Sunday, November 25, 2007

An Homage to Solomon R. Guggenheim in SL

THE STORY OF how freereed Freenote came to build an homage to Solomon R. Guggenheim in Second Life is a simple one, and one best told by her:

"In 1970 a 17 year old girl went to the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in New York. She began her ascent of those interminable ramps of Frank Lloyd Wright's design…. till midway she stopped in her tracks. There on the wall was a painting on loan from the Philadelphia museum - Three Musicians by Picasso, 1921.

There are two versions of this painting. In the version she saw at the Guggenheim in 1970 there is the black dog under the table lower left. It seemed to her that the painting was giving off a vibration of joy. As this had never happened to her before, she decided to test it…. was it the painting doing this?? So she turned her back on the painting… waited, then turned around. Yes, it was true. She tried all sorts of tricks… shutting one eye, then another, over the shoulder… Yes it was true. She proved for herself that a painting can emit joy… and this was the painting doing it…. Picasso's Three Musicians, 1921.

But the problem was that goddamed museum. The space allotted for the painting was so small she couldn't get far enough back to see it properly. The ramps were problematic too. To get far enough away from the painting, to take it all in, she had to go up ramp from it, and she thought to herself…"This is no way to build a museum… this is ridiculous!"

And so it was, that on that spot, in the fall of 1970, she decided to be a painter, and this was the painting that did it.

And then, 37 years later, still a painter and with the opportunities offered by the virtual reality of Second Life, she decided to "right the wrongs of Mr. Wright" and build a museum that honoured the generosity of Solomon R. Guggenheim, rather than indulge Mr. Wright's teacup flights of fancy.

Working with Crap Mariner and Carnie Bing as freereed Freenote, that 17 year old girl has created what she believes Solomon himself would have wanted - "a monument to art, rather than architecture".

"But due to Mr. Wright's design however, no matter how many improvements we made to his design, you still can't get far enough back to take the whole painting in ... although, thank the gods, we have camera controls here in SL!"

Purists may weep and wail that 'amateurs' have dared to interfere with the great man's architectural vision, but SL being SL - we can do as we wish with OUR OWN PERSONAL VERSION of reality and we can present the world with an alternative.

Officially opened on 10th November, before an eager crowd of 50 avatars, with Cuban jazz and a magic show extravaganza by the famous, Fish The Magish, the memorial museum is jam-packed with information on its construction and various historical facts on the original building.

"I conceived this museum as The Solomon Robert Guggenheim MEMORIAL Museum," advises freenote. "I wanted to pay tribute to the man who worked in the needlework trade and came to found the first, greatest museum in the United States, devoted exclusively to modern and abstract art."

"Here, surely, more than any other, is the patron saint of American abstract painters."

"For those people who are critical that we have not followed the architect's original vision exactly, I would say that I am not here to slam Frank Llloyd Wright, but to build a proper tribute to Solomon Guggenheim.

Solomon Robert Guggenheim was born in 1861 in Philadelphia and worked in both the family's Swiss needlework importing business and their mining interests, founding the Yukon Gold Company in Alaska. After his retirement in 1919, he devoted his full attention to collecting modern art and in 1937 established the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to promote public appreciation of modern art.

A year before Sol Guggenheim died in 1949, Sol's friend and patroness of the arts, Hilla Rebay, contracted the then 90 year old Frank Llloyd Wright to build the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

"Solomon Guggenheim never lived to see the museum that bears his name," advises freereed. "He never lived to see our version either.... but I am certain, as much as he loved art, and most especailly abstract paintings... he would approve of our attempt to recreate the Guggenheim Museum in New York."

"Because we have created a space where you can see the works of art ... where there is great sense of light and space. We turned the railings into glass to elimitate the feeling of being compressed into picture viewing space and we raised the ceilings, so that now you can view modern art in modern scale - monumental."

"We have also eliminated the claustrophobic viewing bays that the paintings were tucked into in the sixties.

"But most importantly we have eliminated the ramps, in the belief that a person at rest and in balance is better able to view and meditate on an artwork; whereas a person standing on a slope, or put off balance, even if the ramp incline be gradual... is put into a state of anxiety.. or trying to seek physical and mental balance, and so is less able to concentrate on the work at hand."

"Our memorial museum has a permanent exhibit history of the actual Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York," continued freereed, "as well as the history of our build in Second Life and a display of "Women in the Arts", portraits of some of the most influential women in all the arts, spanning two centuries."

"The Solomon R. Guggenheim Memorial Museum in SL is a fully-functioning museum with the purpose of promoting the arts, and serving an education, as well as cultural need."

