Author Archives: Inara Pey

About Inara Pey

Eclectic virtual world blogger with a focus on Second Life. My blog can be found below and I'm semi-active on Twitter and Plurk.

The algorithms of art

Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival

Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival – Jo Ellsmere: Biomechanical (click any image for full size to see the details)

The Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival, currently located on LEA8, will be closing at the end of December 2014, and if you haven’t already paid it a visit, I would recommend that you do. It is a continuation of the Second Life element of the art festival of the same name, which was held in Titusville, Florida, between October 3rd and 12th, 2014.

Arranged around a central landing point area are eight individual exhibition spaces offering one or more pieces by well-known SL artists. Each exhibit is highly individual in terms of subject matter, and despite the fact they are all packed into a single region, they each offer an individual environment, complete with custom media streaming and parcel windlight presets.

The landing area, designed by Pixel Sideways, initially served as a tutorial area for people entering SL for the first time from the Titusville festival; as such, it may not appear to hold much of interest to the established SL user. However, I’d suggest having a little look around, as there are several points of interest to be found, including a teleport to Pixels’ own display area located high over the region. The music stream provided in the arrival area might also be of interest as well, given it is being driven by solar radiation levels being recorded by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter as it orbits the Moon!

Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival

Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival – Ub Yifu: The Tree People, “an absorbing immersive environment, which is at the same time a tribute to Nature and its many gifts, the mysterious duality of life, and the creative people who explore virtual worlds in search of their holy grail”

The first of the installations on display to capture my attention when visiting was Jo Ellsmere’s Biomechanical, picture at the top of this article. A homage to V. Meyerhold’s biomechanics system developed to help train actors, it was first seen as a part of the digital element of The Golden Age of the Russian Avant Garde, by Peter Greenaway (UK) and Saskia Boddeke (Holland) which I wrote about in May 2014, and makes a welcome return here. The piece features five avatars beautifully scripted to move through as series of synchronised actions, both as a single unit and as five unique elements within that unit, a slight syncopation to their movements giving them a time-lapsed grace.

Jo also shares the stage with Pyewacket Kazyanenko for Interstellar Princess, which they disarmingly refer to as simply, “a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all”! Featuring a small army of bots named for the phonetic alphabet, and a similar number of televisions (make sure you run media in the parcel), it’s a curious piece.

Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival

Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival – Lollito Larkham: Petit-Gris (Little Gray), the Plutoian who passes the days listlessly, moving about his home, reading about alleged “humans” and tale of the wonderful planet Earth, his mood swinging between hope and despair that he’ll ever be able to see it for himself

The origins of ALEA FUKUSHIMA apparently lie in a dream artist Artistide Despres had, in which he imagined a scientist-musician who was able to neutralize the radioactivity at the Fukushima nuclear power plant by transforming the energy into music. This is an interactive piece, musical instruments in the “reactor building” responding directly to avatars.

In another of the overhead domes, Feathers Boa offers visitors Painting in Three Dimensions,  retrospective of her work from the period of 2007-2010. All of the pieces here also respond to the presence of an avatar, changing as you approach them and then step away from them.

Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival

Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival – in A Comfortable Skin, Gracie Kendal continues her exploration of society’s obsession with appearance, identity, and acceptance, using both physical and virtual avatars. Don one of the paint-splattered skins she offers, jump into the images of physical world locations and similarly-attired “avatars” and take a picture of yourself. Are you comfortable in the skin you’re in?

Glyph Graves presents three pieces for the price of one: Ghost Flora, Breeze, and Forest of Water. The latter two pieces are presented in one of ground-level exhibition spaces, while Ghost Flora can be seen in the waters surrounding the central landing / tutorial area.

Together, these works make up an interesting exhibition, each of them showing various facets of artistic expression and the versatility available within virtual environments like Second Life for immersive art.

Related Links

 

The Miss Virtual World Gowns and Gift card Auction for RFL of SL

Sunday, December 21st will see the Renaissance Galleria host the  Miss Virtual World 2015 Gowns and Gift card Auction.

