Sunday, January 26, 2014

The LEA and I

Angles of Light

The Linden Endowment for the Arts are twenty nine sims dedicated to art and administered by a small panel of Second Life Residents. It's whole existence is an oddity. Outside of a few very old communities, and some limited public land, by and large Linden Labs doesn't contribute to the landscape in Second Life - and even where it does there is increasingly limited contact between residents and Linden Lab Employees. There used to be a whole slew of high profile Lindens, all with the last name Linden, who would have public discussion hours with residents on their personal islands - office hours, they were called - but over time that became less and less common, and more and more Lindens left and were not replaced by equally active people, and the connection between Second Life and Linden Labs because the limited, strange thing it is today.

I recently met a someone without the last name Linden who claimed none-the-less to be a Linden, and what mostly tempted me to believe was that he had a last name. Last names were taken out over a year ago, but the rise in people with letters behind their names is a reminder of why the last name system was such a glorious thing. On the internet, names are a commodity; they are a currency and something to be treasured or hoarded depending on ones nature. Long are the stories of people harassing others by squatting on their names, or even just of conflicts as multiple people with the same name attempt to co-exist. It's one of the curious things about Facebook, where it can be nearly impossible to find the person you want to because there are ten, twenty, even fifty other people with the same name - all legal and correct. It's one of the things I found baffling about Google+'s obsession with "real" names, since their definitions seemed more likely to limit peoples' ability to be recognized. In a bunch of the places where I am known as Deoridhe I now show up as Deirdre, and I'm sure it confuses people more than anything, since I am far, far more known as Deoridhe than I am as Deirdre. Names are central to how we know ourselves and others; many are the artists born in Second Life who are using those names now in other places in order to maintain a cohesive identity online, and this is a beautiful thing which far too few people understand, I believe.

I See You

The name of the Linden Endowment for the Arts is what gives it's legitimacy, and yet the reality undercuts that legitimacy in some profound ways, limiting the power of the residents who try to represent Linden Labs and Second Life without themselves being well supported or represented by Linden Labs. The official blog is on Blogpost and unaffiliated with Linden Labs. They are mentioned on the official Second Life Wiki, but it's apparent that the actual committee members have no editing rights, nor are those with editing rights responsive to changes in the committee - Bryn Oh stepped down from the committee in October of last year, and she's still the top name on the Second Life Wiki. In her post she mentions Dancoyote Antonelli was no longer a member of the committee as well; he's second down on the Wiki. As near as I can tell, very active members are not mentioned as well - like I said, Linden Labs' treatment of the LEA offers legitimacy while undercutting it as well. This is not an indication that any of these residents are doing anything wrong, but it is an example of how what we do and thing is shaped by the circumstances we are in, and those circumstances are often in the hands of people we do not know, who do not know us, and who do not care about our concerns.

That being said, I love the LEA as a place to go and see what people have made. I think it's a wonderful resource for people who haven't the resources to purchase a Sim to get a chance to build on one. It's been interesting to see other resources built on it - like the Machinema Open Studio Project which is available for people to make movies or take pictures on a wide variety of "sets" that might not otherwise be found in Second Life, and in a place with rez-rights for everyone, which I have taken advantage of in the past. It can sometimes be challenging for me to take pictures there given different qualities of the artwork, but now that I've accomplished a goal I set almost two years ago - to have a blog post for every LEA sim so that I could track things over time and try to make sense of a very confusing set of sims with very minimal, organized information given - and so I'm asking for your help. I am missing multiple art displays of multiple sims over time. There have been five rounds before this one-month January round (not counting the one-month cube round I'm not trying to capture) and I am missing at least one round for every sim, and most of the information I have is limited to single posts or maybe some pictures. If you have any information, or if you are a creator and would like things added to any of my profiles of an exhibit, please let me know. I doubt I'll be able to cover the current round, since there is less than a week left, but I'm going to do my best with the next set of six months. Any assistance in filling in the past would be greatly appreciated, though, especially in terms of pictures, videos, and artist statements.

Visitors from Elsewhere

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Emily
Hair Beads: EarthStones, Hair Beads Rainbows
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyeshadow: Adore & Abhor, Mono V2 3
Lipstick: Adore & Abhor, Shreveport Lips
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Wings: Atomic Faery, Stained Glass Faery Wings
Hands: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands
Jewelry: EarthStones, Stacked Stones
Nails: Orc Inc, Rich Darks
Dress: LUZ, Rosemarie watercolors
Panties: katat0nik, Holiday
Shoes: Shoenique, Flower Power Hippy Wedges

Pose: Magnifique

Location: LEA 29: Are there strangers among us?
Light Settings: Sim Default
Water Settings: Sim Default

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

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