Identity: American Gothic 2015

I am working on a series of images that play around with identity. Next to the Fatherland and With A Pearl I made American Gothic 2015. It is Inspired by the famous painting by Grant Wood. It is not just a parody as it is meant to be more than a funny change of the original. It is meant to be explored.

The essence of the picture is the two avatars. They are both male avatars with male hair and such. The only female part is their skin and, of course, the way they dress and your thinking. For it is your mind that tags gender on them.

Below is a link to the original.

american-gothic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Gothic

CyberArt at Cyberpolis (Lea 12) April 2015

A movie about the CyberArt 2015 contest organized by Asmita Duranjaya and Sable showing works with a cyber motive from 15 artists. Movie is by Merit Coba and Taubchen Sonnenkern. Music is by Tracing Arcs.

Artists

Recent CYBERart pieces for the contest at LEA12 2015:

1. Ginger Lorakeet – Cyber Rain

2. Sheba Blitz – Cyber Mama

3. Barret Darkfold – Abstract Cyber 3

4. IanLee Patton – Eli Mecha Musume

5. Corcosman Voom – Plan 9 from Inner Space

6. ChapTer Kronfeld – CyberWorld

7. HOLALA Alter – Small Paradise

8. Duna Gant – Le Monde de Asmita et Sable

9. Solkide Auer – Interstellar Overdrive

10. Ranadeep – “Cyberspace Zen”! 􀀉

11. Elle Thorkveld – TimeFrames

12. Carabella Babii – Pixel Self

13. Lusus Saule – Bryn Oh

14. FeelsEmpty – Zeno

15. Curious Foo – The Perplexer

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA12/5/5/2

(Not) Being Andrew.

Christine Romein, a friend, had a link to the story of Andrew on her facebook page.
I thought it would be fun to make some random images in reaction, because someone’s burden is an inspiration to others.. and a source of income to booth. So here are some brainstormed ideas in reaction.
Initially I wanted to go with Stay Calm.. I am (not) Andrew. But since the font is copyrighted I decided to use my own font and because my font is connected to a rather fuzzy way of letter placement it became something else entirely. The reason I like to play around with letters is because it’s fun to garble a message but so that you still can get it. It is a study in messing around with the structure. I read in a book that it might be post modern. But let’s call it fun.

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This was the initial picture.

I fiddle around with font’s which are made up using primary objects from Second Life(there is a post about one I often use: the torus). I thought I add two pictures of how my builders area looks in Second Life(with my two main avatars(I always use them together because one is the camera and the other makes the things you see.. I bet it will be similar to other places were artist and builders mess around. This is the are that is cluttered with all kinds of things that have been part of projects, are part, or never will be.

After fiddling around with prims, my own font type, the Andrew picture and Photoshop Elements I came up with these:

Andrew: I am Andrew

Story-telling: Being beautiful in the art scene, a PimperPuppets Production by d-oo-b.

Sometimes things happen that you need to act upon quickly.

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And so it is with the exhibition, a PimperPuppets Production and the brainchild of d-oo-b.
It’s a tale that must be familiar to artists, so I imagine, for it’s about an artist, Serge, who gets this big chance at fame: an exhibition in the Grand Hall, the Valhalla of art.. Unbeknownst to him, his moment of glory is at the expense of Lucia, an starting artist who is sees herself as much more deserving(of course), she with his art academy background, while Serges has had not artistic education whatsoever. And even though Lucia is told that she actually never stood a chance in the first place, she is determined to set Serge up for a fall. This then is the setup for the drama that unfolds.

The exhibition uses puppets set up in various area’s that are scenes or stages, if you will, that are displayed in a snapshot fashion. You could say it’s an comic in a way, for the camera moves from one scene to the next. Each scene however is not just a static display.. there is a small dialog and sometimes the camera shifts within the scene and the puppets are animated.
I would like to tell  and show more, but at the moment I would like just inform people with access that the exhibition is there. More will follow.

Here a link to Ziki Questi’s blog.

http://zikiquesti.blogspot.ch/2015/04/pimperpuppets-being-beautiful-in-art.html

Here is a link to his d-oo-b’s blog.

