Aesthete & Amateur

blog dept-A&A

Overview of Series by Eleanor Medier and Heavy Writer

An unlikely fictitious couple review virtual visual arts. Centered in Second Life®, they role play extreme viewpoints. Eleanor Medier takes the point-of-view of a well-educated professional and Heavy Writer assumes the role of a naive, often humorous, fresh viewpoint. The two contrast as they each enact a drama of trying to convince the other to change. Between them, they question the messages of only the art work itself, not as interviews with the artists. By not having that bias, they approach each work on a purely visual level.

Throughout the series, there is a back story of each pulling pranks and getting even with the other, most typcially surrounding the treatment of Eleanor’s collection of Josef Albers’ paintings, demonstrating that something unattainable can be lived with in Second Life.

The series opens with Eleanor needing Heavy’s help, as usual, to get out of trouble—this time her car breaks down and in the first issue, she is forced to take him to a gallery that she is assigned professionally to review. The story progresses:

A&A portraits1

ISSUE #1:Accidental Attendance
Eleanor’s car breaks down while she is on her way to review the University of Western Australia’s gallery. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, she calls Heavy on her cel phone to rescue her, and thus is forced to take him to the show. They discuss:
Mother by Rebeca Bashly
Heartwood by Fae Varriale
Caravanserai of Fractured Fairy Tales by Eliza Wierwight
Ariadne Spinning by Fuschsia Nightfire

A&A portraits2

ISSUE #2:Dress the Part 
Now that Heavy has a taste of reviewing art, he wants to accompany his critical wife more often. Although he both embarasses her with many of his comments, she also is entertained by his innocent reactions. However, for him to attend the Rose Galleries exhibitions, he needed to dress in a tuxedo, which restricts his usual style. Off the off couple goes to discuss:
Enlightenment by Kylie Angel Sabra
Bladerunner City II and Rain by Bear Silvershade
One Step Closer by Sina Souza
Tarot Series: The Devil and Justice by Bump Squeegee
Paris, London, Marseille by Darcy Mokeev

A&A portraits3

ISSUE #3:Arguing Abstraction
In preparation for their next art installation review, Eleanor decides to teach Heavy about the benefits of abstract art, choosing Josef Albers’ series, Homage to the Square as a fundamental example. Unlike in real life, Eleanor can afford to live with these works in simulated realism, and so decorates their living room. Heavy, unhappy with her choice, does carry the various theme discussed their into the review of:
When the Mind’s Eye Listens by Nino Vichan
Rust by Cica Ghost
Ascension by Mantis Oh

 A&A portraits4ISSUE #4: “The Accident and the Albers
Heavy inherits a garage with vintage cars from his uncle. Eleanor, upon visiting the garage dressed completely inappropriately, jumps into one of the classic  cars he has rejuvenated and crashes one into the other. He is furious, but holds back his anger while they go on their gallery review. But upon her going out of town to an art conference, he enacts his revenge. But in the meantime, enjoy their discussion of:
Shadow of a Nightmare Past by Moeuhane Sandalwood
Purgatory – Laeuterungsberg by ChapTer Kronfeld
The Backyard by Haveit Neox

A&A portraits5

ISSUE #5: “Revenge versus Sacrifice
Eleanor comes home from her art conference to discover a surprise from Heavy. At first, she thinks it is a practical joke, but when she finds out he is serious, then it is her turn to hide her anger and plot her revenge while they run off to review several artists at the Twilight Gallery. Overall they agree, but one takes a more literal approach and the other a more symbolic:
A Bed, When Eyes Pretend, and Dashboard by Fran Benoir
Berlin Montage 4 by Samara Barzane
Dinner Time by Molly Bloom

A&A issue 6 fishingISSUE #6: “Accident versus Intention
• Part 1: Background story. Heavy is suspicious that Eleanor is so cooperative and even seems enthusiastic about a fishing trip. However much as he tried to prepare, he did not anticipate how she plotted revenge for his sale of her precious Albers painting. The downturn of Heavys luck did not dampen his spirits, which increased hers considerably, when they embarked to review:
• Part 2: Ally Aeon studio.
• Part 3: Ginger Lorakeet gallery.
• Part 4: Xirana at Active Gallery

A&A portraits7ISSUE #7: “Mysterious versus Obvious Realism
• Part 1:  Background storyThis unlikely couple continues their aesthetic competition by having a bet on who could purchase a work of art that has the highest value for the least spent. They also continue their bantering while visiting the gorgeous Angelwood Bay Galleries. Choosing amongst the dozen or so artists, two artists work spoke to them in different ways:

• Part 2: Gem Preiz (“Aliens or Ancients”)
• Part 3: Liz Lemondrop (“Views to the Outside”)
Both show at the beautiful Angelwood Bay Galleries

A&A #8 heavy and eleanorISSUE #8: “The Fixer
Part 1: Continuing storyAgainst a background of copyright strife, the fictional couple continues their saga of educating one another. Heavy inadvertently discovers a new form of justice, while Eleanor coordinates their next critique
Part 2: The Freedom Project from the University of Western Australia
As leaders of the virtual visual art community, UWA continues their innovative exhibits by presenting the works of artists disabled in the real world, but reborn into the virtual opportunities. FreeWee Ling curated this rich collection.
ONLINE Artists reviewed: Krystali Rabeni, “A Helping Hand”; Megadeus, “Mental Prison”; Slatan Dryke, “Yonder”; iSkye Silverweb, “Speechless Freedom”
IN-WORLD artists reviewed: Traskin Snakeankle, “Lifeline”; Ama Avro, “Passage”; ParkArt Collaborative, “Freedom”; Talia Sunsong, “Freedom Flight”

