Art in Second Life 2022 (19) Stillborn by Lex Machine

I got a group message from Lex Machine (Archetype11 Nova) announcing the opening of “Stillborn“, his latest installation.

Lex Machine (Archetype11 Nova) was formerly known as Schmexysbuddy Resident and created the Hotel California sims, which I visited in 2019 (read here and here). I saw Lex Machine’s installation “Isolation’s Passengers” in 2020 (read here), his installations Bermuda Locket (read here), “The House that Love Built” (read here), Numb (read here) and Nero (read here) in 2021 – and now “Stillborn” is his first installation of 2022.

Impressions of “Stillborn” by Lex Machine (1) – overview pictures

Lex Machine’s installations are collections of art objects from different artists, some of the objects were not intended to be art. Lex’ art is arranging them in his own way and setting them into a context and into an intriguing environment. As the title implies “Stillborn” is not happy art, a visit makes you thinking.  I use to zoom out first when I visit an installation or sim to get an overview and a first impression. If you look at “Stillborn” zoomed out what catches your eye first are bones, parts of a huge skeleton maybe of an dinosaur. The bones lay on and levitate above the island.
On a second view you notice the levitating bird cages and some oversized figures, one sitting on the island and a black and a white figure in the water at the shore.

Impressions of “Stillborn” by Lex Machine (2) – close to the landing point

Where you land is a colourful flowerbed, a real contrast to figures and the mood “Stillborn” radiates. There are 2 dollcases with oversized dolls. Their eyes are glowing like crazy. Next to one of the dollcases sits another oversized female with glowing crazy eyes. She has some syringes in her body. Then there is this faceless figure between the two dollcases which is wrapped in chains … and finally right beind the dollcases is a head without a skullcap and the head bearthes out bones.

Wlaking more towards inside you see several kneeling figures who try to protect themselves maybe in order not to be hit by one of the bones, the are squatted down like babies. And they have multiple heads are hands growing out of their bodies, abnormalities which can be found at stillborns.

Impressions of “Stillborn” by Lex Machine (3)

A bit apart from the stillborns you find a crying oversized figure sitting on the island. You can literally feel the pain the person is experiencing. She sits between the above mentioned birdcages, in which are birdlike beings with a clock between the wings, a symbol for the time flying by so quickly?

As usual the symbolism of Lex Machine’s installation “Stillborn” is hard to grasp. I once met Lex when I visited “Numb” (read here). Lex was a soldier and lost brothers in arms to suicide. In the end more veterans commit suicide than are killed in action. They have memories of things that used to kill people and the pictures drive them nuts. Far too often the only cure given are drugs … with the known results. At least some elements on “Stillborn” do remind me of this background, like the figure in chains, the female getting drugs, the head without a skullcap. It might be that Lex is expressing the pain about a stillborn, an event that is very hard to get over, something you don’t wish for anyone. I don’t know it.  And how do the two figures kneeling at the shore fit into this picture?
What I know is that the composition of art objects is again very effectful and impressing.

Impressions of “Stillborn” by Lex Machine (4)

I checked a few artists and builders of the objects collected and arranged at “Stillborn“, not of all: ЈiPe (jipe loon), Stabitha (what88 zond), Crai Conundrum, Eric Bloodrose, aki69, wassaabii, NESS (donotgivemyself), MedievalFantasy, Rogue Falconer and Galathir Darkstone, who made the dinosaur skeleton. Some of the names sounded familiar and I came across them on other installations of Lex. Some were new though.

Thank you Lex for another installation that made me thinking.

Landmark to “Stillborn” by Lex Machine

Art in Second Life 2021 (86) “Nero” by Lex Machine

I have covered Lex Machine (Archetype11 Nova)’s art installation already several time and just lately I saw the intallation “Numb” (read here). Lex told me that he also just had finished another installation at SLEA and gave me the direct landmark to it. The installation is called “Nero” and shall be open for the public until end of September.

Impressions of “Nero” by Lex Machine – overview / view at the landing point / theather and guitarist

Nero” is an artfully arranged installation with objects from other artists and builders. Lex’s artful way to arrange the objects, to combine them, place them into different contexts and backgrounds and to build a relation between them is his particular style (which I like a lot). As for as I found out for “Nero” Lex used art and obejcts from: Rena (guraa), Rebeca Bashly, omronAK (anthonymorfy), Brotherchic (xxalexmodelxx), Chunker Chip Cookie (Jamie Rozenberg), Tah (Tahiti Rae), Alir Flow, Ness (donotgivemyself), Gwen von Aurora (Sweetgwendoline Bailey), Ganja Brune, Bryn Oh, Nams (Nama Gearz), Jogi Schultz (yogijo), Wassa (wassaabii) and Arken Soothsayer. Wow, what a long list and I’m not sure if I got them all.

I made a bird eye’s view of “Nero” and gave most objects a name. At the central landing at SLEA you can grab a notecard about “Nero” and about Lex Machine. In this notecard Lex wrote about “Nero“:
With this arrangement I tried to tell an open ended story of 4 different perspectives: The world with evidence of it’s end standing in front of it and the reaction of being happy to just wiggle the rest of it’s sand to the bottom of the hour glass, it’s dependency upon the virtual realms of sedation and all those oh so cool different masks it lets us all wear, the dichotomy of religion….it’s nurturing nature it’s other dark sides of fear and control, and some sign of hope behind it all. At the center is something more personal…the core of what causes this brain to move in these directions. To know more of those, you will have to ask me personally. I play those truths closer to my own chest.

Remark: The hour glasses are around the guitarist who plays in front of the theater.

Impressions of “Nero” by Lex Machine (1)

Lex Machine asked to play with the environment settings for getting different impressions of “Nero“. I didn’t do that for this isntallation but you can get quite dark or quite sunny and happy pictures when you do, it’s up to you only – so try it!

In his art installations Lex tries to come to terms with his experiences as a combat soldier, with all the misery and hardship, with the violence and with the pictures that are literally burned into his memory. Art helps him (and maybe others) to express his thoughts and to rebuild his life. I personally am always touched and intrigued by his work.

Impressions of “Nero” by Lex Machine (2)

Thank you Lex Machine (Archetype11 Nova) for another great installation. Thank you to Tansee and all others involved for curating SLEA. I did enjoy my visit.

Direct landmark to “Nero” at SLEA Region 4 NE
Landmark to Second Life Endowment for the Arts SLEA
Lex Machine (archetype11 Nova)’s flickr