Events at pimperpuppets

Here is the link to the inworld location:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA9/167/73/49

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Relay for life 2015: The future of your money.

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This year the American Cancer Society(ACS) organizes another Relay For Life(RFL) charity event in Second Life. The impact of this event can be estimated from their site: “As of July 2014 RFL of SL ranks number 17th out of 5000 teams worldwide in donations receive.We have brought in over 2 million US dollars to help with the fight against cancer.”

17th out of 5000. That is no mean event!

I ran into the Relay For Life charity some years ago and still recall the event vividly. I was confronted by a donation stand near a castle named Camelot and a big star spangled banner was waving in front of the home of the British king Arthur.Was this over-sized flag signalling something?

I became curious and looked for information. It soon became evident that it was an event specifically organized by the American Cancer Society for their own benefit. Indeed. All the money that is gathered world wide is used to financing activities of this All-to-American organization.

Nothing wrong with that you might say? If it is used for a good cause which eventually benefits the whole world, why would you be against it?
Actually, there is nothing wrong if they were upfront about it.
But for a long time they were pretty secretive about it and they still are.
But at least the are now more open about who is behind RLF as compared to last year:

For 100 years, the American Cancer Society has been working to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based, voluntary health, and international organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.

So from this statement we gather that the ACS is both a nationwide organization and an international organization. Which would stand to reason considering that  Second Life is a global community and as of July 2014 RFL of SL ranks number 17th out of 5000 teams worldwide. It means that part of that money raised comes from the world and it would be a sad thing if all that money was just used to benefit one nation.
So does it?
Have you checked?
I bet you didn’t.
Actually the ACS is an American organization that is bound by American laws and their grants are exclusively focused on funding US based research. You can look it up for yourself on their website. Not one grant is given to a foreign university. Hence all research is done in the US within the restrictions of the US laws. And that will probably also apply to sharing research data, if they even posses such data, as they mostly finance research.
This doesn’t mean the ACS exclusively focuses on the US. It does provide information and help within the limits of the  laws as they show on their website. But all of that help is of an informational nature and aimed at those countries that are on the friends list of the US.

But what happens to countries that are not on the friends list? Have you checked if your country is?

It would be fair if the ACS was honest about what they do with the money they raise and make explicit who benefits and who doesn’t. Now it seems to me that they invest non US money in US based research which they will only provide to your country if they are allowed by law.
And this is just about research. How about all the community programs that are solely based on the US  and the world raises money for?

If you decide to fund Relay For Life as a world citizen or a foreigner you might never see any direct benefit from it. Perhaps it would be better to give your money to your local cancer organization or. preferably, to a truly international one.
Perhaps if the ACS pays attention to rest of the world it might become a true world leader. It seems that being transparent and open about it would be the first step.

But even as an American you might think twice before donating to the ACS. Their president makes a whopping 2 million a year… which is about the amount of money relay for life in SL raised in 2014. You could say SL paid his wages.
And the ACS seems to have dubious ties with companies, which seem to influence their policies.  More criticism can be found in links below.

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ACS & Relay for Life

http://www.cancer.org/
http://relayforlifeofsecondlife.org/

Charity status

https://www.charitywatch.org/top-charity-salaries
http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=6495#.VOjbpfnF-So

Critical articles
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/24/american-cancer-society–more-interested-in-wealth-than-health.aspx
http://www.preventcancer.com/losing/acs/wealthiest_links.htm

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.nl/2014/04/american-cancer-society-sells-out-its.html

Announcing the 2015 Spread The Love Expo!

I decided to reblog this anyway even though I have some misgivings. Specifically I wonder about this:
“Bloggers must have made two posts within the last 30 days on your blog that features fashion or decorative items from within Second Life PRIOR to registering for this event.”
Perhaps I am mistaken about the intention, but it sounds like the fundraising is second to the shopping event. Perhaps one should consider that there are blogs out there that do not specifically blog about fashion or decorative items, but might still want to promote this event.
Anyway.. I think it is better to give support, because the intention is right. Right?

