Category: Art


Twin Souls Pavilion @ Sedona's Playground in Second LifeThe soul work continues…as I go deeper into Gary Zukav’s book, “The Seat of the Soul”, I am finding it expands my bigger picture of who we are, who I am, and why we’re here; and that has given me a comfort and ease I have not known.

I feel like I had the last big piece of mental awakening just as 2011 was ending, that informed me on an intellectual level that all is well in our universe and evolution. Not that there won’t be growing pains…but it’s going to happen.

This astonishing year of 2012 we are now halfway through has been like rocket fuel to my path, as my focus and experience has shifted to awakenings of the heart. Much information is coming to light that our heart is more remarkable than we ever thought. The heart has become the focus of amazing researcher and visionary, Gregg Braden, and I find what he has to say inspiring.

Many would agree with me that information is coming in at a rapid pace from many sources of wisdom, and the speed at which the world, and us, runs, is measurably faster now. What this bigger perspective I’ve gained from the soul work has done for me is to weave together many bits of things I’ve studied along the way, particularly in the last few years, and last few months. These past few months my reading subjects have been gleaned down to the study of the soul, the heart, loving yourself, astrology, animal totems, and various authors about how we really do create our own realities. Now I’ve added a new aspect, or refocused on an older one, that of soulmates, and twin souls.

It is a fascinating subject in many respects, and I find it is the topic of much conversation, confusion, and debate. As with most knowledge, if not wisdom, not much can be “proven” according to science, which is a belief system anyway that you would have to buy into to have any of those results be understandable or matter.

Delving back into the study of soulmates, which I’ve studied before, and now Twin Souls, which I have not, brings much pondering about what I read, and how it fits into who I am in this life and moment. I’ve come to know that our answers and truths are within us, and we will be the final judge of what is right and wrong in all the information and opinions we take in. Doing this with the Twin Souls information has really caused me to stretch my perspective in understanding who I am. I love it! It’s why I’m here.

Twin Souls Info Area @ Sedona's Playground in Second Life

Part of my inspiration has been a new area at Sedona’s Playground in Second Life, the Twin Souls Pavilion, where you can get a huge head start on learning a little something about this subject. Find great information on twin souls, soulmates, and karmic connections there, get lost in some of twin souls art, find a spot to chill and chat or read, or dance on the watercolor dance floor.

Enjoy!

Sedona’s Playground, Solus, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Solus/55/231/22

Not so random music: Zero 7 – This World

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Picasso v. the Internet

I never thought it would come down to this.

But I had to choose.

Picasso or the Internet.

I’ve had some struggles getting decent, reliable Internet service where I live in San Francisco. It’s not that it hasn’t been available, just not to me. Other priorities have claimed enough of my meager artist stipend these last few months to prevent me from being able to order my own hookup until this month.

In the meantime I’ve been trying to maintain my online life with a neighborhood wireless connection that has the most interesting patterns to it. It would be fun to watch the times all during the nite and day when it gets busy or doesn’t, except that I find myself online at too many of those hours just trying to accomplish simple tasks. In the pursuit of said online life, I’ve been working a lot of those ‘round the clock hours trying to get things done.

Now I think I finally, really, honestly, reliably, have an Internet connection on order, and a date it’s supposed to happen.

It’s taken some detective work, and some naively patient waiting, only to find that gatekeepers on both sides of that coveted Internet connection have been giving inaccurate info for a couple months. I’ve been trying to get the really good service that’s available here, hi-speed cable modem, but it finally comes to light that my building did not know which carrier they’d approved. Turns out it was the other one.

The other service looks good, although based on phone lines, and I race to get an order placed. Again I get to the page that says, “no, not at your address. The good Internet service is not available to you.” It’s starting to feel like I’m living in a poor neighborhood on the Information highway, as well as in the physical world.

Responding to the offer of a “Live” chat to help me along, “they” find I really do qualify for the good stuff. At least according to them. I say “they” because while I sense there is a live person behind the chat window, they are typing in canned responses straight from the legal department.

Ironically the connection I’m on to place the order starts blinking out.

Finally, I do sense spontaneous words in the chat window as the chatter sends me a link to place the order. I start the process there, and woohoo; it likes my address this time!

Then it hits me!

You! Yes you, have just qualified to have a functional, reliable, online life. You have just made the cut between the haves and have-nots in the information fueled society we live in.

Had my name not been on that list, or rather my living cubicle in this fabulous city I live in, it would have had quite real consequences for me in terms of livelihood, education, and social life.

