The Amazing & Impossible Invisible Cities in Second Life

It has taken me far too long to share with you my explorations of The Invisible Cities↑ curated by the women of Per4mance MetaLES↑ on LEA15.  I console myself with the knowledge that you’ve seen many other bloggers’ views and photos of this installation but, for the very few who may have missed it, I want to add my voice to those saying you should go visit.

13 Artists have come together to build and film their interpretation of Italo Calvino’s↑ novel↑ of the same name.  The novel is structured around a conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan as the explorer describes cities he has visited to the emperor.  The descriptions of fantastical cities and the dialogue between offer an “alternative approach to thinking about cities” where “human imagination is not limited by the laws of physics”.  Although in the novel Polo describes 55 locations, this team of artists has taken advantage of the inworld ability to avoid the physical laws and built 4 fantastical cityscapes.  Calvino belonged to the literary schools of Neorealism and Post-modernism so don’t expect your typical city experience. :)

There are two links under each of my photos today. The first as always is a link to the slurl for the location, the second is a link to the video created for the city (or the main entrance).  The videos are not long but are stunning in themselves and well worth watching.

I have used the landing location at the main entrance but, if you want the full experience, I suggest you start by arriving at Calvino’s Desk↑ and use the teleporter from there to the starting point.

The entryway to the Invisible Cities↑ by Cherry Manga↑ has been filmed by Ux Hax↑ & Romy Nayar↑ and it’s a fantastical and ethereal location all on its own.  You will find beautiful, but perhaps odd, vehicles for your travels to the four cities as you wander through her landscape.

The first city on your journey will be Eudoxia, realized by Marcus Inkpen↑ and captured in video by Fuschia Nightfire↑.  The true form of this metropolis, which expands upwards and down, is captured in a carpet although this is as far from a traditional map as you can go while still being able to use it for the designed purpose.

Your next destination is Armilla, a city without walls consisting of “a labyrinth of pipes and bathroom appliances inhabited by mysterious women”.  Hypatia Pickens↑ has created the machinima for this build by Romy Nayar↑ and Ux Hax↑ (with the collaborative assistance of Leona80 Mhia↑ and Nadiemequiere).

I think I should mention at this point to have your view distance set far.  You also want to make sure you look around in all directions (remember these are cities which don’t obey the laws of physics) – looking up, way up in this site will bring you surprises and joy.  :)

Isaura (moderate) Isaura Video↑

The third city, Isaura, is a collaboration by Lanjran Choche↑ and Morlita Quan↑.  The film by NicoleX Moonwall↑ begins with more fabulous footage of the main entrance and moves on to the “city of the thousand wells”.  This is a city that is in constant motion upwards from the black lake below, the pumps and the buckets bringing the water and your eye to the aquaducts and other structures situated above.

The final metropolis in this installation is Esmeralda, realized by Rebeca Bashly↑ and filmed by Spiral Silverstar↑.  This is a city of water that offers its inhabitants multiple options for traversing the streets and canals – in fact the different routes are situated on different levels and the combinations of dry land, waterways and bridges would be beyond my mapping abilities.

If my description hasn’t convinced you let me state that this is a hugely ambitious project.  It is also a very successful one.  I apologize for taking so long to share it with you but please, please hurry and experience it for yourself.  You can read more background on the project and on each of the cities at the Invisible Cities site↑.  Enjoy!

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  1. Every day I look forward to seeing what you have discovered. Thanks.

  1. The Amazing & Impossible Invisible Cities in Second Life | MetaLES Per4mance ..O.. |

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