Simploring 2018 (60) Rusted Farm

For my short simploring tour on Sunday, July 8th, I dediced to follow Inara Pey’s simploring tours and visited Rusted Farm. Inara’s blog post “A Rusted Farm in Second Life” is quite elaborated and detailled and a good preparation for a visit.

Rusted Farm is an installation by Terrygold and is located at Solo Arte, an initiative for the encouragement, diffusion and promotion of art in Second Life, that was founded by Μelania (melaniabis), but as far as I could find out, Terrygold herself is co-owning it.

I will refrain from writing a descriptive blog post about Rusted Farm, instead I want to refer to Inara Pey’s post about it. I enjoyed my visit very much. Besides the messages that Rusted Farm wants to spread and besides the thoughts and awarenesses that Terrygold wants to initiate I was facinated by the rusted recycle insects and robots.

Impressions of Rusted Farm by Terrygold (1)

They are very detailled and look different from every viewing angle. In particular I recommend to play a bit with the windlight time setting and to look at them at night. They glow or have LED’s and add a particular, strange atmosphere to the scenery. But that’s something pictures can’t really capture, so you have to do that on your own.

Impressions of Rusted Farm by Terrygold (2)

Thank you Terrygold for this installation, I enjoyed my visit a lot!

Landmark to Rusted Farm
Inara pey’s blog post about Rusted Farm

Simploring 2018 (54) San Monique

For my simploring tour on Thursday, June 21st, I selected San Monique. Inara Pey wrote an excellent report about San Monique in her blog “A touch of Live and Let Die in Second Life“, that tempted me to visit it myself.

San Monique is a fictional Caribbean island and besides New Orleans one of the major sites of the plot of the James Bond film “Live and let die” from 1973. In Second life Zakk Lusch and They Wray DoneAway (They Ellisson) created a sim with a touch of New Orleans and the Bayou region of Louisiana. At San Monique you’ll find a lot of elements and references to the Bond film, be it the restaurant “Fillet of Soul” or the skull and top hat on a grave that are a reference to Baron Samedi. You’ll find some crocodiles and airboats and many more little details that hint to the film.
For those not familiar with the film “Live and let die” or those who don’t remember it anymore in detail like myself, I recommend to read about the plot in wikipedia.

Impressions of San Monique – the old plantation

But San Monique is not just about the Bond film. It is a beautiful and picturesque island in an extraordinairy style, not Mediterrean but Bayou. The center with the houses built above the water with the wooden board walks looks like being from another time and has a morbid charme. You can walk over wooden pathways into the swamps and over to an old plantage villa. I liked in particular the long driveway with the alley leading to the villa, that reminded me of the driveway in the film “Gone with the wind”. The villa itself has become shabby and again adds to the morbide charme of San Monique.

Impressions of San Monique – around the center

Impressions of San Monique – around the chapel

Exploring San Monique you encounter several persons, like the fisherman in the center, two childs sitting on a bench next to the ruins of a fun park, a clown, a band playing in the restaurant “Fillet of Soul” or the two pallbearer at the archway leaging to the chapel. Often these persons greet you in main chat and they liven up the scenery.

Impressions of San Monique – Restaurant “Fillet of Soul” / two kids / in the swamps

various impressions of San Monique

I also took some pictures posing next to crocodiles or fishing and I enjoyed exploring the swamps totally riskless and safe. San Monique is really unique. Thank you Zakk and They for creating this gem and providing it to the public for us all to enjoy.
I’ll end this post with a quote from the notecard, that you can grab at the landing point and that is taken from the Bond film: In the infamous words of Baron Samedi, “It’s going to be a beautiful day!”

Landmark to San Monique
Inara Pey’s blog post about San Monique “A touch of Live and Let Die in Second Life”
Wikipedia about “Live and let die”

Simploring 2018 (41) Cicamobiles

I came across a little exhibtion of Cica Ghost’s litte cars following Inara Pey’s blog where she published “Cica at Paris Metro in Second Life” on May 1st. And since I discovered Cica Ghost’s art in Second Life I try not to miss any of her installations or exhibtions.
There are some elements in Cica’s art installations that are unique and you recognize her objects and creations immediately. There are these fantastic, mostly oversized, animals with a human expressions in their faces, often looking content and happy or expressing strong feelings. And there are her two-dimensional stick figures, which are often animated. In Cica’s latest installations she offered little cars to drive around which were adapted to the theme. At Paris METRO Art Gallery these cars are exhibited and I called them “Cicamobiles”.