SLGBT Alliance

SLGBTA Spread The Love Event 2015 Sign

This Valentine’s Day, we invite you to join us for The Second Annual SLGBT Alliance Spread the Love Expo– a FULL SIM two-week shopping event and fundraiser. This year’s event will benefit The Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Shop for a good cause this season as 25 incredible designers come together with *New* and *Exclusive* Donation items to help benefit the Human Rights Campaign!

Visit at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Lam/121/182/23

What is the HRC Foundation?
From their website at http://www.hrc.org/the-hrc-story/hrc-foundation

“The Human Rights Campaign Foundation improves the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people by working to increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGBT-inclusive policies and practices.”

For more information about the Human Rights Campaign, please visit their website at http://www.hrc.org/

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Second Life Scrapbook: Discovering Innsmouth(once more).

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Innsmouth needs saving.
That is what I gather from the save Innsmouth tip-jars in Second  Life.
Innsmouth is a place in Second Life that is named after the place of the same name from the novella ‘The shadow over Innsmouth’ by H. P. Lovecraft,  and it promotes the works of Lovecraft and offers a place for people who like to role-play in the world of Lovecraft. This world of Lovecraft is maybe better known as the world of the Cthulhu mythos. I specifically mention this because this world includes more writers than Lovecraft such as Clark Ashton Smith(one of my favorites)  You could say that Lovecraft was the one who laid the foundation and because he corresponded with a lot of other writers he influenced others and others of course influenced him. One such writer is the writer of Conan the barbarian, Robert E. Howard.  Another such writer was August Deleth who founded the publishing house Arkham House, a publisher specializing in printing works of weird fiction, such as that from Lovecraft.Lovecraft’s world actually inspired a lot of other people who made movies(The Dunwhich horror, Dagon, the call of Cthulhu), board games(Arkham Horror, Elder Sign), video games(Alone in the dark and lots more) and even art( through the iconic Necronomicon: see Giger’s Necronomicon. Which in itself influenced the movie Alien. Can it be said that Lovecraft indirectly influenced the movie Alien? Perhaps it can :P).

I thought to make a few pictures there as kind of exercise but perhaps also as a kind of memorial.

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BURN2 2014 Santalarity: What’s in the Box?

 

 

Jedda-Zenovka
Jedda Zenovka

A few days ago Santalarity closed. Santalarity is a spin-off from Burn 2, the burning man art festival in Second Life. Tau hitched a ride on the small train that went around the site and then got sidetracked in a forest. Since I liked this forest with it strange trees, I decided to take some pictures and while I was at it, I took some of the other builds. Unfortunately I did not get all the builds, nor did I get the names of all the artists as some of the builds had already been removed and some were removed after I took a break so that I did have a picture of them, but not the artist who made it. If you know the artist or the name of the art(most did not have a name) then by all means place a comment or mail to meritcoba@gmail.com.

 

Miko Kuramoto
Miko Kuramoto

This forest was owned by Miko Kuramoto although it listed someone else as the creator. I just list it under the owner. I find the mesh trees very intriguing sorry so I made a lot of pictures, especially because the forest was on the edge of the sim and it gave the idea that beyond the wood was a vast tundra stretching out. I also took the opportunity to tweak the pictures by using various settings of poster edges and blending layers. The above picture uses poster edged for the trees, but I did not apply it to Tau. I will intersperse pictures with that of the rest of the builds.

Burn 2
Burn 2
Miko-Kuramoto-tau7
On the edge

This is a view of the center of the sim. It is the central gathering place where sometimes parties are held. Tau never goes to parties as she is too shy. I seldom go because I got other things to go to.

 

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Empathic Eccentricia

The above picture is from the Empathic Eccentricia build which is made by Veleda Lorakeet, Ohmy Shalala and Tau. The monkey is made by Tau, below is a close up to show the rat sitting in the bowl the monkey hold. The rat hold a camera  has an animation for posing.

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Empathic Eccentricia
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Empathic Eccentricia

This a far off shot of EE. The snowman disappeared when touched.