A&A portraits9ISSUE #9: Seeking Visual Enlightenment
The roleplaying couple, Eleanor Medier and Heavy Writer, discover a work of art that she loves and he hates. Of course that was her objective—to debate the validity of abstraction. Eleanor brings the sculpture home, and installs it in their garden so that Heavy can learn what it is like to live with a work of art that is never the same. When he arrives home, they discuss  “Hephaestus Plantonicator,” Social Sculpture by DanCoyote, and experiment with its various forms. The debate leads them to explore interaction and the role of the artist versus the spectator. Who wins the debate in the end is obvious to each of them.

A&A portraits10ISSUE 10
Part 1:  Heavy Writer describes his reaction to an art-addicted over-spending wife in“Desperate Measures
Parts 2 and 3: Eleanor Medier has clear aesthetic priorities in “Focus Wins over Distractions” with an in-world review of Amona Savira at The Galleries: East
Part 4: The critics explore further at The Galleries: EAST with a review of collages by Janine Portal.
Parts 5 and 6: By seeing the work of Louly Loon at The Galleries: West, the critical couple continued to Space 4 Art to see more works by this time-addicted artist.


The Aesthete and the Amateur 11ISSUE 11 “The Power of Contrast

Visiting Space 4 Art Galleries, the qualified art critic, Eleanor Medier, to “enlighten” her rather arrogantly ignorant fictitious husband, Heavy Writer, of virtual art’s significance. In the large gallery complex, several of the exhibits stand out for discussion:

ChapTer Kronfeld presents highly original figurative drawings with the simplest and most low-tech of materials.

Harter Fall creates kinetic abstractions that impresses Heavy enough to give hope to Eleanor that he is learning the importance of abstraction.

Asmita Duranjaya challenges notions of sexuality, community, and referential images in “Lesbos.”

The Aesthete and the Amateur 12ISSUE 12 “History Rhymes

Heavy discovers the installations by Rose Borchovski, proud that he displays his appreciation for immersive aesthetic experiences to his overly-critical partner, Eleanor Medier. The pair drops into the narrative sequence of interlinking settings, much in common with a play.

Rose Borchovski takes risks by expressing the devastation of war through the extremes of positive and negative human nature. Elegant and original, the worst in mankind is balanced by the best—the strength of love’s connection.

But Heavy Writer has a tough time. In his quest for an enriching life, he discovers that he has to sacrifice the long-term for the short-term when handling an art-addicted, over-spending partner. He learns more about the business side of art in “No Man’s Land

Issues #13 and #14 had to move over editorially for two in-depth critical articles written by Eleanor Medier, fulfilling her mission as an art critic, while she drags the ever-distracted Heavy along, when she can get his attention.

The Aesthete and the Amateur 15ISSUE 15 “Fragile Confrontations

Heavy Writer and Eleanor Medier review Mistero Hifeng’s installation for his grant from The Linden Endowment for the Arts to build an entire sim. Captivated by the segments, the reviewers explore the continuity and overall dynamic messages. Many of these works continue to be on display around the grid even though the LEA shows have a time-span.

Eleanor and Heavy have adapted to life on the run, and prefer to have no political allegiances. Their art collection is so valuable, works can be sole one-by-one to pay for having a good time when visiting ports of call.

The Aesthete and the Amateur 16ISSUE 16 “Symbolic Extremes

Eleanor Medier became so absorbed in writing about Symbolism that she had to discuss two of the artists with Heavy Writer, her out-spoken and uninhibited husband. She chose two artists on the opposite ends of the symbolic spectrum, both in concepts and in styles.

Flying in hot air balloon to two selected destinations, this time, Heavy was not surprised to find himself in Talullah Winterwolf’s show, but Moondrift Tomorrow’s works were a surprise. Pleased by the contrast, he left the discussion feeling satisfied that he convinced Eleanor how narrative art is fun.


Published in complimentary versions: in-world and online.
— The in-world magazine has topics that relate to those who understand the virtual context, including photographs, parallel articles. It has tabs for information landmarks, and web links.
— The online magazine expresses what the virtual world offers the real one. It is a mirror that reflects parallel articles, hot topics, and provides more links.

Contributions are encouraged if covering topics relevant to real world readers.

Comments and opinions are also encouraged:

Receive copies of the magazine (see Eleanor Medier’s Picks in-world):
• in-world kiosks in selected areas around the grid
• The Sim Street Journal Publishing virtual office
• Second Life Marketplace

Advertising Opportunities to reach subscribers and viewers both in-world and out

– – – – – – – – – – – – –  CONTACTS:

Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of virtual to real commerce and culture.







Eleanor Medier (avatar of Liane Sebastian)






Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.






Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of second to first life.
© 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.

Receive copies of the magazine
(see Eleanor Picks in-world):
• in-world kiosks in selected areas around the grid
• The Sim Street Journal Publishing virtual office
• Book Island
• Marketplace

The Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of second to first life.
© 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.