A Farewell To Art


Sigh. It was announced a few weeks ago. Another closing, another goodbye to SL. This time the IBM Exhibition Space sims closed. I’ve been to most of the exhibits there, truly fantastic works of art. The Search for the Sy, Rabbicorn and so many other great exhibits. I LOVE the Rabbicorn. But to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. I am grateful to IBM, to Tezcatlipoca Bisiani and PatriciaAnne Daviau for the art, the sandbox and the wonderful times. I met so many talented and helpful people at that sandbox. The art simply took my breath away. These sims and the opportunities they offered will be missed greatly.

But Tez and PatriciaAnne are not ones to pack their tents quietly and steal off into the night. Oh my no. *grin* When they have life transitions, EVERYONE gets to share. So there was a 12-hour farewell party yesterday. Great live music, great DJ’ing, fun chat, dancing. And yes – you KNOW it was a good party because we crashed that sim. HARD. VERY HARD. *grin* It took multiple logins and reboots to finally get all the way back to the party. Because the party, of course, didn’t stop for anything as minor as a sim crash.

I took many many photos, trying to save memories of all the cool builds that were there. Other folk were doing the same. So many people dropped by during the farewell. For me, one of the happiest parts was seeing all my SL friends who now spend a great deal of time in InWorldz. (/me waves hi again to Astra!) They came back to celebrate. For it WAS a celebration. Yes, there was sadness and regret, but there was so much joy and delight in recalling the good times, the successes, the people, and all the positives that flowed from these sims.

Thank you again, Tez, PA and IBM. It was a great run. You brought a lot of good and joy into the world. We will miss the sim, but the sparks you lit will burn forever.
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Search for the Sy


In-Land Search for the Sy is one of the current exhibits at the IBM Exhibition Space in SL. It is among the most interesting and creative exhibits/builds I have seen in SL. It is beautiful. It is engaging. It challenges you. It is cohesive. The thought, effort, care and passion that went into this build are evident everywhere. As you can tell, I was totally blown away by the experience.

Search for the Sy is the creation of Alchemy Sims Build Group. The three original members are Annabelle Fanshaw, Vicki Brandeburg and Layton Destiny. I first heard of the exhibit at a talk in SL – I think it was one of the guests on Metanomics, but I am not sure. The speaker was talking about how he’d just experienced this incredible interactive learning sim. Another friend was at the talk and managed to get a link and information.

I headed over to the sim the other day to get some background pictures and some information so I could post about it, even before I’d started the game. When you arrive at the sym, you are given a notecard with the background information and explanations. I wanted to print the notecard in its entirety, but wasn’t sure that would be permissible. So I IM’d Annabelle Fanshaw and asked permission. She IM’d back very quickly, not only giving me permission but offering to give me a guided tour. (Wow. Look at that. Being polite pays off. *grin* Although my manager has always taught me that it is better to just do it and ask forgiveness after.) I was delighted at the idea and asked if I could bring a friend. I am NOT the most reliable of bloggers and I take mediocre photos and sometimes I don’t SEE all that is to be seen in SL. I was hoping that I could have Honour join us. Annabelle said “of course” and we arranged a time to meet. Annabelle took Honour and I through the sim, explaining the whats, whys, hows, and wheres. We agreed not to give away any secrets. *grin* Honour has already blogged on our experience and posted pics. So I urge you to go there and get more information. I am going to print the notecards and such that you get at the beginning.

The tour was fantastic. I confess to being delighted with the teleporters. I will definitely go back to do it again on my own, take my time, and experience the build. There are 3 different levels, each with its own atmosphere. You start by knowing very little of the Sy but end in immersion. There is a group you can join to get hints, support and exchange stories. One warning – damage IS enabled on the sim, so don’t be surprised. There are traps and misleading clues. If you have already DONE the search, know that the team is always adding new features to the build weekly in order to have surprises for return visitors. Definitely take some time and check this out. If you want to have a “sneak peek” at the sim, view the video.

I LOVE the Rabbicorn

The RabbicornLove, love love the Rabbicorn. I WANT the Rabbicorn. I NEED the Rabbicorn. I tried repeatedly to steal the Rabbicorn from the exhibit. I told Tez and Bryn that I wanted a gift shop at the end of the exhibit so I could buy my own Rabbicorn and take her home with me. *grin* Merchandising IS where the money is, no? Oh yes. And I LOVE Bryn Oh and I LOVE Tezcatlipoca Bisiani.

This is MY blog so I get to talk about the exhibit from my point of view. *grin* First – if you like total surprises, stop reading now. I will do my best not to tell/ruin the story, but you may get hints anyway. Second, I want to tell you how powerfully the exhibit affected me and so it will be “about me”.

