Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Our Lady of the Bloomenveldt   Leave a comment

Jem sent me some photos she’d squeezed in recently, but didn’t have the chance to write up.  As it happened, I’d recently re-read Norman Spinrad’s Child of Fortune, which I recommend to you at some point; and the size of some of the flowers in LEA15’s Gardens By the Bay reminded me of that book.  If you don’t get the context of the quotations, I suggest you buy the book.  It is fun, it is erotic, and it will make you think about what our society could be like if we tried out the social philosophy of Sunshine’s Second Starfaring Age.

“Vraiment, all present here do surely know that the spirit of Belshazaar, the raison d’être for your own presence on this planet, resides not in this grim gray city of lifeless glass and stone, but across the sea atop the mighty Bloomenwald, where the great flowers exude the psychotropic substances upon which your economic vie depends, and which is the sole fame of Belshazaar among the far-flung worlds of men!”…

“I stand before you as one who has wandered deeper into the Bloomenveldt than any human spirit may safely go, who has walked among the fabled Bloomenkinder, seen the legendary Perfumed Garden of floral perfection, lost my élan humain to the puissant flowers, been rescued therefrom by the Pied Piper of the Bloomenveldt, and returned to this very corner upon which I now stand to regale you, good citizens of Ciudad Pallas, with this mighty tale!”…

“Hearken therefore to the tale of the Pied Piper of the Bloomenveldt! Learn of the wonders and terrors and the true nature of the forest of unreason upon which the very life of this city depends!  Hear of the bodhis of the Bloomenveldt!  Cringe at the depths to which the human spirit may descend!  Glory at the power of the Word to bring that selfsame spirit back from the ancestral flowers to full sapient awareness!  Listen to the tale of the Pied Piper of the Bloomenveldt…and in the process become once more true Children of our species’ Fortune on the Yellow Brick Road from tropism and determinism to sovereign captaincy of the great arkologies and gallant Void Ships which have made us the masters of the stars!”…

Norman Spinrad, Child of Fortune, chapter 25

Spinrad, Norman. Child of fortune. New York: Ballantine, 1985. Print. ISBN (original):  0765301555.  ISBN-13:  9780765301550.  PS3569.P55 C47 1985.

See all photos, full-size, in the Flickr album

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Jem is wearing:

  • Head: Akeruka Monika 2.5 (Bento)
  • Body: Maitreya Lara 3.5
  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure Ivory
  • Eyes: IKON Sovereign eyes (Quicksilver)
  • Hair: *TKW* (Tukinowaguma) Imelda, with tiara
  • Attachments: SLink Avatar Enhancement hands; Maitreya feet
  • Nails: FORMANAILS Stiletto nails (SLink Casual, red/silver)
  • Dress and shoes: r2 A/D/E shun (blue) (available at current round of Collabor88)
  • Jewelry: Kunglers Elaine necklace (Jade); aisling Simple Bindi; FORMANAILS Scarabeus (SLink Casual)
  • Makeup:
    • Eyeshadow:  Vengeful Therads Seraphim (Vibrant Blue, Omega)
    • Lipstick: Zibska Sorcha (slot 20, Omega)
    • Lashes:  FATElashes v2.0

Photographed at Gardens By the Bay (LEA15)

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Tea Time in Dublin   Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again, when all the world begins turning green — and I’m not talking about how close spring is to officially starting.  Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day; and, as you have one red-haired cailín on hand here with a severe case of Celtophilia, and another lass willing to go along with her — well, here we are again.  We don’t quite have shamrocks tucked behind our ears, and we won’t be swilling green-dyed beer anytime soon, Second Life  or Real Life.  (Green beer’s an Americanism, anyways, and barbarous at the best of times.)  That doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with green stylin’.

Turn the page for the verdant details.

Fearless Girls   Leave a comment

This little girl, done in bronze and sort of “smuggled” into position overnight (with a city permit allowing them) either says a lot about the future of business on Wall Street, or doesn’t say anything, depending on who you read and talk to.  The statue, Fearless Girl, was dropped deliberately in front of another famous statue, Charging Bull, as a sort of symbol.  She is supposed to represent future women standing up to Wall Street and corporations who have almost no female representation in board rooms and executive suites, demanding that this change, and soon.

Admirers think this is great.  There’s a lot of detractors as well, though, pointing out that the statue was commissioned by an investment house that sells a branded package of stocks from companies with women on their board — and the plaque at Fearless Girl‘s feet is nothing more than advertising the package, complete with brand.  It’s also pointed out that less than a third of the company’s own board is female, so shouldn’t they be putting their money where their mouth supposedly is?

Harper and I see this as a beginning, not an ending.  Less than 30% representation certainly isn’t equal, but it’s a beginning.  Societal mentality changes slowly — as slow as a glacier at times — but it changes.  While as much progress as women have made in the corporate area in 45 years is about as slow as that glacier, remember that those big ice cubes have ground down mountains over time.  It’s time to start improving corporate performance, yes.  But it will come, one way or another.

