19 October 2017

Theda Tammas's "Dissected Soul" at Split Screen

Dissected Soul by Theda Tammas is now open at Split Screen. In this intriguing work, bodies are fractured, contorted, ripped through with holes. A red thread connects many of them, and much of the thread bears loops of barbed wire. The centerpiece is a heart shattering into small pieces which fly into the air. And all of it lies in a shallow lake that reflects a dramatically chiaroscuro sky.

Click to enlarge

Thinking of her installation, Theda quotes a poem by Fernando Pessoa:
I don’t know how many souls I have, I’ve changed at every moment. I always feel like a stranger. I’ve never seen or found myself.
Dissected Soul is at Split Screen's temporary spaee at LEA15 through December: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA15/59/190/43

19 September 2017

13 September 2017

Closing of Berg by Nordan Art

Kate Bergdorf has announced here that her exhibit space, Berg by Nordan Art, will close at the end of the year.  It has consistently presented excellent art, including large installations -- one of the few places for large builds remaining.  It will be sorely missed!

15 August 2017

Blog posts and machinima on JadeYu Fhang and Krystali Rabeni at Split Screen

Some posts have been published discussing the installations by JadeYu Fhang and Krystali Rabeni at Split Screen (in alpha order):

Inara Pey

Kate Bergdorf



In addition, at least two machinima have been made of JadeYu's work. In Oema's, the camera slowly winds through much of JadeYu's installation, aiming to highlight its many sections and facets as a journey.

And Iono Allen brings his own artistic vision in his machinima:

My thanks to all!

11 August 2017

Split Screen @ LEA hosts JadeYu Fhang and Krystali Rabeni

Opening on 12 Aug are two installations hosted by Split Screen at its LEA sim. JadeYu Fhang's EveryWhere and NoWhere occupies the ground level. It is an extensive and complex work consisting several scenes and settings. The world JadeYu has created is peopled mainly by women with elongated bodies and insect wings, some with bull-like horns as well. One woman presents another with a small tree; others gather at what might be a seance; a trio launch themselves into the air. There is also a horse and (female) centaur. But at the landing point, the women have no wings, and we hear a plaintive song-cry surrounded by a sonar-like ping. The land itself has been terraformed into curlicues. This installation rewards exploration, as there are many small scenes throughout.

EveryWhere and NoWhere by JadeYu Fhang
(click to enlarge)

Krystali Rabeni's The Games We Play concentrates on a single image: chess. But it is a sort of three-dimensional chess, with some pieces on the wall. And several pawns have sprouted wings and are flying as if to attack -- one wonders if they are actually the most powerful pieces in this game.

The Games We Play by Krystali Rabeni
(click to enlarge)

As they don't provide explanatory notecards, both artists allow the visitor to interpret the installations as they wish.

The installations will be open at LEA15 until the end of September.

SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA15/138/128/551

20 June 2017

Split Screen receives a LEA Artist in Residence grant

I'm pleased to announce that I will receive a Linden Endowment for the Arts "Artist in Residence" grant (official announcement here). The grant provides a full sim for six months, which I will use as a home for Split Screen. (I explain the loss of Split Screen's original home here.) The grant begins in July, and hopefully the first two installations will open a month or so later.

In the meantime, Giovanna Cerise's Flash back / flash forward -- a Second Life Destination Guide Editor's Pick -- can still be visited here through the end of July.

I'd like to thank the LEA committee for enabling Split Screen to continue.

01 June 2017

Bloggers on Giovanna Cerise's "Flash Back / Flash Forward"

There have been a couple of excellent blog posts about Giovanna Cerise's Flash Back / Flash Forward at Split Screen. My thanks to the authors for their insightful commentaries!

And I'm happy to say, Flash Back / Flash Forward is an SL Destination Guide Editor's Pick!

29 May 2017

"Flash back / flash forward" by Giovanna Cerise at Split Screen

Giovanna Cerise often uses abstract, even mathematical forms as the framework within which she develops thematic elements, and somewhat similarly, when she writes about her work she frequently emphasizes the concepts behind it while understating its associative and narrative aspects. An especially strong example was last fall's Monochrome, which she wrote was simply an "exploration of color in all its components and inferences," giving no hint of the powerful imagery it presented (see my commentary on it, and also my review of her 2015 retrospective).

Flash back / flash forward, Giovanna's new installation now open at Split Screen follows much the same path. This time, however, she offers a more extensive statement about her ideas, which explains how time's passage, our tottering on the precipice between past and future, and the commingling of time and space are at the center of her thoughts. She writes,
The tendency to emphasize and almost exacerbate the instability and impermanence of the perception of what has passed and of what is not yet is the leitmotif of "Flash back / flash forward." ... Everything appears and disappears in a game of inside and outside, in the desire to create alienation effects, restlessness, suspended in an allusive and visionary atmosphere.... The installation, formed mostly from simple geometric elements, is thus presented as a destructured form, almost shapeless, with the intent to create chaotic and changing moments. Inside there are spaces that vanish in the complex but, depending on the angle, they are perfectly visible.
The installation from outside is an explosion in black, white and red; some prims strongly pick up the color of whatever windlight you use (Giovanna suggests trying a few different ones). An improbable yellow daisy at the base of the installation teleports us into the midst of a myriad faces, their eyes closed as if sleeping. Wandering inside we discover six rooms with highly dream-like scenes. A bulging cube made of a spiderweb of white triangles, with what might be a crushed black cube inside. Bright white sparklers (or are they dandelions?) with a thread winding through them -- but they turn black when seen behind certain walls. And several rooms suggest some sort of narrative, a bit in the style of René Magritte.

