360 GRADI MAGAZINE January/February 2021

360.gradi.magazine

The January/February 2021 issue of 360GRADI Magazine is online!
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360 GRADI

Magazine

ARTISTA

CHERRY MANGA

Cherry Manga is a well-known artist in

the virtual world of SL.

She creates works that have an

extraordinary visual and emotional.

SADYCAT LITTLEPAWS:

THE VERSATILE STYLE

OF A SUCCESSFUL

BLOGGER

P hotography

NEUROESTHETICS: BRAIN,

EMPATHY AND EXPERIENCE

OF BEAUTY

Second Life VALENTINA E.

Why do images attract the viewer so

much? One of the main activities in

SL is the photographer: have we ever

wondered what attracts us most to

photographs?

A dress store with an unmistakable

style, which is characterized by class,

elegance and originality. We know

Valentina in this exclusive interview.

360 GRADI

JANUARY FEBRUARY 2021 - N. 3

1


CONTENT

18

Why

NEUROAESTHETICS:

BRAIN, EMPATHY

AND EXPERIENCE OF

BEAUTY

do images attract

the viewer so much? One

of the main activities in

SL is the photographer:

have we ever wondered

what attracts us most to

photographs?

54

A

HAZELNUT’S

KINGDOM

refined location,

with Mediterranean

style and vintage

French-style

buildings. There are

many activities to

entertain the visitor.

74

A

SLICE OF

HEAVEN

charming winter

destination that

will soon change to

its spring version.

Let’s get to know it

through the eyes of

Serena Amato.

92

Cherry

CHERRY

MANGA

Manga is a

well-known artist

in the virtual world

of SL. She creates

works that have

an extraordinary

visual and emotional

impact.

126

An

DORIAN KASH

important male

voice in the Italian

music scene. An

artist that makes

the musical evening

a success in every

occasion.

142

Style,

VALENTINA E.

class, originality

are just some of

the characteristics

of Valentina E., a

brand that shines in

the scenario of the

fashion world of SL.

160 A

SADYCAT

LITTLEPAWS

successful

photographer,

blogger and blogger

manager, SadyCat

has a versatile style

that can adapt to the

many demands of

the fashion world.

172

Spectacular

CHOSEN ON

FLICKR

images

found on Flickr.

Let’s explore new

artists.

360 GRADI MAGAZINE is the magazine that covers Second Life at 360°. Destinations, Art, Music, Fashion, Photography, Furniture and Decoration

all in one bimonthly magazine. You can read the magazine on the web, visiting our YUMPU page.

2 360 GRADI


Welcome to issue #3 of 360 GRADI MAGAZINE.

92 126 160

CHERRY MANGA

DORIAN KASH

SADYCAT

LITTLEPAWS

An artist capable of

creating works that have

an extraordinary visual

and emotional impact.

An important musical

artist and reference in the

Italian music scene.

A successful

photographer, blogger

and blogger manager, she

features a versatile style.

WELCOME

Welcome to issue 3 of the magazine.

In this third issue, 360GRADI introduces

Serena Amato, an occasional contributor

to the “destinations” section who allows

us to explore Luane’s World through her

eyes.

We’ll get to know Dorian Kash, an

important musical artist on the Italian

scene.

We will explore the art of Cherry Manga

capable of arousing great emotional and

visual impact.

For the area related to the human mind,

which is of great interest, Degoya will

talk to us about how the mind reacts to

beauty and images.

Finally we will meet in person Valentina

Evangelista, one of the finest designers

in Second Life.

I invite you to be an active part, telling

us your impressions and/or ideas/

suggestions.

Enjoy reading!

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TEAM

LADMILLA VAN MISOINDITE

SERENA

HEAD OF ART

COLUMN

HEAD OF MUSIC

COLUMN

HEAD OF

FASHION

COLUMN

ASSISTANT

DESTINATIONS

COLUMN

Artist and Owner of

THE EDGE Gallery.

Dj , Designer AND

Architect Planning.

Model and Fashion

Event Manager.

Occasional

contributor to

destinations.

4 360 GRADI


JARLA

VIOLET

DEGOYA

HEAD OF

PHOTOGRAPHY

COLUMN

Photographer.

HEAD OF

MARKETING

COLUMN

Social Media

Marketing expert.

HEAD OF BRAIN, MIND

AND VIRTUAL REALITY

COLUMN

Psychiatrist.

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EDITOR NOTES

We have reached the third issue of 360GRADI Magazine.

The first novelty

I would like to

introduce is the entry

into the team, albeit

occasionally, of Serena

Domenici. This is an

exciting collaboration

because Serena loves

to write, and she does

it with passion. I hope

she will decide to be

a permanent part of

the team, giving the

magazine a significant

added value in the

“destinations” sector.

The first novelty I would like to introduce is the entry into the

team, albeit occasionally, of Serena Domenici. This is an exciting

collaboration because Serena loves to write, and she does it

with passion. I hope she will decide to be a permanent part of

the team, giving the magazine a significant added value in the

“destinations” sector.

The “brain, mind, and virtual reality” column has a huge success,

thanks to Degoya Galthie’s professionalism. I’m getting a lot of

positive feedback, and I’m delighted.

In this issue, we will talk about the artistic side of Cherry Manga,

a very well known artist in the Second Life scenario. Her

extraordinariness is her ability to stir emotions and have a strong

visual impact. In this issue, we will have the chance to get to know

her better.

On the musical front, Dorian Kash is the protagonist of this issue.

A well-known Italian artist, each of his evenings is a moment of

relaxation for the audience and a successful Dorian performance.

On the fashion front, we delve into the knowledge of Valentina

E., a brand appreciated and known for its originality and quality.

I enjoyed personally interviewing Valentina Evangelista, who

promptly answered questions while also giving valuable

suggestions to all those who wish to pursue a career as a fashion

designer.

Jarla interviewed SadyCat Littlepaws, a highly regarded

photographer, blogger, and blogger manager on the

photographic front. It’s an opportunity to understand more

about photography and how the world of bloggers and their

recruitment works.

In wishing you a good reading, I always invite you to collaborate: if

we manage to improve, it’s also thanks to readers’ suggestions.

See you at the next issue.

WELCOME

360GRADI is an interactive magazine

available on YUMPU. Pick up your

copy of the kiosk at the newsroom.

6 360 GRADI


Emotion is the clearest evidence

that something has affected us

deeply. All the talents we talk

about in this issue reach our hearts.

- Oema

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ART PROMOTION ON FACEBOOK

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VIOLET BOA

My responsibilities include planning, implementing, and managing PR

strategies and organizing and managing various PR activities.

I use different channels to optimize the outreach and success of a

campaign, with a customer-oriented focus and assured delivery that I

represent unequivocally. I carry out the interests, wishes, needs, and

expectations of my clients.

Violet Boa,

MARKETING

Head Column

A natural part of my work involves arranging interviews and

coordination, researching and collecting opportunities for

partnerships, establishing and maintaining relationships with

journalists, influencers, and bloggers, and supporting the team

members of my client in communicating and running a campaign.

Through years of experience with social media management, which

always requires excellent communication, presentation, leadership

skills, and excellent organizational and time management skills, I

have become self-critical and am still interested in new impulses.

Learning, be it self-directed or through knowledge of apt sources, is

part of the daily process.

Observations and reflections (self-reflection) of the external and

internal situations give me the chance to recognize problems and

change them positively.

I am a positive but also critical thinker and analytical problem solver

who - with a lot of empathy - accepts conflicting interests, personal

(in) tolerance, and others’ opinions. I am very adaptable and willing

to compromise to get positive alternatives that make everyone happy

and lead to the desired success.

My top ten topics of interest are fine art, photography, design, digital

art, music, performing arts, literature, science, mindfulness, and a

positive attitude.

I feel very honored and proud of the trust that Oema has placed in

me and invited me in my role as PR to act for magazines from the first

publication of their classy, stylish and elegant 360 GRADI Magazine.

We have an exciting and excellent task ahead of us, and I am looking

forward to it!

Violet

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LUNDY ART GALLERY

LUNDY ART GALLERY IS A CREATION OF LEE1 OLSEN AND PERIODICALLY

FEATURES NEW ARTISTS.

THE GALLERY BOASTS A VERY LARGE EXHIBITION SPACE, ALLOWING THE

VISITOR TO APPRECIATE NUMEROUS WORKS OF ART.

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EXHIBITING ARTISTS

Moya Patrick

Etamae

Ilyra Chardin

Adwehe

ZackHermann

Sandi Benelli

Jessamine2108

Steele Wilder

Adelina Lawrence

Magda Schmidtzau

Jos (mojosb5c)

TELEPORT TO LUNDY ART GALLERY

360 GRADI

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CAMP ITALIA

CAMP ITALIA, EDUCATION AND ENTERTAINMENT IN ONE DESTINATION.

COME VISIT US!

Camp Italia is an educational sim in Italian language with an international vocation, where

you can find a warm welcome, artistic and musical events, many lessons to learn how to use

Second Life and breathtaking landscapes for a wonderful experience of your SL.

Visit Camp Italia & Enjoy!

Slurl

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Camp%20Italia/127/64/23

Official Website

https://campitaliasecondlife.org

14 360 GRADI


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15


DEGOYA GALTHIE

Since the beginning of his appearance in the world, man has tried to

represent and tell his experience with different tools such as drawing,

photography, and cinema; at the base of this incessant search is

the desire to describe one’s inner world with ever greater levels of

fidelity. In our post-modern society, the most advanced frontier of

this research is represented by virtual reality. This technology allows

us to “immerse ourselves” in a computer-generated environment, in

which it is possible to move and interact as in reality.

Degoya Galthie,

Head Column

BRAIN, MIND AND

VIRTUAL REALITY

Virtual reality has numerous applications ranging in different fields

and represents an advanced communication interface that allows

people to interact naturally at a distance. It is now a technology

growing in popularity in the entertainment industry, where it finds

applications and the video game sector, cinematography, theme parks,

and museums. Social networks, e-commerce, education, sport are just

some of the many areas that virtual worlds promise to revolutionize.

In the medical field, virtual reality is demonstrating excellent

potential with applications in neuroscience and psychotherapy.

In light of these premises, the goal I set myself in this section of the

magazine is to tell the “virtual revolution” through a perspective

that highlights the transformative impact of this technology on

the brain and human experience. In particular, I will investigate the

effects of virtual experiences on one’s real-world and highlight the

opportunities that virtual technologies can offer, and highlight the

potential risks they imply through a survey of the most advanced

research in psychology and neuroscientific field. Finally, I will try

to explain how simulation technologies are changing how people

communicate and interact, analyzing the opportunities and challenges

implied by the emergence of virtual worlds.

Degoya

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NEUROESTE

THE BRAIN, EMPATHY AN

OF BEAUTY

Written by DEGOYA GALTHIE.

Images by JARLA CAPALINI.

18 360 GRADI


TICS

D THE EXPERIENCE

Why do we like images so much? What effects

do they have on our minds? Let’s delve into this

fascinating topic.

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NEUROESTETICS

THE BRAIN, EMPATHY AND THE

EXPERIENCE OF BEAUTY

If cognitive neuroscience studies human cognition and mind, what is so uniquely

human as the obsession to create images? On the one hand, the obsession with

creating images, and on the other hand, the power these images exert on the

viewer.

The words that make up the title of

this article: art, empathy, aesthetic

experience and neuroscience, that is

the study of the brain, constitute topics

that in the space available I will not

be able to deal with in a serious and

exhaustive way. First of all, I will try to

explain the fact that a neuroscientist

applies his research methodology to

fields that, traditionally and apparently,

seem so distant; especially in the

last 70 years the field of science has

been considered other than that

of aesthetics and art. The human

sciences and cognitive neuroscience,

however, share a fundamental object

of investigation: understanding what

makes us human. Obviously, they do

it with very different approaches and

with different description languages.

If cognitive neuroscience studies

cognition and the human mind, what is

so uniquely human as the obsession

with creating images? On the one hand

the obsession with creating images

and on the other the power that these

images exert on the viewer. Within

these topics that will often recur in

the course of my exhibition, I decided

to start from a theme that I consider

central to approaching the question

of aesthetic experience: why we like

images and what we feel in front of an

image, especially when this image was

created by man.

To this end, I believe it is

essential to deal with the

theme of empathy; empathy

is a terribly complicated

concept with numerous

synonyms (identification,

emotional contagion, perspective

20 360 GRADI


Why do we like

the images so

much?

taking, theory of mind)

or presumed so. These

concepts are used by

many scholars in an

interchangeable way,

mistakenly when they

confuse empathy with

the theory of mind, that

is, with a cognitively very

sophisticated way of

entering the other’s

mind and taking its

perspective. There are

those who have felt the

need to talk about a

cognitive empathy to be

distinguished from true

empathy and there are

those who confuse

empathy with sympathy.

A simplistic way that

helps us clear the ground

from misunderstandings

could be this definition:

empathy means feeling

with the other, while

sympathy means feeling

for the other. So, it’s hard

to sympathize with

someone without being

able to feel empathy, but

the reverse isn’t

necessarily true; we can

empathize with the other

without passing through

the hall of the brain to

sympathize with or even

to help. There is a dark

side to empathy, even a

torturer and a sadist must

be empathic if they want

to do their job well; if I

serve someone, I have to

understand where he

hurts the most. Somehow,

I have to put myself in his

shoes imaginatively and

360 GRADI

21


emotionally to get the worst effect of

the intervention I am applying to him, as

often happens in confessions extracted

with torture.