Commencing at 10:00 SLT, the auction will be led by Neckcadaver Resident, and 100% of all proceeds will go directly to Relay for Life of Second Life. The gowns and gift cards to be auctioned have been generously donated by the following designers.

Azul, Lyrical Bizzare, Kelini Couture, Enzo Champagne, of Champagne, Mohna Lisa Couture, Pixi of Ala Folie, Lybra, Guila, Purplemoon, Sascha Frangilli of Sascha’s Designs, Carrie Snowpaw, and Elysium Skins & Apparel.

This is liable to be a popular event, so if you would like to available yourself of the opportunity to own a beautiful gown or collect a special gift card, all in aid of a worthy cause, be sure to teleport over to the auction in good time.

The Renaissance Galleria's sumptuous fashion show area will host the Miss Virtual World 2015 Gowns and Gift Card Auction in support of RFL of SL

The Renaissance Galleria’s sumptuous fashion show area will host the Miss Virtual World 2015 Gowns and Gift Card Auction in support of RFL of SL

About BOSL

The Best of Second Life Magazine started in 2008 and is focused on presenting the “Best Of” all that SL has to offer and sharing it with readers. Bringing readers a vast array of information and topics each month the magazine covers events, arts, activities, fashion, people, styles, products, sims, movements, and creativity. This in world and on the web publication is the longest running magazine in SL and reaches an extensive SL audience through its large group and subscriber list as well as outside of SL through the website.

The Best of SL Magazine is part of BOSL & Co, which comprises the following companies:   Best Of SL Magazine; Miss and Mister Virtual World Pageants; Miss Virtual World Modelling  Academy; BLVD Fashion House; Fashion Feed; SL Associated Press and Best of SL Couture Boulevard & Renaissance Galleria Malls. Each company is focused on bring the “Best Of” in its own category and work to collaborate together, building one another’s strengths, to promote the creativity of those who are behind the creative and amazing aspects of SL.

About Relay For Life of Second Life

Relay For Life of Second Life is an annual activity that takes place in Second Life in July each year. Volunteers form or join teams to have fun while fundraising and raising awareness from mid-March through mid-July. In July teams build campsites and walk a track, just like a Real World Relay. Since 2005, Relay For Life of Second Life has raised over $2.25 million USD for the American Cancer Society. In 2013, Relay For Life of Second Life has raised over $390,000 for the American Cancer Society. Relay For Life has become an international movement in RL and SL. In 2011 participants from over 80 countries took part in Relay For Life of Second Life.

About the American Cancer Society

For more than 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Together with millions of our supporters worldwide, we help people stay well, help people get well, find cures, and fight back against cancer.

Related Links

Never Ending surprises

Never Ending, in its winter guise, is perhaps one of the most surprising regions I’ve visited in a while. The work of しゅにん (Syunin Arida), いお (iorri), and TefTef Violet, it not only carries a seasonal theme right now, it does so in a quite remarkable manner, one which may at first deceive the casual eye.

On arriving, you standing close to a little village deep in snow and surrounded by  snow-covered hills of almost cartoonish undulations. Bare trees are strung with lights, while bears are sprawled on and against logs and tree stumps in one corner of the village, looking well and truly worn-out by all the exertions of Christmas shopping – or perhaps by trying to catch the raccoon who is keeping an eye on them from the upstairs window of the tower behind them…

Theses are not the only furry inhabitants of the village. Just over the garden fence, Grandpa Raccoon  stands on his porch, puffing his pipe, while across the snow-blanketed village green a young raccoon reads outside the local bookshop, Mama bear sitting close at hand, baby bear in her lap. Meanwhile, and next door to the bookshop, Mrs. Raccoon is arriving home with the groceries…

If all this sounds a little twee, don’t be fooled. The little village, with its Christmas tree bearing fairy lights and candles and presents spread under its boughs, is both charming  and avoids a feeling of looking just a little too sweet. It offers a lot to see, with seats and cuddle spots inviting visitors to stay a while; but it’s not all there is to see or explore, so don’t be fooled into just taking a cursory look around and skipping elsewhere.