I’ve been in my building in San Francisco’s famous Tenderloin neighborhood for a few months now and getting settled into a more regular life after quite a journey in the past year that happily delivered me to this fabulous city along the way. I have come to love this crazy vortex I find myself living in the middle of, where a theatric production of real life unfolds from my third story window view in every minute.

I also feel quite blessed to live in and have housing at all in this very expensive, high demand city, but frankly, much more of my life takes place through my computer screen.

Another wonderful thing about San Francisco is the hella cool museums and the exhibitions we get here. Right now there is Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne and Renoir from the Stein Collection @ SFMOMA, Dutch and Flemish Masterworks @ Legion of Honor, Gertrude Stein and Charlotte Salomon @ Jewish American Contemporary Museum, and  the Musée National Picasso, Paris Collection at the DeYoung.

I’ve been trying to see Picasso at the DeYoung for a couple months now, I mean, how can you miss Picasso when it comes to your city, if you’re even in a city where it comes to?  On the free museum day once a month it’s $15.00, on regular days it’s $25.00. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s been more than I’ve had left at the end of my month the last couple months, and now this one too it seems.

In the order process for the Internet package it got to the hard questions…the security check. None of the answers I have these days are good ones. I settled on “Self-employed” as I usually do on these things knowing it is usually the kiss of death on credit related applications. Sure enough, there’s a problem; but alas, also a solution. Your rate for information access, you freelance writer and starving artist, is five months paid in advance plus the modem.

Quickly I start to do math in my head…I know I have enough for it all, but barely. I take a millisecond to consider…then I pounce! No looking back now! Food, cell phone, creature comforts, heh, who needs them? I’m going back to surfing like the upper crust baby!

So I pressed the button, and waited for the ramifications to set in. Hmmm, still seems to be good. I can get through yet another lean month if you will just stream music for me!

Then it hit me…Picasso! Again! Noooo!

Picasso will again have to wait until next month, and as luck has it, there are two months left. This month it will be Gertrude Stein and Charlotte Salomon which I’ve got a  free ticket to.

Will work for Art!

See you soon,

Calli

My Funeral Weekend

I had the opportunity to attend my own funeral over the weekend. No, I’m feeling fine and still here; pixels and other important things seem to be intact. The funeral happened in an impromptu manner, such as death has a way of doing too it seems.

Gallery Xue had issued a call for decorated coffins for a gallery event they were having this weekend. Undecorated coffins were available without charge on the Marketplace, so I set off to my favorite sandbox lately, the LEA (Linden Endowment for the Arts) Sandbox at LEA5.

The decorating theme was “how would you decorate your final resting place”. For me that’s easy. Anyone who knows me knows that I collect little besides experiences and kindred spirits these days. So I decided to assemble some pics from my time in Second Life to decorate my coffin, and the wool gathering began…

So many great experiences have happened in the short time I’ve been in SL!

What started as decorating my coffin, started to make me think about what my funeral would be like. A simple affair such as the one I did at LEA would be fine; you can pack me up with just the memories I’ve already taken with me as I lie down in that box. A few more people, some music, and people telling fantastic lies about me while sipping cocktails…all would be quite lovely.

The reason this didn’t seem at all morbid is because just as I embrace life, I embrace death too. I see it as just a door opening to another journey. I’ve lived an amazing life and I see each new day as just more icing on the cake. I’m also planning for the next stop after this life to look  something like this anyway, so what’s not to like? You can skip the whole box thing too. I’d be happier if you started my own compost pile for me and I can fertilize the Zucchinis in death, just as I’ve done in life.

Back to the project, I start to link everything together to transport to the gallery, and it seemed that every time I rezzed my coffin there were more pieces missing. Haha, I’ll have to work on that. Then a family member needed me, and that was it for the project. R.I.P. Coffin project. Sorry Faith, I really am going to get a piece to your gallery someday. Thanks for keeping me inspired!

Then, a notice arrives that the Seniors from VB28 were getting together as THE SENIORS MARCHING UNIT
to march in the Virtual Museums Inc’s 2nd Anniversary Parade on Sunday. Yay, I had barely made it to the first performance and then was not able to be in the piece due to my computer being just hours away from a major failure. But now I could don my Senior drag and strut down the parade route with the rest.

The parade was pretty free form from my perspective as we quickly spread out and I had to rejoin the parade route several times from getting lost, even with red arrows on the ground. But that’s just my style. I’m the klutzy one thank you. I do look good though, and really, what’s more important? As you’ll see I won’t be ready for frumpy clothes anytime soon.

