Last night, I visited the Radio Days exhibition, a homage to the work of AM Radio. (Not “an homage” as the poster says ‘cos i don’t speak English that way. I’m Lollygagger Lane born and bred, remember? The self behind the self is no better, neither.)
It saddens me deeply that AM Radio’s sims at IDIA are going to be closed within 6 months. When I was a very lost avatar wondering what SL was for and where I should go, a friend called Smiling Sands took me on a tour to see all the most fantastical art of SL. Our first stop was IDIA, and there was this wheat field landscape with a blooming great locomotive inside it – now how the hell did that get there? Something shifted inside my pixelated heart and I knew began to see why I wanted to stay in this world : someone had to try to solve mysteries like these.
AM’s landscapes hold many poignant SL memories for me: Bettina Tizzy calling the Not Possible in Second Life group over to The Far Away because AM Radio was there handing out a free roadsters ; ceremonially setting fire to those same fields with the Hot Stilt Bitches when the installation as due to be dismantled; taking a group of RL multimedia students in a Malaysian classroom through the computer screen and into the atmospheric snowy landscape of The Quiet; spraying graffiti on the side of a freight train.
This exhibition at RoHaus Art Gallery is an excellent celebration of the work of this incredible artist and I was most impressed interpretations of the landscapes by photographers Raven Haalan, PJ Trenton, and Stephen Venkman and Rowan Derryth. My favourite picture of all was Venkman’s witty spin on the classic American Gothic.
Quite apart from the art, this gallery space is a lovely place to relax, and there’s even a balcony where you can sip a glass of good red wine while admiring the view.
There’s more of AM Radio’s work beyond the gallery. A door underneath the windmill takes you up to a wheat field in the sky – and yes, there’s the train. The Refuge house next door houses some of the artists own pictures and artifacts, co-curated by Derryth & Trenton.