The tribe meets at last…

I am in Milano right now, at NABA, teaching a workshop in SL fashion. My charge: a group of enthusiastic fashion design students with the odd industrial designer mixed in for good measure. I was quite panic stricken all last week as I was preparing for this event, given that I am not really a fashion designer, wouldn’t know how to cut a piece of cloth so that it hangs right, even if my life depended on it. Whatever I lack in know-how however, the attendants more than make up for in enthusiasm and today on the second day, some rather remarkable output has already begun to manifest. Like the one who is making a garment out of an armadillo for instance. Or the one who is putting together a truly wonderful thing made entirely out of stripes. Not to mention the Marie Antoinette outfit that is slowly beginning to materialize or the one with the weird tribal markings.

There have been a lot of IT problems since yesterday and one of them has been that for some unknown reason SL has not allowed the students to create accounts. Possibly because they were all trying to do it at once from the same IP address. There were some that had taken care of this beforehand so they were good to go and the rest could of course have gone home to take care of it but time is precious and so I had this idea that they should use my avatars!

Now, I have more than the 5 that are involved with alpha.tribe. There are the tour guides of Syncretia, that basically sleep until there is some RL exhibition of the place when they wake up and assume their duties. Then there are a few more that no one knows about and that I use on particularly misanthropic days when they wander off to a really deserted sandbox that I have discovered recently (and no, I am certainly not giving out the slurl!) and rezz stuff for the 5 tribe avatars. They are drones really. And then there are some others too. Anyway…

So, today for the very first time, there they were in a classroom in Milano: Alpha, Alpho, Grapho, Amina and Xia… Together with the other ones, but the ones that matter are the 5 of them of course. I felt a lot of things as I ran back and forth between computers trying to help the workshop participants. Saw them side by side. Talking to one another. The students, who were actually using them to chat when they were in the same physical space, would have had no idea what it made me feel to see these 5 tiny creatures in whose company I seem to have spent such huge portions of all last year, together for the very first time. Yes, I have logged in two at one time to take photos or whatever, but here, today were all five of them and they were carrying on autonomous existences at that. They do not need me. I need them.

Tomorrow I will take a photo. In fact, I will take many photos. I realized how much I loved them. My brave little troopers. My little companions.

And no. They are not me. None of them are. And yes, not even Alpha.

to be continued…

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