The Eternal Suspense in Second Life

The Eternal Suspense by Giovanna Cerise (moderate)

Giovanna Cerise’s latest installation is inspired by a theme presented by Friedrich Nietzsche – the dance, the balance, the dichotomy between the Apollonian (harmony) and Dionysian (chaos) aspects of Greek Tragedy.

She applies this theme to the balance we have to achieve everyday – which aspects of our character will be allowed to dominate. The Eternal Suspense is her way of asking if, in fact, we have to choose.

The Eternal Suspense by Giovanna Cerise (moderate)

You should use (what look like) spinning tops you’ll find to teleport between the levels of her installation. The descent from (the perhaps intended) rational, to the extreme vitality of indulgence, is compelling.

An analogy might be the difference between sitting in a law office being thoroughly professional, and the experience on a Florida beach during a school break. There’s lots of room in the middle, but at what point do you cross the line?

The Eternal Suspense by Giovanna Cerise (moderate)

This made me think of another area of balance in our lives, one I’ve had to confront recently and I have (brace yourselves) a new theory. I refer to age – more particularly, our perception of ourselves as young or old.

Those of us who have lived more than 2 or 3 decades can tell you that your brain doesn’t wake up one day and feel old. Oh sure, your body goes through changes (I think all our warranties expire when you turn 30), but inside looking out doesn’t suddenly operate any differently. I might temporarily lose nouns, but that’s just part of my charm. :)

The Eternal Suspense by Giovanna Cerise (moderate)

I’ve recently had some people in their 20s treat me like I’m somehow backward or ignorant. This is the first time I’ve had to deal with that type of thing and it has been baffling to me. I finally decided that they’re doing this because I have some grey hair. They see me as somehow less knowledgeable, less rational, less relevant.

If I had less backbone, and bought into their assessment, I would finally start feeling old. I don’t and I don’t.

So here’s my theory. They say “you’re as young as you feel”, I say you’re as old as you let people treat you. Giovanna postulates that I can decide to embrace all aspects of my psyche – I’ll think about that. I just won’t let anybody else decide if I’m past my best-before date. :)

The Eternal Suspense by Giovanna Cerise (moderate)

Art & The Tango in Second Life

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

It has been years since my last visit to Ocho Tango, a wonderfully atmospheric dance hall situated in the middle of a rural pampas. There have been some changes (naturally) and they make it an even more enticing destination.

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

If I’m remembering it correctly, the pampas used to extend the full width and length of the region. What we see now is a smaller island and the ocean has become a virtual art gallery.

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

You’ll find sculptures by Mistero Hifeng↑ – always a good thing. If you like his works you can also visit a full sim installation by him on LEA29↑. That exhibit will close at the end of June when the next round of grants begin.

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

Remember that applications are now being accepted for that 6 month grant of a full sim – get yours in soon!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to the grasslands. Rodolfo has promised to give me another Tango lesson and I really don’t want to be late. :)

Ocho Tango Place (moderate)

Living in a Second Life Bowl full of Perverted Monkey Sex

Life in a Bowl by Cica Ghost (moderate)

Cica Ghost’s latest beautiful creation is Life in a Bowl. Residents of a tropical island have placed sea creatures in giant aquariums – within sight of the ocean, which seems unnecessarily rude.

The good news for them is that the build is temporary and I’m sure they’ll be released back into the wild soon. I hope!

OK I’m going to stick my nose partway into the latest SL drama. One aspect of it has, over the years, made me very curious.

It all started when Eric Grundhauser wrote a wonderful article about Second Life on Atlas Obscura. He expected “to find a dying world of outsiders and bronies gleefully recreating pornographic impossibilities”. What he found instead, thanks to the guidance of Ziki Questi, was “a fascinating and vital world that is constantly changing and pushing the boundaries of what a virtual space can be”.

Life in a Bowl by Cica Ghost (moderate)

You’d think this would be a cause for universal celebration, wouldn’t you? A writer who finally saw what we see and didn’t let the usual rumours or preconceptions blind him to what’s on the grid. Not so much.

I’ve often thought that if we had ever started a drinking game which required us to down a shot every time Hamlet said Second Life is Dying – we’d all have cirrhosis of the liver. Well he did it again – in response to the aforementioned article he wrote (and has since edited) that it was just Ziki’s expert and tightly controlled guidance which gave the author a distorted picture of our reality.

His proof, which he uses frequently, is that the most popular locations inworld are “pornographic”. By this he means that they are rated Adult and that translates to “extreme sexual and violent content”.

Life in a Bowl by Cica Ghost (moderate)

I don’t think anybody will dispute that there’s sex in Second Life. Some of it is extreme, and disturbing, and violent. This is also true for real life. I know it’s hard for some people to accept, but there’s sex in San Francisco too. In fact, pretty much everywhere in the world.

However, much like the real world, we don’t see it unless we want to. Which brings me to that list of the most popular sims on the grid.

In my experience, and of course I am not nearly as knowledgeable about these things as Hamlet, just labelling a sim Adult does not make it pornographic. However, if perversion is the primary focus of our world, and those are the destinations with the most visitors, I thought I should go see what I’ve been missing out on.

Life in a Bowl by Cica Ghost (moderate)

I used the list he posted yesterday. The first location had no porn, and none of the bots I encountered (62 of them) were having wild monkey sex. If anybody had been acting perverted and weird, those bots would have been like the fish in Cica’s landscape – unable to do anything but look on in envy.

I went to a few places and I am sorry to report I saw no porn, no sex, no ugly underbelly of the virtual. (I don’t count nude volleyball as porn btw.) All of that exists of course – it’s just not proven that SL is first and foremost a place for “outsiders and bronies” by the maturity rating of the most popular sims.

I’m sure Hamlet has much more experience with perversion than I do. However, if he got out of his SL bed (or dungeon) and actually explored a bit more, we might not have to buy yet another round of Tequila shots. He should really pay the bar tab.

Life in a Bowl by Cica Ghost (moderate)
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