The Virtual Building Company


Enterprise Applications for Virtual Worlds

SL9B Kitty Birthday Bash

This year Second Life's Ninth birthday celebration SL9B with the theme 'community' had contributions from artists and the creative community which resulted in so many personal reveries that it was on a scale reminiscent of a Biennial or Documenta exhibition slog. Although accommodation wasn't a problem you still had to find your way around but thankfully the SL9B Pod tour buggies saved a lot of walking for those who wanted to take a ride around the sims to get an overview of what was on offer.

Second Life Community SL9B Ninth Birthday Celebration

Groups and organisations were in abundance, Edu from Builders Brewery, Caledon and Rockcliffe, politics and support for Alcoholics Anonymous,The American Autistic Society, The Written Word and various literary book groups, there was even a Job Centre and whatever the feelings towards Linden Lab's current management incarnations of the father of it all - Philip Linden (away) was very present.

Artée by artistide.despres

There were garden landscapes with swathes of wild flowers and long grass, animals were in abundance as were classic prim builds, a sailing clipper from the Blake Sea and the Virtual Railway Consortium's optimised loco and detailed station texturing and around the next cornerr R. Crap Mariner's pop art extravaganza 'Afterhours at the Fitzgerald' burning the literary oil as it pours through gold plumbing.

Afterhours at the Fitzgerald by Crap Mariner

There was also a feeling of coming of age to SL9B, rare were exhibits of imported artwork and architecture was usually expressive rather than functional. Loz Hyde's 'Evolution' for example was a meticulous macquette of part of a medieval town where the shadows disorientate and trick the eye into a strangenesss which Hyde describes as inspired by MC Escher's 'metamorphose'. Simplicity was the charm of Mikati Slade's 'Pico Pico Life' where massed illuminated cubes suggest a cityscape of buildings viewed at night. Glow and pastel colours were popular patterns among exhibitors,notaably Solkide Auer's "Cage of Stars" imagine if you will a phantom cage of light sabres with pastel coloured shade transitions in a reminiscence of neon lit fog.

 Pico Pico Life by Mikati Slade

Heart Gravel by Opal Lei

Perhaps Pop was unstated community theme of SL9B, with it's candy and pastel coloured objects scaled in a familiar Oldenburg trope, the casual mix of dancing KittyCatS - "an interactive, multi-faceted breedable pet full of wonder and charm" contrasted with the Op art variations on scaled textures and particles used by other artists. There was also limited physics, and for Tori Landau an exploration of SLs global community in her revolving horological piece 'Timeless'. Scale was also a theme for Opal Lei in her build "Heart Gravel" where prim hearts tumble into beautifully sculpted open hands, similarly Xiu Brimm oversized "Pond Lily" a hybrid of perfect floral form in coral pink overlayed with subtle moving textures resulted in a sublime work.

Lilies by Xiu Brimm

Masks by Noke Yuitza

There were narratives of sorts in Noke Yuitza's elegant and finely lit trio of actor's masks which floated above a metaphoric audience and performance ring, add some chemical formulae and twisted strands of a double helix and we move towards ambiguity and uncertainty, the mask as a metaphor of diversity, I am not one but many. There was a similar sentiment, presented as a narrative of rooms in Allison Selene's mystical 'Audere' which explored the phenomenology of the I and my avatar and invited the user to move through a series of tableaux where spells would be cast. A very different use of paths - to get the user to follow through, was the fairground device in the 'SL Timeline' build, where a reverse walk up a bright yellow spiral tube structure offered a wonderful comic approach to presenting billboard information.

Animated Paintings by Mellow Dee

More nuanced prim textures were used by MellowDee at the ClearView gallery where she presented animated paintings were the viewer's movement triggers sound and moving textures in these clever op art transform presentations.

Nascent Nebulae by Caro FayRay

Caro Fayray similarly employs moving textures in her 'Nascent Nebulae' where particle bursts coalesce and then expand as you walk up a stairway to well.... heaven? Engulfed by dark matter and emerald star dust, it was very evocative. But if burning down the house was the order of the day then Toady Nakamura's "The Burn Temple" which which went up in flames at every SL sunset was the most spectacular particle display of the show.

Temple Burn by Toady Nakamura