Chrome’s Burning Life Photos Now on flickr

Like many others, Chrome spent some time wandering around the Burning Life festival in Second Life last week, shootin’ some pitchas. In the photo above, he is seen at the entrance to IO, Dizzy Banjo‘s cosmic intergalactic journey built – believe it or not – out of nothing more than ones and zeros. (smiles)

See the entire slide show of Chrome’s photos at flckr.

Click image to see full size.

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When A Man Builds A Woman

Can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else...

Couldn’t help singing that old Percy Sledge classic, either, as I slowly put together my latest alt, Juliette. As a Second Life blogger, photographer and artist, it’s nice to have a stealth avatar to move smoothly and quietly – and anonymously – through the metaverse, in search of action. It’s become even more crucial now that Chrome has become so damn popular. I don’t know what it is about that guy, but he can’t log in without running ino a shit storm of IMs these days. Me, I prefer things a bit quieter. I like to be able to observe, think and create on the fly, without all the distractions of fame – or notoriety, as the case may be.

So, I decided a while ago that I would develop a pretty strong bench of backup avs that I could call on for a variety of roles, depending upon the state of play on any given day. Thus, la mia Capo di tutti capi, Chrome Underwood- handsome, young, mysterious and worldly – gets to do most of the heavy lifting. He’s the go-to guy for the paparazzi, the art openings, social events, business meetings and the like. Poor fellow.

Fortunately for him, though, he has an identical twin, Manhattan, who has proven to be more of an adventurer and is thus free to wander the seven seas of the Metaverse like a virtual gypsy. He’s the one who’s more than likely to be found slipping through cracks in the sidewalk in search of the original Nexus Prime, gliding down a darkened alley in Kowloon, or meditating in silence at Gion. He is l’artista in azione, the artist in action.

Next, I added Rooster, a leathery old former Special Forces guy who’s probably the toughest member of the team, and to be quite honest, doesn’t take too kindly to being bossed around by these younger guys. So, in order to soften some of the rough edges, and smooth some ruffled feathers, I introduced them all to Juliette. They immediately quieted down, and even got a little starry-eyed. It was, to be honest, a bit embarassing.

Though I’ve only been on a few shopping trips with her to set up her basic appearance thus far, I’ve already begun to learn that wherever Juliette goes, if there are any male avs in the vicinity, the temperature goes up at least a couple of degrees Linden. Since she is basically a lab rat, though (sorry, honey), I only allow her to flirt a bit and then provide her with a clever excuse to slip out of the conversation. Oops! Gotta run. Time for the kids to take their Ritalin.

I have a lot more sympathy for women already, though. Man, this is a lot of work. I wonder if there are any stores in Second Life that sell pepper spray.

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New Show Opens at Ruttan Gallery

Worked well into the night and up early this morning, setting up the first inworld exhibit of my digital paintings, to be held at the Ruttan Gallery in Cetus all this month. Until just over a year ago I had been quietly working in my studio; scanning, photographing, drawing, painting, sampling, etc. – doing my digital thing – when I got the call.

Asked to join a team that would create a virtual campus for the Santa Barbara City College, I immediately said hell yes, and a few days later walked through the magic mirror into Second Life, thus beginning my virtual existence as Chrome Underwood and, simultaneously, changing my first life forever. And, as of today, thus beginning my virtual art career.

While primarily abstract in nature, these works nevertheless contain elements of… well, look, something for everybody…. snippets of cars rusting in the Mojave Desert, a sample from a Kandinsky painting here, graffiti from the streets of Manhattan there, a scrap of an old drawing – all thrown into the blender and whipped into a pretty heady digital meringue. A veritable digital patchwork quilt show.

But, you know,  when you think about it, the flexibility of digital imaging is actually pretty amazing. Many of these images, for instance, already exist as large scale canvases and have been exhibited around So-Cal; some are now in personal collections; some hang on the walls of my Santa Barbara home.  Several of them were even displayed on large hi-def flat-screen TVs in a national exhibit at the Butler Institute of American Art. For a more casual viewing, you can also see them at my flckr gallery.

I’d also like to express my sincere thanks to Xander Ruttan and his staff, Alexxa Laval & Jonah Zenovka, for their professional expertise and immense patience during the setup. The show looks fabulous.

Visit Ruttan Gallery during the month of October and see the digital paintings of Chrome Underwood

Photo, above: Chrome at Ruttan Gallery. Click to see full-size image.

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Do Avatars Sleep?

