Saturday, January 11, 2014

Freedom Project Machinima Submission: Maia Kyi'Ra (Starheart Erdhein)

Mandala Dance from Maia Nartoomid on Vimeo.

The first machinima submission to the Freedom Project by Maia Kyi'Ra (Starheart Erdhein). The Freedom Project is a 2D/3D Art & Film Event organized jointly by the University of Western Australia, along with members of the Virtual Ability group, and the Centre for ME/CFS and Other Invisible Illnesses group in Second Life. We are calling for artists and film makers from all over the world who self-identify as having a disability or a chronic illness, to create an artwork or a film/machinima on the theme of ‘Freedom’, showing how virtual worlds have in some way helped them or those around them.

Maia's Story... In her own words:

In May of 2008 I was watching TV and I saw a news spotlight on virtual realities. They touched on some of them – really all games – and then they went into reporting on “Second Life.” SL is not a game…not, not not. I emphasize this as for some reason, it is difficult for people to grasp it. Second Life is a virtual world. You certainly can role-play in it but it is a habitat where you can “be” and “do” many things – much of which you cannot yet in the “physical” world. To many of us in the spiritual community of Second Life, it is a place that is more ethereal than this physical space we largely occupy. It is closer to the “New Earth” in many ways, despite it’s physical limitation.

When I saw just that little bit about SL on the TV program I was in really bad shape physically from my colon problems, as I ate very little due to my gut hurting so badly. At one point I weighed 69 pounds. Each day was torture and I basically did hardly anything but try to keep my website going – from my recliner. Yet SL really called to me. I just had a feeling about it. So I went in.  I bought some “land” in-world (call simulated land or “sim” for short) and set up the New Earth Star Island. 

Of all the things I was doing to try to improve my health then, it was Second Life that saved my life! I am sure of it. I could meet with like-minded people from all over the word and “see” them in their avatar forms – look into their eyes, shake hands, hug and dance, horseback ride, fly, and so on. There was beautiful scenery and I could hear birds singing, waterfalls…PEACE. Too sick to leave my chair, it became my haven. Yet it was not really an “escape” – even then. It seemed to fortify my physical and emotional body, sharpen my mind and give me faith in myself again. Whether in First Life (FL) or Second Life I was ME – I got in touch with that person again, who had been beaten down by the illusion that illness covers one with. I gained weight, the pain lessened and I started going out a bit in First Life. Just walking more, going to the monastery nearby – walking a short bit on the beach.

While I am not what you would call in good health today, I am light years better than I was then…and weigh 110 pounds!  I continue with Second Life. I spend less time in there, but my First Life work is in places, enmeshed into SL. I hold spiritual gatherings there with people from all over the world.
I co-founded the Spirit Dance Company in Second Life, and later left that to form the Light Fantastic Dancers, who perform for the videos I create.
I also currently co-facilitate spiritual and heath-oriented programs with Monica Leal (Monica Crystalwater) on our Wellspring Island sim.
My freedom Project entry – Mandala Dance video
I envisioned, choreographed, filmed and produced this video. I also ran the dance hud.
Some related info:
Wellspring in Second Life (Word Press blog)
The Light Fantastic Dancers (Word Press blog)
My First Life Bio
Contact info:
Maia Kyi'Ra Nartoomid

Living on the island of Kaua'i

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