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Empathic Eccentricia

 

Miko-Kuramoto-tau1
Edge of the forest.
Huntress Catteneo
Huntress Catteneo
iSkye Silverweb
iSkye Silverweb
The far horizon
The far horizon

 

Daark Gothly
Daark Gothly

 

Daark Gothly
Daark Gothly
Unknown

 

 

The second life scrapbook: Liz goes into Second Life..

I like pictures, but they take a lot of time to make so I wanted to write some posts about my (and other people’s) experiences in Second Life without some definite purpose and perhaps post some shoddy pictures while I am writing. It will be a scrapbook that might make for some amusing reads, for when you are with a bunch of friends crashing at some place and the dvd/video player just broke down.
What follows are the experiences of Liz(a name that covers more than one person) who entered this world a few days ago and made some notes regarding her experiences. I rewrote the whole to make it a bit more coherent.

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Avatar selection: Default(Mesh) avatars, Vampires(?) and classic.

 

Before I entered Second Life I  had to pick an avatar(a representation of yourself in Second Life: see above) and then I appeared at an island that was ran by Governor Linden. The bot that has this name gave me some basic instructions and then it was off to explore the island or Second Life. Besides me there were two other people at the beach I started. One was called something like Gaaaaaaaaa and the other called G5processor or something.
My avatar looked like this grungy tattooed female with large hands, a heart shaped face and big glasses, and without a proper animation I looked and moved like a silly cartoon. I was struggling with my avatar when Gaaaaaaaaa  came up and started to talk to me in what seemed to be Italian. Since I learned my Italian from the Mario brothers and the local Pizza dinner I wasn’t able to make much sense of what he was saying and I told him so in English. He seemed to understand this because he said ‘Si’ and then sauntered off. A few seconds later he send me a friendship offer, which I declined. Perhaps I am nasty for doing so, but I think that it is totally pointless to be friends with someone you can’t understand and learning Italian wasn’t on the list of things to do. Or even getting close to be put onto the list.

 

My starter avatar.
My starter avatar.

Next, I was chatted to by a girl, who was called something like Judy25, and she asked if I could help her out as she got no frigging clue how to get around or where to go. Since nobody gave us directions I figured I needed to get her some help, preferably provided by the kind of people who like to help.  Does it sound like I wanted to get rid of her? It probably does.
It was a toss up between White Tiger Island or Caledon. White Tiger won. Funny enough, White Tiger Island  renamed and now called New Resident Island(NRI). Had they not popped up in the search anyway then I would have tried Caledon or NCI(New Citizens Inc.)
NRI did have two mentors  standing by and one of them, called EO, took care of Judy25. EO looked dashingly better than us noobs, as she was wearing some very nice mesh winterclothes – a matching set – and had a very nice looking avatar. She told us that our avatars were made of mesh and thus we couldn’t change their looks. Many thanks to Linden for providing everyone with avatars that you can’t change. Brilliant! (Actually, you can choose classic avatars when you start, but who does that? Classic sounds like old and boring.  Besides, they offer you the mesh avatars by default so I didn’t even know there were other options.)
So the first thing to do is getting rid of the mesh avatar and change to a classic avatar. Mesh avatars can look great, but at the current there is not yet a way to make it as personal as the basic avatar, so most people still prefer those. In the future it will probably change as even the mesh statues now look better then the classic avatars and smart people hop on the mesh bandwagon and are creating cool mesh avatars. Of course, these cost money so in the near future you probably get a kind of gap between the poor non-mesh classic avatar users and the rich mesh avatar users. A visible gap in riches.

My new look.
My new look. The skin was a gift, but the rest I got for very cheap. The hair cost 1 linden and is from Discord. The eyes, the nails and the tats I got for free on the market place. The jewelry is from the Free Dove. The clothes I got partly from the Free Dove and partly from the market place.