In starting from the term empathy,

obviously I am not referring to the

classical empathy of the Greeks, but to

the term that was born and developed

in Germany at the end of the nineteenth

century within an aesthetic debate.

The discussion was about what makes

the difference when I confront a work

of art: is it the formal characteristics of

the painting, sculpture or fresco that

make the difference or is it what that

particular object makes me feel, the

ability of that object to evoke something

in me as I look at it.

Within this comparison, the

German philosopher Robert

Vischer published a small

book, destined to exert an enormous

influence on the aesthetic debate in the

decades to come, entitled: On the

Optical Sentiment of Form (Über das

optische Formgefühl, 1873). The author

makes his contribution to aesthetics by

emphasizing the centrality of Einfühlung

that we translate empathy (Einfühlung

literally means to feel inside,

identification); this is a quote from his

book: “I move into the inner essence of

the object I contemplate (the object is a

work of art) and explore its formal

characteristics, so to speak, from the

inside”. This type of transposition can

take a motor or sensorial form even in

the case of lifeless and immobile forms,

in practice when I put myself in front of

a painting some of the characteristics

of those images are such as to arouse

in me an empathic reaction; a reaction

that most of the time is only internal

and that in certain situations can

surface on the surface of my body with

behaviors and attitudes that we will

see.

In this work Vischer distinguishes the

mere perceptual process of seeing

from the pragmatically active one of

looking. According to Vischer, the

aesthetic use of images, in general, and

of the work of art, in particular, implies

an empathic involvement that would

appear in a whole series of physical

reactions in the observer’s body.

Particular forms observed would

arouse reactive emotions, depending

on their conformity to the design and

function of the body muscles.

According to Vischer, the symbolic

form, far from being pure as Kantian is

transcendental, derives its nature in

the first instance from its

anthropomorphic content; it is through

the unconscious projection of the

image on one’s body that the observer

is able to establish an aesthetic

relationship between himself and the

image. A few years later this same logic

of Einfühlung, thanks to Lipps, will be

transferred to the domain of the

psychology of interpersonal relations,

exerting a considerable influence on

Freud as well. Vischer’s work exerted a

great influence, among others, on two

very important figures in the history of

art: the sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand

and the art historian Aby Warburg.

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The theme of

empathy was at the

center of Edith

Stein’s doctoral thesis, a student of

Edmund Husserl, German philosopher

and founder of Phenomenology; Stein

made some statements in this thesis

that I could not fail to subscribe with

enthusiasm. She was a Christian nun,

German philosopher and mystic of the

Discalced Carmelite Order, victim of the

Shoah. She of Jewish origin, she

converted to Catholicism after a period

of atheism that lasted from

adolescence. She was arrested in the

Netherlands by the Nazis and locked up

in the Auschwitz-Birkenau

concentration camp where she,

together with her sister Rosa, was

murdered in 1942. In 1998 Pope John

Paul II proclaimed her saint and the

following year he declared her

patroness of Europe. When

phenomenologists speak of the human

body, they make a distinction, or rather

they argue that this body has a dual

nature. We have a physical body made

of bone and flesh that has weight and

occupies space; if we look at our body

from this point of view,

phenomenologists call it Körper. This

Körper, however, (brain, liver, heart,

muscles, bones, joints, all organs and

our physical body structure) is at the

same time leib: it is a living body, that

is, it is the source of our experience; all

that is psychic is consciousness linked

to the leib, the living body.

Neuroscience today has the

opportunity to shed light on Leib by

questioning Körper. The point is not to

flatten the Leib on the Körper, but to

understand that the empirical

investigation conducted on the Körper

can tell us new things about the Leib.

You have often heard parallels

between the human mind and

computer software in the way in which

the ways in which certain mental

processes are believed, rightly or

wrongly, are described. Words and a

vocabulary taken from the language of

computers and artificial intelligence

are used, so many talking about the

brain say that it is a biological machine

that does things not very different from

what a processor does: it processes

information and it is possible to

refer to our mental activities such as

processing information. If it were only

this, in my opinion, it would leave

out the most relevant aspect that

describes us as human beings, namely

the domain of experience. By knowing

the world, opening ourselves to the

world, entering into a relationship with

the world, we feel something and have

an experience. One of the compasses

that has guided and continues to

guide research and my studies is the

ambition or perhaps only the illusion

of seeking the bodily origins of this so

fundamental aspect of our life, which

is experiencing something. In this

specific case, experiencing images and,

among the thousands of images we

experience every day, those particular

images that we have historically begun

to define as works of art.

24 360 GRADI


Stein argued that the notion of

empathy, hence the feeling inside

the other, should not be limited to

the mere sharing of emotions and

feelings, a partial vision that often

dominates. Stein and Husserl with her

defined empathy as something even

more fundamental than a mechanism

that allows me to understand if the

person in front of me is angry, happy,

sad, surprised or disgusted. We

experience the other, says Stein, as

another human being like us, thanks

to the perception of a relationship of

similarity. So I don’t have to reinvent

myself every time the discovery that

Mrs. Rossi or Mr. Bianchi standing in

front of me are human beings like me

at the end of a complicated path of

logical inferences; empathy is at the

basis of this detection of similarity in

otherness, it is another not me, it is

another human being like me, if this

were not the case we would enter

the domain of psychopathology. This

perception of similarity, this other

that speaks to me in a language that

is more or less familiar to me, that is

understandable to me, this creature in

which I find myself, which is not alien,

always within certain limits and with

enormous inter-individual variability,

is the product of this basic mechanism

that allows me to detect this similarity

which, I repeat, is not only a similarity

of affects, emotions and sensations

but which is global. Stein has also

specifically emphasized the domain

of action, comparing the hand of the

child, the hand of the monkey and the

hand of the elderly: even if visually

they have different dimensions,

different colors, different levels

of hirsute certainly very different

nevertheless for us they are all hands;

their characteristic of belonging to

this same semantic category derives

precisely from the common domain of

movement, of action that we recognize

regardless of age, genus or even

species.

In Germany, the character

who has ferried the

notion of empathy from a

debate totally within aesthetics to

psychology is Theodor Lipps. Theodor

Lipps is an author that Freud read

avidly, for whom he felt a great

esteem, and whom he mentioned in

many passages in his writings about

him. For example, in Inhibition

Symptom and Distress, an essay he

published in 1926, he argues that it is

only thanks to empathy that we know

the existence of a psychic life different

from ours. Therefore, empathy is the

fundamental element that allows us to

relate to the other, certainly not the

only one but, probably from an

evolutionary point of view, the much

older one and also present in animal

species that have not yet reached the

language.

Now we see how the theme of

empathy, of this direct resonance

between me and the other,

becomes a crucial aspect of my

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25


elationship with others; it allows us

to better understand the question of

intersubjectivity, the possibility, by

relating to the other, to recognize a

mind in the other, someone who thinks

and feels emotions, someone who if

he gets hurt will probably feel pain

like me. Let us therefore examine how

these aspects relate to the aesthetic

experience; this word, the history of

words is always very important, it

comes from the Greek aisthesis and

refers to bodily sensitivity. So, this

term has a close link with our bodily

nature. The first hypothesis I want to

discuss is this: by creative expression

I mean the ability, since the origins of

the human species, to create objects,

images, sculptures and paintings that

did not have a utilitarian purpose, for

which our ancestors did not build only

tools to kill a mammoth or skin animals

just to get the skins to build a tent.

These artifacts, these objects, these

sculptures and these paintings, which

archaeologists probably tell us were

already part of the cognitive skills of

the Neanderthals, allow us to backdate

the origin of our symbolic and artistic

expression.

The hypothesis is that this

expressiveness and this symbolic

creativity are some of the

characteristic brands and fundamental

interpretations that make us

understand who we are and what it

means to be human beings; they are

peculiarities closely intertwined with

the performativity of the body, that is,

with the movement potential of our

body. We do not find this performative

aspect only in the production of images

but, here lies the novelty, we also find

it in their reception. I anticipate what I

am going to say shortly: when we place

ourselves in front of a body depicted

two-dimensionally on the wall of a

cave, on the fresco of a cathedral or on

the canvas of a painting, when we place

ourselves in front of the image of a

body that someone else has made with

brushes and colors, there is a part of

our corporeality that resonates.

Even when we’re not moving, there is

a sensorimotor part of our brain that

simulates what we are seeing on the

canvas or wall. So the history of man is

a history in which nature and culture

are intertwined, they are two terms

that we have tried desperately to keep

distinct; however, what biology tells

us more every day is how they are

two sides of the same coin. Beyond

this discourse, the history of nature

and human culture is a history that

proceeds in a progressive process of

distancing from the body, perhaps as

an instrument to somehow exorcise

the awareness of our finite nature and

the awareness of death; therefore the

desperate attempt to leave a trace

that is not the footprint imprinted

by the animal on the ground, but

an intentional trace that we leave

voluntarily, with the hope that this

sign then survives us and continues to

speak about us in some way.

Art becomes the mature fruit of

the new and different way in which

man, at a certain point in his own

evolution, relates to the “reality” of

26 360 GRADI


the outside world. The material world

is no longer considered exclusively

as a domain to be bent utilitarianly

to one’s needs. The material object

loses the exclusive connotation of

an instrument to become a symbol,

a public representation, an eidos

capable of evoking the presentification

of something that, apparently, is not

present except in the mind of the

artist and in that of the beholder. This

“mental tuning” between creator and

user has deep roots in the shared

experience that we all have of the

natural evidence of the world, probably

even if not completely, thanks to

some neural mechanisms. Art distills

and condenses this experience by

universalizing it and, at the same time,

affirming a new possible way of looking

at reality by staging it. The artistic

object, which is never an object in

itself, is the pole of an intersubjective,

and therefore social, relationship which

excites as it evokes sensorimotor and

affective resonances in those who

relate to it.

Think of those

temples of human

creativity that are

natural

environments such

as the Lascaux

Caves, a cave complex found in

southwestern France (Upper Paleolithic,

approximately 17,500 years ago) or,

closer to us, the Chauvet cave where

during the Paleolithic a character

unknown to us, a man or a woman, we

do not know who this artist was,

suddenly draws animals as he sees

them in the surrounding environment;

he draws figures that still amaze us

today with their beauty and their

expressive effectiveness. The brain of

that Homo Sapiens was a brain that had

felt the deep need to represent

something that he saw with which he

was in relationship; this is to say how

basically an artistic manifestation is an

expression of our brain function. This

process goes through the engravings of

ocher blocks of 70 thousand years ago

in the cave of Blombos near Cape Town,

the Paleolithic paintings in the south of

France or Spain that today we date back

in some respects also 70 thousand

years ago (so they were certainly not

Sapiens not yet arrived in Europe, but

Neanderthal), up to the invention of the

alphabet, writing, printing,

photography, cinema, television and

this electronic gadget that allows me to

navigate in virtual worlds. Despite this

process of moving away from the body,

the link with our bodily nature also in

these artifacts external to our body

remains intact, this is what

neuroscientific research seems to

suggest.

A famous art historian,

Heinrich Wölfflin, in 1886

published his doctoral thesis

entitled: “Prolegomena to a

psychology of architecture”;

the author has made statements that

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are still extraordinarily modern today

and that are even more relevant if we

reread them in the light of what, in the

meantime, we have learned about our

body and our brain. Physical forms,

Wölfflin here referred to the columns

and structure of a Greek temple, can be

characteristic for the viewer only to the

extent that we ourselves possess a

body; if we were purely optical entities,

the aesthetic judgment of the physical

world would be precluded from us. It is

our bodily nature and our being subject

to the physical laws that, governing life

in this particular world that we inhabit,

dictate some of the characteristics that

distinguish the way we relate to these

particular images which can also be

architectural images (the Cathedral of

Ferrara, the Estense Castle or any

product of human architectural

ingenuity).

Another essential aspect

for understanding the

artistic experience, which

I mentioned earlier, is

that the body is not only

the tool for producing

images, it is also the

fundamental tool for their reception;

these things have already been said,

written and repeated several times in

the history of human culture. Adolf von

Hildebrand was a German sculptor, in

my view not particularly exciting as a

sculptor and much more interesting as

an art theorist. As a theorist of

aesthetics, he published in 1893 the

book “The Problem of Form in Figurative

Art” where he argued that the reality of

artistic images lies in their

effectiveness, both as the consequence

of actions of the artist who produced

them both in light of the impact these

images have on the viewer. The

aesthetic value of works of art resides

in the power they have to establish

links between the artist’s intentional

creative acts and their reconstruction

by those who put themselves in front

of these images, therefore their

reconstruction in the mind of those

who see them. look. Hildebrand in this

book argued that the perception of the

spatiality of the image is the result of a

sensorimotor constructive process:

space would not constitute an “a priori”

of experience, as suggested by Kant,

but would be a product of it. He also

affirmed that the reality of the artistic

image resides in its effectiveness,

conceived twofold both as a result of

the causes that produced it and as an

effect it provokes in those who observe

it. According to the same

“constructivist” logic, the value of a

work of art would consist in the ability

to establish a relationship between the

artist’s intentional planning and the

reconstruction of such planning by

those who benefit from the work. In

this way a direct relationship is

established between creation and

artistic fruition. Knowing the image is

equivalent, according to Hildebrand, to

knowing the process that creates it.