"Our ultimate goal is to reassemble the original collection of Solomon Robert Guggenheim and exhibit it in the memorial museum with a series of art history lectures about some of the greatest modern abstract art and artists of the last century."

"The aim for the SL memorial museum, is for it to be always busy and always open… and supporting the artists of Second Life… the painters, sculptors, photographers, and musicians, as well as fundraising for charities."

Despite being officially opened, the building is still being constructed in some areas - most notably in the contour of the building itself.

"Frank Lloyd Wright did indeed build a beautiful and quite unique building in the Guggenheim, and we have accommodated as much of his design into our build as possible, but we have been limited only by the size of our lot, and the dictates of our aesthetic conscience."

Although described by free as 'Master Builder', Crap Mariner is keen to decry this title. "I'm just a goofball writer, the ultimate square peg, mad-dreamer jackass," he says. "I don't consider myself one of those Master Builders who make all the big-profile venues."

"I just like to keep things simple, leaving the Photo Shop wizardry and scripting wonders to the folks who don't have two or three musicians they want to check out every evening."

"The build was done in just three days, and there were lots of numbers flying around," recalls Crap. "Despite freereed trying to draft me into the Freemasons with all her goings on about the Golden Mean and the ratio of 8 to 5, I persevered and for all the 'ramp' fans out there, all I can say is that I came to the conclusion that for Frank Lloyd Wright, the art was getting in the way of his building."

Crap is keen to compliment PB Recreant for their amazing 'weathered concrete texture' facade.

"I figured that it's a whole different reality in SL, right? I never did like the idea of taking folks up an elevator and then treating them like a pinball to roll down the ramps, around and around, until they roll outside into the street. Kinda dehumanizing, don't you think?"

"In this alternate reality rendition, folks can fly up and down the central atrium, slowly turning to catch the artwork, or they can take the elevator and walk around at their leisure."

"Since there is plenty of display space in the main tower, I axed the smaller tower and its part of the facade. freereed's streets and cars and trees and the grotto gave the build the soul it needed, and the dance club on top is a simple, but fun venue for performers.

"For those tut-tutting the fact that it's not an exact replica with the spiral and everything, well ... perhaps they should look at their avatars and ask if they're an exact replica of their RL selves. It's Second Life ... lay the digital silly putty on the world and then have some fun, stretching it around and bouncing it off the walls."

The third dynamo in this ambitious project is Museum Manager, Carnie Bing, described by free as a "brilliant scripter".

"I was initially drawn to the Guggenheim project by my hopes for a break from traditional RL architectural norms that are prevalent in SL," commented Carnie. "The concept of an open spiral where visitors could walk or fly through an exhibit, without unnecessary doors, steps or walls found resonance with the revolutionary Frank Llloyd Wright design for the original (RL) Guggenheim museum."

"It was exciting to be in on the ground floor, as it were, of this endeavour. Sure there were the usual trials and tribulations;
temperamental artists, finicky scripts, crazy hours and international co-ordination, but the work is rewarding."

"Through all of this however, I could always count on Freereed's impeccable judgement and moral clarity. As with any build, it all came down to prim count and they were always difficult decisions, but, like a crucible, they burned away the dross leaving a purer and more precious amalgam behind."

"Now that the project is taking off, I can see that everything has proceeded as it must. The museum is established, but still growing, stable yet dynamic.

"Working with the stream of artists who have found SL, an elite group indeed, has been an honour and a pleasure."

(Pictured above - Carnie Bing and freereed Freenote at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Memorial Museum in SL).

The museum has already staged two one-woman shows - graphic artist, Griffin Gaffer, and urban realist Nena Janus with musicians Kyle Beltran and Thumper Boucher and DJ Speelo and features an outstanding mural (pictured above) by Japanese-American artist, Kenzo Minami.

According to freereed, the memorial museum raised "good money" for the Red Cross with an art auction of 20 artists' work for the victims of the recent Californian Wildfires and another is planned for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Do You love the Skin You're in?

