He’s not quite sure how it happened, but when our Edwardston R. touched a certain picture he had rezzed in his Home o’ Fibs residence and accepted some inventory, he was almost instantly transported to this location. He recognized that it was the same location as in the picture. Long time blog readers of mine (the hoards, the hoards!) will know this to be the infamous 97/97/97 spot in Lanestris, in the black heart of Virtual Hotel Chelsea village in front of the uber-poisonous and noxious Purple Tower. Provencial Edwardston was panicing (“How do I get back home, how do I get back *home*??”) when he remembered he could just hit the home button and return, an escape hatch in effect. He’d learned this trick several days ago.
While he was thinking this, an art kiosk greeted him; he knew the drill from being based so near two of Baker Bloch’s galleries and their own kiosks (Power Tower Gowlery and also Toxic Art Gallery). So why not check out this stranger gallery while he was in the area? Trouble was, he couldn’t find it when walking around on the ground level of the town. He had to use distant vision (which he had only recently discovered as well) to locate the gallery above him at a certain point, and used the sole gallery seating to sit in and lift himself up into it. All of us who’ve been in Second Life for a while know that trick.
But to be honest, he wasn’t that impressed with the art…
… nor what he could see in the other box-sized galleries strewn throughout the rest of the dense urban area. I think the problem was that Edwardston had no pesonal connection with this art, unlike with some of Baker Bloch’s collage work. But I might try to subliminally get him to return and re-check things out here. After all, it was me who made him come here in the first place with the inventory “mistake”, as he thought of it. He’s still very naive to this world. But, in different degrees, we all are.
Edwardston certainly did appreciate the immensity of the virtual Chelsea Hotel itself, the centerpiece of the community. And I think he did understand in some way that this community, this village, was the twin to VWX Town he was searching for, and not long destroyed Pietmond or even the more recently abandoned VWX Town in Philudoria.
Returning home, Edwardston decided it was finally time to suck it up and take a tour of the Toxic Art Gallery located just next door to his home.
He found the art on the first several floors more engaging that what he saw in VHC village (again, because it was more personal to him, and not a comment on the quality of any art involved), but it was only when he spotted a representation of Esbum Michigan in a collage on the 4th and last floor that he really perked up.
And a tiny Baker Bloch was found below Esbum as well. He was about to enter a forested region of what Edwardston knew now was called Real Life, or the real world. But the observing Edwardston was curious about the greener square (or near square) of forest in the collage’s center. The vivid, monochromatic colors looked more like Second Life trees, pine trees to be specific, like the ones in back of the Home o’ Fibs. The Rubi forest was instead populated by a mixture of cypress and eucalyptus trees — not pines — so it couldn’t be a collaged image of that. So Edwardston’s thinking was that we have Esbum here — Second Life avatar — and Baker Bloch — another SL avatar — and perhaps a square of forest from SL, and then real life stuff arranged all around this. Was Baker Bloch attempting to enter the virtual forest but blocked by the surrounding, real forest? Was it like trying to find the center of a concocted labyrinth? And what of the giant Esbum Michigan hovering above? The framing orange dogs (same dog?) showing the way in and the way out?
Then two pictures to the right, Edwardston R. finds another familiar image: the orange, floppy topped entity seen in an Esbum related snapshot found in his inventory not long after arriving in Rubi, an image Edwardston thought might be a representation of himself somehow. Here the being, now equipped with a body for moving about, appears to ascend a mountain beside an L-shaped gorge. The line of white cars in the foreground appear to be heading directly into the gorge, or, better, represent a continuation of the curving line of the gorge within the picture.
The next picture seems to be a direct continuation, with the orange alien transformed into a dingo as he reaches the top of the gorge. The cars in the foreground now avoid coming up the gorge toward him, and instead keep heading down the broad cement highway in the center of the collage, toward a large blackbird. The prominent stick of this picture is upright or “raised”, in contrast with its horizontal twin from the previous collage. “A gate closed, a gate open,” Edwardston thinks at the time.
Then *both* sticks appear in the next collage — Edwardston is just continuing to move to his right, following the gallery walls — along with Baker Bloch again; *5* versions of him, in fact. And it took Edwardston a minute to pick out Esbum Michigan behind the Baker Bloch in the green chair. Edwardston Resident would have had no contact with Hucka Doobie yet, and so wouldn’t know who he was (pointing bee avatar in lower right corner of the work).
Edwardston looked through the rest of the collage collection on the 4th floor, which was actually the entire 20 work Wheeler-Jasper series I created in early 2009. He found more interesting images within, but the ones I’ve illuminated so far still stuck out. Then he teleported to what he thought might be another floor of collages but was instead the roof of the gallery. The alignment between where he was standing on the Toxic Art Gallery and the Church of The Diagonal straight ahead of him (he didn’t know it was named this) struck a chord. Another seed was planted here: the idea of The Diagonal extending across not only the Rubi sim but the whole of the continent he resided upon. This alignment, he knew, could not be accidental. But this day, it was only an observation, and nothing deeper would come of it for a while. He didn’t realize that the very place he’d “accidentally” teleported to in the Virtual Chelsea Hotel community was precisely aligned with this same Diagonal. It would take a while for it to all come together for him.
Looking the opposite way toward Rosieri. I think Edwardston would like to explore the parcel he sees there soon. This is the old home of Coke, an acquaintance I first met way back in 2008 Azure Island days, before I’d even moved to Rubi and the mainland. An original paradise of sorts. I’ll have to tell what I know of her story soon as well.
I next sent Edwardston to the Power Tower Gowlery so that I, baker b., could take a look at a particular collage: the terminal work of the Lis series, and what could be considered the second to last collage of the entire Gilatona-Lis mega-series within the Power Tower. I wanted to compare the imagery of this work with the Judgement card mentioned in the post just below mainly concerned with The Shining.
This is the specific image I wanted to compare it with. I’ll have more to say about all this soon — too long a story to go into here, probably.
Edwardston also revists the Falmouth collage(s) on the floor just above this, again noting the red haired entity.
He uses the conveniently placed teleporter to save a walk back down the various ladders and stairs to his Home’o Fibs next door. Just after then teleporting again up to the second floor (his bedroom) from the first, he notices *two eyeballs* staring back at him from the window. You’ll most likely have to enlarge the below snapshot to see what I’m talking about here. But the illusion is blatant and symmetrically effective.
Edwardston quickly realizes these are two eyeballs from the many in the Wall of Eyes he can view from this window. But he understands the “accident” has meaning as well. Someone *is* looking in on him. He approaches the window and sees in the distance what looks like a brown colored creature, staring up at him or, as he studies it more, perhaps at the newer, oval shaped building in town more to its right. A name suddenly springs to mind: Barrel Building. And the creature is Catman. Edwardston quickly understands that the “creature” is just the trunk of the same palm that produced, within its fronds, the illusion of the backwards turning figure before. But, all the same, he just as strongly knew this was Barrel House and Catman he was staring at through this window, and that Catman is somehow his manifested fear of progressing beyond the prickly, impeding cactuses toward the structure topped by the giant, yarn wielding cat. Quite a yarn (sorry).