Even more in line with my perspective

is Hildebrand’s idea that the aesthetic

experience is fundamentally connoted

28 360 GRADI


in motor terms. He supported

Andrea Pinotti in the presentation

of Hildebrand’s work to the Italian

edition, which he edited with Fabrizio

Scrivano: “For Hildebrand, everything

begins with the movements of the

hands and eyes; that is, when the body

reaches out towards the construction

of space. [...] Movement is what allows

the articulation of meaning, it is what

allows you to connect the elements

available in space, it is what allows the

object to be formed, it is what allows for

representation and representation. [...]

For this reason the work of art always

contains the indications of mobility,

because it is itself a product of its own

and at the same time asks the user

to set in motion his own perceptive

activity that allows him to break down

/ recompose the ‘image”. In a nutshell,

for Hildebrand the body is the set

of structures that make sensible

experience and the significance of the

image possible. In chapter VI, entitled

“Form as functional expression”,

Hildebrand wrote: “In a state of total

stillness, a tendinous hand with long

fingers remembers so much the image

of the hand that is stretched out to

grasp that it expresses the tendency

of grasping and the bodily sensation

that connects to it. It bears, so to speak,

the imprint of a latent state activity.

Strongly developed jaws give the

impression of strength and energy [...].

In this way certain forms, even if they

are not thought of in motion at all, come

to express inner processes, because they

recall forms in motion. On the basis

of this method of transposition, the

artist succeeds in fixing and configuring

formal types that have a certain

expression and that arouse certain

bodily and psychic sensations in the

observer “.

In Neuroscience when we talk about

art, creativity, symbolic faculty,

aesthetics, empathy it is like seeing

the world looking through a keyhole,

that is, limiting the variables to the

maximum in a completely artificial

environment that is that of the

laboratory, taking one element at a

time because otherwise we would not

be able to master these variables all

at once. On the basis of the results we

obtain, with each small brick we build

something incrementally; the results of

each experiment give partial answers,

raise new questions that stimulate us

to do new experiments, that give us

other partial answers that raise other

questions and in doing so, I assure you,

the pay is low, but the fun is maximum

and it is a beautiful job.

For what has been said previously,

we can see the aesthetic experience

of images as a mediated form of

intersubjectivity; every time I place

myself in front of a painting, a

sculpture or a fresco, I do not relate

exclusively to an object of the physical

world provided with some formal

characteristics such as color, shape,

features, mass and volume, I also relate

every time with another human being,

he or she who made those images. The

work of art becomes the mediator of an

interpersonal relationship between me

and what today, from the Renaissance

onwards, we have learned to call as

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an artist. This distinction between art

and craft is historically determined;

there are many anecdotes that testify

it, Leonardo, for example, when he

delivered the first version of the Virgin

of the Rocks, the one exhibited in the

Louvre, was very angry to discover that

the friars of Milan paid him little more

than what they gave to the one we

would now call the craftsman to whom

they had commissioned the frame that

was to enclose his painting. “I am who

created the work”, he probably did not

say artist, but this is where the idea

comes that not all manual activities

are the same and therefore these

terms (beauty, artist, creative genius or

creator) are all terms that have come

to be determined historically. Below

this historical determinacy there is the

flesh, there is our intimate corporeal

nature which, although historically

modulated, determined and culturally

educated, in one way or another,

retains common roots which are the

ones we are interested in investigating.

To study the mechanisms underlying

the aesthetic experience, we turn

our attention to this object which is

precisely the brain; however, we must

frame the brain linked to the body,

the brain is not clear if we approach

it as a computer built on a biological

substrate. The brain does the fantastic

things it does and allows us to exist,

to experience the world only to the

extent that it is interfaced with the

world through the body. Not everyone

shares this vision, when many of my

colleagues decide to deal with art and

aesthetics as neuroscientists, they do

so from a perspective that, borrowing a

term from art history, we could define

as pure-visibilist; between the serious

and the facetious I say that we have

to fight visual imperialism. I mean,

more or less explicitly, that many of

my colleagues say that when we put

ourselves in front of a painting, we are

looking at an image, consequently if we

wanted to understand what happens in

our brain when we look at an image, we

should study the part of the brain. socalled

visual which is largely located in

the back of the brain.

I support and not only say it, 30 years

of results obtained in all sauces and

all over the world say it, this is a wrong

view of the functioning of the brain.

Observing the world and therefore

the objects we find in the world, in

particular those characteristic objects

that we have learned to recognize

as artistic artifacts and works of art,

triggers much more complex processes

than simply activating the visual part

of the brain. Observing the world not

only activates the visual part of the

brain, it also activates the emotional

part, the tactile part and the motor

part; therefore, we are all synaesthetic

when we face any object. By placing

ourselves in front of an object and

looking at it, we do not only exercise

a single sensory channel which is that

of vision; as we will see, the areas that

map tactile sensations are activated,

the parts of the brain that allow us to

experience emotions and the parts of

the brain that allow us to move our

body, that is the motor part of the

brain.

30 360 GRADI


In the last 30 years,

although we still know

very little about it, we

have made some

progress in our

knowledge of how the

brain works; one of the

things we have

understood is that the

motor system is not just

a machine designed to send impulses

to the muscles to make the different

parts of our body move. The same

neurons that guide my hand to grab a

glass are also activated when I stand

still and just look at that glass. They

transform the three-dimensional

characteristics of the object into the

motor pattern that I normally use to

interact with that object, for example,

if I want to grab it to drink; this they do

every time I look at this glass even

when I have no intention of taking it.

Other motor neurons (for example,

those that command my reaching

movement with the arm that I have to

stretch to take objects that are not

directly within reach) react to tactile

stimuli carried on my arm, respond to

visual stimuli that only move if they

move around my arm and sound stimuli

that occur in the vicinity of my arm.

Therefore, these tactile, visual and

auditory stimuli are mapped by motor

neurons which organize them, in some

way, providing a glue. The horizon of

my world, I do not say only, is also

constituted by the motor potentialities

that my body makes available to me; a

way of knowing the world that is what

Merleau Ponty has defined

“practognosia”, that is, a knowledge

that derives from the motor potential

of my body.

Among these motor

neurons, which are not

satisfied with producing

movements and which

also respond to sensory

stimuli, are mirror neurons. They are a

class of motor neurons that are

activated involuntarily both when an

individual performs a finalized action,

and when the same individual observes

the same finalized action performed by

any other subject. They were

discovered in 1992 by a group of

researchers from the University of

Parma (team coordinated by Giacomo

Rizzolatti and composed of Luciano

Fadiga, Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio

Gallese). If I had to condense into an

expression what this process allows us

to do, to use a metaphor dear to

Vittorio Gallese, the mechanism that

these neurons realize is not very

dissimilar from what Dante, in Paradise,

attributes to a blessed soul. In

addressing Folco da Marseille, we are in

Paradise, therefore he is a disembodied

entity, Dante tells him: I am an earthly

creature in transit, if I were a blessed

soul like you and not burdened by this

earthly corporeality I would not need to

wait for you to ask me something to

guess how you immii, “If I guess how

you immii” (Cfr Paradiso IX, 81). Dante’s

linguistic creativity transforms you and

me into two verbs. Insight into another

is empathizing with the other, it is

somehow being aware, within certain

limits, of what is going through the

mind of another and what the other is

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31


feeling.

The term mirror neurons

is simply a metaphor: we

have no mirrors in our

heads, there is no

reflective surface in

these neurons. The same

neuron that allows me to perform an

action is also activated when I see that

action performed by someone else;

somehow it implicitly establishes an

interaction without my having to

concentrate or think complicated

thoughts, it makes me recognize in that

movement something with which I

resonate: it is a take or put, a move, a

hold, a breaking, etc. First discovered in

apes, this mirroring mechanism is even

more extensive in humans; it is not

limited to actions with a purpose and we

can see it being activated when we

perform actions on objects,

communicative actions, but also

movements apparently devoid of any

purpose. If you now saw me raise my

arm while I raise my arm, there are

thousands of neurons in your motor

brain that are firing at the same time

even if your arm is still; you are

simulating or rather your neurons are

behaving like when

you lift your arm. An

even more

interesting fact is

that this also

happens when we

imagine performing an action while

remaining still; if you imagine carrying

two cartons, of six bottles each, of

mineral water to the seventh floor of a

building, going up step by step, at the

end of this imaginative activity if I

measure your blood pressure and heart

rate you will have an increase in values

blood pressure and heart rate; this

happens in a similar way to when we

see particularly engaging films. Below,

we can have a demonstration of the

extraordinary power that images have,

not only when they are in motion, but

also when they are still images.

Observing the incredibly expressive

details traits of the Lamentation over

the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell’Arca or

the Memory of a pain or Portrait of

Santina Negri by Giuseppe Pellizza da

Volpedo, despite being static images

anyone who looks at this gesture, this

hand, the way in which this hand grabs

the arm of the chair, it is not simply the

registration of a three-dimensional

object with a certain color, it is an

image that gives us a sense of

movement; this sense of movement, in

turn, transmits emotions and makes us

attached.

Daniel Stern,

unfortunately passed

away a few years ago,

was a famous American

psychiatrist, one of

those people who

revolutionized the way we look at

children and an important protagonist

of Infant Research. One of his bestknown

books is “The Interpersonal

World of the Child”, published in 1985.

“The vital forms. Dynamic experience in

psychology, art, psychotherapy and

development” is the title of the last

32 360 GRADI


ook he wrote shortly before his death

and it is a book that he dedicates to a

concept he already talks about in 1985,

in that his first very successful book,

which is the concept of vital form. The

vital form is the emotional outline of

every movement. If my wife

comes home and closes the

door in a certain way and

throws the keys on the

dresser in the hall in a

certain way, I already know

what awaits me; I draw these

conclusions from the fact

that that way of moving a

part of her body, that way of walking in

the corridor, that prosody with which she

asks me if I’m at home, communicates

something about her affectivity and her

emotionality; she tells me something

that is perhaps not translatable with

words, as words are always tight in some

situations. Stern argued that there is a

temporal boundary or temporal profile of

the movement that marks its beginning,

its flow and its conclusion. This temporal

profile was masterfully made with wax

by Medardo Rosso, we see the snapshot

of the laugh that illuminates the face of

this little girl; if we turn her head, we

almost have the impression of her and

we are curious to see if we find that smile

in that face of her because the dynamics

of facial expressions are such that that

smile can appear and disappear. We turn

around and she is still there, her stillness

transmits a wealth of emotional content;

the hypothesis is that much of this

affective content passes through this

emotional prosody of movement.

Some researchers

have conducted an

experiment in

functional magnetic resonance by

making videos in which the subjects

saw communicative actions without

sound, therefore gentle, irritated or

angry gestures; the instruction given

to the subjects was simply to observe

these acts and in two different

conditions to say what was the

purpose of the action or what was the

affective tonality of the action. So, the

what: what is that gesture there?

Towards the how: how that gesture

was made, in a kind way, in a grumpy

way or in an angry way. What emerged

is that a portion of an anatomical

structure that is in the depth of our

brain is activated which is called the

Insula of Reil. It was named after a

Prussian doctor who went down in the

annals of medical history for treating

Goethe for kidney stones and who

died of typhus in the Battle of Leipzig

(October 16-19, 1813), also known as

the Battle of the nations. Reil was the

superintendent of Prussian field

hospitals and gave his name to this

deep structure for first describing it.

The insula, which has a fan-shaped

structure, very beautiful anatomically

to see, is a hinge between our internal

world and the world outside of us; that

is, between our feeling inside the

heartbeat, breathing, intestinal

motility and everything that moves

inside us and outside of us when some

things happen rather than others. A

specific part of this structure is

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33


activated when we factor in the how of

the action and this same area is

activated regardless of whether we

observe or execute the how of the

action; it is also activated not only if we

make the gentle gesture or the brusque

gesture, but also when we imagine that

we are performing that gesture in a

gentle or brusque way. You see how

again these mechanisms hold together

doing, seeing done, and imagining

doing.

So far, we have only talked about

actions, but this represents only the

tip, we have noticed over the years, of a

much larger iceberg: in other words, we

find these same mirroring mechanisms

similar also in the domain of emotions

and in the domain of sensations. Trying

to put together the tiles of this mosaic,

Vittorio Gallese proposed the model of

the “Embodied Simulation” which is a

model of perception and imagination;

part of our brain mechanisms that we

normally use to perform actions or to

experience emotions and sensations,

we also reuse them to map the actions,

emotions and sensations of others.

Embodied simulation represents a

format of representation: neurons

actually represent nothing are all

metaphors, neurons only fire action

potentials, neurons do not feel, do not

love, do not get angry, do not feel envy

or jealousy, do not have the sense of

beauty, all these are characteristics

that belong holistically to the owner

of those neurons. There are various

ways to represent the world, one of

which is language, but it is not the

only one; language is probably the last

way we invented to represent things.

If you want to explain to someone

how to get from your home to the

subway stop, this is the content, you

can communicate it in various ways;

you can explain it with gestures: “when

you get out of here turn left then

turn left again and when you arrive

at the traffic lights go straight ahead

and you will find the stop on your

right”. Or you can send him a Google

map with a text message or you can

explain it over the phone using only

words without making gestures. The

content is always the same, the format

in which you have represented that

particular content, such as going from

your home to the subway station, is

variable. Our mind has a variety of

representation formats, for many there

is only language, for many others,

including myself, it doesn’t. There are

much older representation formats that

are the first that develop when we are

small and over which, then, language

exercises its power of domination and

conditioning. We reuse our states or

mental processes in body format also

to attribute them to others: to others in

flesh and blood or to static images.

