Looking at Virtual Harlem

This week’s Virtual Artists Alliance PhotoHunt was in Virtual Harlem. Predictably enough :) I used myself as a prop:

PhotoHunt shot from Virtual Harlem

That’s me, in the lovely dawn light, outside the virtual Cotton Club. Virtual Harlem (on the Second Life region of the same name) is as far as I can tell more a museum and educational thing than an operating living place (the thing with the words on it in the lower mid-right of the picture is a floating historical sign, and the trolley that goes around the place speaks a perpetual guided tour), but it has a few scenic spots, including the Cotton Club, the Apollo, the Savoy, and some nice residential streets.

Here’s the Photohunt page on VirtualArtPedia (which is worth sniffing around on). Note that I think the start time listed on that page may be wrong; SL residents interested in taking part in the Photohunt should join the Virtual Artist Alliance group in SL, and check out the Notices. (The VAA was one of the first groups I joined in SL, and I think I was one of the first people to join it; I should tell that story sometime!)

My submission didn’t win (or place, or show) this week, but I’m pretty used to not winning VAA things; my tastes and those of the voters seem to be pretty different! (I did really like the picture that came in second in the PhotoHunt this week. Not that the 1st and 3rd place ones were bad, they just weren’t the ones that I liked the best.)

Speaking of which :) here’s the VAA posting about the 24 Challenge that I talked about here the other day, including nice pictures of all the entries.

24 prims, 24 hours

The Virtual Artist Alliiance had a 24-hour challenge, in which each artist had 24 hours to build a work of no more than 24 prims, based on a haiku: “Further up the stream / some children very busy / paper boats pass by”.

VAA 24-hour challenge, Dale Innis

This is my entry. It didn’t win, but I like it alot! The suggestion to use a simple childlike theme, and to have some of the boats be kites, were from Michelle, to whom this piece owes alot.

(This is one of my first artworks in SL that don’t include either a script or a particle system. You can’t really tell from this static flat shot, but the paper-boat kites are sticking out into the air at various angles. Note that one kite-flyer is apparently standing a bit apart from the others, and has a different-colored boat.)

Now we will walk around and look at some of the others! Jeannie Nishi’s piece was right next to mine:

VAA 24-hour challenge, Jeanni Nishi

I liked it alot; I think I probably voted for it even. :) Note that there’s a poseball in the piece, so you can sit in it and become part of the work. I love that idea, and was considering it for mine. (Since this one was right nextdoor, I think I’m glad I decided not to do that!)

Also next to mine was Senka Beck’s (I remembered to turn Midnight on for hers, as I really ought to have done for all the others):

VAA 24-hour challenge, Senka Beck

It’s very very pretty, radiating simplicity and a kind of purity while also (unlike mine!) being high-quality workmanship. Note the starry particles (which were stationary in the work; I really need to sit down long enough to figure out how to do that with particles!).

One of my other favorites was Juanita Deharo’s, over on the other side of the area:

VAA 24-hour challenge, Juanita Deharo

I thought it was wonderful and funny! The boat there moves across the sand, between all the staring naked people (it’s a rotating mostly-transparent texture). The source of the boat is revealed in the next snapshot, taken from around the back:

VAA 24-hour challenge, Juanita Deharo (back)

The boats turn out to be coming from this boy, who is presumably further up the stream from the staring naked people. Is he smiling just because he’s happy to be making the boats, or because he’s imaging the discomfiture (or is it amusement?) of the naked people on the beach?

None of these pieces won the challenge, although I liked them better than any of the pieces that did win. The winners were chosen by voting among whoever chose to show up and vote, and that can of course produce… odd results. :)

I hear a rumor that there may be a “Judges’ Choice” award also, based on the opinions of a particular known group of people. The outcome should be interesting if so.