“Cicamobiles” at Paris METRO Art Gallery: Catomoblie with animated picture “Night traveler” in the background (upper right) / MouseCar and BirdCar with animated pictures “She” and “He” in the background, on the left is the animated “cyclist on the wall” (upper right) / UmbrellaCar (lower left) / FlowerCar (lower right)

It’s not a big exhibition but it is nice to see all the cicamobiles together at one place and seeing them remembered me of my visits to Cica’s installations. In total there are 4 drivable cars (Catomobile, MouseCar, BirdCar, FlowerCar) and 3 non-drivable cars (UmbrellaCar, CrocoCar, Cica’s Bus) exhibited at Paris METRO Art Gallery.
At the entrance, just next to the Catomobile you see Cica’s animated picture “Night traveler” and on the other side appears “cyclist on the wall”, one of her famous stick figures. At the wall behind the MouseCar and the BirdCar are two more animated stick figures riding bicycles named “She” and “He”.

“Cicamobiles” at Paris METRO Art Gallery: Cica’s Bus (upper left) / CorcoCar (upper right) / Cicamoblies overview (lower left) / animated pictures “She” and “He” closeup (lower right)

A really small but nice exhibtion which made me look forward seeing Cica’s next work, hopefully soon.
Thank you, Cica!
Thank you rfb morpock, who founded the Paris METRO Art Gallery and thank you, Shiloh Emmons, Director of the Gallery.

Landmark to Paris METRO Art Gallery
Inara Pey’s blog post “Cica at Paris Metro in Second Life

Simploring 2018 (35) The Hamptons and Aphrodisiac

For my simploring tour Sunday, April 15th, I picked The Hamptons from Inara Pey’s blog post “The Hamptons in Second Life“.
The Hamptons is described as “Amazing nature scenes, inspired by Northern East Coast or Western European landscapes, with plenty of hide aways to cuddle and relax from the crowd and the noise.” The description fits well.

The Hamptons – overview

The Hamptons consist of 3 larger and one small rocky island which are all connected by bridges. The landing is on the largest of these island at the site of an old piano factory. From here you can walk over wooden paths and bridges and enjoy the views over the island. There are some nice places to sit and cuddle and to enjoy the nature.
After walking over the first bridge you get to the entrance of an old mine. Of course I went in. The tunnel ends in a big cave, but there’s not much to see. I crossed the next bridge and walked over another bridge to the smallest island. There’s just one single room house in a Japanese style.

Impressions of The Hamptons (1) – around the landing point / at the entrance to the mine (lower right)

The room reminded me more of a cage or cell, then a living space. I walked back and got to a high plateau from where you can again enjoy the view. Next to a caravan is another single room house in a Japanese style, again remembering of a cage – and you can’t get in btw. I tried some of the lovely spots to sit and walked back to the middle island with the old mine.
When you walk along the edge of the rock you reach a greenhouse that is protected to the wind by the rock, quite cosy. Shame, there’s no cuddle possiblity there. The last place I visited was the pier where I found a doll cage and a Victorian Mistress chair, both made me curios of course! A part of the pier is already private area, about a quarter of The Hamptons is private. It is not marked but protected by ban lines.

Impressions of The Hamptons (2) – single room house (upper left) / at the high plateau (upper right and lower left) / at the greenhouse (lower right)

The Hamptons is owned by Haye Von Ayenhaha (Haye Aya). Thank you for providing your sim to the public! I did enjoy my simploring visit a lot.

Landmark to The Hamptons
Inara Pey’s blog post “The Hamptons in Second Life”

In Inara Pey’s blog entry I read that Haye Von Ayenhaha (Haye Aya) has used some of her own mesh designs for creating The Hamptons, Inara mentioned in particular the wooden paths and bridges. And yes, in Haye’s profile I found the remark that The Hamptons is “a show case of what can be done in landscaping with lots of my designs“.
I wanted to visit Haye’s shop and found it the landmark to “Haha – Aphrodisiac Clothing” in her profile. From the tags of the landmarks description (among others Latex, BDSM Accessories, Catsuits, Pet Collars, Fetish fashion) I expected a store for kinky clothes but what I found was a shop for furniture and other home and garden stuff.
Some of her work is really nice, for example she sells an iron patio frame, that is unique and will be sold just once. I like this idea. What I didn’t find were clothes nor did I find the wooden paths and bridges.