The dialogue between

human sciences and

neuroscience is not new;

without going too far in

time, in the period

between the end of the

nineteenth century and the beginning

of the twentieth, many scholars of what

we now call the human sciences have

drawn relevant ideas for their studies

34 360 GRADI


and their reflections by comparing

themselves with contemporary

scientific thought, especially with

physiology and biology.

Guillaume-Benjamin-

Amand Duchenne de

Boulogne was a French

neurologist who, through

electrical stimulation of

the face with electrodes,

built an atlas of emotions

(1855), an atlas that

influenced Darwin’s work. Darwin’s real

best seller was “the Expression of

Emotions in Man and Animals” that he

published in 1872 where, among other

things, he wrote: “Facial expressions are

an essential component of human social

and emotional behavior”. It is good to

remember that the idea that the face is

the mirror of the soul is a concept that

is historically affirmed only starting

from humanism.

This dialogue was

particularly important in

the aesthetic field: from

this point of view the

figure of Aby Warburg is

paradigmatic. Aby

Warburg, founder as he

himself said of a science without a

name, as a good German to learn the

History of Art he went to Florence

where he met Darwin’s book; after

reading the book “The Expression of

Emotions in Man and Animals”, in his

diary he noted: “finally a book that

helps me”. In this book by Darwin,

Warburg, who wrote the famous essay

on the frescoes of Palazzo Schifa

noia, saw the

possibility of

broadening the

horizons of the

History of Art by

including the

transmission of

emotions and the

power of images

proper. According to Warburg, a theory

of artistic styles must be conceived as a

pragmatic science of expression; the

etymology of the word style is quite

significant, style derives from stilus,

that is the wooden stick with which one

wrote on the wax-coated tablets. You

see how even in a term whose

performative origin has been forgotten,

this performativity is always there, just

go and look for it. Empathy is a styleforming

power and therefore these

aspects in Warburg are fully connected,

so connected as to lead him to the

formulation of the idea of the formulas

of pathos (Pathosformeln), this basso

continuo, these postural attitudes that

re-emerge several times in the history

of art, from classical to Renaissance art

(for example, in the Ghirlandaio

frescoes in Santa Maria Novella). These

formulas of pathos are a variety of

body postures, gestures and actions

that exemplify the aesthetic side of

Einfühlung, of empathy as one of the

most creative sources of artistic style.

In Darwin’s book he found the role of

the central nervous system in directing

the unconscious execution of bodily

gestures expressing a given emotion.

He also found the role of habitual

practices in associating a given bodily

expression with a given emotional

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35


state, underlining the biological

usefulness of this association. Finally,

thanks to Darwin, Warburg discovered

the evolutionary need for the bodily

expression of emotions, transmitted in

the form of non-conscious memory. The

notion of imprint (Prägung) was used

by Warburg to characterize the survival

in the history of art of particular

gestures and body postures. The

drapery, the body movements, the hair

moved by the wind that characterize

the figures of Botticelli are not only and

exclusively the result of the conscious

mimetic reproduction of the classical

models, they are more significantly the

evidence of the survival of the human

imprints of expression

(Ausdrucksprägungen). In fact, Warburg,

who was not afraid to cross the fences

that separate different disciplines,

conceived the history of art as a means

of shedding light on the typically

human power of expression. By doing

so, he extended the methodological

frontiers of the study of art in a

completely new way, opening it to the

contributions of science. Also, from this

point of view, Warburg’s contribution

should today be carefully re-evaluated.

Aby Warburg was also a keen admirer

of Hildebrand, an omnivorous reader

who therefore ranged from Darwin to

his contemporary physiologists such as

Helmoltz, Hering, and Semon,

indifferent to the disciplinary barriers

that, unfortunately still today, often

prevent a dialogue between life

sciences and human Sciences. Warburg

conceived the history of art as a tool to

clarify the historical psychology of

human expression; according to him, it

is necessary to extend the

methodological frontiers of the study

of art so as to put the history of art

itself at the service of “a psychology of

human expression that has yet to be

written”. His notion of “patemic form of

expression” (Pathosformel) shows

extraordinary assonances with the

formal types described by Hildebrand.

For Warburg, certain bodily attitudes,

gestures, actions and postures

resurface several times throughout the

history of art precisely because they

exemplify the aesthetic act of empathy

as a creative power of style. In the

wake of Hildebrand, Warburg has

developed a theory of style as a

“pragmatic science of expression”

(pragmatische Ausdruckskunde).

Empathy plays on two tables, on the

table of the expression of the creation

of the artistic object and on that of

its reception. When we look at a face

to express joy, sadness or fear if we

record what happens on the surface

of our face, in particular if we go to

record the activity of our muscles

with electromyography, we see how

we all, some more or less, respond

unconsciously in a congruent way; if I

see someone laughing, the cheekbone

contracts a little, if I see someone

expressing a negative emotion, the

eyebrow muscle contracts a little. The

more empathic I am, the greater the

entity of this mechanism and, turning

everything around, we could argue

that the stronger this mechanism is,

the more empathic I am, applying the

scales for evaluating people’s empathic

skills.

36 360 GRADI


In recent decades, neuroscientific

research has shown a growing interest

in art and aesthetics. The crucial

point is not to use art to study the

functioning of the brain, it is to study

the brain-body system to understand

what makes us human and how. More

than Neuroesthetics, we should speak

of experimental aesthetics, where

the notion of “aesthetics” is declined

according to its original etymology:

Aisthesis, that is, multimodal

perception of the world through the

body. Thanks to the contributions

of cognitive neuroscience, we have

learned that human intelligence also at

the sub-personal level of description,

that is, at the level of description that

relates to neurons and brain areas,

is closely linked to the corporeality

located in the world of individuals.

This corporeality is not exclusively

reducible to a physical object with

extension and is fully realized in the

sphere of experience. The body is

always a living body (Leib) that acts

and experiences a world that resists

it. The concepts of being, feeling,

acting and knowing describe different

ways of our relationships with the

world. These modalities all share a

constitutive bodily root, in turn mapped

into distinct and specific modes of

functioning of brain circuits and neural

mechanisms. At the level of the brainbody

system, action, perception and

cognition share the same carnal root,

although they are differently organized

and connected at the functional level.

These recent acquisitions make it

possible to address the themes of art

and aesthetics from a new perspective,

that of an experimental aesthetic that

investigates the responses of the brain

and the body together.

Cognitive

neuroscience has

progressively

extended its field of

investigation to the

domain of artistic

creation, both in terms of music and

that of the visual arts. For reasons of

space, I will focus here only on the

latter. The term used to define this

approach is “Neuroesthetics”. This term

was originally coined by the

neuroscientist Semir Zeki, referring to

the study of the neural basis of the

ability to appreciate beauty and art.

Zeki has so far focused this approach

exclusively on the relationship

between aesthetics and vision. In any

aesthetic experience, according to Zeki,

the brain, like the artist, must eliminate

any inessential information from the

visual world in order to represent the

real character of an object. It would be

by virtue of this ability that artists,

according to Zeki, can be defined as

“natural scientists”, capable of evoking

an aesthetic response in the creative

brain. In 1994, the British

neuroscientist published a book

entitled “The neurology of kinetic art”,

written in collaboration with Matthew

Lamb, starting a series of studies aimed

at understanding the biological basis of

aesthetic experience, which in fact laid

the foundations of Neuroesthetics.

Scholars of the humanities, for their

part, have shown and, in large part,

continue to show great distrust,

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37


evaluating Neuroesthetics as an undue

interference or, at best, as an approach

with little or no heuristic value. I

believe that this reaction is premature

and fundamentally wrong, deriving on

the one hand from a lack of knowledge

of the potential and limits of the

neuroscientific approach, sometimes

combined with a corporate defense of

one’s own disciplinary fields. On the

other hand, the excessive

neurodeterminism often shown by the

neuroscientific approach to aesthetics

and art, ready to flatten and reduce the

concepts of beauty or aesthetic

pleasure exclusively to the

functionality of neurons contained in

specific brain regions, did not help. the

dialogue. Unfortunately, among many

lovers of the human sciences there

remains, as a sort of conditioned reflex,

the tendency to connect everything

that has to do with naturalization to a

mechanistic and innatistic perspective.

This is not the case. Epigenetics shows

not only how the environment is able

to condition the expression of genes,

but also how this modified gene

expression can be transmitted to

offspring. This demonstrates how the

various social constructions are in any

case attributable to biological

perspectives of naturalization. We

should get out of this dichotomous

perspective and finally accept the idea

already supported in the past, for

example by Helmuth Plessner, that man

is both naturally artificial and

artificially natural.

Neuroesthetics is

studied above all

through brain imaging techniques,

mainly through Functional Magnetic

Resonance Imaging (fMRI), to

understand how the brain responds to

beauty. Particular sensory sequences

can be applied through which it is

possible to see which areas of the brain

are particularly stressed while the

subject is subjected to stimulation

(tactile, visual and acoustic stimuli are

presented or subjected to a specific

task). When the person performs these

tasks, his brain uses certain areas in a

particular way and we, through the

metabolic consumption that requires

an increase in oxygen, we can see what

these areas are. Resonance is a

frequently used technique because it

allows us to observe the brain and its

functions in vivo; it is not invasive, so

much so that it is also used regularly in

the clinic. In a typical experimental

setting, the subject is placed on the

resonance couch, he is made to wear

headphones to isolate him from the

resonance noise and

to transmit acoustic

stimuli and he is

made to wear a

viewer to send him,

through optical fiber

cables, of images

with specific timings. In most cases, the

subject is equipped with a button panel

that allows him to express a judgment

or perform a task, when he is inside the

38 360 GRADI


MRI. Once prepared, the subject is

inserted inside the tube, where there is

a magnetic field. Overlooking the

resonance room there is a console

room, where several computers are

active; in some of them the brain

activity is recorded by others, instead,

the stimulation is sent (for example,

the visual stimuli, simultaneously

recording the times of sending of the

stimuli). This is because, knowing when

the brain has been stimulated, we are

able to align brain activity with the

type of stimulation and therefore to

isolate those effects that interest us.

With this experimental methodology,

the group of prof. Rizzolatti conducted

a study which wanted to generate

a genuine experience of disgust in

subjects, placed in magnetic resonance,

making them inhale disgusting

odorants through a mask; later they

were shown video images in which,

among other things, they saw a man

who, after inhaling the contents of

a glass, made the typical expression

of disgust. In both situations, the

same part of the anterior insula was

activated, it was activated for my

disgust and it was activated even when

I saw the disgust of others. This has

somehow consolidated the idea that

emotion is something that happens

like a two-stroke engine: first there is

the inner feeling, what I feel which,

then, finds a bodily translation that

is externalized. When the idea of

subjectivity took hold in Humanism,

Petrarch fled the crowd because he did

not want his inner feelings to shine

through, being seen by others: “... I

can’t find another screen that escapes

me, from the manifest accorger de le

genti, because acts of dullness, from the

outside you can read like me inside the

forepart …”.

Recently, at the Niguarda

Hospital in Milan,

electrodes were implanted

for epileptic patients

waiting to undergo surgery

aimed at ablation of the

diseased part of the brain

that cannot be treated with

drugs; stimulating a particular region of

the brain with these electrodes

produces laughter and joy and, by

recording from the same electrodes,

this same region is activated even

when these same people see someone

laughing. This is an empirical

demonstration of what many

theoretically had already guessed. Max

Scheler, philosopher of the current of

phenomenology, already at the

beginning of the twentieth century

argued that affective and emotional

states are not mere qualities of

subjective experience, something that

occurs exclusively in my interiority, but

are given in expressive phenomena

that is, they are

expressed in

gestures and bodily

actions and because

of this they become

visible to others. In

the second part of

Robert Musil’s Man without Qualities,

you can read some pages that I find of

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an extraordinary modernity on what

emotions are. This is why we only

genuinely recognize emotion after it has

been shaped by the world, we don’t

know what we feel before our actions

have made a decision. This also leads us

to say that the two aspects are probably

two sides of the same coin, the same

brain structures that are activated when

I express the emotion are also those that

are activated when I experience that

emotion or see it try to somebody else.

We live in a world populated by images

made by us, probably from the time

when the planet was trodden not yet by

the Sapiens, but by the Neanderthals;

moreover, today we live in an age in

which we are bombarded daily and

massively by images. There are those

who speak of fetishism of images and

it is no coincidence that Freud spoke

of scopophilia (from scopeo which

means to look), he speaks of Schaulust,

therefore the desire to look with

curiosity, which he attributed to a sexual

perversion (Tre essays on sexual theory,

1905) when this morbid curiosity of

the gaze is mainly concentrated on the

body and in particular on one part of

the body, the genital one. Freud also

maintained that our curiosity to look

at other objects, such as works of art,

is a sublimation of this instinct. Not

only that and he added: up to a certain

point, touching is indispensable for the

attainment of the sexual goal, the same

thing is true for seeing. An activity is

seeing, in the final analysis, which is

derived from touching, so you can see

how this synesthetic idea of a tactile

vision, of a prehensile eye is already

rooted in Freud; language testifies to

it every day when we say: “I have laid

my gaze on…”, we attribute to the eye

properties that are not those of the

eye, that is of an optical instrument

but are those of the hand.

