Ad astra per aspera

tumblr_lmlc79XqLe1qca990o1_500_largeWow!

It’s fair to say that i enjoyed my first day exploring SL10B and i saw some pretty cool stuff, but it’s also fair to say that i wasn’t completely enraptured. Not that getting lost and then hopelessly confused helped matters! My second day was very different and the things i saw and experienced completely blew me away – i guess it was ‘wow factor’ that i was after, and i certainly got it on this occasion.

First up was a change of plan – rather than an East to West and South to North traverse across the whole site, i decided to work across the top of the site, sim by sim – a plan that turned out to be much more successful than my previous one. In all, i managed to cover the whole of Astonish, Wonderous, Beguile, Impressive, Spellbound and the exhibits in Astound and Enchant, as well as some of Spectacular… crazy huh?

As for jaw-dropping, mindblowing and fabulous: the creations i explored more than lived up to the expectations that the names of the regions boasted, and it would be insane to attempt to convey the sense of amazement or to try to describe each and every exhibit here. As i’ve said before, go and see for yourself!

Statue of man_001In addition to the individual exhibits, the public spaces clustered at this end of the site deserve having some time spent investigating them in their own right. One thing that’s impressed me this year is the way that the whole theme of ‘Looking forward. Looking Back’ has been carried through to the surroundings. Throughout the public spaces you’ll find strategically placed reminders of the past – each with their own descriptive plaque – which give a flavour of their importance to sl history. I was surprised to see ‘The Statue of Man’on loan from its usual custodians, presiding over the whole event – a fitting and wholly appropriate connection between the very earliest alpha testing days and these tenth anniversary celebrations. There are other relics of the past too – both originals, and faithful reproductions – some of which were new to me, and all of which are fascinating and well worth checking out, (and yes, call me a geek if you must, but i must admit to getting a bit excited about… wait for it: some ancient paving slabs! Well, somebody has to!).

history walk1_001Equally fascinating is Marianne McCann’s ‘History Walk’. i only wish i’d had access to this when i was putting ‘The Passage of Time’ together, it would have speeded up the process no end! It’s also good too, to see that the Lindens haven’t entirely forsaken the proceedings as happened last year – in addition to ‘Bear Island’ and ‘The Cornfield’, you’ll also find vendors scattered around with limited edition Linden freebies, some of which won’t be available from the Marketplace.

single frame stories1_001The exhibits i explored yesterday, are themselves far too numerous and broad in scope to cover in depth, and anyway, why are you still here? You should be off, taking a look yourselves! So, other than to say there are some stunning builds to be seen and experienced, i shall let you do a spot of exploring instead. Even so, there are a couple that deserve an honourable mention, mainly because they mean something to me.

She looks guilty to me

She looks guilty to me

i was extremely pleased to find an exhibit by the museums dedicated to preserving the work of Arcadia Asylum – who i blogged about only a few days ago, and whose pieces and approach to disseminating her work i find inspirational. The other exhibit i really should mention is Whiskey Monday’s ‘Single Frame Stories’ – a fantastic example of collaboration between residents across the Grid, which features some extremely talented artists. Whiskey’s challenge was to produce an image on each of the themes of ‘identity’, ‘community’ and ‘creativity’. You can see my contributions below, or better still, take a look at them at the exhibit – it’s right next to the main entrance. i have to say, it’s kinda weird seeing your own work in somebody else’s build… but special too.

Identity

Identity

Community

Community

Creativity

To round off my evening’s marathon trek, i took a stroll around the live stages – the ‘A’stra Stage’the creation of Toady Nakamura and Flea Bussy – something i’ve been looking forward to ever since i saw it being built. It certainly did not disappoint! The stage, which covers two sims, is quite simply breathtaking. It’s the A’stra Stage which graces the blog header this week.

live stage4_001i’ve no idea how long i stayed there, but it wasn’t long enough! When you go, take the time to really explore every nook and cranny of this amazing creation and you’ll find rewards around every corner… from surprising statuary, waterfalls and fountains, a crystalline cave  and even an incense-filled grotto. As you explore, enjoy the music that accompanies you from a full program of performers. Last year, i simply didn’t get around to sampling any performances, and this year i’m determined to remedy the situation. So that’s how, yesterday, i was introduced to the charms of modern Egyptian and Arabic music – a new experience for me, but an energetic, exciting and thoroughly enjoyable experience. It wasn’t just me who thought it was good – 75 people on the dance floor certainly seemed to agree, (and no lag, either!).

live stage11_001No matter how long you’ve been around sl, i don’t think you ever get used to the surreal sights that you inevitably see – the image of an SL10B Birthday Bear avatar and a group of tinies, dancing ‘like an Egyptian’ is a memory that will bring a smile to my face for a long time to come!

live stage51_001Eventually, both body and senses were worn out and it was time to leave. It wasn’t just me that was flagging, either – my poor graphics card had valiantly put up with the extreme demands i was putting upon it, (well, if you’re going to get good photos, you really need to push those graphics), but finally, some 60 plus photos of A’stra later, it gave up the unequal struggle and started to have a tantrum. Time for bed.

Tomorrow, my epic adventure continues, as i head into unknown territory Westwards!

s. x

All the old paintings on the tomb
They do the sand dance, don’cha know?
If they move too quick (Oh-Ah-Oh),
they’re falling down like a domino.
Hakim, featuring Cleopatra – Walk Like An Egyptian.

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This entry was posted in Musicality, SL, SL10B, SLarcheology, Tour Guide. Bookmark the permalink.

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