I confess – I didn’t want to go to the opening last night. I’d spent the RL day down the shore, soaking up the sun and the surf. I was TIRED. I was also a bit “put-off” by Tez’s description of the exhibit: “Bryn Oh’s new build The Rabbicorn tells the melancholy origin story of the title character, an original robotic being in the Bryn Oh universe.” I am NOT into “melancholy”. I’m really not into “Art”. In my family – I am definitely the Philistine, the one on whom great Art is wasted. I am that horrible person: I know what I like. 🙂 But when I IM’d Tez to make an excuse, I realized that I was going. 🙂 Jonah had aleady said he would like to go too, so I pinged him and said “We’re on, kiddo.”

Rabbicorn IntroWe tp’d to the landmark. It was sparkly and noisy and dark and confusing. I am easily confused in SL. I never quite understand directions that are, apparently, obvious to eveyone else. I don’t see what I am supposed to touch, where I am supposed to tp, where to position my camera. As an example – I had to ask Bryn, who was greeting arrivals, how to even get out of the entryway and to the start of the exhibit. *grin* Other people seemed to be finding their way with no trouble. Jonah had to come back and practically drag me to the first stop.

The first chapterI hated the first stop. I already hated being confused, hated being tired, hated the constructs which looked creepy. I didn’t realize until after I struggled to read the text on the table that I could have TOUCHED it and read it with no trouble. (After a year, in SL – wouldn’t you think I’d KNOW that?) I hated the story. It sounded creepy and violent. I already had “melancholy” stuck in my mind. So I whined at Jonah, he gave me explicit directions on how to find the teleporter and we went to the 2nd stop.

Jonah checking watch, wondering how long it will take Ahuva to read the notecardI still hated it. Same reasons as above. And it was TOTALLY black when we arrived. Sigh. I fixed that by turning around. But at least I was beginning to figure out how to move about, where to find the storyline, what I was supposed to be seeing in the build. At least I was no longer totally baffled. Just cranky and anticipating melancholy and misery. 😦 Then we got to the 4th stop. Where I finally SAW the Rabbicorn (she’d been there before, you know. I simply didn’t recognize her). I understood who the main character was, what she looked like – I finally started to connect. I have to say that I’d been IM’ing poor Tez as well as Jonah. I begged Tez back before the first stop for clues on how to navigate and an explanation of WHAT I was supposed to be “getting” out of this. But here at this stop- I began to “see” the Rabbicorn.

The Rabbicorn begins her journeyThe Rabbicorn is adorable. I love her. I looked at her face, her ears, her horn, her legs, her feet. I love her. It was that simple. Now as we moved through the story I got ANGRY. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to MY Rabbicorn. I IM’d Tez and warned him that if Bryn allowed anything bad to happen to the Rabbicorn, I would NEVER go to another Bryn Oh exhibit. Ever. Tez merely sent back a non-committal emoticon. I raged at Jonah. I don’t LIKE bad things. My Rabbicorn was endangered. Oh SPARE me that a good story line needs conflict, suspense, tension. Don’t hurt MY Rabbicorn!

Bryn Oh, The Rabbicorn and meaniesBryn herself appeared at this point. We told her how much we were enjoying the build. I told her that I was going to be extremely unhappy if anything happened to my Rabbicorn (yes, I did indeed have the effrontery to call her MY Rabbicorn. 🙂 I don’t think Bryn minded.) Bryn told me to have faith. THAT did indeed pick up my spirits. I trusted Bryn. I lost the last lingering crankiness ( I really did NOT want to be manipulated into “bad things”). Poor Jonah. I became totally immersed in the story. 🙂 Poor Tez as well, who was also suffering a running commentary.

The Rabbicorn restsI took dozens of pictures. *grin* Jonah and I spent hours in the story, talking and exploring. At one point when we couldn’t find the Rabbicorn (and be glad I was NOT IM’ing YOU at that point) we had to fly, cam, search hunt, I went a little, um, extreme. *grin* I bet that surprises you. The build is so clever – until you found the Rabbicorn – you didn’t find the tp to the next spot. 🙂 Without Jonah I’d never have found her. I had the right idea, but didn’t take it far enough. For those who like me need help – think UP. WAY up.

Click the TVAt the penultimate stop, there is a TV. Click the TV to get the backstory (part 1) of “The Rabbicorn”. It is a short video – less than 10 minutes. Bryn told us that The Rabbicorn is part 2 of a 3 part series. I can’t wait. I love The Rabbicorn. It is a wonderful, exciting, joyous, fulfilling experience. It took me out of cranky reluctance into refreshed joy. Please go. I will be going back and back and back again, taking all of you.

Thank you Jonah, for being such a fantastic companion. You are patient, good-humored, fun, clever and you put up with my dramatic proclamations and exclamations. 🙂 It was a better experience for being shared with you. LOL. I’m not sure that YOU can make the same claim.

Thank you Bryn. Thank you Tez. Thank you for sharing your visions, your creations, for making the effort to bring art and beauty and fantasy and vision to everyone. Thanks to the IBM Exhibition Space. Without such sponsorship, there cannot be art for everyone to enjoy.