I found myself looking around at all the avs around me about two weeks ago, thinking just how beautiful they all looked and how plain I did. Wasn't sl created to make us feel better about ourselves? To let us be more than what we could in rl?
So I started to look for makeup, still too new to know that you need a full skin in most cases. I did find one look that was just perfect, dark smoky eyes and pale lipstick. It looked fabulous on the model. Perfect I thought and was off.
A few hours later while in a meeting with my editor, she asked if I needed some help. I looked well, see-through. Back to the drawing board. Finding a skin that I liked all of was a time consuming job. I ended up spending a full week shopping and trying on demos from every sl store that carried skins. When considering a skin, you must take into account: 1) How fitting is it for day to day -especially if you have a job in sl. 2) Does it flatter your favourite shape that you wear all the time? 3)Will it go with most hair styles in sl? and 4) How does it look in all the lighting settings? The last one was my biggest mistake. I had tried it on in "noon" mode and hadn't thought about how it would look in "midnight" or sunrise/sunset mode.
My choice was a goth skin that was meant to make you look like a zombie. In the end, not what I was going for. Also, I have to admit that when I tried on the demo, I did so bald and the skin just didn't seem to work with any of the hairdos.
What I did find in the end, was a skin that was not really a "normal skin" and not really a goth skin. Most cases the goth skins were too over the top in makeup for my style, and the normal skins were too ordinary for my style. The so called "light" skins still had a tan, and all the "pale" skins had crazy make up.
When I did find one, it was at Digital Dragon Designs.

Reporter Dashwood Dayafter

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ewing Fashion Agency and OnRez Launch Fashion Design Awards in Second Life

Second Life, November 19, 2007: Today Ewing Fashion Agency ("EFA") and OnRez announced the creation of the Ewing Design Awards in Second Life.
With the Ewing Design Awards, EFA and OnRez are creating a global online contest that will unite the entire Second Life community in a celebration of the best that Second Life fashion has to offer.

Ewing Fashion Agency Chief Executive Officer Una Ewing said, "The Ewing Fashion Agency (EFA) has been in operation for five months and in that time, we have witnessed numerous contests and competitions geared towards models, but never anything concrete for the people who actually toil and sweat to create the beautiful fashions that we enjoy wearing.
The Ewing Design Awards gives the Second Life community the opportunity to reward the creativity and innovation of the fashion content creators in Second Life."
Awards and prizes by will be granted in different categories, such as hair, skins, and shoes, ensuring niche content creators a fair chance of winning.
An Overall Winner prize will also be granted to the designer with the most sales, as measured by revenue, across any of the listed categories.
As of today, Second Life content creators will be allowed to enter one new and exclusive design through the Shop OnRez website, Second Life consumers will "vote" for their favorite designers through purchases in-world and through of entered contest items. Sales of the entered items will be measured by Shop OnRez from December 1, 2007 through January 6, 2008, with winners determined at the end of that period as measured by the total revenue from sales of the entered contest item.
The full contest rules and instructions for entering can be found at the Ewing Fashion Agency website, located at
The Overall Winner will receive L$100,000 in prize money provided by Shop OnRez, a full-service fashion show coordinated by the Ewing Fashion Agency, and an advertising and promotional media package worth more than L$ 50,000.
Winners in individual categories will receive L$7,500 in prize money provided by Shop OnRez, a fashion show voucher worth L$1000 towards a fashion show by the Ewing Fashion Agency, and an advertising and promotional media package worth more than L$ 25,000.
The winners will be feted at the Ewing Design Awards gala event held on the 15th of Januay, 2008.
About the Ewing Fashion Agency
Ewing Fashion Agency (EFA) is a fresh, energetic and dynamic group founded by model Una Ewing which develops, trains and promotes the careers of new and established models and fashion designers in Second Life. As a fashion promotions agency, EFA uses fashion as a promotional tool for our non-fashion industry related clients, and promotes the fashion of fashion industry related clients. More about EFA can be found at their website,
About OnRez
OnRez is a growing suite of software services designed for users of virtual worlds, with an initial focus on Second Life. OnRez's goal is to make virtual worlds easier to use and help information flow more efficiently within and across virtual worlds and the Web. OnRez is created by the software team within The Electric Sheep Company. Shop OnRez is the most advanced ecommerce solution for Second Life users, providing buying and selling tools on the web and in-world.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Crazy are us & Cynthia's Heaven Live fashion show

With arabic flair and traditional style Cynthia Wilder has captured the essence of the east with the fantastic fabrics and flowing flexi, one after another floated down the catwalk before the audience with melodic arabic music streaming in the background.
The show, hosted by 'Crazy are us' (Eymerich Lane and his fiancee Roselinda Mayo), went off without a hitch - well apart from the usual lag - a great show and I will be looking up Cynthias Heaven.
The detail and textures were a delight for the eyes from gothic, arabic, gorean to ball opera daily clothes with face veils long flowing ballroom gowns to the traditional desert style mens wear worth taking a look at and definately an up and coming designer. Congratulations Cynthia
Dana XxX

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Re: Fashion Show and Anniversary Celebration

