Planet

Today I visited Cica Ghost’s latest creation, Planet. As I’ve said, previously, I have always had an ambiguousness about my reactions to Cica Ghost’s work, sometimes liking it, sometimes not…

… I really like this one. For some reason, this one feels different to me. It still has all the Cica Ghost tropes…

… but they seem fresher, in ‘Planet’, as though some subtle evolution has taken place…

… which is hardly a surprise, given how prolific she’s been recently…

… the thing that has always caused my ambivalence toward her work is that I’ve always found her creatures to be on the creepy side of cute… I found them too unsettling to be enjoyable…

… I don’t feel that with the critters in ‘Planet’, they are suddenly likeable, which, for me, gives them far more depth, and makes the whole work a comfortable experience, not an unsettling one…

… I also particularly like the sky here…

… it has an ‘epic’ quality, it makes me think of 1950’s Chinese and Russian propaganda poster backgrounds.

Whiskey Smash

Over the last few days I’ve been visiting Whiskey Smash. I first was drawn to this destination because I saw it was advertised as a place that was about ‘art and blah blah’, art is one of my passions, and I always seek it out in SL. The ‘blah blah’ part was about music and dj’s, something I do not seek out in SL. It’s taken me days to assemble these pictures, because the first time I tp’d in, I landed smack in the middle of a frenzied crowd of dancing avi’s. If you know me, you won’t be surprised that my instant reaction was to tp home…

… determined not to give up, I came back the next day to a, thankfully, empty dance space. I then began my exploration of the sim, usually fighting industrial level lag. To say this sim is an eclectic collection of building genres and styles is gilding the lily, it actually borders on being a total mess, it’s quite hard to get a shot that encompasses only one style. There is little to no art, unless you count the various statues around the place, I didn’t find a single gallery, which is what the term ‘art’ generally leads me to expect. This sim is purely about dj’s, dance spaces, and shopping. That being said, if you spend the time, you can get some nice pictures…

… the second-to-last time I visited, the dance space was, again, pumping, but they’d moved the landing point outside, so I didn’t arrive in the middle of them, which was considerate. The place is obviously popular for dancing, but in the whole time I was exploring, I never saw a single other avi…

… my favourite aspect of Whiskey Smash is the sky…

… which is the only really consistent aspect among an incredible mixture of disparate styles…

… offering endless permutations of aurora-like fluctuations…

… to get lost in.

Memento Mori Again

Following my visit, yesterday, to Memento Mori, with Witchy, I have become slightly obsessed with the place, and came back to spend the kind of time you can only spend alone, here, which is different to the time spent showing a friend around…

… but it was the lovely time spent here with Witchy that piqued my interest, here. She had wondered what was below this build, something I’d never bothered to find out. As I’ve recently said, here, I have an almost pathological aversion to being led… this causes me, or has done, till just recently, to automatically dismiss unsolicited notices that pop up in my HUD, or anywhere else, for that matter, without even glancing at them. Because of this, I see places in SL through my own, uninformed filter, which has always suited me fine… but I’m realising I’ve missed out on a lot of important information because of my wilfulness. I had no idea, till today, that Chouchou is a group, a duo…

… a duo that is basically a piano and vocals. This explains the significance of the piano, here, in Memento Mori…

… they have several albums in iTunes, which I have been listening to whilst I sorted/edited the images for this post. While I was at Memento Mori I listened to the gorgeous music that plays here. That’s another thing I’ve never done, listened to the music streams in SL… I have extremely selective tastes, and seldom hear anything in the way of music selections that holds much interest for me, so I just never, in 11 years, listened to music streams here, once I realised I found most of them too dull. So, last evening with Witchy, was the first time I’d listened to the music, here, which is totally part of the experience, silly Seri!…

… the music, and the stunning complexity of the architecture, here, is a kind of meditation experience, it’s very easy to just let go and be delighted…

… before I came back here, this morning, I checked out the other Chouchou sims/builds, all delightful and, not surprisingly, well patronised…

… I think they all, as with this place, have a special HUD you can wear that gives you a cinematic view of what you are seeing. I found that view very acceptable, but, as it didn’t translate into my photo’s, and was kind of slow and awkward, I didn’t use it for more than a few minutes… but, at least I tried it, which I flatly would not have done, even yesterday…

… so, coming here, yesterday, with Witchy, has proved a kind of epiphany for me…

… perhaps not quite a spiritual experience, although this place sure brings those kind of feelings out, but definitely a reframing of my SL experience. I managed to get up on this staircase with a bit of athleticism that defied the ‘no fly’ rules, here, to be able to look all the way down to the piano…

… the only aspect of this build I don’t like is the odd glow on the bell, but, hey, the rest is amazing.