We go to the

museums, we

queue in the sun

and pay the ticket

to contemplate, as in this photo by a

contemporary German artist Thomas

Struth, artistic objects. The simulation

somehow frees itself from the

inhibitions and becomes an imitation

of what the image transmits to us;

today more and more often in

museums we see scenes like this, here

we are at the Rijksmuseum in

Amsterdam, this is the Night Watch

and, hopefully, visitors are

documenting themselves on the first

work, perhaps, to observe it. Imagine,

however, what a man of the

nineteenth century could understand

of an image like this in which

Schaulust’s object, of desire, curiosity

and craving not only to look but

to capture the

image, is realized

by turning away

from it; because in

reality each of

these ladies does

not want an image of Hillary Clinton

but she wants an image of herself

together with Hillary Clinton and,

therefore, to take her selfie they turn

their backs on her.

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In 2007 Vittorio

Gallese and David

Freedberg, art

historian of

Columbia University,

published an essay that dictated the

agenda of the studies that the authors

then developed in the following years

(Motion, Emotion and Empathy in

Aesthetic Experience). This is a matter

that concerns scientific research

relating to the relationship between

the sphere of brain functions and the

use of the work of art. The authors state

that research on

mirror neurons

has shown

that

even the

observation of

static images of

actions

stimulates the act of simulation in the

observer’s brain. This interesting

statement shifts our attention to

another question. Even when faced

with a static image (for example a

photograph or any work of art), the

process I have just talked about is

triggered, producing an empathic

reaction in the observer. As Freedberg

and Gallese say referring to Goya’s

work “Disasters of War” (it is the title of

a series of 82 etchings): “(...) the

physical reactions of the observers seem

to be located precisely in the parts of the

body threatened, oppressed, blocked or

destabilized in the representation.

Furthermore, physical empathy easily

turns into a feeling of emotional

empathy for the ways in which the body

is damaged or mutilated (...)”. The user

of the image (through mirror neurons

and embodied simulation) when, for

example, is placed in front of a bloody

image will have

an

empathic

reaction,

including a

physical one,

which will

produce an

emotional reaction (emotion, from the

Latin emovēre, that is to bring out,

move). In the light of the research of

recent years, the perceptual

consequences in the context of the use

of works of art and images would all be

enclosed in this brain system and

would cause substantially empathic

and emotional outcomes (i.e., from the

inside to the outside). In this sense, the

perception of the image would be

linked to a mechanism that we could

consider pre-linguistic, pre-cultural

and, in fact, totally automatic. Our

aesthetic experience would be the

result of a precise autonomous and, in

part, involuntary physiological and

biological device. Although obviously

socio-culturally modulated, these

mechanisms are universal. A crucial

element of our aesthetic experience,

therefore, is the activation of embodied

(embodied) mechanisms which include

the simulation of gestures, emotions,

somatic sensations transmitted by the

image and which

constitute the content of

the image.Another

interesting aspect related

to the images was

observed by von

Hildebrand at the end of

the nineteenth century.

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This aspect, more linked to the style of

the image and its artistic quality, that is

to the unconscious simulation in the

user, represents the resonance in the

observer of the artistic gesture used to

create the work of art. A study, also of

magnetic resonance, has shown that

the simulation of the movement I get it

not only when you show me the film of

a hand grabbing a bottle, but also when

I see a photograph that statically shows

me the final consequence of the action.

In another work by Mado Proverbio di

Bicocca in Milan, it has been shown that

the more dynamic

the static image

describes the action,

the greater the

activation in the

motor brain of the

observer; the more

dynamic the action taken in a static

image, the stronger the stimulation of

the motor simulation in the viewer.

Gallese and Freedberg hypothesized

that, even when the work of art has no

content directly and analogically

mappable in terms of actions, emotions

or sensations, as it lacks a recognizable

formal content (think of a work by Lucio

Fontana or by Jackson Pollock), the

artist’s gestures in the production of

the artwork induce the empathic

involvement of the observer, activating

in simulation mode the motor program

that corresponds to the gesture evoked

in the artistic stroke or sign. The signs

on the painting or sculpture are the

visible traces, the consequences of the

motor acts carried out by the artist in

the creation of the work. And it is by

virtue of this reason that they are able

to activate the related motor

representations in the observer’s

brain. As I stated earlier, aesthetic

experience is a mediated form of

intersubjectivity. Gallese’s group

conducted an interesting study using

Ugo Mulas’ famous

service that

captures Lucio

Fontana in his

atelier. The gesture

and the

consequence of the gesture are

therefore studied, that is the spatial

concept of one of his famous cuts. The

images of Fontana’s works were

shown alternating with images in

which the dynamic components were

reduced, replacing the cut with a line

of the same length and thickness, but

erasing the shadow that gives the

sense of depth. The recording of the

motor activity of the brain of the

participants in the experiment was

carried out with a 128-channel highdensity

electroencephalograph. Only

when Fontana’s cuts were seen but

not when the control stimuli were

shown, the motor part of their

brain was

activated. This was

seen in all subjects,

both in those who

turned out to know

Lucio Fontana and knew that those

were works of art, and in those who

had never heard of him and who,

often, took the stimulus of control for

42 360 GRADI


the ‘original artwork and the original

artwork for the control stimulus.

Therefore, a resonance and motor

simulation mechanism were found in

all of them, net of what they more or

less knew about the artistic quality of

the images.

The same

researchers have

replicated the same

results using the

works of an

exponent of abstract expressionism,

Franz Kline; in these works, the

dynamism is given by the materiality of

the brushstroke, by the dripping of the

color, by the dripping, by the trace left

by the brush. Kline’s works were shown

alternating with control stimuli in

which all these dynamic categories had

been removed, while maintaining the

Gestalt complexity of the stimulus.

Here too the simulation of the gesture

was detected, obviously this is not all

as what is in the experience, we feel in

front of these works is a common

element that we cannot pretend that it

does not exist if we want to speak in a

way holistic of what an aesthetic

experience is in front of an image.

I conclude by presenting a study,

again by the Gallese group, where, this

time, the expression of the face that

expresses pain was taken into account;

Six works from the Renaissance to the

Baroque were selected that expressed

alternating pain, in a random sequence,

with faces instead with a neutral

expression. Obviously, the real works

of art are not these but they are simply

the cut-out face; so, I don’t pretend

to argue that these experiments fully

explain why we like Caravaggio, as

Caravaggio is the whole work. As I

said earlier it seems literally that

we are looking through the keyhole,

here we focus on a particular aspect

of the work: the face, the part that

communicates an emotion, the pain.

They are all faces of martyrs alternating

with a face that shows no emotion.

We arrived at these 12 stimuli starting

from 100, shown to a very large sample

of people and those who all recognized

were chosen either as expressing pain

or as not expressing any emotion:

therefore, pain towards a neutral

stimulus.

I am interested in taking a step further

than what I have told you about so far;

so far, I have described an automatic

mechanism probably modulated by

many cultural factors of my personal

history that is activated when I put

myself in front of an image, in the

specific case that is activated when

that image is an image hanging on

the museum. I asked myself another

question, when after having seen and

emphasized with that image someone

asks me to give an explicit aesthetic

evaluation; for example, the question

may be: how artistically beautiful this

image looks to me and do I have to rate

it on a scale from 0 to 10.

When I express an aesthetic judgment,

according to many starting from

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Kant, I must somehow silence all

these mechanisms of emotional and

empathic involvement; this is because

I no longer have to do with what that

image moves in my body but I only

have to give an aesthetic judgment.

Therefore, to do this I have to abstract

from the body dimension, using a

much colder tool from a cognitive

point of view and much more abstract.

When I make an abstract judgment

in terms of the artistic beauty of that

image, do these bodily mechanisms

play a role or not? To verify this, the

researchers of Vittorio Gallese’s group

presented these images alternately

and the subjects saw them in two

different experimental conditions:

in one block they saw them keeping

the facial muscles relaxed and, in

another block, actively contracting the

corrugator muscle, then assuming a

facial posture similar to that depicted

in the face expressing pain. The results

obtained showed that the aesthetic

assessment of the faces observed was

significantly higher when given while

the subjects actively contracted the

corrugator muscle, but this was only

true for faces expressing pain and not

for neutral faces. When, on the other

hand, the subjects gave an aesthetic

judgment with a relaxed face, they saw

equally artistically beautiful the faces

that expressed pain and the faces that

expressed no emotion.

Obviously, it would be excessive to

argue that Kant was wrong, but these

data suggest that aesthetic judgment is

not as detached as it seems, although

we must contextualize the result to

this particular category of stimuli.

The aesthetic experience took place

in a laboratory and not in a museum,

above all the work was not shown

in its entirety but only the face;

made all these due clarifications,

the data seems to me however very

interesting. It tells us how, even when

we are called to deliberate an explicit

aesthetic judgment, that game of

free imagination which Kant speaks

of in the Critique is not absent; since

imagination is one of the products

of simulation activity, these two

dimensions of my experience in front

of the artwork are not as separate

as most people still believe today.

Reproducing the expression of pain

depicted in the observed painted

face significantly influences the

explicit aesthetic evaluation of the

same face; in addition, an equally

interesting correlation was found with

the magnitude of this correlation. The

people who gave the highest aesthetic

judgment to faces that expressed pain

when contracting their muscles were

those who were most familiar with the

art and had the most empathic traits.

Here I leave it to your imagination to

determine if seeing art and going to

museums makes us more empathic

or if, when we are more empathic,

we are more likely to have a greater

attendance of museums. In science it

is almost never possible to establish

a cause-and-effect relationship, we

consider ourselves extremely lucky

when we can establish a significant

correlation as in this case.

44 360 GRADI


Conclusions

I hope I have explained it in an

understandable way, but the

complexity of the theme of images,

aesthetics, feelings aroused by images

and the power of images requires a

very complex approach, certainly not

reducible to a simplistic neuronal

translation of the concepts involved;

the work of art mediates the motor

and affective resonance that arises

between the artist and the user,

becomes the privileged mediator.

The sensorimotor aspects of the

processing of the artistic stimulus by

the observer represent the most direct

and automatic level of processing that

allows the user to feel the work in a

bodily and embodied way; obviously

we are talking about one of the many

dimensions that we collect under

this linguistic label of aesthetic

experience. What I wrote about in this

article is only one aspect of course

but it is an unavoidable aspect; the

observer’s sensorimotor and affective

involvement also seems to influence

the explicit aesthetic judgment.

Therefore, the embodied simulation,

as a model of perception and

imagination, generates in my opinion

this characteristic quality of seeing

“as if” which plays an important role

in our aesthetic experience of the

image, in particular of the images that

today we catalog as works of art. art.

As such it is an important ingredient

in our ability to appreciate images. I

also hope to have convinced you of the

importance of another point: if at all

perspectives from which we face the

problem of what art is, what artistic

images are, why we look at them and

why we like them we also add the

perspective angle, the point of view,

the keyhole of looking at these issues

from the perspective of the brain,

this can help us rediscover the role

of the body in that immediate form

of intersubjectivity which is artistic

creative expression.

Beyond the specificity of the different

aesthetic forms, however, I think that

the fruition of all forms of fiction share

common aspects that can be usefully

investigated by asking questions

directly to the brain-body system. The

feeling of bodily involvement aroused

by paintings, sculptures, architectural

forms, literary narrative fictions,

cinematic arts or, even, by frequenting

virtual worlds increases our emotional

responses to those same media. A form

of emotional knowledge constitutes

a fundamental ingredient of our

aesthetic experience. The theory of

Embodied Simulation aims to capture

these aspects and is relevant to define

the aesthetic experience in at least two

ways:

• The first, thanks to the bodily

feelings aroused by the works

of art with which we relate

by means of the mirroring

mechanisms that they evoke.

In this way the embodied

simulation generates that

particular “as-if” seeing that

plays a fundamental role in the

aesthetic experience.

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• The second, by virtue of the

embodied memories and

imaginative associations that the

works of art awaken in those who

contemplate them.

Then there is a further aspect that

characterizes the embodied simulation

when it is activated by our immersion

with the world of fiction of art,

compared to when it is aroused by

situations of everyday life. In fact,

while we contemplate a work of art

or immerse ourselves in a virtual

world, we temporarily suspend our

relationship with the world, releasing

energies that, paradoxically, can be

experienced more vividly than in

the more prosaic everyday reality.

According to this perspective, the

aesthetic experience of works of art

and the experience of virtual worlds

can be interpreted not only or not so

much in the terms originally proposed

by Coleridge of a cognitive suspension

of disbelief, but as a form of “liberated

embodied simulation “. In looking

at a painting, in reading a novel, in

attending a play or in a film, or in

immersing ourselves in a virtual world,

the embodied simulation is relieved

of the burden of modeling our current

presence in the “real” world. We

look at the forms of symbolic-artistic

expression from a safe distance by

virtue of which our openness to the

world is amplified. When we direct our

attention to the world of art or virtual

worlds, we can fully use our simulation

resources, defusing our defenses.

Our pleasure in art is, therefore, also

probably guided by the sense of secure

intimacy experienced during the

empathic relationship with the world of

art.

Creativity, aesthetic experience and

virtual experience can represent

the moment of suspension, the gap

between actuality and potential that

triggers the possibility of becoming

what you are and allows you to

conceive the world as an infinite series

of possibilities that refer to other

possibilities. Seeing the invisible, a

feature that unites art and science,

means filling a void, striving for what

is not but can be, what, in a word, is

desire. This suggests, as Girard has

guessed in other ways, that art has its

roots in rituality linked to the sense of

the sacred, in the irrepressible human

tendency to fill that void that at the

same time terrifies us and constitutes

the background and the objective. of

our impulses and our projections.