Come November 17, Saturday at 12 noon, Nuclear Boutique will be unveiling their latest spellbinding collection for their one year anniversary.
The Decadence Collection will be revealed in a fashion show featuring AVENUE Models. Following this breathtaking fashion show will be an anniversary celebration where there will be great music, dancing and prizes to be given out.
This new collection has been created to celebrate the First Anniversary of Nuclear Boutique. This new line of clothing includes formal gowns in rich silks adorned with jewels, alternative business attire, playful casual ensembles, and sexy lingerie. Each design is unique with beautiful detailing and luxurious fabrics.
The well known owner of Nuclear Boutique, Arikinui Adria, has been an artist for over 30 years. She focused on color and movement in her real life work and that has translated into the beautiful colorful designs that she creates for Nuclear Boutique.
Arikinui Adria first opened Nuclear Boutique in the last week of October 2006 with a small collection of casual clothing and 5 hair styles. Over the past year the store has grown immensely. Now the store includes formal wear, lingerie, business attire and casual separates.
Nuclear Boutique is located at its own tropical island called Archipelago Wild, there you find a relaxing atmosphere which ensures an enjoyable shopping experience.
What sets Nuclear Boutique apart from many stores is the staff of lovely models and helpful sales associates. You will find someone always willing to help make your shopping experience more memorable.
Nuclear Boutique will be closed from Monday, Nov 12 at 10pm SLT through Saturday, Nov 17th at 10am SLT while the island is remodeled and expanded to include spaces for shoes by Polish Up!, eyewear from Gudshu Glasses, and jewelry from Xessories by D'Nel DaSilva. There will also be a Nuclear Cafe where visitors can sit and enjoy the beauty of this tropical paradise.

Please join Nuclear Boutique in celebrating its First Year Anniversary. They promise you not only a memorable party but a wonderful fashion show featuring the Decadence Collection and a relaxing atmosphere.
Date : 17 November 2007 (Saturday)Time : 12 noon
Venue : Nuclear Boutique~Xplosive Fashions, Archipelago (209,30,251)*
Nuclear Boutique's Decadence Collection Fashion Show is organized by Nuclear Boutique and produced by Rusch Raymaker of AVENUE Inc.
For more information, please contact Arikinui Adria, (Owner) of Nuclear Boutique, or Annette Wilder (PR Manager) of AVENUE Inc.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Who is that gorgeous av?

The changing face of SL-newspapers CEO JamesT Juno
The early face of JamesT, yes we have all been there the bad newbie hair the sunglasses etc.......

This is the av that most people will recognise instantly, a few minor changes over the months, occasional hair changes different sunglasses but very upright and stern this was the JamesT most of us would think of if we heard his name.
Introducing the NEW JamesT Juno
A makeover was well overdue with his 1 year SL birthday looming.

First on the list a new skin, with a recommendation from Carter, we headed to Dante - by naughty designs and had fun trying on different looks. Skin shopping is time consuming every skin must be tried and tested but its not something to be rushed, at any time, your skin is the most important purchase you will ever make ( I have kept the same one almost since the beginning, it was the first skin I bought and with the exception of a few makeup changes I am still happy with it almost a year later, also bought from naughty designs) (picture by Dixie Barbosa)

The skin comes with a few different beard and moustache/ stubble options plus hair styles.
James was quite happy to stay with the hair rather than search for one that probably would not match as well.
A few new suits from Styles of Edo completed his new look.
So if you see me out and about with this gorgeous looking av - yes I have found a new man, but not a new love its still JamesT Juno!
(pictured here at IntLibber Brautigans wedding)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I find shoe heaven at Virtual Impressions

I love Designing Clothes in SL but one thing i have never got the hang of is shoes so I am always on the lookout for shoes to match my designs, yesterday I got an IM from mommy telling me about this wonderful shoe place where she had got several pairs because the price was so reasonably, having nothing better to do at the time I asked her for a LM and headed over to Virtual Impressions.
A Virtual Impression it certainly made WOW shoe heaven I immediately bought one of the first pairs I saw then decided I better have a wander around before I bought every design LOL. There were sandals, evening shoes, daywear, then the boots! Here i lost control again and ended up with 2 pairs. Then I noticed stairs so up I went, beautiful jewelry is on offer up there made with the same dedication to detail as the shoes and boots, I bought a delicate charm bracelet almost immediately LOL!
Downstairs I caught up with the owner and designer Chrissy Ambrose, after introducing myself and telling her how much I loved her designs, I asked her about her business;
Dana Vanmoer: Did you start making shoes or jewelry?
Chrissy Ambrose: Shoes first, but very quickly afterwards jewelry. Mainly because I found I enjoyed working with prims and with the footwear I tend to combine the two, so use microprims on the shoes and boots. For me it is important to make the designs different, and that way I can use the decoration to do that
Dana Vanmoer: What would you like people to know about your designs?
Chrissy Ambrose: well Primarily that they are Unique, detailed and affordable. Most sl visitors can afford something in the store and even the top priced items are still reasonable. I try to cater for most, but I don't do many overtly sexy styles.
Dana Vanmoer: Thank you for your time Chrissy