Memento Mori

I took my friend Witchy to visit Memento Mori, last evening…

… having never been here, she was suitably blown away…

… there would have to be something seriously wrong with anyone who isn’t blown away by the sheer grandeur of this place…

… we climbed to the highest point…

… all the time the gorgeous music stream played in the background…

… it was impossible not to talk in whispers about the power of such architecture to humble the soul.

Iterations

I set up a new exhibition at Placebo Gallery, yesterday. It is called ‘Iterations’…

… as well as photography, I have a passion for playing with textures in Photoshop…

… I have an enormous collection of RL photos my human has taken of clouds, concrete, sand, rusty metal, plants, that sort of thing. I spend many happy hours mixing and blending these images into textures, which then get reblended into more textures…

… then I’ll start a series of iterations of a few chosen textures from the huge collection of them I have previously created. It’s like painting, but with textures, instead of paint…

… I have previously created textural works recognisable as conventional landscapes… but most of this current batch of iterations are landscapes of the mind.

Looking Glass

I visited ‘The Looking Glass‘ today. I’ve been here a few times before, looking for the gallery, but never found it because I have an almost pathological aversion to being led, and always go any direction except the obvious, so I’ve missed it… it’s not actually very hard to find. If you do go the wrong way, here, there’s so much to see it’s easy to get sidetracked…

… the gallery is in this very obvious building, the bridge to which totally dominates the landscape…

… there are some works here I really liked…

… interspersed with stuff I wasn’t too interested in, several of which I consider to be in the category I call ‘titty pictures’… RL nudes done up to look like the style of Boris Vallejo et al… I just don’t get that stuff. If you are going to do fantasy nudes in SL, why not do them in SL? I also don’t actually think that type of work has too much artistic merit, anyway, it’s basically soft porn disguised as art. Whatever, that’s just my opinion…

… so, having seen the gallery, I wandered around the sim which, as I said, is dominated by the huge bridge, which provides plenty of scope for dynamic angles…

… the sim is like, say, an Alex Bader sim… it’s a giant advertisement for the products made by the owner. These products are gorgeous, and the textures/colours are dark and rich…

… it’s a beautiful place to explore, with lots to see…

… and lots to photograph.

Illusive Eggs

Yesterday, I visited ‘The Valley of the Pondering Eggs‘…

… I liked the stark, empty horizon there…

… but could not find the eponymous eggs anywhere. I fell through the ground, at one stage, into total darkness, which was empty except for a single, static horse, but no eggs…

… I found some catacombs that were very extensive…

… too extensive, really, they just went on and on and on, to no apparent purpose other than to go on and on. In the end, I TP’d home, determined to come back today and keep searching for the eggs…

… imagine my surprise when I arrived in exactly the same landing area as yesterday, and found myself surrounded by big eggs…

… do these eggs come and go on some mysterious schedule?…

… or had there been some strange SL, trans-dimensional glitch in play, yesterday? Oh, well… got to see the eggs.

Backdrop City

Today, out of sheer desperation to visit somewhere that wasn’t snow and reindeer, I visited Backdrop City, an area comprised of backdrops, free to use, with a 4 hour return on rezzed objects…

… there are a lot of backdrops here. As someone who owns quite a large collection of them, myself, I was surprised I hadn’t seen any of them before! And none of the ones I have are here. Not sure what that means, but it’s interesting… I guess it shows there are a lot of them out there…

… there’s a good variety of interior and exterior backdrops…

… and with the ability to rez props, I’m sure anyone could make some pretty cool images here, without having to own land to rez backdrops on…

… there were several other avi’s using the amenities while I was here…

… although one of them clearly had no comprehension of the concept that when another avi is standing in front of a backdrop, they probably would prefer you not to wander around between them and the backdrop… but, hey, we’ve all met that avi, haven’t we…

… considering I came here out of desperation, and with almost no expectation, I was pleasantly surprised. I think it’s lovely that people create these type of free, public facilities…

… this was, by far, the biggest backdrop… wrapped around the sim.

Tempura Island

For my first exploration in 2021, I visited Tempura Island. Near the landing area is a gorgeous, autumnal forest that filled my heart with the joy of being alive, and able to experience this kind of beauty…

… this is a very beautiful place, a particularly lush, baroque type of beauty…

… there is a palace that manages to be both classical, and slightly brutalist, with vaguely nouveau embellishment…

… it has gorgeous, intimate spaces, lavishly decorated in nouveau/deco style…

… and stunning, huge spaces, in a kind of byzantine/baroque style…

… it’s all very beautiful…

… filled with light that embellishes all the golden tones…

… really magnificent…

… breathtakingly so.