Wednesday, August 5, 2015

REDUCED TERRITORY at WOLVES' LAND

Photo: courtesy of Vita Theas, the curator of art exhibits at Wolves' Land.


My new exhibit, Reduced Territory, is currently showing at Wolves' Land. I was invited there by Vita Theas. I took the opportunity to create an exhibit honoring the wolves, among other creatures. In accord with my environmental concerns, the installation graphically illustrates the encroaching human cities on the ever diminishing wild life habitats. I hint at nature as being nothing more than a picture on a billboard spilling onto a landscape as small and tame as a little corner park surrounded by construction. The wolves run to a boulder in the park, as it is the only space left for them to go. My description that reads on the sign seen in the installation itself, reads:

Squeeze the forests down, and seize the oceans!
We are masters of the Earth: the great builders, shapers of the planet.
Wildlife runs, swims, flies, and crawls to leftover spaces.
They cannot escape our growing appetite.

As the last wolf packs run up the sole remaining wild rock,
we congratulate ourselves for our nations.






XXX


Sunday, July 5, 2015

CITY INSIDE OUT ENDS, FILM TOUR

Dismantling 'City Inside Out'. Nearing the end.


     At around 10:30 pm SLT, on June 30, City Inside Out had vanished. It’s always very hard to see an exhibit disappear. While dismantling the installation over a two day period, I had taken the advice of some friends who suggested saving it. This meant linking the parts of an enormous build. The last two days then, was uncompromisingly busy. To compound the challenge, the last day happened to fall on a Tuesday, when SL performs its maintenance. My Edit window was powerless against the oddities occurring all around me. I logged in and out to try again and again. The work had to be finished no matter what, even during this unfriendly storm of malfunctions. Around midday things had calmed down, and I could keep working uninterrupted by the server’s glitches.

     I don’t know if the exhibit will ever be rezzed again, but I did make a tour of the city which includes most of the parts of the city, as well as the stories people wrote for PHASE 2 of the exhibit, about their observations of homelessness.


Click this link to watch the film tour: CITY INSIDE OUT



     Many thanks to the people who sent me their observations in text, and Eupalinos’ picture of the exhibit. Listed in order they appear in the chapters:

Hypatia Pickens
Betony Greggan
Shantal Zhora
Persephone Emerald
Medora Chevalier
December Grey
Akiko Aki
Eupalinos Ugajin (picture)
Lapopo
Nox Solitaire
Terra Tepper
Bloduedd Athena
TheCuttyWren
Fay Bishop
Janus Rhiadra
Lilia Artis
ApollosDaphne
Marea2007 Praga
SuzyDuzy Dazy
Art Oluja
Bamboo Barnes
Judy Muircastle





XXX






Saturday, March 21, 2015

CITY INSIDE OUT

CITY INSIDE OUT by Haveit Neox
Opens Thursday, March 26 at 1 PM SLT
At the LEA20 sim in Second Life.


GROUND LEVEL looking skyward. Pennies from heaven, and promenade.
Photo courtesy of Lilia Artis.


About the exhibit:
     
     To someone without a home living on the streets, the bustling city becomes one united exterior. "City Inside Out", explores a world that lacks interiors. Entering any doorway opens onto yet another exterior. Some pedestrians throw coins into the beggars’ hats, others bark insults to their faces. Joggers, dog walkers, groups of boisterous friends, clean people in new clothes, romantic couples, cell phone conversations, shiny traffic, wash their daily tides of health and prosperity past the homeless. Late each night, the people living on the streets are confronted by another kind of crowd, dangerous as the sharp knife and gun. They are defenseless, even within their own bodies. Sensations abound, prickly as lice and poisonous insect infested clothing, blurry as sight without glasses, with ringing ears of imaginary voices, and resignation to untreated illness. The survival test is administered without consideration for those who will see the next day.


SKY LEVEL. Wine bottles climbing the walls.
Photo courtesy of Lilia Artis.

SKY LEVEL. Infested Jacket.
Photo courtesy of Lilia Artis.



Layout of the exhibit:

     Built on three levels, the eroding exteriors infuse themselves into the air space of the sky, onto the land of perpetual traffic, and below the land, completing the dominance of the harsh realities into every possible corner. The unbelievable stories of these people are hung out to dry in the wind.


SKY LEVEL. Dry Fields.
Photo courtesy of Lilia Artis.



Location on Second Life: LEA20






XXX

Thursday, March 5, 2015

MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL

As you move across the room, the perspective in the mirror also changes just a bit.
Very simple technology - no scripting, just use of space and illusion.