Aphrodisiac – overview

There were more islands where the shop is – and the name of the (adult) sim is promising: Aphrodisiac. I explored the other islands. One is dedicated to Matriarchy, one is dedicated to Patriarchy, one is obviously the former site of the store and there I found the tunnel and the cave from The Hamptons and one island is private again. I also noticed that other elements like bulidings of The Hamptons are use at Aprhodisiac as well.

Impressions of Aphrodisiac – at the Haha store (upper pictures) / at Matriarchy (lower left) / at Patriarchy (lower right)

I appreciate the rules for Matriarchy and PatriarchyMesh avatars only, system avatars will be ejected. Human avatars only, max size 210 cm for men, 190 for women; check on rulers. We ban oversized and non human…
Hence my simploring tour was also a kinkploring tour. Finally I had a look for Haye’s clothes and I found her clothes on the SL marketplace at least.

Landmark to Haha – Aphrodisiac Clothing
Landmark to Matriarchy
Landmark to Patriarchy
Link to Haha on SL marketplace

Ebbe and Oz talk Second Life in the cloud

Second Life moving into a cloud? I first thought, that will not change a thing for me as a user. But it does in several ways. First of all, Linden Lab will be able to turn fix costs into variable costs. That might help them to increase earnings and hence helps to keep Second Life running. Good News!
But there’s more that might change by the move. Nowadays Linden Lab’s revenues mostly depend on land tiers and as land is quite expensive it limits growth – revenues are more likely decreasing today. The move into a cloud might offer new pricing models based on usage, something that doesn’t frighten most users off as much as regular recurring payments do.
Right now the move into a cloud is decided but there’s no fixed date for it yet. The plans about a new pricing model aren’t yet fixed either, there’re just some ideas out so far.
Inara Pey’s blog post gives us some insight of what to expect. I look forward to the change and I hope it will be a smooth move with only little unavailability of Second Life.

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Credit: Linden Lab / Amazon Web Services Inc.

It’s a huge effort. Right now the Second Life grid is a proprietary set-up in a hosting facility that we have customised for the purposes of what we’re doing – which made sense a decade and half ago. But these days, with the services from Google and Amazon and Microsoft with cloud infrastructures, it makes a lot of sense to shift our technologies to be on top of those cloud infrastructures instead of having our own.

Ebbe Altberg, VWPBE, March 15th, 2018.

That the Lab is working on moving Second Life to the cloud is becoming more and more widely known. First mentioned by Landon Linden (aka, Landon McDowell, the Lab’s Chief Product Officer) during his SL14B Meet the Lindens session, it was “officially” announced in August 2017 via a blog post.

Landon Linden, June 2017, talking about the Lab’s…

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The return of Second Life Last Names – update with audio

When I joined Second Life more than 10 years ago I had to pick a last name from a list of about 20 or 30 names and decided for “Maurer”. Up until today you know that those wearing the last name Maurer come most probably from Germany and as the list of offered last name changed you can also suspect their potential rezz date. Then Linden Lab disposed the last names in Second Life and we first cracked jokes about the fast growing “Resident family”. But as it is with many changes we got used it with the years. Nowadays having a last name clearly indicates that you’re an oldie in Second Life.

Now I read in Inara Pey’s blog about Linden Lab’s plan to reintroduce last names and what problems are to be solved with the return of last names. For me it was quite interesting and I wanted to share it in this blog.

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Following the Lab’s announcement that last names will be returning to Second Life  later in 2018 (see my post here), Oz and  Patch Linden have been providing further details on the change.

Patch has been commenting on the forum thread related to this topic (and the Lab’s 15th anniversary blog post in general), starting here, and I’ve also quoted him below.

Oz Linden took time to address questions on the subject at the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting on Thursday, March 22nd.

The following is a summary of what has been said thus far, predominantly using Oz Linden’s comments at the CCUG meeting. I’ve attempted to summarise the key points as series of short topics, and have included audio extracts of Oz’s comments with each topic.