Seeing myself looking that old and still trying to be hip was far more scary than the thought of quickly being whisked off to the afterlife before that happens. It would be something to ponder…except there are far more interesting things to think about and do.

So now that I’ve gotten my funeral out of the way, I’m ready for a lot more living.

See you soon,

Calli

More pics at:

VB28 Seniors Marching Unit

Gallery Xue, Amicus Curiae, Second Life

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Amicus%20curiae/120/70/24

LEA Sandbox, LEA5, Second Life

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA5/130/129/24

Virtual Museums Main Campus, Virtual Museums, Second Life

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Museums/46/174/23

A Tale of Two Cultures

Two cultural icons came to my attention this week, and the juxtaposition for me is vivid.  I think the two icons dramatically represent two cultures at odds with each other, and two different ways to deal with innovation and evolution.

The first is Google software engineer, Andrew Bunner , the other is musician/inventor/visionary, Onyx Ashanti.

This past week there has been much press about the launch of Google’s new social media site, Google+ and the removal of some accounts deemed to not be “real” people. Those accounts were removed on the basis that the name used on the account was a Pseudonym Identity. Avril Korman has an excellent discussion on the what and why of Pseudonym Identities.

If you’re wondering how a company as big as Google would have the time to track down the many pseudo name accounts even with all those servers, well apparently they can’t. But Andrew Bunner, seems up to the task. In a recent blog post he apparently said, “If you see a person with an obviously fake name, go to their profile and find the “Report Profile” link in the bottom of the left column. Report it as a “Fake Profile”. We want Google+ to be place for real people to connect with other real people.”

Some pseudo’s have already been lost in the battle, such as Opensource Secure, who brought this issue to the light; some such as Summer Seale  who remain Google+ account holders, offer themselves as sacrifice if necessary to speak out about the subject. If you scroll down on this Flickr photo by Opensource you will see a long list of links to articles and blog posts about this hot topic.

A Google search (no irony here) for a definition of “Pseudo Indentity” brought up topics in math and psychology, but not much from a cultural perspective or even a Wiki definition. But it did bring up this article from iKeepSafe on the subject of keeping kids safe using pseudo names.  This seems like reason enough to say pseudo identities are at least an okay thing, and good to have in some situations.

I think the two camps in this discussion will quickly become polarized and entrenched as has happened in Gender studies , and those two camps, the Privileged, in this case those with “real” identities who will fit themselves into the global info structure of a company like Google and conform a little bit more if necessary, and the rest of us who will find open source methods of creating more egalitarian social networks.

Now I want to introduce you to Onyx Ashanti and how he sees life. Watch this amazing video of Onyx performing for TED and read the text on the video towards the end to see why Onyx does what he does. As amazing as the music is, and how he does it, and that he conceived and created the tools to accomplish it, the reasons why he did it are even more important. This is why people like Onyx matter, and whatever name they feel best represent their essence matters too. Onyx’s name would also seem to qualify as a false persona not worthy of space at Google+. I doubt he loses much sleep over such things.

I want to live in a world where people like Onyx are seen, heard, embraced, loved, thanked, and supported. Our global culture seems to be moving away from this attitude toward artists and the arts, as witnessed by the recent news from Holland about the 25% budget cuts to funding for the arts that was supposed to have been set up to be sacred to their culture and immune from cuts.

I say that those on the pro-pseudo side of the discussion can, and should, start their own social networks that represent their own values. Others must feel the same way as anonplus.com has just launched, “Social Networking Anonymously”.  There are also a multitude of tools available on the web to help us interact with each other in ways that work for us. My friends on Facebook, the few I actually know, feel the same. Sharing info is good, having to do it someone else’s way is not. One of my friends on Facebook, one that I don’t know, found a romantic interest through Google Maps recently. Think outside the Facebook box.

We also need to tell each other about such things in more traditional ways as well. If a Facebook post works for you, super. I found it interesting this morning to discover that Onyx is on Facebook and has a mere 300+ fans. I think I was surprised to find he was there at all. None of my amazing friends knew of him or had posted about him there.

In the busy, info-loaded world we live in, I almost missed him too even though this is what I seek out. How long until I would have found Onyx if not for happening to see his video at my friend Zola’s salon on Sunday. Thank you Zola!

I am so taken with what Onyx is doing and the music he is making! But on top of it, I think he is showing us and telling us that we need to be evolving the spaces and methods we use for learning itself. Open everything. So I want to tell the world about Onyx, and I want you to help me. I’m talking viral here.