     How do you make a mirror in three dimensions within a virtual world without reflection? A couple years ago, I experimented with that illusion. It turns out to be very simple: First, choose a location in a room where you can have a lot of hidden space behind a wall (depending on the illusion of depth you wish to achieve, say up to around 2 or 3 meters). Create a hollow in that wall the size you want your mirror to be. Place a hollowed-out half sphere behind the mirror opening. The circumference should be a couple times larger than the opening (this interior curved surface is where you will apply your ‘reflected image’). Join the rim of the half sphere to the back side of the wall. Center it. The next part is fun. Take a picture of the opposite side of the room. Apply that picture onto the inside of the hollowed sphere. Then, because a mirror reflects backwards, reverse your image on that prim. Play around with the controls in your Edit window to properly align the picture. Place a glass texture of your choice over the wall opening to complete the mirror (I used a dirty glass texture). Since the half sphere is quite a bit larger than the mirror opening in the wall, it gives a convincing illusion of reflection because you cannot see the edges of the interior image as you walk past the mirror, or cam around the room. As you walk in front of the mirror, the scene inside changes perspective similarly (though not identically) to a mirror in real life. Of course… you will not see your own reflection. This brings me to the second part of the process. In my first try at creating a mirror (which you can see at the Cabinet of Curiosities on the ACC Alpha sim), I placed a centaur holding a fallen man before the mirror. Next, I made a reverse copy of the couple inside the mirror, and faced them looking at each other: one inside the mirror, the other outside. For the piece at ACC Alpha, I put a poetic twist on it. Instead of mirroring the exact scene, where the centaur looks into the face of the man on our side of the mirror, I turned the head forward on the reflected copy, to look directly at you, the viewer. This heightens the interactivity of the piece, even if it is only subliminal.


     Since constructing the avenue of greenhouses that leads up to Centaurs’ Hall (on the Verdigris sim), I wanted to think of something unusual to complete the build. Yesterday, I felt a nook in one of the small greenhouses lining that avenue called Poetry Way, was an ideal location to make another mirror. As mentioned in a previous post, I built Centaurs’ Hall across from Vintage Village. (That village, which Oriolus Oliva built many years ago, is so beautiful, that any view of it, and at any angle is like a classical painting). I remembered a picture I’d taken a couple days earlier of the view onto Vintage Village. The perspective was right for this room. I pulled up a wash basin right below the mirror, and photographed it, then applied its mirrored image onto the glass pane of the mirror as a nearby reflection. This layering of nearby objects and a distanced scene increases the effectiveness of the illusion. The one inconsistency with the picture I chose, is that my avatar was sitting in a chair contained within the photo. Since I cannot be sitting in that chair 24/7 to complete the illusion when visitors arrive, I almost decided to take another photo of the view without my avatar in the shot. But on second thought, I liked keeping it as is for two reasons: 1. It’s like a signature of the artist. Artists often painted their own faces onto characters in classical scenes as a kind of signature. 2. I hope seeing an avatar sitting on a chair in the reflection will encourage viewers to take the hint, and sit themselves in the chairs - and thus, at least to some degree, completing the illusion of an avatar reflected. These are special old green wooden chairs made by the skilled builder Robin Sojourner. See the flower on the little table before the chairs? When you sit, and get a menu, click to draw, and you will receive a pencil, and a sketch of a flower you are drawing. (They don’t clutter your inventory. They disappear when you stand up). You can also drink some coffee, or read a book. I did read the book by the way, because Robin includes a notecard of Beauty and the Beast, of which she rewrote her version for us. If you come by for some coffee, to read a story, or to draw, I hope you will not find me rude, as my back in the mirror is always facing away from you. I am simply daydreaming on to the view of Vintage Village. 


A LIGHTHOUSE OF INTENSE COLOR
Painting of "Cellist" by Bamboo Barnes. 



     A couple days before building the mirror, I had converted one of the lone greenhouses along Poetry Way into a bright beacon. It’s called the Contrapuntal Lighthouse, not only because it stands like a lighthouse above the strait, sectioning the two isles of Verdigris, but because it emits light by virtue of the texture inside. In fact, I believe it is the brightest spot at the Centaurs’ Hall parcel. The texture in question, a painting called “Cellist” is by the artist Bamboo Barnes. She photographed my cellist statue at ACC Alpha (in the Maze Gardens), then imbued the subject with her thrilling sense of color and harmony. The theme is the cello. When I think of that instrument, the composer Bach comes to mind almost automatically. His contrapuntal music (layering of two or more melodies over each other played simultaneously for enriched harmony) seemed an appropriate concept to apply to the building, since the main ingredient of the build is the painting by Barnes, itself richly layered in color. To complete the lighthouse, I made a new and quite altered variation of the cellist statue as the finial atop the dome. 






XXX

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Centaurs’ Hall on the Verdigris sim.


View onto the new amphitheater leading up to Centaurs' Hall.

Current installation in the main length of the Hall.



     Vintage Village on the Verdigris sim (built by Oriolus Oliva) is one of Second Life’s icons. A picturesque Hungarian village built precariously on a half collapsed bridge shapes the storybook-like atmosphere of the sim. It is a unique city plan well documented by photo enthusiasts. As of Feb 1, I have been building across the river from the Village on a quarter of the sim. The energy I felt at facing such a beautiful build inspired me to burn the midnight oil for 3 days. I knew almost instantly what I would fashion. To begin with, I planned an amphitheater facing the Village, placing it on stage so to speak, from my parcel’s perspective. Then behind that a main structure, which enjoys the views across the river. My parcel is called Centaurs’ Hall. It is devoted to showing artworks.