Through the gap between actuality and

potential produced by artistic creation,

both when it becomes cosmogonic,

producing new worlds by reassorting

the elements that characterize the

“visible”, and when, thanks to narrative

fiction or the use of virtual worlds, it

creates apparent duplications of real,

man is forced to suspend his grip on

the world, releasing energies hitherto

unavailable, putting them at the service

of a new ontology that finally, perhaps,

can reveal who he is. More than a

suspension of disbelief, the aesthetic

experience aroused by artistic

production can be read as a “liberated

simulation”. Why does a film, novel

46 360 GRADI


or virtual world potentially excite us

more than a real-life scene that we can

similarly be spectators of? Perhaps

also because in the artistic and virtual

“fiction” our inherence in the narrated

action is totally free from direct

personal involvement. We are free to

love, hate, feel terror, doing it from

a safe distance. This safety distance

that makes mimesis “cathartic” can

put our natural openness to the world

into play in a more totalizing way. A

further factor of amplification of this

liberated simulation is constituted in

certain forms of artistic expression,

such as theater, dance, music, cinema

and virtual worlds, by sharing with

other individuals who, like us, are free

from the obligations of supervising

potentially fatal intrusiveness of the

outside world, totally abandoning

oneself to a full and unconditional

experience of aisthesis. After all,

enjoying art means getting rid of the

world to find it more fully.

Thanks to the expression of artistic

creativity, the human being acquires

the ability to shape material objects,

giving them a meaning that they

would not have in nature per se. This

meaning is the result of the action

with which the artist spreads colors

on a canvas or transforms a block of

marble into a “David” or the “Rape of

Proserpina”. Today neuroscience has

the potential to illuminate, albeit from

a different perspective, the aesthetic

nature of the human condition and

its natural creative propensity, even

before addressing the specific theme

of art and becoming Neuroesthetics.

We thus have the opportunity to enrich

our notion of artistic creativity and

its fruition, multiplying the levels of

description, trying to understand how

artistic objects, rather than being a

gift from the gods, are actually the

paradigmatic expression of our human

nature.

From a certain point of

view, art is superior to

science. With less

expensive tools from an

economic point of view

and with a synthesis

capacity that is probably unattainable

by science, artistic intuitions make us

understand a lot of human nature,

often much more than the objectifying

orientation typical of the scientific

approach. Being human means

becoming capable of questioning who

we are. Artistic creativity has always

expressed this ability in the highest

form. Some fear that addressing these

issues with the prosaic arsenal of

science could somehow diminish, if not

even destroy the magic that invades us

when we contemplate a work of art. If I

shared this concern, I would devote my

time to something else. On the

contrary, it is precisely the belief that

the neuroscientific perspective allows

a further enhancement of the

distinctive and extraordinary

dimension of art and aesthetic

experience that convinces me that we

are moving in a direction potentially

pregnant with interesting results for

anyone interested in better understand

who we are. I conclude with a quote

from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg who

wrote these words that sound more

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and more prophetic, current and

familiar to me every day: “our body is

halfway between our soul and the

outside world, reflecting the effects of

both”.

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HAZELNUT

KINGDOM

A brand new location, with a Mediterranean style.

Elegant meeting place with many opportunities

for socializing.

Written by OEMA.

Images by JARLA CAPALINI.

56 360 GRADI


’S

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HAZELNUT’S

KINGDOM

Hazelnut’s Kingdom is not yet in Second Life Destinations since

there are some parts that need to be finished. However, it is an

enchantment already.

It is an articulated

destination, created

with care and

meticulousness

by an undisputed

professional in the

field of “landscaping”:

Andy Warhol.

As it often happens, seeing the beautiful

photographs that virtual travelers of

Second Life post on Flickr, I came across

one in particular that caught my attention.

It was a beautiful Mediterranean landscape

perched on a hill. As an Italian,

I’m naturally drawn to this type of vegetation

and architectural style, so I

didn’t miss the opportunity to visit the

destination in question.

Hazelnut’s Kingdom occupies three

A beautiful Mediterranean landscape perched

on a hill that offers multiple opportunities for

entertainment and fun.

58 360 GRADI


You can visit

on foot, flying is

not allowed.

regions, one of which is

navigable by water. It is

an articulated destination,

created with care

and meticulousness by

an undisputed professional

in the field of “landscaping”:

Andy Warhlol

(terry.fotherington).

Who doesn’t know Frogmore,

for example? Andy

Warhlol has a great experience

in the realization

of destinations that have

become an essential reference

in the scenario of

the most beautiful photographic

regions in Second

Life.

Hazelnut’s Kingdom’s

peculiarity is that, apart

from being an enchanting

destination, it also offers

various entertainment

opportunities for all those

who love this type of

landscape.

You should note that the

creator of Hazelnut’s is

not also the owner. It is

a work done on the commission

of Noubeil (noubeil.alpha).

Therefore,

the management of the

destination is the responsibility

of the latter to

whom one must refer in

case of need.

Hazelnut’s Kingdom has

its inworld group, whose

membership costs 1000

L$. In the description of

the group, we can find valuable

information about

the purpose of the destination

and the proposed

activities:

“Welcome to Hazelnut’s

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I recommend accepting the region’s light settings

for the best experience.

In different points of the regions we can

find signs indicating the main attractions.

Kingdom!

It’s a place of pleasure and nature.

That’s why we thank you

for your trust, and we will do

everything to satisfy your stay.

Hazelnut’s Kingdom is an area located

on the Noubeillane estate,

which means in Occitan “the house

of hazelnuts.” Occitan is still

spoken in the south of France,

and the spirit of a mountainous

region inspires our domain in the

Aegean Pyrenees.”

The aspect that fascinates me

the most is that it is not a flat

destination: I appreciate the

differences in height, the mountains

alternating with flat areas

that make the landscape varied

and believable. The way the decorative

objects have been placed

denotes an understanding

of the common-sense rules that

allow for a destination’s realism.

Flying is not allowed, which

could be a good thing because

it induces visitors to explore on

foot precisely as they would in

reality. Some of the houses are

also rented out, so the limited

flying also finds its raison d’etre

in need not to disturb the tenants.

Talking with the owner, I learned

that some areas are still to

be created, so we will have the

opportunity to appreciate newly

landscaped corners in the coming

months as well.

Hazelnut’s Kingdom is not (yet)

in Second Life Destinations, so

it’s a scoop we reserve for our

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eaders.

References

Teleport

Flickr Group

Inworld Group

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MEDITERRANEO-OC

TELEPORT

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SLICE OF H

An enchanting winter destination that will

soon be renewed in its spring version.

IN S

Written by SERENA DOMENICI

Images by JARLA CAPALINI.

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EAVEN

ECOND LIFE

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The creator is Luane (luane.meo) who has created a

charming winter setting with a naturalistic style.

SLICE OF HEAVEN

IN SECOND LIFE

Winter

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SEASONALITY

SLICE OF HEAVEN will close in a few days. We suggest the reader

to hurry up and enjoy for a while longer the winter climate that

Luane wanted to give us. The winter style will soon be replaced

by the spring one.

Luane Meo has been giving visitors for

years now beautiful locations perfect

for photography and entertainment in

general.

The aspect of Second

Life that I have always

found wonderful is

the possibility to

travel and visit places

borrowed from the real

world and virtually

reproduced in small

masterpieces. Sites can

masterfully combine

the concrete with the

imaginary: a significant

art form - this - that

deserves to be known

by a wider audience of

virtual users.

I had been missing

from Second Life for

three years, and I must

say that I found this

beauty intact, this

constant search for

perfection on the part

of people who devote

their time to creating

very suggestive spaces.

My interest will focus

on this aspect that will

never cease to amaze

me pleasantly from

this point of view.

I will speak only of

what will succeed in

capturing my curiosity,

arousing emotions,

and satisfying my

aesthetic sense; it will

be precisely this that I

will like to share with

you readers.

My journey began in

this movie location:

Slice of Heaven.

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I happened upon it by

chance, assuming chance

can exist, and assuming

it makes sense to talk

about chance in Second

Life, where everything is

random but at the same

time everything is driven

by a fierce determinism.

I found myself in a white

winter landscape, with

a lot of snow falling and

pleasant background

music that was the frame.

Don’t imagine a place full

of objects, and so on: it

was a place bare, lonely,

cloaked in mystery,

desolate in its way, and

perhaps that was what

made it special.

A long path lined with

trees laden with snow,

due to the season,

houses, but you can also

find stores, restaurants,

and a small church at the

top of a hill where you

can gather in prayer or

look for a little peace.

Even an icy lookout

where you can skate

admiring the landscape

lit by many small

lights created a warm

atmosphere, despite the

scenario whitewashed by

snow.

Is that all?

No, because more than a

place, this is a feeling, a

place where destinies or

loneliness can cross.

You can experience the

path that leads to the

houses as a place of life

or “death”: people can

write many plots, many

stories, as the writer

does on a sheet of

white paper like snow!

Satisfying loves that

never blossomed love

that ended, lovers who

meet in secret, words

spoken, whispered or

only imagined, dreams,

silences, muffled

sounds like the snow

that falls silent on the

village and hearts...

But it could also be the

place of a family that

loves to share its space

with friends.

And I, too, carried away

by the wind of fantasy,

found myself imagining

in a dreamlike

dimension, “seeing”

myself reached in

that solitary place by

an old lover of mine,

who came to warm my

hands and my heart.

And to whisper to me

that time - at least here

- can also be stopped,

rewinding the film of

life to recover the lost

moments, sublimating

them in an immutable

and eternal present like

the winter all around,

eternally waiting to be

defeated by the flame

of love.

The owner and creator

of this beautiful place is:

LuaneMeo.

References

Teleport to Slice of

Heaven

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LADMILLA MEDIER

Ladmilla Medier,

ART

Head Column

“Art does not reflect what is seen, rather it makes the

hidden visible.”

(Paul Klee)

I don’t think that there is an absolute definition of

Art. Still, this short, famous quote represents the

path that I will propose in this section dedicated

to Art: together we will know the artists active

in Second Life and their works, we will discover

the study, the conceptual elaboration, and the

artistic technique that gave rise to the creations;

each of us will be able to listen to the whispering

stories, awaken dormant memories and provide our

interpretation, find the essence that goes beyond

the visible.

I am sure it will be a fascinating journey!

Ladmilla

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CHERRY M

Well-known artist whose works are characterized

by a strong visual and emotional impact.

A

Written by LADMILLA MEDIER

IImages by LADMILLA MEDIER

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ANGA

RTIST

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CHERRY MANGA

SENSITIVENESS, TORMENT, DARK

PERFECTIONISM

“I hav

person lov

Cherry Manga is a well

known artist working

in Second Life from

long time, she always

created and still creates

impressive installations

that have a strong visual

impact and the power

to hit the observer

emotionally.

The love for nature and for

the Japanese culture made

her choose her nice virtual

name:

When I created my Second

Life account it was the

season of cherries, as I

love this fruit and I was

eating some when was

registering, I chose the

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NESS AND

e a very simple life, I am a wild

ing more Nature than human

kind”

name Cherry; the last

name had to be chosen

from a list, so I decided on

Manga and thought that

Cherry Manga could be a

good name for someone

loving Japanese culture.

She is a sensitive,

tormented, dark and

perfectionist soul as she

loves to define herself,

and her artworks show

well her temperament.

Cherry had artistic

experiences and

performances in Real

life also, despite her shy

attitude that makes her

prefer situations where

she does not have to

meet the public:

I have a very simple

life, I am a wild person

loving more Nature than

human kind, that is the

reason cause it is easier

for me to create in virtual

worlds where I do not

have to meet physically

the audience... however

I worked for a theater,

made several creations

LANDING POINT

for Real Life, did a real

live performance in 2017

with “FrancoGrid” for “Le

Hublot” in “Nice” but all

that was not comfortable

for a shy person like me.

Cherry had enough

artistic experiences in

Real and Second Life

so she can have a clear

idea of the possible

differences that can be in

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creating in these worlds;

what she thinks is very

interesting and I am in

complete agreement with

her:

There is no difference, the

computer is the medium,

the tool; movies or music

are also virtual, we cannot

touch them, we do not have

to place them in a category,

Art is art, wherever it is.

As we can see in the

creations of every true

artist, also her artworks

are free from conditioning

or standards, she puts

herself in them, her soul

and experiences:

Almost everything I create

is autobiographical,

sometimes it is more or

less evident, sometimes

is hidden; in the two past

installations is very evident

cause “Endometriosis”

is a disease I suffer

from, “Monsters” is an

installation about the

monsters I met in my life,

starting from the fears of

my childhood to the social

pressure I still experiment

each day.

Also the theme of

Human condition is very

important in most of my

creations; regarding the

actual pandemic I think

it is a natural response

to overpopulation, I

am not frightened by

the possibility to die or

lose my close relatives,

I am frightened by the

politics, by the lobbies

that are caging us in a

dystopic condition, the

future will be darker than

a pandemic. Regarding

the women condition in

particular, we have a lot

of work to do for changing

the patriarchal system,

but I must admit this is

not my main fight, and I

do not talk so much about

it in my creations.

