Rock’n’Roll

Roll'n'Roll, Molly Bloom - Holtwaye ArtSpace
Roll’n’Roll, Molly Bloom – Holtwaye ArtSpace

Now open at Holtwaye ArtSpace is a exhibition of recent work with a distinctly musical theme by Molly Bloom, entitled Rock’n’Roll.

Molly’s art is beautifully intriguing because with it, she often plays with our perception of depth: figures and elements of her images are unconstrained by the picture frame in which they sit, but  frequently extend beyond it. Individuals often appear as if they’re about to completely step out of the picture or are at least leaning out of the frame, while props and accessories often extend beyond the picture, or sit on the floor in front of it.

Roll'n'Roll, Molly Bloom - Holtwaye ArtSpace
Roll’n’Roll, Molly Bloom – Holtwaye ArtSpace

This approach gives Molly’s images a fresh and involving appearance which draws the observer into them, to almost become a part of the story each picture is telling. This is something which itself is given further dimension by some of the pieces forming duet and triptych-style groupings, with two or three pieces coming together to present a narrative flow.

An artist primarily known for her work in glass in the physical world, Molly regards herself as something of a “purist” in Second Life, by which she means her pieces are almost entirely created in-world. “Part of the challenge of making good art,” she says of her work, “is the joy of building and problem solving.” What minimal post-processing is used is restricted to correcting minor defects in images; any attempt as image enhancement and refinement through more extensive use of tools such as Photoshop are strictly avoided.

Roll'n'Roll, Molly Bloom - Holtwaye ArtSpace
Roll’n’Roll, Molly Bloom – Holtwaye ArtSpace

While the title of the exhibition might give the impression that the focus is purely on rock’n’roll, this is not the case. While various forms of rock are featured, including glam rock and blues rock (love the cover of the cover of Blind Faith’s album), so too are other genres portrayed, including classical and a good, old-fashioned hoe-down; even the mythical is beautifully touched upon in a stunning image of a demoness playing a lute, which also has faint echoes of a play on Pan and his pipes about it.

All told, another excellent selection of art from an artist who always piques my imagination with her work. If you’re like me, and enjoy Molly’s art, then this is not one to miss. If you’ve not encountered Molly’s work before, then thing exhibition is an opportunity to get introduced to it; you might also want to check Molly’s new gallery space afterwards as well.

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Viewer-Managed Marketplace main grid beta launched

secondlifeOn Tuesday, April 21st, the Lab announced that the new Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM) capabilities are now officially in beta testing on the main Second Life grid.

I’ve been reporting on (VMM) for the last several months, and provided an overview of the functionality while it was undergoing initial beta testing on the Beta (Aditi) grid. with the launch of the open beta on the main grid, which is scheduled to run for approximately one month, VMM will undergo more widespread testing ahead of its formal introduction.

VMM is designed to enable merchants to manage the creation and management of Marketplace product listings through the viewer, bypassing the need to use the Merchant Outbox (and have copies of items stored on the Marketplace inventory servers) or using Magic Boxes (as VMM fully supports the sale on No Copy objects).

This means that once VVM has been fully introduced to SL, both the Merchant Outbox in the viewer and Magic Boxes will be retired from use.

The Marketplace listing panel is the viewer-side hub of the new VMM functionality
The Marketplace listing panel is the viewer-side hub of the new VMM functionality

VMM works via a new panel in the viewer, called the Marketplace Listings panel (shown right – note that you must be running the Viewer-Managed Marketplace project viewer in order to see this panel, as the code has not been released in the officially viewer, although some TPVs may have incorporated the code ahead of it being released to RC status).

Through this panel, which is associated with your inventory, new listings can initially be created using the viewer and set to be listed in your Marketplace store (or unlisted from your store).

Note that it will still be necessary to edit listings, should this be required, by going to the Marketplace website.

As there are certain hierarchies and new folder types involved with VVM, the Lab has produced both a Knowledge Base article and a wiki FAQ to help those who have so far not had the opportunity to try VMM to get started. To mark the launch of the open beta, an initial TuTORial video has also been produced to help people orient themselves with the new functionality, and more will follow.

As noted above and in the official blog post from the Lab, VMM is likely to remain in open beta for about a month. Once the beta has concluded, the next steps in the process will be:

  • A release VMM to all merchants.
  • A period of a month to allow those merchants who wish to manually migrate their listing to VMM to do so, which will be followed by an automated migration of Direct Delivery listings (Magic Box listings will need to be manually migrated)
  • Once the migration process is deemed complete, Xstreet and Magic Boxes will be shut down.

VMM includes capabilities to help merchants migrate their existing listings without necessarily have to re-create them. This is touched upon in my overview, linked-to above (do note that the latter is now five months old, and some elements of VMM functionality may have changed slightly in the interim).

The Lab’s blog post notes that feedback on VMM is welcome through the Merchants’ Forum post, while bugs and issues should be filed via the VMM JIRA project.

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Fantasy Faire: come gather for the Litfest!

Deep within the 2015 Fairelands lies an enchanted glade, the home to a series of literary activities new to Fantasy Faire this year, and collectively called the Fantasy Faire Literary Festival (LitFest for short).

