Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Squee: Linden Endowment for the Arts

The Sunday Squee is when I can talk about things that make me happy and excited. The main focus will be on different things people created, from books to movies to television shows to podcasts, and my effort will be to highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me so I can enjoy what you love!

Clinging to My Cage

People who know about the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) might think this is too broad for a squee, but I've been shocked by how many people I run into who haven't heard of it. Part of the problem is that the structure of it precludes most of the ways of finding things in world - since the bulk of the endowments are for six months, and they often don't get finished until the last couple of months, they aren't good Destination Guide fodder because of the slow turnover there (though honestly, I think each sim should get some kind of "holding pattern" announcement in the Destination Guide that talks about how it changes every six months to draw more people in).

Broken Rest

LEA is a combination of several things - a few sims set aside for various purposes, like Sim 5, which is a sandbox for members, and Sim 7, which is a series of sets for pictures and machinima which began as one of the Six Month Endowments. There are also Sims set up for rotations at various speeds. The slowest is Sim 1, which has yearly exhibits that vary widely. The shortest is Sim 6, which has monthy exhibits that often go by very quickly, but there is sometimes a list of artists available at the University of Western Australia that is updated semi-regularly (UWA is a strong arts supporter that is independent of LEA but I think there are members in common in both organizations). In the middle, but with the most Sims dedicated to it, are the Artist in Residents (AiR) Sims, which artists get for six months. Some of the displays are developed beforehand, others developed over the course of the six months; some sims are open from day one with information available, others are open but little information is available, and still others bar me from their shores. The art styles also vary widely, from creations made mainly outside of Second Life and put together in world, to projects that require the unique environment of Second Life for their life.

Pyramid Falls

My personal favorites are the very emotive ones, and the interactive ones. Having had an artistish relationship with Whiskey Monday and her Single Frame Stories long before she got an LEA sim, I've already done a ton of work there in her everchanging landscape, and I anticipate doing more. There isn't much to interact with in Mistero Hifeng's current LEA sim, but the images are evocative and engaging - reminding me a lot of the graceful-yet-disturbing edges of Rebeca Bashly, which I never seem to pull myself together to photograph even when I'm deeply moved. I'm also terribly fond of Gracie Kendal's works to bring her offline art into an online space and her experiential art about image and property - one of her LEA works was rezzing and deleting everything in her inventory. Often I wish there was better reminder systems, like for the Lost Garden of Sundarya Lahari where I missed the last several months and am still saddened by the loss.


The whole reason I started my LEA Guide was because I was incredibly confused by how it was set up and structured - and even now I will often miss displays, information isn't readily available, and I can't count the number of times I missed getting to see things because I was busy and I had no idea it had opened until after it closed. If an artist has a significant social media presence, what they're doing might get a lot of notice - I'm thinking of Whiskey Monday, here, whose installation has been covered on a lot of blogs though little is available inworld - but often there isn't even basic means of getting information about an artist: they don't have a website, there is no flickr dedicated to pictures, the sim information is empty or perfunctory, and even a search of the web brings up very little. I have significant gaps in my timeline about different sims because I can't find a record elsewhere, and I wish that wasn't so; so many of the artists are really amazing and interesting and I feel like I'm missing something with each opened and closed without easily-found record.

Remains of the Mother

LEA offers an unparalleled scope and access to artists, and I really wish more people knew about it and could go to enjoy it!

( More Sunday Squee here. )

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