MONSTERS

“Monsters” is an

interactive installation

that Cherry created in

a very interesting and

impressive way; when

you are at the landing

point do not miss to

activate Advanced

lightning model, to

set your Sounds on,

your Audio stream off

and to accept the Void

experience pop-up, all

that will let your avatar

animate and let you have

an immersive experience

that I will not describe

here, so you will be

surprised and will enjoy

at the best; be curious,

touch things, read local

chat, listen to the sounds

and move around.

What are those monsters?

Each one of us can find

our own monsters that

can live inside us or

torment us from the

outside, we can choose

to feed them or fight for

escaping; Cherry gives

us the best explanation

about that with her own

words:

They are the monsters

I met in my life, there

is the primal fear: “the

wolf in the wood”, there

are the ghosts or the

strange things you could

experiment when you

were a child, but also the

monsters you can meet

when adult: rape, suicide,

social pressure, domestic

violence... Why they trap

us? Because it takes time

to understand our own

fears, our weakness, and

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turn them into strenght; we

can experience the same

things many times before

recognizing the patterns and

knowing how to improve

ourselves.

Let yourself be involved in

this experience: meet the

Monsters, face their thorny

or giant shapes, walk on

narrow bridges suspended

above the void, run into

tunnels, enter mysterious

rooms, be lost in troubled

waters and enjoy the games

of lights and shadows…

you will be captivated and

impressed, but I do not need

to tell more, just go and

experience all that.

MONSTERS

THE GALLERY

Cherry has an amazing

Gallery in ADreNalin, a

Second Life region; it is an

evocative location built

with moving lines and

cubes, the color is mainly

black and white with some

tones of very soft colors,

this interesting architecture

fits perfectly Cherry’s art:

her mesh and animesh

creations, in fact, look very

vivid and living.

You can buy her art

there, some very

beautiful works are even

free or sold for a single

Linden, that shows the

great generosity of this

artist.

The style of this artist

is evolving, she likes

always to try something

new while remaining

focused on the themes

that she prefers and that

characterize her art:

I am evolving and

experimenting, but still

creating scenes almost

always dark and/or

poetic. At the moment

I am working on mixed

media and 3D printing

models for making glass

dome sculptures.

We look forward to

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enjoy her future new

creations.

Thank you Cherry for your

Art!

References

Monsters

Gallery

ADreNalin

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MONSTERS

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MONSTERS

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MONSTERS

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MONSTERS

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MONSTERS

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ADRENALIN - LANDING

POINT

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GALLERY - GLUED

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GALLERY - THE PLANT

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GALLERY - SISTERS

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GALLERY - ENDOMETRIOSIS

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GALLERY - VR WOMAN NO

ESCAPE FROM THE GRID MAN

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GALLERY - AVOIR LA MAIN

VERTE A FLEUR DE PEAU -

PAPILLON...

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VAN LOOPEN

Van Loopen,

MUSIC

Head Column

If I were not an architect in life, I would probably be a

musician.

I think in music.

I live my daydreams in music.

I see my life in terms of music.

Since 2009 in Second Life, I try to share this emotion

with others.

As editor and music consultant for 360 GRADI, I would

like to shed light on an often underestimated world, but

which is instead one of the main activities in the “second

life.”

The message in music arrives more efficiently at its

destination, touching the most intimate and personal

chords, without the need for other intermediaries in

communication.

In the variegated musical world of Second Life, I will

deal with emerging artists and those who are now well

established and often do not know each other well

enough.

I take advantage of this space to give some point of

reference in the music scene of Second Life because

“people consume music as if it were a handkerchief for

the nose.”

(Zucchero)

Van

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DORIAN KA

LIVE

Dorian is an Italian

singer who has been

known and appreciated

for years.

Written by VAN LOOPEN.

Images by JARLA CAPALINI

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SINGER

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DORIAN KASH

LIVE SINGER

Dorian Kash is one of those

performers/singers who where

you put him can be a guarantee

of success very naturally, with a

very wide repertoire.

Dear 360GRADI’s friends, in this

issue I will talk about an Italian

artist. The time has come, and I

can’t put it off any longer because

even the “bel paese” offers

its essential contribution to the

Essellian community of male

and female live singers.

The first characteristic I have

always noticed is that few remain

active overtime in the

physiological alternation of new

voices and historical ones, new

performers who, however, after

a while, disappear from the scene.

And this is a pity.

Perhaps this is due to the use

that we Italians habitually make

of SL. I mean, even in the music

industry (excluding DJs who are

much more constant and present),

we do our best not as a

real job but as a pure pastime,

obviously leaving out the aspect

of commitment and appointment.

Among the Italian male singers,

who have a reasonably constant

presence, I will talk today about

Dorian Kash.

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Technically he has a

voice with a strong and

warm tone, with an

innate intonation, and at

the same time manages

to create intimate

introspection in the

listener.

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I chose to start with him

because, after a period

of inactivity (the first

for him), he has recently

returned to tread the SL

lands’ stages, more motivated

than before.

And his return is an added

value for everyone,

Italian or not.

Each artist has precise

and well-defined prerogatives.

Some choose to

perform exclusively in

Italian lands, others go

beyond their borders, but

all have very different

characteristics that distinguish

them.

Dorian Kash is one of

those performers/singers

who, wherever you put

him, can be a guarantee

of success very naturally,

with an extensive repertoire.

Technically he has a

strong and warm voice,

with natural intonation,

and at the same time, he

can create intimate introspection

in the listener.

Singing is a hobby for

him, and as with all the

other hobbies he has in

RL, he puts attention to

detail and commitment to

preparation. This aspect

talks about his personality

and sensibility. But

then again, from someone

who loves to be in the

clouds, flying touring planes

and skydiving, what

can you expect if not careful

preparation in things

to manage even that

little bit of madness?

His vocal approach indicates

his repertoire and

musical preferences:

musical introspection of

Italian songs, interpretations

of international

songs between jazz, and

the bubbly American musicals.

Each evening is a musical

journey through the most

beautiful international

songs known and niche Italian.

He has fun and entertains, no

doubt about it.

From the interview he granted

us, we learn interesting

things about his personality.

It’s up to you to discover

them.

Van: Dorian, as is our practice,

we ask the artist to describe

himself to make him

better, also known in his personal

aspects. Tell us about

your origin, where you live,

hobbies, work, etc.

Dorian: Well, I am of Ligurian

origin; I come from Lerici, an

enchanting little village on

the sea between the inlets of

the Gulf of La Spezia. In front

of me is Portovenere, the gateway

to the Cinque Terre: in

short, I’m a man of the sea, a

heritage I cherish. As often

happens, however, for the

various cases of life, I found

myself living for years now

in Trento, between mountains

and snow, surrounded

no longer this time by saltiness

and anchovies, but by

the Dolomites and shin, my

other passion! Laughs! Snow

then now and lots of skiing,

when I could, one of my

favorite sports along with

martial arts, skydiving, and

piloting tourist planes. As

far as my job is concerned,

after having stopped being

a musician, after twenty ye-

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ars, between trios, duets,

bands, and work in the

studio, I now work in a

local company’s customs

office. This exciting job

leaves me time to play

the music that entered

my life as a child in the

form of a piano and has

never left.

Van: Do you remember

the first time you sang in

SL and how it happened?

Dorian: Yes, of course, it’s

a very fond memory. I had

my first night in a popular

Italian land, “Zero Moda”

at Miss Erya’s: it was extraordinary

and exciting.

I would have never thought

to get excited singing

in front of a screen, even

after many concerts and

nights in RL. I must say

that the emotion was

there, and even now, it is

always present in all my

sets. I will never stop putting

myself out there and

looking for an audience’s

excitement, even on SL.

It just so happened that

I met someone who took

me to a karaoke bar; I

never thought there was

such a thing as karaoke

on SL. People spurred

me to sing, and so, after

trying to understand

what the technical requirements

were, I began

to attend that land. I had

discovered how to have

fun with singing again. I

was then convinced to

do the first night I mentioned

earlier, by a girl,

Stupenda Flux, who put

body and soul into getting

me to pursue a singing

career in SL. So she

agreed with Erya, and

everything was born!

Van: In the panorama of

Italian singers in SL, you

have occupied an essential

space for a long

time. Is this success a

goal for you, a stimulus,

or are you not interested

in gaining consensus?

Dorian: Let’s be clear,

receiving approval is

beautiful, the applause

and the “bravo” are the

stimuli and the nourishment

of that fundamental

part of an artist

that is his narcissism.

The desire to give oneself

and be listened to

by the audience is a

more potent drug than

any other, but consensus,

when it is true, has

nothing to do with its

frantic search. The more

you chase it, the further

away it gets. The only

way to be accepted by

people is to be me, true:

certainly with the desire

to amaze, but in the end

giving myself without

EVER trying to please,

but rather opening my

soul and trying to interpret

with my heart in my

hand, naked. Then what

I feel when I sing I realize

that it comes! And

that’s when the magic

happens, whether the

audience is 100 people

or 3. All this is true for

me; I can only speak on

my behalf without thinking

of expressing who

knows what truth if not

my own.

Van: Is SL a game for

you, an opportunity to

express your talent, or

something else?

Dorian: SL, for me, has

been and is a very emotionally

involved world.

I can’t see it as a game,

but as an opportunity,

for those who want to

express themselves. Singing

in SL has allowed

me to perform pieces

that I have always loved

and that I could never

perform in RL for one

thing or another. Perhaps

yes, in that respect, it is

an opportunity.

Van: What message do

you want to convey to

others through your interpretations?

Dorian: None!!! No, I

don’t presume to give

a message—anything

more than a pleasant

hour in the company of

others. The only excep-

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tion is when I sing for

charity at the fundraiser

in favor of IKSDP Harambee

Project Gwassi Kenya

by Lorella and Lotrec and

for research against Sla

at the event Harvey by

Electra: I think this is a

way not only to send a

message of brotherhood

and love, acceptance and

participation but being

able, along with other

various artists, to change

the real lives of people

starting from a project

carried out in a virtual

world is something that

fills the heart that allows

you to achieve something

concrete and rewarding.

Van: I have known you for

many years in SL and, as

far as I have been able to

ascertain, your favorite

interpretation, thanks to

your warm voice, always

in tune and decisive, seems

to be the genre of

American Musicals, with

references to Ella Fitzgerald

and Frank Sinatra,

even if you pass from

Jazz music to Italian songwriting

with extreme

ease. So I ask you, what

is your musical influence

and knowledge in RL? Did

you do specific studies, or

did you start as a hobby?

Dorian: You hit the nail

on the head! Jazz and

swing are my musical

loves. American music

from the ‘20s on has

always fascinated me,

even before blues and

spirituals. Singing Sinatra

is lovely for me, even

if it is unreachable, but

playing with the anticipations,

returns, syncopations,

and accents of

swing with the voice is

fun. Here I have to open a

parenthesis: my classical

music studies, thanks to

the study of piano, made

me know the great music

from which everything

comes! Everything is

there! People can find

Puccini’s melody in the

great Neapolitan music

up to the traditional styles

of Italian music, especially

songwriting. We

have masterpieces in the

so-called light music that

is incredible, beautiful

poems. I think of lyrics by

singer-songwriters such

as Fossati, Dalla, De Andrè,

and De Gregori Venditti,

how many would be

worth mentioning. Finally,

the Italian Jazz trend

from Rossana Casale to

Nicola Arigliano, passing

by Sergio Cammarere and

Fabio Concato, absolute

geniuses that I love unconditionally.

Van: Would you like to

sing together with other

established singers in SL?

If so, with whom?

Dorian: Yes, I would love

to sing with anyone who

wants to! I would also

love to do a USA FOR

AFRICA type of project -

that would be cool and

interesting. As well as

bringing around repertoires

of three or four

singers: I know there is

the possibility of singing

together, but I honestly

never understood how

(technically streaming, I

mean).

Van: What is your favorite

song and why?

Dorian: O Mamma Mia,

this is the question of

the century! There are

so many masterpieces of

Italian music that deserve

mention. Still, suppose

I have to look inside. In

that case, I can tell that

the song I would have

liked to write is “when I

will be able to love” by

Giorgio Gaber: the reason

lies in the beautiful simplicity

and ability to synthesis

a text that makes

you fall in love immediately!

How he was able to

explain love in this song

is a rare gem.

Van: As already mentioned,

you mostly perform

in the Italian community.

Have you ever thought

of making yourself even

better known to the other

SL communities as well?

Which stage would you

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prefer?

Dorian: Yes, I am attracted

to sing in other

communities, and for

some time, I have done

so in American, Australian,

and Argentinean

lands, where I had built

up a repertoire of tango,

another genre that fascinates

me and that still

accompanies me in my

evenings. Unfortunately,

Italian singers abroad are

tied to clichés that condition

their repertoire, so I

found myself once again

singing pieces that I didn’t

feel were mine and

therefore pleasing rather

than exciting, and this is

not for me. Never say never

anyway.

Van: Dorian, while thanking

you for your availability,

I’m going to open

a little personal joke. I

admire your eclecticism

of private interests, including

flying in RL touring

planes and skydiving. I’m

curious when you’re in

command of your aircraft,

do you sing happily in the

cockpit, as I would sing in

the shower?

Dorian: Absolutely yes,

when I’m alone though,

because if I’m taking someone

for pleasure, I’m

a serious and professional

pilot...but alone...I go

wild!! And land with no

voice!

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LISTEN DORIAN KASH

WHILE SINGING

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MISOINDITE ROMANO

Misoindite Romano,

FASHION

Head Column

I’ll make a short presentation of myself without wanting

to bore anyone.

I thank Oema and Van for giving me this space in their

Magazine.

