Images and symbolism…

Images can evoke emotions, memories, and set off chains of thought — or they can just puzzle people — or anger them or distress them. The visual parts of the brain are very connected to both the rational and emotional portions.

Show the image above to a devout 13th century Benedictine monk in Italy, a 19th century Indian Brahmin saddhu, a 20th century Japanese Shinto samurai warrior, or a 21st century American teen, and the reactions would be all over the map. And since humans tend to fit images into stories, it would be interesting to have each of these hypothetical viewers of this image write a short story based on this painting.

As an exercise, you might want to do that now.

Later, if anyone wants to know what’s going on with the dude with all the arrows in hime, you can either imaginatively Google to figure it all out, or you could email the writer of this blog. How? Ah, now there’s another mystery!

Photo Contest: You have more time!

Sometimes real life gets in the way, but in this case those who are procrastinators have a great opportunity to do their entries in the June contest a bit later than planned. Topic: “Monochrome With Contrast Color”!

The entertainment normally slated for the photo awards will be postponed too. Though who want to dance are, however, encouraged to do so in real life in their living rooms — with the windows closed. No sense provoking the neighbors!

Visualization is difficult!

One of the more challenging things in a visual person’s life is imagining a detailed image in one’s head. We think we have ‘complete memories’ of things we’ve seen until we (for example) try to do a floor plan of a house we lived in a few decades ago, or trying to sketch out the layout of a garden from memory, or draw a detailed map of the streets in a half mile radius of our homes. Not so easy!

Without looking at a photo, tell me what color your mother’s eyes were or are. And then do the same for your father. And the first member of the opposite sex you ever were intimate with. Yep. We fool ourselves!

One of the virtues (or faults) of photographs are that they show things as they were — to the point that after a while we’re no longer sure whether the pictures in our heads are memories of reality or memories of a photograph.

This is a problem in art, since one has the onorous task of decided between realism, total fantasy, or that foggy area between them where we put mountains where they never were, but try to cover them with trees that are detailed copies of ‘real’ trees. Decision after decision!

And then there is post-production decisions about photos we have taken, either in real life or in our virtual world where we can instantly change time of day, angle of sunlight, color of clouds, transparency of water, and so on.

Perhaps the images we create are less “creative endeavors” and more a map of our minds and how we made hundreds of decisions.

Lots of classes this month in The Learning Center!

Hermes Kondor teaching his class: “Zen Photography: The Magic of Smaller Things”


Wren Carling Parker has set up a series of photography related classes this month at The FOCUS Learning Center, on the main FOCUS Quadrangle — all free.

On Thursday, June 16th, Lord Voxel (1 am SLT) will explore “Lighting in Firestorm“. To avoid confusion, yes, Lord Voxel’s class will indeed be a 1 am SLT! ←

On Wednesday, June 22, Kitten (aka ‘Joaannna’) will examine “Details in the Landscape”. This class, also, will begin a 1 pm SLT.

And on Wednesday, June 29, Wren Carling Parker will do Part Two on Black Dragon, “The Poser”. She is offering two session of this class, one at 10 am SLT, and the other at 6 pm SLT.

All of these classes will be given in local voice, so please be sure to have your headsets/voice enabled. As a courtesy all attendees are asked to keep their voice muted when not speaking. Much as we want to hear your dog barking or that distant voice saying, “But I’m hungry!” not everyone in class may feel that way. Oh, no registration required.

First Friday comes but once a month!

Today, FRIDAY, JUNE 3, is the first Friday of this month: Dancing and live music will start at 6 pm SLT with our favorite Canadian, Maxmillion Kleene, to be follow at 7 pm SLT byDj Bray. Tonight will also mark the opening of new art at our FOCUS galleries. We encourage you to take breaks from dancing and check out our Main Gallery, FAIR (FOCUS AArtist In Residence), and the Exploratorium of Art.

And for those who have missed Maxmillion Kleene, who streams into SL live from Niagara Falls, Canada, tonight will be a good day to start hearing him sing. His repertoire ranges from old classics (CCR to Johnny Cash) to fun, newer hip stuff (Jack Johnson, Foo Fighters, Green Day, and Jason Mraz).

Also, the June issue of FOCUS Magazine, out today or tomorrow at the latests, promises to be interesting as Angela Thespian, among others, has been exploring art and photography outside of Second Life in other worlds (or grids). Expect a somewhat different issue than many past.

Heads Up: FOCUS Magazine

More later, but the June issue, due out very shortly, promises to be interesting as Angela Thespian, among others, has been exploring art and photography outside of Second Life in other worlds (or grids). Expect a somewhat different issue than many past.

Here’s a photo taken on one such alternative ‘planet’: Alternate Metaverse. There are hundreds of other grids, each reflecting the interests, skills, and orientation of their owners. It’s a big universe out there, folks! And a lot of great opportunities for both artists and photographers.

Saturday: A busy day at FOCUS. Again!

Between FAIR and A Thousand Words coffeehouse, a new and beautiful building….

Today will be a busy one at FOCUS! The winners of the monthly photo contest (Topic: “Motion”) will be announced at today’s event, starting at 11 am SLT. Mimi Carpenter will provide an hour of music to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Pamela Irelund Collection of Art in the newly opened center on the FOCUS Quadrangle. Open to all, our rich collection of art and photography has been enriched by Pamela’s generosity and eagerness to share. The impressive collection of work that Pamela has assembled is not to be missed.

Mimi Carpenter’s style is both distinctive and reassuring: balm for the soul.

Mimi Carpenter’s distinctively gentle music, both vocal and guiltar, has graced the Second Life music scene for over a decade. Her travels and experiences living in Europe (among other places) have deepened her development as a performer. She has developed an extensive song list that includes Rock, Indie, and Pop music; she sings in French, German, and English. A very eclectic person!

Here’s a song in French, should you want a preview: .

Tonight we will gather…

The winners of the monthly photo contest (Topic: “Motion”) will be announced tonight at 7 pm. Tonight’s events will start with Grace Loudon singing at 6 pm SLT.

Due to the recent violence in Uvalde, Texas, USA, and other horrific evil like it around the world, Connie Jean — who writes the Virtually Spiritual article every month in FOCUS Magazine — will then lead a meditation at 7 pm SLT.

A thought: The best way to empty the world of darkness is to create light. Let’s approach tonight in that spirit.