I almost feel like sending this beautiful man into viral space would be a cruel blow. But someone with his Light and Magic knows why they’re here, and he’s ready. Now that he’s hooked up with TED, that opens that door anyway. So let’s do it up for one of our own! Repost this in every random place you can think of, tell people on the street, lead the next person you find on a computer to him; Onyx Ashanti

See you soon,

Calliope

 

More Orange Weekend!

Riali @ Ozland

In my haste to push the publish button yesterday I forgot a couple of stops I made.

The first was another visit to my friend Riali Sandalwood’s exhibit at Ozland where she is Visiting Artist of the Month. Her “Whismsical Cats” piece is available for free at the exhibit.  Tees are available too with some of her artwork on them, and the original works themselves. My fave is the one with the Love Birds. And it’s orange too. Hmmm.

Ozland Visiting Art Gallery, Ozland SW, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife//194/250/500

Riali also has another exhibit at Monroe Snook’s Studio 33 with works of a completely different style. You’ll TP to a meditation circle featuring the current artists. Riali’s exhibit is at Art Yard 3 on the teleporter in the circle.

Studio 33, Rockcliffe Conservatory, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Rockcliffe%20Conservatory/212/82/22

Calli @ Chelsea HotelAnother place I finally got around to checking out was the Chelsea Hotel in NYC. Second Life’s NYC. I hung out here for a few and did some writing and loved learning about the history of the Chelsea. There is modern history too as a notecard is given about the takeover and subsequent battle for control of the hotel. I’m fascinated by the account as I live in a very similar building on the other side of America. A lot to think about and perhaps write about.

But in the meantime, check out the Chelsea Hotel. It’s full of art and there is a big sale on right now, it’s a great place to chill, and it’s full of history. Good music stream too.

Hotel Chelsea, Manhattan, NYC, Lanestris, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lanestris/53/153/98

See ya soon,

Calli

Random music: Tiesto – Elements of Life

My Orange Weekend!

Out on my Orange Weekend I had the greatest time! Dancing, checking out art, and just some wandering around the grid.

Looking at art was a great way to check out the new computer capabilities. I’ve started seeing detail in graphics I’ve not seen in SL before, more 3D now, and it came just in time to see the detail in textures at Faith Xue’s new gallery, Gallery Xue. http://galleryxue.tw/ .

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Amicus%20curiae/130/68/24

The grand opening on Saturday featured participation in creating a Cairn (Collaborative Sculpture) by modifying one of the available rocks with texture and adding it to the sculpture. Check out the Flickr to see some of the yummy textures.

I was sorry I could not stay longer at Xue but had to be off to the Odyssey Performance Art Festival  where I was participating in the encore performance of “VB15 Gracie/Kris”, a collaboration of Kris, Gracie and Vaneeesa Blaylock. I received the invite to participate just as I was about to ask if I could. It was an enjoyable experience that I’m going to share in another post.

The Festival continues this week and you can see the schedule here. You will find what I think is the most cutting edge art here in SL gathered into one place. Some of which I can’t even see, but you should.

I was able to better see how my graphics work, or actually how they don’t work at times, at an exhibit by Oberon Onmura at Project Z.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lennox%20Hill/58/151/23

Announced just the day before, I happened to drop by when no one was there and just chilled in the center of the particle beams while waiting for the panels to fully rez and….well they didn’t,  look here.

I know what they are supposed to look like from the teleport poster.

Kind of a cool effect, but I wanted to see what Oberon was doing, or had done as this was not a current work. Maybe this is a new genre of photography where the photographer is visually challenged by way of the camera. Sparks some new wrinkles on a larger discussion as well about the accessibility of art in the new world, and why I’m happy the edge that is being pushed isn’t waiting for the technologically challenged like me.

When things had rezzed as much as they were going to in near optimal conditions, I panned up until the screen jumped to black when I assume particles were filling the entire screen. But just as I’m finding Windows 7 a rather polite host to my online experiences, I merely panned back and colors returned. I also tried the shft-alt-ctrl-9 trick I had just learned and it did bring the world back minus some intense objects including my hair and boots. But cool.

I could have used this yesterday at Save Me Oh’s ScreenMe performance which was on the platform above the VB15 stage. I just tp’d out when it went to black. Too bad, the comments I heard sounded like it was something to see. This just inspires me that there is art in SL that not even all the avi’s can see. A hint of bourgeois in a way, but it is so cool people are doing this stuff. I felt like Bob Uecker in the old beer commercial, “They’re having a good time in there!”