Many events have been planned, and there is an open invitation to all who enjoy spinning a yarn, telling a tale, reading a story, reciting poetry and more, to come along and enjoy all that LitFest has to offer, from readings, to discussions and presentations through to open microphone sessions. And to mark the birthday of Sir Terry Pratchett, who so sadly passed away earlier this month, Tuesday, April 28th at the LitFest has been declared Terry Pratchett Day!

“Deep within the 2015 Fairelands lies an enchanted glade, the home to a series of literary activities….”

The full time-table of activities (as they stood at the time of writing) can be found on the Fantasy Faire blog, with all the necessary background information. However, in summary (all times SLT):

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

  • 17:30 – 19:00: Open Microphone session moderated by Saffia Widdershins. Bring your own poetry, short story or an extract from a longer piece of work and have 15 minutes before the microphone to introduce it and read it

Friday, April 24th, 2015

  • 08:00 – 10:00: Caledonia Skytower from Seanchai Library reads selections from Lord of the Rings
  • 11:00 – 12:30: Open Microphone session moderated by Judi Newall. Bring your own poetry, short story or an extract from a longer piece of work and have 15 minutes before the microphone to introduce it and read it
  • 14:00 – 16:00: Aurora – Prelude to the Confluence: Beq Janus reads from her own story, written for Fantasy Faire

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

  • 02:00 – 04:00: Cata Charisma from Seanchai Library reads some of his own works and favourites from the fantasy genre
  • 08:00 – 10:00: Caledonia Skytower from Seanchai Library reads “Gorak the Gobbler”, her newest short story, which is about to be published
  • 14:00 – 16:00: Speculative Fiction Saturday: Simeon Beresford leads a regular long running fantasy and science fiction discussion group in this special location for Fantasy Faire

Sunday, 26th April, 2015

  • 06:00 – 08:00:
  • 08:00 – 10:00: Meet the Author – Ceeyjay Writer talks about her book The Flight To Brassbright, the first of The Brassbright Chronicles, which originated with the the Second Life Steampunk city of New Babbage
  • 10:00 – 12:00: Self-expression & Healing through Poetry & Stories led by Red Goddess and Michael Romani
  • 15:00 – 17:00: Collaborative fiction game with Taralyn Gravois
  • 18:30 – 19:30: Tall Tales and Outright Lies! with Ceejay Writer – the Scoundrel Fleet Pirates drop anchor at the Literary Festival for their regular Story Telling Hour.

Monday, 27th April, 2015
  • 10:00 – 12:00: Outlander dressing-up and discussion – pick your favourite grab from whichever period as it pertains to the Outlander tales and get ready to discuss any and all things Outlander. Led by Andrea Demonge
  • 12:00 – 14:00: Aoife Lorefield reads from her own work

Tuesday 28th April, 2015: Terry Pratchett Day!

  • 10:00 – 11:00: Share your favourite Pratchett extract, moderated by Judi Newall. Free Fedoras for all participants!
  • 12:00 – 13:00: Who is your favourite Terry Pratchett character, moderated by Judi Newall. Free Fedoras for all participants!
  • 14:00 – 15:00: What is your favourite Terry Pratchett novel? Moderated by Judi Newall. Free Fedoras for all participants!
  • 15:00 – 16:00: Terry Pratchett Poetry Slam, moderated by Garnet Psaltery – Bring your own poems on a theme of the late Terry Pratchett or his works, in honour of his birthday today, or read from your favourites
  • 16:00 – 18:00: New Babbage Tales Part 1 – discussion led by Mr Mosseveno Tenk (aka “The Clockwinder”)
  • 20:00 – 21:00: New Babbage Tales Part 2 – discussion led by Mr Mosseveno Tenk (aka “The Clockwinder”)

Wednesday 29th April, 2015

  • 10:00 – 11:00: Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man Live Reading with Caledonia Skytower and Dubhna Rhiadra from Seanchai Library
  • 17:00 – 19:00: Art and Fantasy with Taralyn Gravois

Thursday, 30th April, 2015

  • 15:00 – 16:00: Once Upon a Time… tales of fantasy and faerie read by Boudicca Amat
  • 18:00 – 20:00: Good Omens discussion with Aoife Lorefield

Friday, 1st May, 2015

  • 10:00 – 11:00: Is Fantasy always about endings? discussion led by Saffia Widdershins

Saturday, 2nd May, 2015

  • 10:00 – 12:00: Cold Shot Play Readers and Writers Open Mic, organised by Bhelanna Blaze
  • 14:00 – 16:00: Speculative Fiction Saturday: Simeon Beresford leads a regular long running fantasy and science fiction discussion group in this special location for Fantasy Faire

Saturday, 3rd May, 2015

  • 08:00 – 09:00: Stories within Stories – the narrative of the Hunt, a presentation by Saffia Widdershins, discussing the narratives and characters she drew on to create the Hunt – from sources including classical mythology, folk ballads, legends from around the world, modern fantasy classics, Breton lays and Japanese anime – and combined them with the legends that have grown up around the Faire.

Further Information and Related Links

Images courtesy of Fantasy Faire.