of Builds, and has remained there ever since. It’s witnessed public events, personal meetings with friends, and even had a jungle which sprawled to two floors in its midsection. The inside walls of the Tower’s shaft was textured with an exhibit that visitors could see as they climbed the spiral staircase rising the whole height of the Tower. Translucent panels around the artwork allowed visitor walking up or down the staircase to see the views of the city below. This was my newbie pride and joy.

Recent photos of the Paper Tower rising above ACC Alpha
have been installed this evening at the Looking Glass Hall
at the museum right below the Tower. I wanted to create this exhibit while the
Paper Tower still stands.


     Because I have a strong emotional attachment to the Paper Tower, it took me about two years to finalize the decision to take it into inventory. It’s simply too high. Theoretically, tall structures give great views over a city, but the default position of the avatar’s camera sees only sky after a certain altitude. In order to see the city as you walk in a high structure, the platform on which you walk must not exceed mid height. My hope is that the translucent floor of the new Paper Observatory will cater to this default.

     The Paper Tower will not disappear entirely. I have preserved a couple of its parts in the new Observatory. Most notably, the dual themes of decomposition, and paper, remain. The Observatory in every respect is the offspring of the Tower, even hovering in the airspace above the Paper Tower Court. It will take over the focal point of the sim and be a place of exhibitions. But instead of art displays, scientific information will fill the Observatory.


     With the Carnival of Architecture less than a week away, I have to concentrate on the positive aspects of the new change, and realize that the sadness I feel at losing the Tower from the sim is the expense due for the regeneration of the sim. As I prepare the Tower for packing, most of the furnishings and plants have been removed already. It's spiral staircase (122 meters high) still takes you on a dizzy walk up to observation deck at 155 meters over the city. The top of the Tower is at 175 meters . Please see the previous post for the date, time, and place of the ceremony. The Paper Tower will already be safely stored in inventory before the festivities begin, so I will pack away my grim face too. I can guarantee one thing, the carnival will be interactive and a lot of fun. This is how I want to issue in the new build. 




XXX

Friday, February 21, 2014

PHASE TWO: The Paper Tower Court.

Photo: Trial placement of the Paper Observatory at the base of the Paper Tower. Until the Tower is safely removed to Inventory on April 10, I will have to wait to tweak the proper fitting. It is very hard to tell exactly how it will look as the two buildings overlap for this temporary trial. The following months will undoubtedly see additional adjustments. 



PHASE TWO of the Paper Observatory Project has begun on the ACC Alpha sim. On Feb 19 and 20, the four connected studios composing the Studio of Builds Arena (now called the Paper Tower Court) were replaced by the four new independent standing studios. They are in the style of the sim, and increase the amount of air space circulating in the court. This open architectural feature is meant to create a gesture, like arms reaching skyward toward the hovering structure above.

PHASE ONE was in two parts, beginning in December and continuing into January. Along the perimeter of the shark aquarium on the ground floor of the Studio of Builds, three paper crescent buildings were erected. Soon after this, the Paper Observatory was rezzed on LEA 21 during the month of January, and refined as the weeks rolled on. It was the test area to see in 3D how the ideas in my head really appeared in the context of a city.

PHASE THREE will dramatically unfold on April 10, 2014. On this day, all the preparation that has come before will yield the result. The Paper Tower will be taken into Inventory, and replaced by the Paper Observatory. As this 4 year old build has much nostalgic value to me, it’s unlikely that I will trigger a collapse. Instead, the links will be taken into Inventory with care and respect. But a show will follow, beginning at 2 pm SLT after the Paper Tower will have been removed. Instead of destruction, it will be an imaginative play on construction, in which the public is invited to participate in this interactive festival. Read below for the event description:


CARNIVAL OF ARCHITECTURE
    
     The Paper Tower, the enormous landmark of the ACC Alpha sim, vanishes. On April 10, the 4th anniversary of the Paper Tower, it will be taken into Inventory and be replaced by the new Paper Observatory. This will take the form of a spectacle: the Carnival of Architecture. Visitors to the event can choose to wear selected architectural features and fly around dressed in walls, pillars and domes, joining others in collaboration to build a humorous version of a restless Observatory. At a certain point, the new Paper Observatory will descend onto the festive revelers, bringing the anniversary into a raucous finale of performance art.