Just outside the village sits a Flea Circus, and wander a little further or cam around and you’ll note there are other places to explore: a frozen lake, a couple of hidden valleys and little nooks shielded from the rest of the region by the steep hills. There even a wooden lodge sitting atop a steep hill awaiting your visit. But unless you’re ready to do some serious climbing (or cheat and fly), how are all of them reached?

The answer lies in a series of teleports which have been scattered around the region awaiting discovery. Some take the form of double doors, other are anywhere doors and still others are photos mounted on display boards. Herein lies another surprise: not all the destinations on offer are at ground level; several are hidden up in the sky, and are themselves a delight to discover and explore. What’s more, quite where you’ll be taken next isn’t always clear when first exploring, which further add to the mystery and charm of the region.

Never Ending is a true delight, with surprises at every turn;, and a visit I’d suggest you not pass on the opportunity to make. Do be prepared to click on things as well; there are several quite charming poses to be found (look for the umbrellas in particular), and a couple of gift boxes on offer from the designers.

Related Links

SL project updates week 51/2: SBUG, TPV Developer meeting

Frisland, Laluna Island (Flickr) – blog post

The following notes are taken from the Server Beta User Group (SBUG) meeting held on Thursday, December 18th, 2014, and the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, December 19th. A video of the latter is included at the end of the article, my thanks as always to North for recording it and providing it for embedding.

With reference to the meeting video, summary notes are provided below with time stamps to assist is spotting and listening to the associated conversations.

Server Deployments Week 51 – Recap

  • On Tuesday, December 16th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the server maintenance package deployed to the three RC channels in week #50
  • There were no deployments to the RC channels.

The end-of-year code freeze / no change window comes into effect from the end of the week, this means there will be no further server updates until January 2015.

SL Viewer

Release Viewer

The Maintenance RC viewer, version 3.7.23.297296, was promoted to the de facto release viewer on Thursday, December 18th. This viewer comprises a solid collection of bug fixes and improvements to many areas of SL, and also includes a range of fixes to previously released changes in the way joint offsets in rigged meshes are handled. Please refer to the release notes for further information.

Experience Keys RC Viewer

On Wednesday, December 17th, the Experience Keys / Tools viewer was updated to release candidate status with the release for version 3.7.23.297364. Please refer to my overview of the viewer (written while it was at project viewer status) for information on the viewer.

Further RC Updates

[00:50] As a result of the promotion of the Maintenance RC, both the new Experience Keys RC viewer and the HTTP Pipelining RC viewer are currently being rebuilt to include the Maintenance release code. These updates may appear in the release viewer pipeline on Monday, December 22nd, or they may be held over from release until after the end of the no change window.

Viewer Build Tools Project

[01:41] The new year should also see the first release of a project viewer for Mac and Windows built using the new build tools chain and autobuild process.

Group Chat

The last of the 2014 updates are being deployed to the back-end servers. At the time of the Server Beta User Group meeting, there were just a “few more” hosts that had yet to receive the updates, so things should be completed in short order. These improvement are focused on improving the overall robustness of the service and dealing with overload conditions.

CDN Work

What is being referred to as a “mini CDN” test was carried out on the BlueSteel region on the morning (PDT) of Thursday, December 18th. The test was designed to check a more flexible  CDN configuration that is going to make it easier for  the Lab to deal with fall overs. “It should be invisible normally but lets us have better control of where the viewer gets those mesh and texture assets,” Simon Linden said of the work, which will likely see a formal deployment in the New Year.

Viewer-managed Marketplace (VMM)

[03:53] There was an in-world meeting held on Friday, December 12th to discuss the Viewer-managed Marketplace (notes and transcript).

There should be a summary post from the Lab, covering JIRAs raised on VMM and comments made on the forums, which should be appearing on the current forum thread around the time this update is published. A further feedback meeting is being planned for the New Year.

Continue reading