My one bugbear with SL11B is Pizzazz… there’s just too many Zs for my liking! It is, apparently the correct spelling, but i really don’t get on with it, i’m afraid – whenever i see it written down it brings to mind those old Budweiser ‘Wazzzup’ commercials and how they might have sounded if they were advertising pizzas!
Spelling aside, Pizzazz is four times the size it was last year, when i was one of its few inhabitants, and there’s certainly a heck of a lot to see there, along with it’s bite-sized neighbour, Enchant, and between them, they hold some of my favourite creations so far.
SL people are a creative bunch – as we well know – and an event like SL11b certainly brings that creativity to the fore. You’d suspect that working to a defined brief might stifle ingenuity, but that’s certainly not the case, and the multitude of ways in which people have interpreted the theme – ‘The empires of tomorrow are the empires of the mind’ – is pretty breathtaking.
Perhaps, predictably, there are some common themes and memes running through many of the offerings on show… there’s no scarcity of futuristic vistas, glowing neon and giant, exposed brains, (’empires of the mind’ can be a difficult concept to illustrate!), but these cover the whole gamut of the spectrum. There are creations that range from dystopian futurism, through to faux 3D and everything in between.
That’s not to say that the old, hackneyed cliches aren’t also occasionally in evidence – there are plenty of the obligatory mazes and a few exhibits recycled almost in their entirety from previous years – but the great thing is that you can just walk on by to the next rather splendiferous exhibit that does actually make you want to linger and explore.
This year, it seems there’s also a wealth of exhibits seeking to expand our minds and our spirituality. It’s always struck me as slightly anachronistic to resort to technology as a means of helping us to focus on the more esoteric aspects of faith, spirituality and our oneness with the universe, but i’ve nothing against it and i suppose that there’s a time for peace, harmony and finding our inner selves whatever world we’re inhabiting. However, if it works for you, then who am i to comment? To be fair, even i succumbed to the allure of a spot of meditation under a waterfall… sometimes it’s good to escape the bustle of our surroundings and take a moment to reflect.
Finding a quiet spot isn’t as difficult as you might expect – although a quick glance at the radar will reveal a huge amount of activity, particularly around the main stages, it’s surprisingly easy to find a haven of tranquility in the midst of all the chaos. SL11B is big – big enough to soak up large numbers of people and still offer the illusion of isolation and peace. Whether it’s in a Japanese teahouse, bizarrely hidden underwater, or in the pleasantly realistic surroundings of a rustic Italian village square, there are times when you can persuade yourself that you’re quite alone. Then again, if it’s company you’re after you can always head out to the stages and dance the night away in the company of dozens of fellow revellers, or for more convivial, intimate surroundings, how about a stein or two of beer in 1920’s Berlin, or maybe just idling away the time with the ‘locals’ that congregate around their home parcels?
Yes, sl people are creative and enterprising lot – indeed, sometimes it’s hard to pin down the meaning of some of the exhibits, but that’s half the fun of it!
Speaking of fun – it’s time that i went off for some more of it. Catch up with you soon!
Welcome to the House of Fun
Now I’ve come of age
Welcome to the House of Fun
Welcome to the lion’s den
Temptation’s on his way
Madness – House Of Fun