8th Annual Oscar Fashion Photo Contest — And the winners are….   Leave a comment

Here they come, sashaying down the red carpet — this years placing photos for the Oscar Fashion Photo Contest!  The potential pool was disappointing this year in terms of size — the smallest slate of entries in the eight years of the OFPC — but the winners are deserving of their selection, and of the prize money (grin).  So, with further non-ado, here are our choices for this year.

Turn the page for this year’s winners.

Contact Sheet 59 — enna exonar   Leave a comment

new-contact-sheet-header-photo

Contact Sheet is an irregular column of selected photographs and portraits from Residents of Second Life and other virtual worlds. All rights to featured images are reserved to the artists under appropriate copyright laws and/or allowances under the Creative Commons. Click on the links as necessary to go to the required blog or Flickr page. Please go to these artists’ pages in any case to leave comments, (as well as comments here).

Suggestions are appreciated; please send descriptions and links to me by in-world IM, notecard, E-mail to harper.ganesvoort@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.

NOTICE: Some of the photos/links may contain nudity. Viewer discretion advised.

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We’re reasonably open to suggestions here, as I mention above, for photographers to include in Contact Sheet.  I listen to my colleagues from around Second Life as well (witness Cajsa Lilliehook’s article that led me to my last column, on Magda Schmidtzau), and my co-bloggers on AtG.  It was Jemmy who dropped a Flickr stream link on me for this artist.  enna exonar hits my love of the Andrew Wyeth æsthetic frequently (though not constantly) in her photos:  minimal and distilled.  Her published body of work is small currently — one page of Flickr stream — but it is excellent.

new home_002

This captures a sense of loneliness quite nicely, with a brutal starkness that makes you ache a little in sympathy.  Nothing is here but the model, the tree and some beach grasses, aside from the single spray of flowers.  Empty sky and a sun shining in on the model from ahead of her drives the point home; but the flowers could symbolize the hope that someone will come to fill that empty void of sky in her future.

cloudy beach

cloudy beach

A similar aloneness is found in this beach scene, again with the model gazing out into the distance near what looks to be a shore-based navigation light.  There is no relief to this loneliness, though; the small, hopeful spray of blooms is absent here.  All that is present is the woman looking for something or someone that has disappeared, the wash of the sea, and the flight of seabirds that could be either coming or going.

enna explores: dusty day

I added this photo in larger to allow you to see the detail.  (As always, click on the photos to visit the artist’s pages and leave comments.)  enna likes this piece of land with its windshaped trees, and those trees, along with the lighting, made me thing of the paintings and engraving of Gustave Doré.  Some of his better work has trees like this that make you think of ents or other tree-beings, bending over and getting ready to stride off into the distance.

The last three are profile shots of enna herself; and there’s no extraordinary reason why I selected these, other than I simply love them.  She captures the image of herself almost perfectly.

orchid blossom

orchid blossom

love is the key

love is the key

my beauty

my beauty

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Ariel on Ash Wednesday   Leave a comment

"...All flesh is grass, and all its glory is like the flowers of the field...."

“…All flesh is grass, and all its glory is like the flowers of the field….” — Isaiah 40:6

And this, of course, is the flip side of Mardi Gras — Shrove Tuesday, in places that observe the liturgical calendar originally put forth by the Catholic Church, was a time to clear your house and life of rich and good things before the penitential season of Lent.  Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations derive from this, as a last night of revelry, of getting the anarchy out of your system before buckling down to the forty days of penitence and meditation leading up to Easter.

That was yesterday; it’s now time to embark on a most spiritual journey.  As I have written Ariel Sherman in my stories, she grew up on a planet with a state, conservative-Christian-oriented religion, but was never much of an adherent to it.  After her soon-to-be husband freed her from the pleasure house where she had been converted into a cyborg, she adopted his Anglican-inspired faith (St. Michael’s Cathedral, Vidran, planet Videra, in the Anglican Communion of the Human Diaspora — thank you, David Weber).  For Ariel and Adam, this would be Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Full-size (1920 / 16:9 wallpaper) photo on Flickr

Teleport to Chouchou

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“Laissez le bon temps rouler!”   Leave a comment

mardi-gras

Bienvenue sur le Rue Bourbon, dans le ville de La Nouvelle-Orléans!  At this time of year, the biggest parties of the world are held in Mobile, Rio de Janiero, the Caribbean islands, and especially to American minds, in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras provides the traditional closeout to the church calendar season of Epiphany.  Jem and I took it a little farther than short tops and tons of beads this year; it looks like we should be on a float for one of the famous Crewes!

And no, Peter Minuet, we won’t flash you our boobs for beads.  (Laughing)

Full-size photo (1920 / 16:9 wallpaper size) at Flickr

What are we wearing? Turn the page and see.

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