Misoindite Romano, Miso for everyone (or almost), a

model I think since always, I’ve never done anything but

modeling and fashion show.

Many people smile about this work in SL, unaware that

a world of people and linden is going around on this

activity. Stylists and agencies of various nationalities

would not exist if there were no models or bloggers.

I have 12 years of Second Life behind me, a lot of

passion, and accurate work on my personality and my

avatar, which I try to represent in the best way.

My task will be to keep you informed, perhaps making

you want to accompany me in the field of fashion in SL.

Miso

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VALENTINA E

DESIG

Written by OEMA.

Images by JARLA CAPALINI.

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.

NER

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VALENTINA

E.

Valentina E, is a well-known brand

in the Second Life fashion scene. The

store is frequented by, among others,

the Italian community.

I discovered Valentina E.’s

store just a few months ago at

an event where participating

brands were putting a garment

on sale for the price of L$60.

I also remember the garment

I bought and the feeling of

unusual familiarity when I first

landed at Valentina’s store.

Maybe it’s because the name is

Italian, or perhaps it’s because

the store’s style and the clothes

on offer “fit like a glove” my

needs for class and originality,

Valentina Evangelista’s store is

one of the ones I visit the most.

So I decided to interview her

on the occasion of releasing

this issue of 360GRADI and

getting to know her better.

Among other things, Valentina

Evangelista is also very much

appreciated by Jarla Capalini,

the magazine’s photographer

and head of the photography

department.

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Valentina E. is an original

brand that knows how to

present its own unique style.

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I noticed that the store

is very well known and

appreciated by the Italian

community, maybe

because of the brand

name. However, Valentina

is not Italian, so English is

the preferred language if

you want to communicate

with her.

Let’s see how to make her

acquaintance.

Oema: How long you

create clothes for Second

Life, and how have you

started? (did you already

know the software you

use for creating?)

Valentina Evangelista:

I’ve been making mesh

clothes in Second Life for

about ten years. I had a

few friends working fulltime

as content creators

in SL, and the idea

seemed very appealing.

I’d spent most of my

working life in the field

of visual presentation,

so design wasn’t new to

me. However, my skill

set didn’t include any of

the programs required

to model, texture, and

animate mesh. With a

bit of direction from my

before mentioned design

friends, I began teaching

myself how to create

Second Life clothing.

This was a painfully slow

process filled with a lot

of trial and error. My

early creations are pretty

hilarious to look back on,

but I am proud of myself

for sticking with it and

getting to the point that

I now love wearing my

own designs. That said,

education never ends

with content creation.

There are always ways to

improve, and I still want

to do so much more and

learn.

Second Life is such a

wonderful platform for

design. If you’re willing

to put in the time and

effort, the opportunities

are endless. It’s one of

the reasons, so many of

us love SL.

Oema: Your style is

unique, and as several

people tell about your

brand, you are original,

and you don’t copy

from anyone. Do you

find inspiration in RL

magazines or others?

Valentina Evangelista:

I’ve tried to find a bit of

a niche in the SL market

and, most importantly,

to make things I want

to wear. I am definitely

inspired by real-life

designers, pop culture,

etc., but also by the holes

in my SL wardrobe. If you

can’t find what you want

to wear, you just have to

make it!

All fashion and art

are derivative and

collaborative somehow,

but you always make

something your own

when you go from an

idea in your head to the

final product. Sometimes

I surprise myself when

I start to make one

thing and end up with

something completely

different!

Oema: You make clothes

by yourself, or is there

someone else you want

to mention about your

brand?

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Valentina Evangelista:

Valentina E. is a onewoman

show, which is

why I am not always able

to offer as many sizes

and options as I’d like.

I do everything from

designing, modeling,

texturing, rigging,

packaging, promoting,

and customer service.

I’m fortunate that I do

have one person helping

my brand in a significant

way. Lori Matthews has

been shooting my ads for

some time now and does

such an excellent job

showcasing my designs.

She’s such a talented

photographer and has a

fantastic sense of style. I

can send her anything to

shoot, and she’ll take it to

the next level.

Oema: What suggestions

would you give to

someone who wants to

start making clothes in

SL? You would suggest

joining some specific

course, learning following

youtube video tutorials,

or other?

Valentina Evangelista:

If you’re willing to put

in the time and the

work, you can learn how

to create high-quality

content for Second Life.

It’s not something you

can do overnight, but

everything is out there if

it’s something you want

to pursue.

Many fantastic paid

courses will teach you

character creation, mesh

modeling, etc. Paying

for formal instruction

will likely increase the

speed at which you

learn. However, that’s

not the only route. I

am pretty much selftaught

via Youtube and

various other free, online

tutorials. There are also

loads of inworld creator

groups and discussion

boards on the Second

Life website that are very

helpful.

Regarding programs, you

can spend thousands of

dollars buying amazing

software for all aspects

of mesh creation, but you

don’t need to. Blender is

a free program that will

cover much of what you

need to do, and there

are plenty of tutorials

available. That should

be the starting point for

most people.

If you decide to dive

into content creation for

Second Life, I wish you

the very best of success

with your efforts. It is

lots of work, but it’s lots

of fun as well. The world

is at your feet, and your

imagination can take you

anywhere.

References

Valentina E. Store

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JARLA CAPALINI

Jarla Capalini,

PHOTOGRAPHY

Head Column

Writing with light, from the Greek φῶς, φωτός, “light” and

γραϕία, “writing”, this is “photography”.

Now I know that talking about photography in Second

Life will surely make purists curl their noses or smile at

the most benevolent professionals and enthusiasts. Still,

once there were film and exposure meter, then came

digital cameras and files today. We also use phones to take

pictures, and thanks (maybe) to them, photography is now

within everyone’s reach.

Here then is that a “viewer,” with all its peculiarities

techniques can become a perfect means to “write” with the

virtual “light” the encounter between the subject and the

eye of the photographer, from which a new possible vision

is born.

The imagination of reality, albeit virtual.

This one we will do in our journey among the

photographers of Second Life: we will talk about

technique, composition, inspiration and

passion, hoping to convince skeptics that our images,

although depicting a world of pixels,

can rightly be considered “photography.”

Jarla

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SADYCAT

LITTLEPAW

SadyCat is a blogger, blogger manager and successful

photographer.

Written by JARLA CAPALINI.

Images by SADYCAT.

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BLOGGER

SADYCAT

SadyCat Littlepaws has been working

in the Second Life fashion industry for

several years and is one of the most

trusted bloggers in the virtual world.

SadyCat Littlepaws has been

working in Second Life fashion

industry for several years

and she is one of the most

accredited bloggers of the

virtual world. Photography for

fashion is her daily bread and

we want to try to snatch some

secrets from her. Of course, she

is more than this so let’s meet

her and have a little chat.

Jarla: How was your start in

second life?

Sady: A real life friend pestered

me every day for 2 weeks until

one night when I couldn’t sleep,

I gave it a try. That was in Nov

2006 and I’ve been here ever

since. She didn’t last six months.

(chuckles)

Jarla: When did you get into

photography and what attracted

you.

Sady: I think my love for

photography came from real life.

I used to take tons of pictures in

RL, even photo shoots with my

friends and this was well before

the days of Instagram and other

social media.

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As a blogger manager she has the

difficult task of selecting the best

bloggers.

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Jarla: Have you blogged

about both decor

and fashion, do they

technically have points

in common or are they

two completely different

things?

Sady: I have blogged

both. I was told I should

really focus on one genre

for the longest time and

I wanted to prove I could

do both. And I did, but

I got to the point that

I couldn’t keep up the

pace. Blogging decor

is very different and

in my opinion, more

challenging. It takes a lot

longer, that’s for sure.

Jarla: What made you

choose to dedicate

yourself only to fashion

... apart from the passion

that every woman has for

clothes?

Sady: I just didn’t have

the time to create the

decor scenes anymore.

I still love doing decor

and will create scenes for

my fashion shots, but to

give decor the attention

it deserves...well, I just

don’t have that kinda

time. Plus, I hate tearing

down my scenes. (smiles)

Jarla: It seems that the

way of doing the fashion

blogger has changed in

recent years, now all is

more about photography

and not about writing.

“ I’ve been

involved in both

furniture and

fashion”

SadyCat

What do you think about

it?

Sady: I think fashion has

always been more of a

visual industry. When

bloggers write, some

talk about their lives...

some talk about the

items. To be fair, I think

talking about the items

and fashion is really the

way to go, but I struggle

with that. I honestly

don’t know that more

than a handful of people

actually read my blog.

Jarla: When there is a

new release, how do you

organize all the work to

get to the shot?

Each shot is different. I

get ideas when I see the

item(s), but sometimes a

shot takes on a life of its

own. I tend to jot down

my ideas on post it notes

and I have hot pink flags

framing my monitor.

Sometimes I’ll sit on an

idea for months.

Jarla: How much do you

work on your photos after

saving the shot?

Sady: It depends on what

I’m going for, but I do like

the play with the lighting

and getting a clear shot

of what I’m trying to

showcase.

Jarla: Are you always

satisfied with the result

you get?

Sady: I’d like to say that

I never publish a photo

that I’m not happy with,

but there are times that

time is of the essence and

I need to get ‘something’

published. I am happy

with most of my photos,

but every once in a while,

I do one and I’m just like...

ugh, hate it. Of course,

it’s those photos that

everyone seems to love.

LOL

Jarla: How important is a

well-made avatar for the

success of a photo?

Sady: In my opinion,

it’s imperative. I’m not

a good enough photo

editor to make a system

avi look fantastic in

Photoshop. I don’t draw

anything. The most I do is

enhance things to being

focus. I’m not a magician.

Jarla: A fashion photo

must obviously highlight

the creation for which it

is made, but according

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to you what is the thing

or things that catch the

public’s attention?

Sady: Lighting and colour

choices make a huge

difference, next is the

pose. You can showcase

a top if your arms are full

of flowers and food. You

can’t showcase a skin if

you’re covered in tattoos

and heavy cosmetics. You

can’t properly showcase

a skirt if you’re sitting

down.

Jarla: How important is

the artistic element in a

fashion photo?

Sady: The better the

photo, the more people

will want to look at it. At

the same time, I think its

important for brands to

have different types of

bloggers. For instance,

a brand like Vinyl or

Blueberry...they make

clothes that look great

on everyone, but the

individual style is going

to give viewers ideas. So,

its good to have some

dark/gothic like artists

on their teams to show

how their items can be

versatile. You got your

sex kittens and your

urban girls and your

basic girls (this is not an

insult btw). The more

versatile your team,

the more versatility

gets showcased and

can appeal to a bigger

audience.

Jarla: Speaking of

brands… Besides being

a blogger, you are also

a blogger manager for

major brands in SL, I

guess you also select the

bloggers: what are the

requirements they must

have as photographers?

Sady: The number

one thing I look for is

exposure. People get

sooo mad about this, but

the truth is... the whole

point of having bloggers

is to have the products

seen by as many people

as possible. Blogging is

advertising. So, obviously,

I’m looking for polished

photographers with as

much reach as possible.

Like it or not, blogging is

a numbers game. We’re

not just handing out free

products. We agree to

give you these items if

you agree to promote

them. It’s that simple.

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Jarla: Would you like

to share one of your

“secret” about SL

photography with us?

Sady: I don’t know that I

have a secret, per se. I get

inspired by others and

experiment a lot. If you

look at my Flickr, you’ll

see that I’m all over the

place.

Jarla: Your “best” flaw?

Sady: Uhm... I have

so many. I’m not sure

which is the “best”. I

guess I’d say that my

experimentation has

kept me from a lot of

teams, because I lack a

consistent look. However,

I’m not ever going to stop

trying new things. Not

sure if that’s a flaw, really.

“I don’t know if I

have a secret. I get

inspired by others and

experiment a lot”

SadyCat

References

Flickr

Blog

Instagram

Facebook

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A special thanks

Special thanks to our loyal readers who

put the magazine kiosk on their land:

Lee Olsen

LUNDY ART GALLERY

Tia Rungray

STRUKTURO

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NOIR’WEN CITY

Dixmix source

DixMix Art Gallery

Anelie Abeyante

La Maison d’Aneli

Ilyra Chardin (ilyra.chardin)

Emergent Gallery

LIV (ragingbellls)

Raging Graphix Gallery

Michiel Bechir

Michiel Bechir Gallery at Embrace

Michiel Art Cafe

Hermes Kondor

Viktor Savior de Grataine (viktorsavior)

SHINY (narayanraja)

Bohemio Love

Jaz (Jessamine2108)

Art Promotion

Camp Italia

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CHOSEN ON

SL PHOTO

“inside me ”

MIna Arcana

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FLICKR

GRAPHERS

Editor’s Choice.

Gorgeous

photographs

seen on

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group.

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Lilith

Geordie

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Anto Haiku

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Santra

Seranno

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Alba

Silverfall

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Elaine

Lectar

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ROXANNE

MISS V

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AshleyAlyson Yexil

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Lidiane

Miller

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Santra

Seranno

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Lilith

Geordie

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ROXANNE

MISS V.

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Lidiane

Millerll

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Santra

Seranno

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Lidiane

Miller

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Santra

Seranno

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Mina Arcana

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Thanks for reading,

we hope you enjoyed

this issue.

Copyrighted. All rights

reserved.

We are not affiliated to

Linden Lab.

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For advertising in

360 GRADI Magazine,

write to:

360gradi.sl@gmail.com.

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