Well, they appear to when their master mind is afk; but I would suggest that it is akin to the sleep of zombies; ie, a mere momentary suspension of activities. It occurred to me the other night, though, while watching an episode of True Blood, that avatars may have more in common with vampires. They don’t breathe, they have no blood, they don’t age and can theoretically live forever, and occasionally even have fangs; hey, one even bit me on the neck the other night on Help Island. I brushed off the bite marks and the invitation to the vampire ball, but it started me thinking.

As I said in my latest post on mikimojo, one of my favorite pastimes is to shoot pictures of Things I Found on Television, so I’m having a mini-exhibit of some of my faves. I took this painterly masterpiece during the fourth episode of my favorite vampire fantasy on HBO. In this scene Bill grabs Sookie and runs out the back door of Fangtasia, the big vamp club in N’Orleans right after the cops burst in through the front.

Click image to see full size

Tuesday…. oops. Fangtasia is in Shreveport. How utterly stupid of me.

Wednesday… By the way, can an avatar see itself in a mirror? I’m gonna have to go check that one out.

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Artist Achieves Immortality, Sort Of

Chrome standing in front of his latest work, The Possibility of Physical Immortality in the Mind of Someone Famous. The 10-foot high glass tank installation contains British artist Damien Hirst suspended in 2200 gallons of formaldehyde.

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Desolation Angels

Speaking of On the Road, it wasn’t all that long ago that Chrome, the immortal bohemian artist and writer, blew in on a fresh breeze from the New Wilderness, fully formed, jazzed by everything and everyone around him. He touched down briefly in San-Fran-cisco to cast his spell on the Love Generation along with fellow poets Michael McClure and Bob Dylan, seen above, standing outside the Six Gallery in 1965.

He saw the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, while In the rooms around him his friends would come and go, talking of Michelangelo; you know, measuring their lives in coffee spoons, blah, blah, blah. It was so hip to be cool, he once said, that he could barely contain himself. Hence, that legendary road. Ahh, but he was so much older then; he’s younger than that now.

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Tripping the Light Fantastic

Twin brothers Chrome and Manhattan are seen above meeting for the first time in over a year, earlier today. Read the heartwarming story of their reunion, The Light Brothers On the Road, at our twin site, Chrome Never Sleeps.

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The Light Brothers On the Road

It has been many a Linden moon since Chrome and his twin brother, Manhattan, known collectively as The Light Brothers, had gotten together. They lead such busy second lives, you see; there just hasn’t been much room for family get-togethers. Today, though, on a quiet Sunday morning, they decided to hook up, if only for an hour or so, and catch up on old news, new shoes, and the state of the Metaverse. Busy boys.

They decided to meet at Waterhead and, not being big nature lovers, eschewed the nearby trails and explored some of the local roads by cowboy boot instead. Initially, they had intended to take a long ride in Chrome’s vintage WWII army jeep, but for some reason the owner of the land wouldn’t allow them to rez the vehicle. “Protected Land,” it said. Some guy named Linden, I think. God, what a jerk. What the hell are roads for?

One topic of discussion during the long march was the possibility of getting back together again as The Light Brothers. Chrome, the popular writer/artist, and Manhattan, the gypsy musician/photographer, had previously collaborated on a conceptual piece called Crash Landing, a minimalist interpretation of the flying saucer incident in Roswell, New Mexico. It was called ‘conceptual’ because it only happened in their own minds. They’re very avant garde, you know.

The day concluded by each of them sinking his teeth into the other’s neck and drinking about a pint of blood; an old ritual of theirs, which also happened only in their minds, because they actually have no blood. That’s also why they decided not to call themselves The Blood Brothers.

Seen in photo above: Manhattan on the left, and Chrome to the right. Photo by the photographer. Click image to see full size.

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Chrome Never Melts

Our superhero, ever on the alert for danger, is seen just as everything went up in flames last night in Ahern (3, 3, 40). Since Chrome doesn’t begin to melt until the temperature hits 3465 °F, however, he was never in any real danger; but even superheroes take no chances, so he donned his fire-repellent vest moments before, just in case, and walked away unharmed.

Others in the vicinity, apparently, did not fare as well. Chrome will be devoting some of his time today to visiting some of the victims, who were taken to Mercy General Hospital in Dudintsev. (47, 221, 64)

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She approached me from behind as I stood bewitched by the rare midnight blossoming of a mindflower, all but faded from the forest floor. So intent was I on absorbing its perfume that I never heard a sound… so gone that I was knee-deep in bliss when I fell; nothing in the air but her smell, and the voices hidden in the night wind.

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