Flash back / flash forward by Giovanna Cerise

As you walk through and cam about the installation, transparencies flicker in and out. Objects are here and not here, visible and invisible. The touch of Magritte is highly appropriate: the enigmatic character of his work befits the theme of Flash back / flash forward. Time is equivocal, but still must run its course.

Flash back / flash forward will run until 31 July.

SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Coppelia/131/137/23

I would like to thank the members of Coppelia for allowing me to use their land for this Split Screen presentation.

30 April 2017

Split Screen Loses Its Home

Not long after I first rezzed nine years ago, I found a home on a tiny estate consisting of one full sim and two homestead sims. I lived on the full sim for a few years, and about the time I was starting to think about creating a place to host large artist installations, half of one of the homesteads became available. I pounced, and the Split Screen Installation Space was born. Later I moved Split Screen to the other (sandier) homestead. The estate owner Syzygy Merlin and her manager DFox Spitteler, wonderful people both, were incredibly supportive throughout these years. In fact they had first suggested that I should start a gallery (I'm sure they had nothing like Split Screen in mind!). But due to financial circumstances, sadly Syzygy has no choice but to close the whole estate.

For the next installation, the Coppelia artist collective has generously allowed Split Screen to take up residence at their sim. This is a temporary solution which will give me time to figure out something longer term. Unfortunately, it's going to be extremely hard to find another situation like the one I had before -- most estate owners don't want large structures on their land. Plus, even if I do find such a sim, it will undoubtedly cost significantly more. I might apply for LEA land, but this would also be a temporary solution, plus it goes against my grain as an independent curator running an installation space. There aren't many of us!

The best possible solution would be if I could gather a group of sponsors who could help pay for a homestead sim (it would be relatively inexpensive if there were five or six people, probably around US $15/month), but so far, no luck. If anyone wants to become a patron of the arts, let me know! (The sooner the better, too, because during the next few days there's a way to take over the homestead I'm currently on.)

In the meantime, I'm really going to miss the estate I called home for so many years. My thanks once more to Syzygy and DFox -- Split Screen quite literally would never have come into existence without their support, and they've been truly wonderful people.  Best wishes!

Me in my first home at Ziggy's Place, 2008

17 March 2017

News and more blog posts on Haveit Neox's "Bleeding Books"

I'm rather behind, but here are some updates on Haveit Neox's Bleeding Books:

  • It was selected as an SL Destination Guide Editor's Pick
  • Inara Pey wrote a very insightful commentary on her blog.
  • It was also covered by Kara Trapdoor and Maddy Gynoid (in German)

Striking a blow for the little guy, Radegast

I'm a fan of Radegast, a lightweight SL viewer that pares down graphics and other functions.  I use it when I just want to do something simple like clear messages or chat in IM (especially if I'm on my backup computer), but some artists (like Jo Ellsmere and Oberon Onmura) use it to run bots that are part of their work. Radegast was orphaned when its developer passed away, but fortunately someone volunteered to take it over and it's alive again. (Thank you, Cinder Roxley!)

A few ago, Norton Security stopped me from using it by cutting off its access to my internet, thinking it's a malicious program. After a few days of this, I was pretty annoyed. So I made a "false positive" report to Norton and -- hurrah! -- they just told me they'll take it off their blacklist.  Might take a day or two for that to appear in their updates. Lesson: Complain, because sometimes it works.

05 March 2017

Blog post by Caitlin Tobias about "Bleeding Books"

Caitlin Tobias has written a blog post about Haveit Neox's Bleeding Books. It includes a machinima she created which gives a great sense of the installation. Thanks, Caitlin!

04 March 2017

Haveit Neox: "Bleeding Books" at Split Screen

Haveit Neox creates some of the most recognizable art in Second Life, partly because of his style, and partly because of certain recurring motifs (such as centaurs). In Bleeding Books, now open at Split Screen through 30 April, the main returning motifs are ships, architecture, and -- most prominently in this installation -- writing. Books hang in the sky, and from some of them a torrent of letters pours out, raining on the people below. Letters also form twisting bands hanging down into the space. At ground level there is a large building where, among other things, letters can be found imprisoned. Haveit writes:
Bleeding Books begins in the sky, and drops to the large fortress at ground level. It is a story in my ongoing series on abuse as seen through the lens of language. What happens when knowledge is so disrespected that it is freely contaminated with doses of falsehood? There are avenues to properly sort facts in this information age, yet we easily turn a blind eye to certain evidence if it goes counter to our beliefs – even when our choices may cause immeasurable harm. In the exhibit, the texts of books bleed falling letters of the alphabet, for they can no longer contain any structure of value.

Bleeding Books by Haveit Neox

As Haveit's note suggests, there is often a political edge to his work. He is, in my view, one of the few artists in SL who manages to integrate political thought into his work in a highly effective manner.

The installation uses a windlight: "Phototools- Got It Light." If you're using Firestorm it should apply automatically; otherwise, select it within your viewer for the intended effect.

Bleeding Books is at Split Screen (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Amra/52/128/130) for the next two months. Visitors interested in Haveit's work should also see his installation, The Haul, now on view at MetaLES.