Andrew Linden departing the Lab

Andrew Linden: Departing the Lab
Andrew Linden: Departing the Lab

He’s been one of the longest-serving members of the Lab’s team, and actually out-lasted Philip Rosedale for time put in with the company, but after more than eleven years with Linden Lab, Andrew Linden is saying “farewell”.

He broke the news during his regular appearance at the Tuesday Simulator User Group meeting on December 17th, saying, “This is going to be my last User Group meeting as a Linden: I’ve decided to leave LL and pursue other things. I’ve really enjoyed these User Group meetings, which is why I’ve been showing up all these years.”

He confirmed that he will be joining Rosedale at the latter’s latest venture, High Fidelity, saying, “”I’m going to join Philip and his new project. Not because I don’t love SL or am not excited about what LL is working on, but because I’m ready for a change, and I really like working with Philip.”

Andrew’s final day with the Lab will be on Thursday December 19th, after which he’ll be off to join the High Fidelity team.

As a long-serving member of the Lab’s staff, he will be sorely missed. Over the years he’s been exceptionally popular among residents, and he has worked on many of the Lab’s server-side and other projects. Most recently, he has been instrumental in overhauling the platform’s interest list, massively improving the way in which in-world scenes and managed and loaded between the servers and the viewer, and which has also seen an overhaul of the viewer’s object caching capabilities (which are currently available through a release candidate viewer), all of which has significantly improved scene loading and rendering. This work was recently featured in a video narrated by Torley Linden.


The video demonstrating the interest list work: the last large-scale undertaking Andrew worked on

Also of late, Andrew has worked on a number of anti-griefing measures within the platform, and has currently project has involved LSL updates to enable the uniform scaling of objects and linksets (such as uniformly increasing or decreasing a linksets size by a factor of 2). This work should be appearing in an RC release in the New Year.

Andrew's profile: testimony to his time at the Lab
Andrew’s profile: testimony to his time at the Lab

In the time I’ve been attending the Simulator User Group meeting (formerly the Server/Sim/Scripting group), Andrew has always been polite, inquisitive and helpful to all, and demonstrated a willingness to readily delve into issues and see what he can find and / or put right. In response to the direct enquiries I’ve put to him in the past, he’s always been more than helpful in his replies, willing to provide concise explanations and offer additional information and guidance.

The news of his departure was met with a mix of sadness and best wishes from those at the meeting. For my part, I’d like to again extend my thanks to Andrew for his input to, and work on Second Life over the years, for his support of the Simulator User Group and to wish him all the best for the future.

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Fisicofollia: a futurist’s landscape reimagined

Giovanna Cerise’s latest installation, Fisicofollia, opened at LEA6 on Monday December 16th as part of the LEA’s Full Sim Art Series.

Fisicofollia takes as its springboard the Futurist movement,  and particularly the works of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Fortunato Depero, Giacomo Balla, and Enrico Prampolini.

Marinetti effectively founded the movement following the publication of The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism (1909), in which he declared,  “Art, in fact, can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.” Violence became one of the themes emphasised and glorified by the movement, alongside others such as speed, technology, and youth, together with objects such as the industrial city, the car and the aeroplane; indeed, almost anything that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature.

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Fisicofollia – LEA6 until December 31st, 2013

Futurist were slow to develop a distinctive style in the early years, initially basing their works on Divisionism, the breaking light and colour down into a field of stippled dots and stripes, before adopting Cubism as they looked to find a more individual means of expression through their works.

In terms of paintings, many of the works by Futurists exhibited strong lines and often imbued a sense of velocity through a blurring of lines and form. These aspects are somewhat reflected in elements of this installation. One section in particular uses colour and blurring to great effect. Elsewhere, there is a more free-form interpretation of the movement’s works, which embraced not only paintings, but sculpture, architecture, fabrics and fashion.

Throughout the main part of the build is the figure of a man, constructed from blue-shaded pyramids or tetrahedrons. Of varying sizes, it appears to be leaning back, arms raised horizontally, and is found in various sizes and numbers across the installation. Many of these figures are regimented into lines, some even into ordered into ranks. The latter are especially evocative of the movement’s militaristic leanings, their ordered rows, identical poses and colours suggestive of soldiers on parade. Draw in close to these figures, and they seem to mix and merge into a stippling effect, again perhaps again echoing the influence Divisionism had on the Futurists.

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Fisicofollia – LEA6

Geometry is used to great effect throughout the piece. One section of the installation appears to be draped in mist; approach it, however, and one discovers the mist is in fact a series of closely spaced, translucent grids, forming a moiré pattern which breaks-up  the landscape and which shifts and changes as one’s eye (and camera) moves.

Patterns are also formed through the use of multiple parallel lines, spaced and placed to give the impression of stairways. Higher-up, in what is very much as three-dimensional design, these come together, Escher-like, to form eternal stairways leading nowhere, presenting a place where, to use Giovanna’s words, “lines, planes, shapes and colours combine, alluding to an invention related to childhood and madness.”

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Fisicofollia – LEA6

Along with the visual elements of the piece is an accompanying sound scape, and it is recommended that the visitor has sounds enabled when visiting in order to benefit from the auditory elements present in the installation.

As well as describing Fisicofollia as a free-form interpretation of the Futurist movement’s approach to art, Giovanna also refers to the piece as:

A multi-dimensional performance space, in which light and shadow, colour and movement are the protagonists. The scene expands to create a multiplicity of perspectives in a continuous emotional tension … The visitor can interact with the environment simply going through it, resulting in different visual impressions.

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Fisicofollia – LEA6

Fisicofollia is open through until the end of December 2013.

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2014: Step into the garden of good and evil with the Basilique Performing Arts Company

Paradise LostI recently wrote about of Romeo + Juliet, a unique re-imagining of Shakespeare’s tale of love, loss and tragedy, performed by the Basilique Performing Arts Company, and which features an inspired mix of  renaissance-inspired sets, 1940s costumes, and contemporary music.

While that production is set to continue until around mid-February, and is a must-see for anyone who hasn’t yet taken the opportunity to do so, the Company has now announced its next major – and equally ambitious –  undertaking.

In Spring 2014, the Basilique Performing Arts Company will be premiering Paradise Lost: The story of Adam and Eve’s original sin, choreographed and set to the fourteen movements of Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor.

Based on Milton’s epic blank verse poem, the production has been conceived and developed by the creative team of Canary Beck and Harvey Crabsticks. Each performance will run for some 60 minutes and comprise three Acts: The Creation, The Fall and The Expulsion. Through each, we will follow Satan, as he builds Hell, God as he creates the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Knowledge, Adam … and Eve; witness Satan’s beguiling of Eve, watch as she and Adam wilfully lust for one another in the face of God’s anger, only to be banished from the Garden of Eden; then finally, watch all that came after: the battle between  the forces of Good and Evil, and Adam and Eve’s lives after Eden. All have been specially choreographed, and each act will comprise a number movements from Mozart’s Requiem.

This promises to be a most amazing production, as demonstrated in the preview trailer – best watched full screen and in HD, if possible.

Paradise lost: The Story of Adam and Eve’s Original Sin will be staged at the Basilique Playhouse. All performances will be free, and the schedule will be announced in due course, and reported in these pages.

So get set for what is likely to be one of the highlights of the Second Life cultural calendar in 2014!