I skipped the shops at NRI and got a good skin and clothes with the help of  the friends of Red Jenney(actually Dreary arranged it: Dreary is a kind of guiding spirit)  A nice way to get things is to go to the  Second Life marketplace  website and just search for things like promo, gift or freebie. You can also try an filter items based on the price, but this might still result in a ton of hits, because almost all demos will show up. Well, if you want to be cheap, you have to work for it I guess. Oh.. another way to get good stuff is to go to one of the bigger shops like Gizza or Vero Modero. They usually have a collection of free gifts. Most not half bad.
I also visited one of the few decent inworld freebie shops, called the Free Dove because the big freebie places are hangouts for almost any scumbag that wants to take advantage of new people, such as the pathetic bloodline vampires, trolls and sex seekers. I dislike the bloodline vampires the most. Not because they prey on newbies, – it does not surprise me at all that they do – but because their role-play is half-assed.  They are mighty vampires preying on the puny humans but they never need to fear daylight cause in SL everyone can control their own night and day cycle and so they live in their own private perpetual darkness.. And of course, mere humans have no power against them in SL, so they can’t be staked, chased away with crosses, shot to pieces or what ever. In other words they have all the advantages of vampires but do not suffer from their weaknesses. It is half-assed role-play. At least, if you want to mess with other people(who by the way are NOT into your role-play), make it a challenge.
I was about a minute in the Free Dove when I was im-ed by a dude called Hadrian. Hadrian told me he was misdirected by mistake to this place and he was curious and wanted to help me out because I was a noob.  Such a nice gesture! I told him to hold on while I im-ed Dreary. Dreary said I should im the nearest other girl in the place to see if Hadrian had been chatting to her as well. It was jackpot on the first try.. Right! A profile check told me that Hadrian was six years in SL. While that means not much, it at least told me he wasn’t some kind of innocent guy who happened to end up in the Free Dove by mistake. By sheer coincidence the owner was also in the shop so I told her about Hadrian. I understand from Dreary that the owner dislikes people like that, and it was true: she banned him forthwith. By now she must be very experienced with the kind.  Just sad really that they keep on trying. Double sad because SL is not short on places to meet people. Perhaps they have such a bad reputation that they need to pray on the newcomers? Who knows.
So what to do next?
Well.. Dreary send me off to a place called Corvus to get her some tats and see if there was anything I liked. Corvus is a funny place as it has these clothes that you either love or hate.  The style is a deranged mix of goth and punk, but not so weird that is isn’t  main stream. The clothes might be revealing, but I don’t find them explicit sexy. It is more like pepper and salt, or vinegar and sugar. Black and white. But weird.
Here are some screenshots of me and of some of their products:

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The maker of the corvus stuff  seems to like weird and provocative texts. Like the tat I had to get for Dreary which says: Destroy that which destroys you. or: I hate everyone(Dreary says they should add equally: I hate everyone equally. Dreary likes to come up with strange sentences. I try to get some posted below.)
Here is a picture of Dreary. The shirt is van Corvus as well.

Dreary: Needing a bigger one.

Beach scene: Corvus Silver Classy Dress.
Beach scene: Corvus Silver Classy Dress.

Oh… I was going to tell something about that  lesbian palace.. Well that is for the next post.. sorry. Yeah, cheap cliffhanger.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Life: Dirty Rat & Vintage Village

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Vintage Village during the day..

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I haven’t been posting much of late due a very exhaustive real life. Also I am working of various projects that take long to finish, partly because I am struggling to find a graphic style I am happy with and I am not too happy with the results. Currently I am working on a graphical version of my bridge story. But more of that in another post.

Here follows a set of pictures I made at two places called Dirty Rat and Vintage Village respectively. The pictures were taken quite some time ago, but I like them and I wanted to post them anyway.
There is not much too tell. Second Life is mostly an empty place for me. I am basically a loner and a very private person, so I don’t mix easily with people. Besides, most people that I knew in SL left, mostly because after a while Second Life no longer interest them in one way or another.

Dirty Rat is the name for a shop selling various  buildings, furniture and the like. Next door is Vintage Village, which is a small town that looks nice, containing various shops. I am to believe that at times events are held at the place.

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Vintage Village during the night//

This is the url for the location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Verdigris/207/85/66
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