Note that the audio extracts draw together related comments voiced at different points in the session, as Oz addressed questions. I…

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Simploring 2018 (27) – Gem Preiz’ Demiurge

When I visited Gem Preiz’ installation “Sapiens” in January (read here) I met Inara Pey there, who told me that Gem plans an extention of this installtion by End of February. And really, as it turns out I got an invitation for Thursday, March 15th, from Gem himself to attend the opening of this extention for Thursday, March 15th. Unfortunately I could not attend the opening but visited a few hours before the opening. The extension is called “Demiurge“.
The word “demiurge” is an English word from demiurgus, a Latinized form of the Greek dēmiourgos. It was originally a common noun meaning “craftsman” or “artisan”, but gradually it came to mean “producer”, and then eventually “creator” (from wikipedia)

Gem Preiz’ Demiurge – opened until End of June 2018

At the landing point you can grab a notecard in several language, which explains Gem’s thoughts about both installations: “Sapiens ended on the vision of the Man understanding his universe and learning to dominate it. In Demiurge, the Man becomes creative and shapes his environment, for the good or for the evil.” From the landing point you can teleport also to Sapiens.

Impressions of Gem Preiz’ Demiurge: The past

Demiurge consists of 3 parts: the past, the present and the future. Each part is built on a sim-wide space.
The past reminds of of an ancient city, maybe Rome. It has classical buildings, historic buildings you can find all over the world, buildings with history, buildings that were built to last “forever”, to witness the ideas of a times. Inside of some buildings you find fractals exhibited. From the largest exhibition hall you can teleport to the next part: the present.

Gem Preiz’ Demiurge: The exhibition hall at “The past” – TP Point to travel to “The present” (arriving in “The present” lower right picture)

The present is very disillusioning: uniform skyscrapers, dirt, elevated roads and thousand of tin-sheet huts. In the present of Demiurge is just one exhibition hall with fractals. It is easy to find as the buildings stands out from the rest. From there you can teleport to the next part: the future.
I talked with Gem later and her told me that the skyscrapers are inspired by the chinese town Chongqing, an ocean of 25 floors buildings to house 30 millions people, while the slum is inspired by Kibera, the slum around Nairobi, Kenya. I don’t know both places, but I kind of have an idea how it might look there.

Impressions of Gem Preiz’ Demiurge: The present

The future is bright, particular with the windlight setting I used: Bristol. This world has futuristic skyscarpers of all forms. It’s clean and neat and organized. It does not only look futuristic but also artificial as if there’s no individuality anymore – although the buildings are creative as such, but the single human being is lost in the world. Look a bit around, you might find a starship, which you can use to explore the future from another perspective. I found it and I used it. It also adds to the fun!

Flying a spaceship at Gem’ Preiz’ Demiurge: The future

At the end of the installation Sapiens I saw a huge golden statue (the homo sapiens sapiens?) holding the grid cube in it’s hand, looking at it lost in thoughts. At Demiurge you’ll find this huge golden statue in a spherical building and it holds a brain in it’s hand, looking at it lost in thoughts. At the base of the statue you find teleport pads to Sapiens and to the past and the present.

Impressions of Gem Preiz’ Demiurge: The future

Demiurge is an impressive installation about architecture, not about single periods of architecture but from a higher level. It shows the clear forms and outlines of classic historic buildings that follow either function (like theatres) or simple demostrate power. There builders had he intention to create something for the eternity. It shows the uniformity of modern housing towers, the dirt and the poverty of the slums that are reality for many people around the world. And it shows our dreams that have become reality at least partly at some metropol areas like Shanghai, New York, London ..
Of course Demiurge is also a place where Gem’s fractals are exhibited and they fit in very well as most of them look a bit like science fiction. Overall, the installation contains 32 high resolution fractals. Some of them have already been displayed on Secondlife, in various other exhibitions.

At the landing point of Demiurge as well as in the notecard you find recommendations about the settings of your viewer. I also recommend to turn your music on (I did). The music Gem selected fits really well.

Gem Preiz’ Demiurge – outside of the the landing Point – upper left Picture Shows Gem and myself

One last thing. If you have time enough, walk outside of the building where you enter Demiurge. The landing area is inside another “future” world that is dominated a one tall skycraper. Gem told me that it is inspired by a project of tower to be raised in Bassorah, Iraq, that shall raise 1.000 meter, in SL it’s “only” 340 m tall. Talking with Gem you can sense his passion for architecture, forms and skyscrapers.

Thank you Gem for this extension to Sapiens. Demiurge is – at least for me – an installation you have to visit. Great work, Gem, very impressive!
Sapiens and Demiurge shall be open for a visit until End of June.

Landmark to Demiurge
Landmark to Sapiens

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