Where:
At the Paper Tower Court, on the ACC Alpha sim.

When:
THURSDAY, April 10, 2014.
1 pm SLT. Paper Tower is taken into Inventory.
2 pm SLT. The Carnival of Architecture begins.
2:30 pm SLT. The public participates. Free vendors with architectural parts will be placed on site for the public to dress in building parts. At this time, the new Paper Observatory will descend onto the scene for the finale.

A NOTE OF APOLOGY:
As I will be working at the controls for this event, my chat window will most likely be closed. I need full concentration to bring on the performance. I'll get back to people who wanted to speak with me when I bring up the chat window again after the performance. Thanks so much for your patience!

Remember to check this blog for updates:

accalpha.blogspot.com





XXX

Saturday, February 1, 2014

AN OPENING / A CLOSING

     Arranging an exhibit’s closing for last night, at the same time as an opening for today, gave me plenty to do! If you read previous posts, you’ll see that two major projects dominated my time for January. I sweated it and loved it! Instead of writing about them in chronological order, I’m going to start with the opening, since that is the most current for later today.


OPENING 

This poster courtesy of Quan Lavender


     Quan Lavender invited me to exhibit at Art India, on the Shekhawati sim. Aside from the honor of being invited to display in this sizeable room, long like a landscape painting, it also has a personal history for me. It’s probably no surprise to people who know my cities at Sparquerry and ACC Alpha, that I have a great interest in India. A couple years ago, I actually rented a little gallery on the Shekhawati sim. It felt magical to be a part of the Indian virtual world. Now, years later, I am back.

About my exhibit:

"THE MINIATURE GOAL"

     What if our physical world shrunk in proportion to the resources we drain from it?
     
     We deplete resources all across the globe, yet in our homes we may feel few repercussions. Though we don’t actually visit the oil spills, the cleared forests, or the mines, let’s imagine how it would appear, were our everyday life reflected proportionately to the current depletion. If our bedroom walls were to shrink at the same percentage as the forests or the extinction of species for instance, how high exactly would our walls become?

     In my exhibit, I invite visitors into the miniature world we are in the process of creating. Abundance is shortly to become a historic commodity. A powerfully dangerous monster is being set in motion. Do we simply suppose the scientists can slay such a creature once we create it? Though we cannot cure the common cold, somehow we believe we will be able to cure an ailing planet. 

     Our disproportionate appetite for resources makes it clear that our progress, and therefore our goal, will succumb to a miniature plan. We will eventually come to realize that the planet's current ecosystems are being damaged to a point where we may not be able to save them. Where does that leave us when we become so small?


-Haveit Neox. 2014


     My opening is at 2 pm SLT today, Saturday. There will be the live and beautifully exotic music by Nnoiz Papp at the reception. Quan is also presenting at the same time Trill Zapatero’s “Wal Mart” in a sky gallery, and the digital illustrations of Ranadeep at the Art Bazaar. There is plenty to see AND hear at this opening of three artists. See Quan Lavender’s blog for more information:



……………………………………………………………………………………


CLOSING


A scene from the fiery collapse of the Paper Observatory and the metropolitan dish below it.



     30 minutes before going to a marvelous farewell party that Secret Rage was throwing for the Interim Project participants and visitors, I had begun saving the paper observatory in linksets. The strong winds outside were worrisome, because that frequently means the electricity could fail. The LEA builds would have to be removed by midnight, and I hadn’t yet saved the city below the observatory. But since the observatory in the sky and some of the statues were already safe in inventory, I joined the enthusiastic party celebrating Secret’s spontaneous idea of the interim project that worked so well for all of us. I left the party around 9:30 or so, figuring there were still over two hours to carefully pack up the city. But then, a few people contacted me asking when the show was going to start. I thought they were jokingly referring to the destruction show I’d performed for Second Libations in 2011. 

