Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In the Beginning . . .

When I first visited Second Life, it was because my sister, Elle Bellah, was working on her Master’s degree here by building a tutorial garden. I set my home to a temple at the back of it! Often I felt like I should be wearing a toga and giving tarot readings. Turns out after a while I did do that! Playing “The Gypsy of Aglarond” did not last long, but I did learn that tarot cards work on two levels in SL! First, I found I could ‘read’ the role-play story, but then the person behind the avatar’s real life would leak through as well! Oh, and much later, I got a toga!

Later I was to meet Luco Roffo! Together we made our home Dark Moon, where we still reside three years later.

Partnered for Three Years!

Luco Roffo

 Dark Moon is now in its fifth incarnation.First, Dark Moon had a Mediterranean theme. Then it was winter. But soon, spring came again, and Dark Moon became a haven for the Fae folk, and mermaids and men, all magical gardens and reefs. Next, Dark Moon moved to become part of the non-profit AngelGate art sim. I called it AngelGate’s Mythical Outback. That version of Dark Moon was laced with mysterious caves; one of the caves even drew unicorns back from times of yore. But more than that, Dark Moon shared the landscape of Angelgate. A huge reef ran through the sim and mountains towered above the land sporting precarious paths for horseback riding, or just hiking along.

Remember AngelGate?  Yes, I was the original estate manager for that lovely art sim. Unfortunately the website is gone, but I would like to reprint my farewell blog from that site here. Unlike Dark Moon, AngelGate was a full sim, so I kept a Memorial Shrine for those who had lost loved ones. The Shrine was always full of candles placed by avatars missing real life and Second Life friends to be remembered.

AngelGate is Gone

Sadly, AngelGate is now gone. This is the end of an era. If you read this blog, you will see what a vibrant community AngelGate had become in the larger community of Second Life. The residents of AngelGate were all creativists that focused on different aspects of the process of transformation. Many artists showed in the galleries that evolved over time from the one build by JackSparrows Back, to the Castle Galleries, recreated and rebuilt by Peeyak Andrew, as well as Peeyak’s AG3 gallery build. The two-year history of AngelGate was inspired by SophiaJane Alcott, but built by the residents, staff and curators. I myself, created Dark Moon: AngelGate’s Mythical Outback that bordered AngelGate sim to the west. But we ex-residents and staff are still about doing our thing. Read on for a history of AngelGate, and where we all are now.
AG Castle Peeyak's Redux

Peeyak's Amphitheatre

Peeyak Andrew completely recreated the original castle, and built the lovely amphitheatre were music events were held, as well as the renowned AG3 sky gallery. The Main Galleries historically have had two curators, first Bau Ur, and then White Lebed. Both hosted spectacular art shows, and led wonderful, informative programs. Between those two, Dr Debruyere (Anna), and Nepherses Amat (me), we put shows together with various themes. Anna helped me put an show about the history of angels together, curated Wizard Gynoids Sacred Geometry, and created a marvelous show about how we see light in art. I also hosted a 3000 prim build by Selavy Oh called Nested Cubes, as well as a show of Sissysuberica Petshop’s original paintings. I had a show of my photographs in the old cafe where I hosted musical events too, before Peeyak created the amphitheatre for these events.
Nested Cubes by Selavy Oh
Sacred Geometry by Wizard Gynoid

Many musicians played there including Seba Sideways, Al Hoffman, Coda Cazalet, and Senjata Witt. We also had themed DJ events such as Celtic Mondays with Lyndzee McMillan, and Flashback Fridays with Gary Kohime. But most of all, There was Katje Broek, DJ extraordinaire who made very special events like her liberal themed inaugural playlist, her Hot Latin & Cool Jazz nights among others. Hephaistos Semyorka presented her Mythworks show at AngelGate too. She now has created a book about that show which moved to Artemisia. The Castle held a show of Bougereau and the photography of Einy Marksman. Sapphoria Shilova hosted this photography show, while I put together the shows on old art. We had a Victorian Christmas Ball in the castle where Elan Mistral played live piano.
Elan Mistral Playing Live at the Castle

Four Elements Statue by BF2 Shephard
Marly Milena, founder of the Octagon for Intentional Growth, created and hosted workshops alone and in conjunction with Hephaistos, with the help of the AngelGate community friends and staff, including Sapphoria Shilova and Abstract Baroque. Some of these were Creative Play, The Composers Project, and the IONS Video Project. Other residents that contributed to the sim were Lucida Skytower, Annie Jergenson, Art Lyle, Scotia Amat and Crea8tive Chemistry. Friends of the sim were important! BF2 Shepherd made lovely sculptures, including the one of a kind commissioned Four Elements that graced the entrance to the labyrinth. This statue can now be found on Dark Moon.
And also Ludo Merit’s technical skills were indispensable!
Nepherses Amat (me) also kept the Memorial Shrine where many left candles for lost loved ones. Information about grief was also available at the shrine. The loss of the memorial shrine is perhaps the most painful aspect of the death of AngelGate to me personally. Many, many people over the years had contacted me to place candles there. Some returned on anniversaries.
The Memorial Shrine with Information about Grief

Dark Moon still exists! Look for it! Luco Roffo and I live there, and have created a wonderful and educational boreal forest!
Peeyak Andrew has gone on to exciting projects in RL. Occasionally he graces the forests of Dark Moon as a wolf!
Hephaistos Semyorka & Lucida Skytower have thrown their lots in with Third Life’s new sim. The work for this collective community begins!
Marly Milena’s Octagon is now located on Prism Lila, Ludo Merit’s creative community sim, and she will continue to offer programs, along with her participation in the new Noetic Explorers group in Kana Koray’s Octagon next door to hers. She will be forming a new Octagon group to replace the Angelgate Intentional Growth roster made up partially of people who are interested mainly in Octagon programs.

Sapphoria Shilova is just returning to SL from a breather.

Anna's Cafe at Orpheum Island Dr.Debruyere (Anna) has her own fabulous sim called Opheum Island.

Ultimately we do not know what happened to SophiaJane Alcott. She has gone off to RL, as did JackSparrows Back long ago. But she did set the tone of Transformation and gather the many talented people who made AngelGate the wonderful place it was. We wish her well. Farewell.

Just for old times sake...

Just for old time's sake, here are a bunch of pictures of my old friends in Second Life . . . some are still very close! These are photos taken at musical events:
Luco & Neph Dancing to Coda!

Al Hoffman Live from Amsterdam
Lindsy McMillan DJ's
(there's SkyRanger Pinion too!)
Katje Broek, Ragnarok Dragonash,
Lindsy & Neph rock out!

Yes, a Wolf can Dance!
Coda Wails on Her Sax!
Nimloth Babii & Neph in white
Hephaistos Semyorka Art Show
Seba Sideways