Recently I have made two things. And I am realizing that with both of them I am actually confronting fears or in the case of one of them, if not fear itself a very strong repulsion. Jellyfish. I have loathed them for as long as I can remember. They have managed to totally sour up my childhood holidays by the sea. We used to have these huge deep blue ones along with the smaller white variety and basically whenever they were in evidence I would not go into the water. They never stung me or anything like that but I loathed them anyway. Later, in my twenties, I did some scuba stuff on the Aegis and once when I was underwater I even saw a shark. (He showed no interest in me whatsoever – Thank God!). And even the shark did not give me the same gut reaction that I got from the jellyfish. Of course I was scared witless, but I really did not have that revulsion. He was very beautiful and mixed in with my fear was also a huge admiration for his grace. And why am I saying “he” anyway? For all I know this was a girl-shark. But seemed very masculine somehow?
I have no idea why I made jellyfish at Syncretia when I built the lightbulb basin. Given how much I loathe them, I really shouldn’t have done so. When I started thinking about making things for avatars in Second Life a jellyfish outfit was one of the first things that I thought about doing. So, last week finally I made Alpho do one:
I do not know if this will help next time when I am about ready to jump into the sea and I see the monsters floating below me. Chances are very strong that I will still go “yukkkkkk” and run inland as fast as my legs will carry me. But, that said, I am kind of glad I made this. …
The second thing is a bit more complicated to explain. I have been building the Annex and almost all of it is sunk into the sea. I really do love the underwater (although I have to admit that I haven’t gone scubaing in a very very long time). So, it would not be terribly surprising if I wanted to build an underwater sim for that reason alone. However, my real reason is that I find the lighting conditions underwater far superior to those above. The light in SL leaves much to be desired. For my personal use I almost always have sky presets enabled. I have a special one for when I am building and for all other times I use the Mescaline Tammas presets. But of course, I assume that the bulk of people who come to Syncretia have the regular sky settings. Even though I set a sim time and everything I am never completely satisfied with the result. And there the underwater lighting really comes to the rescue. In short the real reason is the ability to make usage of the light down there.
I could have created something wonderful and colorful like they have over at Blake Sea where we were last week testing the S+R scuba gear with wolfie. Instead I made this space which scares even me! And I built it for God’s sakes! How can I possibly be scared by something which I made myself?
There is a carousel and I honestly do not want to hang out there – it totally gives me the creeps… Why did I do this? And what is that place all about? If I want to get all high falutin’ and banal I can say that it is about life and death. Consciousness and the subconscious. Above and below. Eros and Tanathos. Bla bla bla bla… But, it is about none of these or all of them or something else entirely which I cannot even name properly. Something which resides deep in my unconscious mind and which scares me. Something I have no knowledge of whatsoever on a conscious level.
Now one of the things which I do when I am building is that I use things which others have made if I can possibly do so. I see no merit in entirely homemade endeavors in a metanomic system. If I can’t find it I make it and of course I make the basic structural bits, but most of the stuff that goes into the structure is acquired. I either purchase the things or I pick them up as freebies. This is of course a kind of three dimensional collage. Max Ernst and André Breton talk about the benefits of collage, “the chance encounter of two distant realities on an unsuitable level”, in releasing the images of the unconscious mind. And my guess is that something of the sort happens to me when I bring together the stuff I pick up on the freebie boards at NCI plaza and Yadni’s Junkyard. I wrote a paper about all this at one point and then even made a virtual flip-book out of the paper. (No one was too terribly impressed by the paper itself, I have to admit. In fact Roy sent me off with a colossal flea in my ear… hhh. So a flip-book as a final resting place for it is about right, I guess).
I had dug some very deep canyons and used a very dark ground texture for the deepest level of the terrain. So, the place has been dark almost from the day that I got the sim. But that has to do with the fact that underwater, as I remember it, is dark. Or rather a weird admixture of dark coming at you from the depths and light coming from above. But it is eerie as a space – underwater. And it seemed to me that creating a dark ocean floor and a lighter upper level would simulate that RL underwater feeling more or less accurately. Because I did want accuracy of sorts in that. But that is the groundwork. What happened after that is that I started picking up things. I found a strange sculpty horse as a freebie. The textures on it were pretty awful although the shape was really good. So, I blanked out the texture. Too harsh. So, I decreased the opacity. Too wish washy. So, I added glow. Suddenly I had a ghost horse. Hmmm… Suddenly I sunk it into the water to see how it would look against the dark ground. Looked pretty good. So, I duplicated it to see the increased effect. And one more and one more. Suddenly I had a herd of ghost horses galloping underwater. I had had no idea, no intention of doing this. I was going to do fish and stuff. I mean I still have a lot of fish down there, but now there is a herd of ghost horses as well.
Then, next thing, I send Amina off to the gnubie store to get kitted out a bit. She has no clothes to wear and although she does not really go anywhere she should still have something to wear, no? And alpha.tribe designers do not really wear their own designs except for experimental purposes. We have a house policy like that. So while she is there she sees this carousel. Picks it up, passes it onto me. I rezz it. I have no intention whatsoever of using it, I just want to see what it is. However, I happen to rezz it right next to the horses. Next thing the horses are on the carousel. And… I get really really scared by what I just did.
It is all like this, what is down there. How it came together. The horses are just one part. There is other stuff too. Of course, there is this synchronistic encounter theory as well, where you apparently bump into things which somehow end up being what you were looking for inadvertently. So what is it about? Fear of something for sure. Death? There are objects directly related to death in another part of the sim. And the ghost horses are dead too in a way I suppose. But, I am not at all morbid. Hardly ever think about all that stuff. And also, I was talking to a friend of mine Natasha Vita-More, who is very involved in radical life extension research and while we were mulling about all this it emerged that I really have no interest in living forever. Or for much longer than what people normally do these days. Don’t get me wrong: I have no desire or intention to pop my clogs anytime soon, say within the next 4 – 5 decades – hhh. I do want to have a good innings and genetic predisposition on both sides of my parentage would indicate that this is probably likely to happen – unless shit happens, of course. But, if it does it does… So? I am probably about as much scared of death as the next person, but really no more than that. And plus – I firmly believe in reincarnation. They had a case here years ago with all these babies that started blabbing about a location 100s of kilometers away where they claimed to have wives and children. Turns out it it was all correct. And the babies had been conceived within hours if not minutes of the demise of a group of men who had died in a really bad car crash at a young age. Now, that is irrefutable evidence in my book… Not death then but something. I seem to have spat out a conglomeration of objects which scare me to look at. So, again, as with the jellyfish I must be in the process of confronting something. Except I really have no idea what it might be? Or only a very vague inkling of some sort? And that unsettles me even more somehow? …
Ah well, I am sure all will be revealed in due course. For now I have far more pleasant matters on my mind: Frigg Ragu gave me her collection of poses and these have got to be the best ones ever seen in SL! Oh and – Amina picked up a set of maracas which make you “manbo” (not mambo!) when you wear them. And, I have had my heart set on making a sailors outfit for the longest time. So, speaking of “the chance encounter of two distant realities on an unsuitable level”, I am frantically busy in photoshop right now making the “manbo sailor” outfit! I am sure it will be the hottest seller yet!