One thing I found most refreshing is that all shoes and boots here have a demo - so you can try them on and see how they look, of course most are modifiable so they can be made to fit too. You can also win some of the designs on any of the 3 lucky chairs in store.
Try them out for yourself HERE
Dana XxX

Monday, November 5, 2007

What was on offer this halloween?

I actually gave some thought to making costumes this year but in the end with the SLN birthday celebrations coming up I really did not have time for clothes designing, this week so I had to go shopping! (yes, of course I had to!)
Having been invited to several parties I needed to find something that would fit with most, although I had seen the fabulous gowns at 'Simones' and couldn't resist buying the cat outfit, I needed something a little more.
A friend recommended I tried the Ireland sim - now 'I thought why the Ireland sim?' but accepted the TP anyway.
I was so glad I did these fabulous costumes (shown above) are just a small selection of what was available with prices starting as low as L$250 I couldn't resist and ended up buying not one but three costumes LOL, including this sexy witch, which i ended up spending the 3 hours it took me to complete Fire Islands treasure hunt :) I had a fabulous time guys thank you so much! A wonderful picture for me to remember it by too, my thanks go to Gellan Glenelg for it, but mostly to Brendon Curtiz and the rest of the guys who helped me through the hunt - couldn't have done it without you. If you missed it look out for their next project its sure to be as amazing, fun and frustrating as the last three I have had the 'pleasure' of trying to complete.
After the hunt I accepted another invitation over at the Zurich sim there were some fabulous costumes down there, but it was so packed everything took a long time to rez - great party!
This wonderful skeleton avatar came from 'Monster Ink Tattoos and skins' great detail on the bones :)
So whatever else you got up to this halloween I hope I have given you some ideas for next year.
Dana XxX

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Down Comes The Opera House

AFFICIENDOS OF GOOD DESIGN gathered last weekend to witness the destruction of one of the most magnificent builds in SL - "Opera Populaire".

While some people danced in celebration of a 'life well-lived' and others sobbed, Intempesta owners Sue Stonebender and Baron Grayson laughed and joked and brought the house down, making way for what Baron described as a more 'Tim Burton' build in the new year.

In the same way the Taj Mahal was built as a tribute to love, Opera Populaire was built by Sue to thank Baron for his tender loving care while she was recuperating from illness. They celebrated their second anniversary together by tearing it down so Baron could express his true artistic expression ("I don't do light and cheerful", he said at the tearing down.)

Heavy on prims, but huge on impact, Opera Populaire will be replaced by a darker build, so fans of Sue and Baron's work have something to look forward to.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

aDiva and texture infringement of Nicky Ree's work

Date : 31th Oct 2007
Dear Fellow Content Creators and Customers,
Some of you may have heard of my trouble with having my textures taken and used without permission by AnneJoy Paine (aDiva).
For those who have not heard, you can read more about it from the websites listed below:
Since I originally found out, aDiva's old stores were closed by mall owners and landowners.
A few days ago, it has come to my knowledge that aDiva has opened at least 6 new stores. She is of course free to open stores, as long as she doesn't sell items that use textures taken and copied from my work.
Unfortunately, after having checked all the locations I know about, I found out that AnneJoy Paine (aDiva) is still selling items using copies of my textures in her vendors in the new stores.
I have filed a DMCA notification on these new locations with linden labs on Oct 28, 2007 and I am now awaiting their response.
Pictures listed below have been recently taken from the vendors in the new stores. On the left I have included pictures of my originals.
When I originally found out about this issue, I contacted AnneJoy Paine immediately and asked her to stop using my textures and stop selling those items based on them. She denied any wrong-doing. A few days later, I sent her a cease and desist notice giving her 72 hours to respond. She did not. Since then I have started the DMCA notification procedure with Linden Lab.
I do not know if these DMCA notifications will stop AnneJoy Paine from continuing doing what she has with my work. Linden Lab has not taken action yet.
This is the second batch of stores I have found out about that is still selling the items listed in the pictures. She might open more stores in the future.
I do not know what else I can do. Responding to all this has taken a lot of time already, and a lot of frustration.

RegardsNicky Ree

Click images to see them full size in a new window

I have also included some of the images included in the note - so our readers can decide for themselves. Dana