When I first signed up to be an “official” blogger for the Unhinged Gatcha Festival I had no hesitation or reservations. As a general rule I don’t commit to things in Second Life, especially not blogging, because I can never guarantee my online availability nor can I predict when the mood to write or take photos will strike me. From roleplay to relationships, events to photography, if I’ve learned anything on this journey it’s that when I have to do something I get stressed out and in turn fuck it up. Can I swear here? Oh well, too late. Unhinged was different though, not just because it was a charity event, but as I mentioned earlier this felt personal and I wanted to help. I wanted to be a part of this and all I had to offer was this blog so I immediately signed up.
Unhinged opened on November 15th and I’ve spent the vast majority of my online time over the last few days hanging out there, meeting all kinds of wonderful people, playing the gatchas, admiring everyone’s creations and admittedly, having WAY too much fun dancing and listening to DJ’s. About the only thing I hadn’t done was blog.
I contacted Ely in a bit of a panic. I wanted to photograph everything, I wanted to write about every single DJ, hostess, and creator who made Unhinged possible. I knew I committed to doing this, I felt it was my obligation to give everyone exposure and do their products justice but I was paralyzed by my own good intentions. Ely has a knack for calming me down and this was no exception. She reminded me that the event was on for a month and that there were several bloggers signed up representing a variety of styles and blog types. She told me to take a deep breath and do it my way.
Right. My way. That’s exactly what I need to do. Except… what is my way?
A quick glance through my blog or Flickr stream and it’s obvious I don’t have a particular avatar look or style in Second Life. I think that’s exaggerated if you only see me here because I purposefully create characters and looks that suit the places I’m visiting or photo sets I’m trying to do. In my day to day Second Life I do gravitate more towards a certain style, but still, I’m not one of those residents who you can see and immediately identify or recognize. That doesn’t really bother me, all the years as a gorean character every one of my purchasing decisions was heavily influenced on whether or not the item fit the genre or the character. I wouldn’t buy something if it didn’t “make sense”. I’m revelling in the freedom from that, completely changing every single item on my avatar sometimes several times a day. It’s what I enjoy, it’s what I do, maybe that is my way?
As for a photography style? I don’t have one. Nope, none, zero, I don’t have a way. I admire those who do, as I glance through my Flickr contacts I see photos and even from a thumbnail I know whose work it is. I envy that a bit but I’m nowhere near there yet. I’m still deliberately experimenting, stretching myself trying to learn new techniques. Every set I think about composition, angles, lighting, depth of field and save dozens of images to my desktop to review later. I chose the ones that feel right, the ones that tell a story. The ones that best match the environment and what I want to write about. Those images rarely have any relation to previous posts or photographs but that’s ok, this whole process is about learning, and for as long as I have new things to try I won’t know what my way is.
That brings us to my blog. I’ve invested a lot of time into this Renoobed Project over the last year, it’s so intertwined with my Second Life experience, with not only what I do but who I am. I don’t have a lot of readers, the majority of friends never read this unless I sent them a link, and even then I think it’s polite obligatory skim read that usually results in feedback like “Nice”. Gee, thanks guys! I can’t really blame them, some people aren’t into reading blogs and heaven knows I ramble like it is my job. Still, those two or three people, and you know who you are, who notice on their own that I’ve posted, who contact me to discuss what I’ve written mean more to me than I adequately express. There is nothing more truly personal, more special, than someone taking an interest in what you do, in what’s important to you, and I treasure them for it. Since this blog is such a big part of what I do, surely I can clearly identify my style as a blogger and the purpose of this site… right? Well you’d think so, but apparently not. I do try with most posts to include something to do or see in SL, but the topics range from breedables to music to fashion to photography and like this post, a heavy handed peppering of my ramblings. It certainly isn’t a fashion blog, there is too much writing to be a photography blog, and though I hope people get ideas of places to go in SL it’s not really a travel and exploration blog either.
Well isn’t this a predicament. I have no look, no style, no voice. How the hell am I supposed to have a way? As I chewed on those questions I retreated into my comfort zone, inertia. As I danced the nights away at Unhinged, trying on the various items I’d been collecting, I felt the inspiration gathering in the corner of my eye but it wasn’t quite ready yet. The sounds of the Gothika DJ’s who came to spin combined with these Butterfly Wings from Fairlock Industries to tickle my creativity in a way that I can’t force, that I can’t do on my own, that I rely on others to feed off.
When Shane Fairlock himself appeared before me I showed him the look I was thinking of blogging but explained to him that I was missing one final piece in order to make it happen, I didn’t know where to take the pictures. He had a solution for that, and teleported me to his club and store. The minute I arrived the hypnotizing effects of the ever changing colored lights and the music stream pulled the vision that had been dancing in my peripheral vision into focus and this post was born, complete with soundtrack (thank you to DJ Tracer).
So, in the end did I discover my way? Oh I don’t know… a panic attack, identity crisis, support from friends, procrastination masked as socializing, overthinking to the point of paralysis, a collection of inspiration from creators, locations and DJ’s in Second Life that resulted in a photoshoot and verbal purge of a blog post? Yup, I’m pretty much sure that is my way. Patent pending.
Unhinged was supposed to kick off with one 24 hour party, but DJ’s are continuing to sign up. You can see a list of upcoming set here. http://unhingedsl.com/2012/11/18/new-sets-added/
The Unhinged Gatcha Festival runs until December 15th and you can see a list of Unhinged Merchants and photos of their booths is here. http://unhingedsl.com/2012/11/17/all-merchants-booths-for-unhinged/
A special thank you to my family, the Happy Clams of Organica, for the generous donation they made to this cause. Thank you for your support.
Hair: *Alice Project* Steph II – White/Violet (available at Unhinged)
Butterfly Wings: [FI] PowerPulse Butterfly Wings by Fairlock Industries (available at Unhinged)
Eye Piece: [FI] – PowerPulse Optik by Fairlock Industries (available at Unhinged)
Skin: Skin Monster Silver 4 (available at Unhinged)
Makeup Tattoo: PMD The skully lashes #8 by Pin Me Down (available at Unhinged)
Mesh Eyes: Najwa Eye (Mist) by Bilo (available at Unhinged)
The Unhinged Gatcha Fair
Mesh boots, Waist Corset and Neck Corset: VIRON M by [ROSAL]
GynoiD Black Latex by [NeurolaB Inc.]
All poses by Del May
Photo Location Fairlock Industries Store and Nightclub