Genesis by Theda Tammas and Iono Allen @ La Maison d’ Aneli


I bet almost everyone will think of the bible when hearing the word Genesis. I do at least. The word is a bit hijacked by the book of books, as if it cannot refer to anything else than the creation of our world in 6 days (okay 7 if you wish to count the rest day as well), by the hand of God. If you believe in such a force is another story, but we all for sure know it.

Genesis comes from the ancient Greek From γένεσις (génesisorigin, creation, beginning) and from Proto-Indo-European ǵénh₁tis  (birth, production). Birth in this case does not apply to the usual birth of a living being like humans and animals. It means something bigger and more important, something that affects a very big part of the world or maybe the whole world. It is a process of a unique kind therefore and not something anyone could or would want to ignore most likely. 

Also in our present language we use the word genesis to refer to the creative beginning of things, the origin or coming to being of something and not something minor or unimportant

Alas . . .

So, when I create a sim in Second Life in 6 or 7 days with outstanding beautiful landscaping and decor, or even in 1 day, it cannot be called a genesis alas. Damn, I never will be God! But when you create something like a law that changes a very essential part of a society and triggers a whole new process of being and evolving (either for good or for bad), it can be called a genesis. One of the aspects of a genesis is I think, that it is a start into something unknown. It’s not like a house you construct and that will look pretty much the same as the design drawings. It’s more a casco, a shell or skeleton that will slowly develop into something it has to become. A genesis I think is mostly unforeseen, defined by the many dynamics of our society or by nature itself, following its own dynamic as response to ours  . . .  Climate change I consider a genesis. And it is up to us if we can bend it into a good way, if not too late already.


Theda Tammas and Iono Allen

This well known creative duo did their own genesis. Meaning they created an environment with sculptures by Theda Tammas and media by Iono Allen, representing the process of a genesis. If you walk around you will see many figures trying to become something. Their faces still covered with a kind of net made from ropes. The legs as well seem to be made of nets. As if in a cocoon kind of process, trying to get all fixed and connected as whole. Their bodies seem to have trouble to find the way, fingers moving as if nervous and new to the world, not knowing what to do and where to go. But all into a process of change. Their birth appears painful and a struggle, but births are like that.. .   they don’t come easy. When ready though they will add to the meaning of life in a way that can be irreversible. If it will be pleasant or not we do not know. Maybe it is both eventually.  A ‘no pain no gain’ kind of genesis.

During the opening of this exhibition at Maison ‘d Aneli there was music from Morlita Quan and Haze that went very well with the atmosphere of the installation. Between eerie and unearthly, as well as calming and hopeful. Theda has a taste for these kind of dramatic effects of course, we know that, and sometimes I like to see more cheerful things, but it is a very well made installation I think with a good sense for use of space, colours and effects. Also the custom made environment (EEP, wind light) and a setting with a multi layered lay-out give it all a visually impressive look and feel.


Meanwhile, about a week after the opening, Iono finished a movie on the installation. The music of Morlita Quan is used as soundscape for the movie. It also is very well done I think. Catches the installation and lets the images and music speak for itself.

But the best way of course is to visit the installation inworld. For myself I would describe it like this:

Visiting the Genesis installation and watching the Genesis movie gives these ‘Where am I and what is happening’  feelings . . .

Like . . . something massive and existential is going on.

Scary, because new and unknown. . . wanting to run away yet also wanting to know more . . .

Maybe a beginning of something beautiful, maybe a beginning of something horrible. . .

Has it an end or is it the start of the end of all?

Only Theda and Iono know  . . .

Or maybe not as well . . . because they are part of it and maybe also left to the forces they created themselves . . . ; )

Lala it will be !  . .   ( Only a few will remember what that means)

Where to visit?

You can visit the installation at La Maison d’ Aneli, curated by Aneli Abeyante, until December 7.


When entering the sim, walk to the teleporter and TP to the installation in the sky.
When there, read the signs about the needed settings. If you ignore to make changes you will not have a good view and start your own poor genesis of misjudgements :P  There is no need to have sound on.
The first part is quite dark and you have to walk a bit as if blind, but just walk straight forward after having watched the media and sculptures that already show a bit the atmosphere. Then keep walking until you see the figure with the fiddling fingers from the picture above and walk through the curtain kind of divider. It teleports you into the actual installation automatically. And once there you will give birth to your own impressions : )

I hope they are good!

Another interesting and super smart blog to read on this installation comes from Dividni Shostakovich, with a focus on the technical skills behind it all, resulting in a sensory and poetical effect:  Theda Tammas and Iono Allen’s “Genesis”: In the Beginning Was the Pixel

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