     Bit by bit, I saw people gathering in the corner of the sim, and then it hit me that the announcement I’d sent out earlier in the day must have been misleading (though I had suggested in an earlier post that I might do a tear down event, I never did get the time to entertain such a plan) . What I had meant was that the activities were portrayed by the fire and dioramas that I’d built during the month. I had no plans to perform. More people were arriving, so at 9:45, I felt compelled to announce that I would bring the Observatory down as a performance in 15 minutes, at 10 pm. My hands were shaking, my brow sweating under the pressure, because it meant relinking much of the building which was too large to make physical (only about 35 pieces can be in a link for physical effects). I rushed to delink, and relink, to simultaneously decide which parts should come down first for the performance. There would be no time to save the city in inventory the way I wanted, but this was the case of priority. So I plunged in. My friend Lilia Artis suggested I add more fire throughout the city, and I spread it all over. This looked wonderful, but the difficulty comes with trying to select building parts, because the fire has extensive invisible margins of alpha layers. I hate building around accumulations of trees in SL for this reason. It was with great difficulty finding my way around these ghastly prims. “You’re getting a good dunk in the ocean after the show!”  After the sky observatory fell, section after section, I felt that the show was over. But Lilia contacted me, and suggested that I also bring down the city. And so I did. But not the whole thing, because what remained gave a good sense of a ruin.

     As this had not been rehearsed, the process of the collapse of the city and the observatory was nearly unpredictable. I made a fast, approximate guideline in my head on the spot. But I was mostly guided by the results, each phase requiring me to consider other angles. The falling debris delighted me. When I let go of the edit window, I watched as if someone else had set the trigger. Massive walls and shards licked with fire fell down to the ocean below a sky of rich orange and dark purple, and I anticipated what might come next.


     The closing, thanks to Lilia, and thanks to the visitors, turned out to be an energetic end… quite different from my original plan to pack calmly. So, as the Paper Observatory came in with a sudden burst of Secret Rage’s spontaneous, immediate and unexpected invitation, so too the Observatory exited in a spontaneous swoosh. I… had… fun!! Thanks to everyone for that! 

     Just a side note: I didn’t end up drowning the prim fire in the ocean. Instead, I took out a book of matches, struck one, and blew out its flame with gusto saying: “SO THERE!” 





xxx

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Paper Observatory's Last Full Day. Removal on Friday.



     To think I almost wasn't able to accept Secret Rage's extremely generous offer to build a full sim exhibit at LEA. I was working on two other projects, and didn't see how I could manage a full sim in addition. Plus, the invitation came two days before New Years, and the exhibit would have to be built quickly, for I would have the sim for only the month of January. Then it struck me, this was a golden opportunity I couldn't pass up. For months, I'd been leisurely considering working on plans to make a variation of the Paper Tower at ACC Alpha. In addition, I'd been visualizing a city with a skyline resembling a satellite dish's dip. To fashion a city that looked like a giant lens. I could see it in my head, but I didn't have enough prims at my sky studio to attempt such a project. I accepted Secret Rage's invitation and got right to work.

     It's been a very exciting experience, and the feedback has been so encouraging. With only a bit over a day left, I'm rushing to finish up as much filming and photographing as I can in preparation for the machinima. I'm also preparing for my next exhibit opening the day after, Feb 1, which I will include in the next post.

     For those who were able to come see the Paper Observatory, I'm very grateful that you did. And for those who weren't able to visit, I will post the link to the film I'm planing to make on this blog, probably sometime around April.

The Paper Observatory at the LEA21 sim in Second Life will be disassembled in the evening of January 31 (Friday).





XXX