Btw, Oberon has inspired me since I came to SL. The biggest bummer in the Flickr pics I lost were the ones I took at Storm Cells.  I am so happy to edit that out, I found the other Flicker account! I knew it was there. I could feel it. I was catching up on a friend’s work when I noticed she is friends with the old Flickr account.

So now I am too. Two accounts now, one I have no clue how to get back into. But I’ve decided it’s appropriate as the old pics were taken with old graphics, and there is a noticeable difference. It reminds me of Lichtenstein and a fuzzy pixelation. Oh well, I’m so happy to see the Storm Cells again. I wish they were still somewhere where I could hang out on them though…

Maybe the most amazing thing I have ever seen in SL was on Friday at Push. Betty Tureau’s The Pyramids was a complete experience. Betty morphed the entire environment with fabulous colors, images and movement…and music! This is what I’m going for, art AND music, and some other things. The music added so much to the experience. It was perfect. Betty, you rock! (pass that Koolaid, I’d love some!)

There was a stop at another artist’s gallery I have to tell you about. Most of you wouldn’t think of this as a gallery, or art. But I do. I’m talking about Powers of Creation, P.O.C., and Kai Heideman.

I’ve been in love with latex since I was a too young to buy any and Kai’s creations are my fave latex in SL. His stunning, ultra shiny creations were used in Vaneeesa Blaylock’s VB17 Dark Side of the Moon, and that is where I first heard about Kai. For fit, price and shine, I think they’re the best, and I’ve been shopping at P.O.C. since.

I was feeling like something new for the summery weekend, and some bright seasonal color when I headed over. I didn’t think I was after orange, but cycling through the display the orange jumped out at me. It was a quick pick.

Not only are Kai’s creations of excellent quality, I love how he leads you through his process. The notecard that came with my lovely orange suit/dress told that this model, Halle, was inspired by an outfit Halle Berry wore to an awards ceremony. Nice. But then Kai goes on to explain (rant?) about some of the system limitations here in SL regarding avi shapes that make some challenges for him and us. It was as if a personal tailor was talking to you as you picked up your new custom-made order. He tells you in a conversational manner how to use his creations as he intended them to work for you.

I also find the store displays remind me of info and signs you would find in a gallery. Shock and hype are pleasantly missing, just informative signs and plenty of space to wander. To my eye the visual appeal of the typography and layout of information subtly informs.  I love the name and logo too. Score! Perhaps it’s all the time I spent in retail when I was younger that makes me notice and appreciate these things, but I love how it’s the product itself that is the star and worthy of being so. And Kai just has to sell you one; you’ll happily come back for more.

Here’s the notecard that came with my orange weekend outfit:

Hello and thank you for buying the *poc* Halle in Latex-Outfit.

This outifit is based on a picture I saw by chance of her at the premiere of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. I liked it so much because of this combination of simplicity and sexiness and thought: “Wow – that must look great in latex, too!” Now you have bought the results and are, as I hope, satisfied.

But…there is an issue with this outfit. It uses the “system skirt”, the skirt Linden Labs has defined for the avatar; and this is, to be honest, mediocre. It doesn’t fit well, as you might have noticed. But it is the only way so far for having a tight-fitting skirt that follows the movement of your legs. So – you have to die one death, and I choose the way for you to die…

The system skirt makes a fat ass: It bustles quite a lot in the back. To get over this, create a copy of your shape and make a skirt-verison of it. Wear the skirt and play the sliders for Butt Size, Hip Width and Saddle Bag until the skirt hugs your form perfectly. This shape will look ridiculous when worn without a skirt…

The system skirt clips: When you walk the legs always peek through the fabric. To come over that there are some glitchpants you can wear underneath that mask this clipping.

The system skirt is strange: The seamed version of the dress simulates the seams you can see on the picture. These are intent to run in a nice line from top to bottom of the dress. To do this they have to cross from the top-layer of the avatar-texture to the skirt. So they have to fit perfectly, the way *poc* always tries to make it. Depending on your shape this doesn’t work, as I had to find out. I tried it with several shapes and some matched nicely, others didn’t. If you are one of the victims, please don’t blame me, blame the Lindens…or, again, adjust your shape to get a match, it is possible

Anyway – I hope you like your dress despite my little rant.

Kai Heideman

Thanks Kai!

Powers of Creation, Eliza, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Eliza/95/34/25

And that was my orange weekend. Dancing and meeting some new friends topped the list as always.

See you soon,

Calli

More random photos from the weekend at Flickr

My weekend outfit:

Orange latex suit: “Halle” by Kai Heideman, Powers of Creation

Boots: Bootgasm

Various scarves: BoHo HoBo

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