One side of the Czardas GreenHouse cafe restaurant. The food is rich, so stay a while!


       Attached to the large Hall, is a café restaurant called the Czardas GreenHouse (yes, it is built inside of a greenhouse). I furnished the interior of the restaurant with lavish décor and abundant food. From various rooms of both the greenhouse and Centaurs’ Hall, fine views onto Oriolus’ Vintage Village encourage exploration.

Looking from the stairwell of Centaurs' Hall onto the distant Vintage Village.



     To visit Vintage Village in Second Life, type Verdigris into Search. It will land you in the middle of the sim. Above is a high wooden bridge that links Vintage Village with Centaurs’ Hall. 





XXX

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

THE PAPER TOWER STUDIO IS MELTING

The organic skin now draping the facade of the Paper Tower Studio (seen on right).
Looking through the dark glass paved ground, you can see the supporting pillars below,
some ocean, and some garden.



     To remove all but the supporting pillars of the Studio of Builds… or not. This is a question I’ve been contemplating for several weeks. The location of this dominant and ancient build is at the very heart of Accentaury. If the upper story were to be sunk into the sea, leaving the ruins of the pillars below, a fine garden could grow over the space, opening up a vista onto nature. I visualize how refreshing an open sweep of field with or without trees could be. Yet, the historical presence of the arena, and its glass bottom floor looking onto the corridor and the ocean below, is a signature feature of the sim, and has been since early 2010. Just in aesthetic terms, which would fit the experience of visiting ACC Alpha the best? A sweeping garden leading up to the city, or the eccentric architectural arena that already exists there?

     Last night, I decided to experiment with a compromise. I temporarily uplifted two of the pavilions from the arena into the sky to get them out of the way, then set down mesh organic bridges I’d made for the purpose. The style was so contrary to anything else on the sim that I scrapped that idea entirely, and lowered the pavilions back in place. But the organic look, which is already present to some degree in the arena, could be pushed further. Since working on my CITY INSIDE OUT at LEA, I’ve been ‘growing’ my eroded sandy buildings for a look with a melting surface. Why not try out that technique on a building that already stands on the square.  I sculpted a mesh for the walls and fit them over the Paper Tower Studio building. The style merges well with the surroundings, and reinforces the look of sand castles lapped by the tide. Standing before the building, one may wonder how long it can withstand the elements.

Entrance of the Paper Tower Studio


     These pavilions on the Paper Tower Court are officially part of the museum complex. Even though three of the four have been emptied of any objects, and their walls made translucent so visitors get good views onto the city and/or gardens beyond, the largest of the pavilions (Paper Tower Studio) still hosts a small exhibit within its walls. The main entry to that pavilion displays an artwork by Bamboo Barnes of my LEA installation “Paper Observatory” from last year. This is more than a photographic record of the exhibit, for Bamboo worked it into her own artistic statement by virtue of the composition, color and texture.  It serves not only as a focal artwork for the arena, but also as a glimpse into its history. The Paper Observatory exhibit at LEA was the precursor of the current Paper Tower Court seen today at ACC Alpha.
    

     My intention is to keep refining this organic look in the Court. Will it ever be replaced by a garden? If I knew the answer to that now, it would remove the unpredictable, which itself engages my enthusiasm.





XXX

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

CITY INSIDE OUT


Preliminary trial in a sandbox for the eroding mud appearance of the city. 


Two overlapping pages of plans for my exhibit: CITY INSIDE OUT


     On Dec. 16, Ziki Questi asked me about my plans for an exhibit at LEA. I answered her in real time, and actually think its brevity was easier to understand than the longer version I had prepared for the LEA application. She posted my response on her blog (Zikiquesti.blog):

Haveit Neox:My build will center on a city turned inside out. The mud city will have no windows, no doors. It will have the look of an old city eroded. Only holes in the roofs gain access to the interiors. But when visitors climb down the ladders, the interiors are actually exteriors — what we see walking the streets. My intention is to bring about a sense of having no home.

     In the photo above, I’ve overlapped two pages from a sketchbook for my upcoming exhibit “City Inside Out”.  The LEA eighth round of Artists-in-Residence program is a very generous outreach to SL artists. 20 sims are made available to 20 artists for a six month period free of charge. Each artist receives one sim to develop during a 4 month period. By the final two months of residence, the sims are open to the public. How luxurious is that! To have 4 months to develop an idea, rework it, live in it so as to have a more intimate feeling for the relation of its parts. The artists will be able to start building from Jan 1. I started early in sandboxes, to test ideas. Once I receive the land, the arrangement and rearrangement of the city plan will be much easier to build. For artists who finish before the 4 month building period, they can have an opening whenever they wish. But we are all required to have at least one event… an opening, or something other. I might do more than one, depending on how things develop. 

     I will post more information as the project grows. With January 1 just two days away... Happy New Year everyone!




XXX